Livin’ Easy

Chill out with these products that help kickoff summer shindigs

By Sam Ujvary | Assistant Editor

Remember the days of Red Rover, neighborhood baseball games and not coming home until the street lights came on? Longer days and breezy nights are the embodiment of summer, and along with it comes a feeling of content and serenity.

After the passing of the fallen leaves, frigid temperatures, and newly blooming flowers, we’re ready for it. Temperatures get warmer, and we know that it’s time to do everything we possibly can outside. During summertime, we get hours of extra daylight and the ability to soak up a ton of Vitamin D. Whether we’re tailgating, barbecuing, or sliding down the greater tri-state area’s longest waterslide, we’re embracing every single facet of summer.

Some of our favorite companies bring you products that help create that wonderfully warm ambiance for both day and nighttime activities. Naturally, there are some can’t-go-without products for these outdoor summer soirees. “For summer tailgates and picnics, (our) magnetic koozies are the most popular,” said Luke Lincoln with The American Tailgater. “During the summer, the theme trends (lean) toward picnic and tailgate items with plain colors.”

Plain colors like the patriotic red, white and blue are summer-long essentials. Maple City Rubber took the solid-color concept and spruced it up with some July favorites, fireworks and the good ol’ American flag. These are ideal for Independence, Labor and Memorial Day parties, or even welcoming home a soldier from deployment.

What’s more, inflatables add flair and fun to any party theme, according to Diana Slauterbeck with Maple City Rubber. She suggests trying balloon arches or columns for a little something extra.

Beyond bold colors

Summers are full of spontaneity, so it’s always important to be ready for a party on the fly with a stash of disposable tableware. Amscan offers multipurpose items that are stylish, practical and portable. While solid accessories are versatile enough to work for the bulk of your summer décor, various themes also add something extra. Amscan’s new Anchors Aweigh collection can be paired with the aforementioned patriotic color scheme and the trending theme is an essential for summer. “Nautical prints are in demand for summer,” said Valerie Cutts, Ecommerce Content Specialist, Amscan. “Maritime graphics paired with bold stripes create a look that spans many occasions.”

Perhaps one of the most recognizable summertime pals is the dazzling pink flamingo. From Forum Novelties’ flamingo lawn decorations to Unique Industries’ Pink Flamingo collection of napkins and plates, the possible color schemes let customers run with the theme.

Summertime tends to bring people together. It’s a fun-loving time of year to enjoy the company of family and friends. “(So) pick an idea and run with it,” said Cutts. Whether its tropical Tiki prints or feisty fiesta patterned products, go the distance by adding photo props, scene-setters and other wearables to catapult the event to the next summer-solstice level.

Great American Country featured an article titled 10 Great Ways to Celebrate Summer. Some of our favorite takeaways included:

  • Go camping. S’mores, bonfires and stargazing. Getting back to nature is best done with a warm ambiance of summer nights.
  • Have a picnic. A perfect family outing with minimal costs. Pack favorite foods and get comfy with pillows and blankets under a perfectly shaded tree.
  • Start a lemonade stand. It’s never too soon to learn to be an entrepreneur! Joggers and passers-by will certainly want to stop for a refreshing treat.
  • Host a day of backyard fun yard games. There is no shortage of athletic balls, badminton sets and tag participants, and it’s a great way to get family and friends together without navigating crowds at other outdoor venues.
  • Barbecue. A barbecue potluck gets others involved and allows you to get some use of that massive must-have grill you purchased six months ago.

Originally posted Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017