For some unfortunate individuals, going to the beach requires a long drive on crowded freeways, which is no way to spend a beautiful summer day.
Luckily, you can make the most of the sun-drenched weather by re-creating a beach scene right in your backyard.
Better yet - invite some friends and make a party out of it!
Break out the kiddie pools
Now, it may have already occurred to you that filling your backyard with sand would surely impress all of your guests. But have you considered how your neighbors might feel when that sand begins washing into their lawns? Or what about the fact that it could kill your grass? Right, so filling the backyard with sand is a bad idea.
In order to preserve your good neighborly relationships and your grass, try to keep the sand contained. Obviously, a sandbox would work, but you could also fill a kiddie pool with sand and toys so your friends can feel like youngsters again.
While you're at it, pick up another little pool for water. Squirt guns, sprinklers and water balloons are also fun additions, and may even become the main attractions of your party.
Don't forget the decorations
Decor goes a long way in making your guests feel like they're on a sandy coast. And you can even keep some of these decorations around throughout the summer if you like 'em enough.
You can make cheap, easy centerpieces by filling aluminum buckets with sand, then placing pillar candles, seashells and beach glass on top. Just be sure to work the candles into the sand a little bit so they don't tip over.
Bowls of brightly colored fish on tables are ultra pretty and beachy, but remember that these little guys aren't disposable. Only do this if you plan to take care of your fishies long after the guests have gone home. Those of you who are non-committal may want to instead make a couple of these Jelly Shot Gummy Fish Bowls
Tiki torches are also a fun touch, but take extra precautions to ensure they're properly inserted into the ground and aren't surrounded by flammables. (Trust us, once the booze starts flowing, you'll be glad we reminded you of these kinds of things.)
Food, glorious food
It's not enough to just put out some beer and chips - especially considering all you went through to make your place look like a sandy paradise. Also, keep in mind that you should always serve some kind of dish when people are drinking, as it may help prevent guests from getting too tipsy.Zesty Lime-Fish Tacos
are super awesome and super seasonal, not to mention that they'll make your friends feel like they're dining somewhere near the ocean. Serve them alongside this killer Honey-Lime Fruit Salad
and you've got yourself a beach-worthy meal.
Hosts who aren't content just serving beer can make their parties extra special with some warm-weather cocktails. Everyone loves a Frozen Strawberry Margarita
, and as a bonus, you can use any leftover tequila for shots if the party starts to lose excitement.