by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
A typical summer in the South is beautiful, but extremely hot and humid. Right now, southern states are seeing record-breaking three-digit temperatures.
Despite Southern summers being so hot and humid, the goal is still for you to be able to enjoy some fresh air during the season and for the kids to be able to enjoy outdoor parties and get-togethers. The key is getting creative with how you keep cool.
Here are some ideas to help you and the kids keep cool during outdoor parties in the Southern sun.
Outdoor gatherings can be so good for you and your kids’ well-being. Stress washes away. Relaxation sets in as you breathe in fresh air. Everyone’s moods get better. And happiness and creativity permeate throughout your backyard.
Experiencing these wellness benefits depends so much on how you prioritize safety during an outdoor party. As mentioned above, summers in the South are dangerously hot.
So, you must make sure you monitor the time you spend outside. Going back and forth between indoors and outdoors is a good way to ensure the heat doesn’t overwhelm everyone. Be sure the inside of your home is set up to entertain guests.
Sunscreen and lots of water are a must as well. Keep the kids orderly, too, so that accidents and injuries are kept to a minimum. Set ground rules for appropriate and inappropriate behavior during the party. Designate areas for specific activities so the kids know where to go to do what. Structured group activities can also keep everyone having fun but in an organized fashion.
Safety needs to be number one if your partygoers are to enjoy themselves during this Southern summer.
Remind Attendees to Dress Appropriately
Because the weather does get so hot during the summer, everyone needs to dress appropriately so that they don’t overheat. Remind those attending your party of the weather and what good dress options are.
Shorts, tank tops, and sandals are an obvious choice. But make sure everyone is wearing sunscreen so they don’t get sunburned. Or, if the kids want to be covered up more, lightweight, breathable long-sleeve shirts and/or pants could suffice.
Attendees can stay cool at your outdoor party with the help of the right outfit.
Set Up Water-based Activities and Games
You can’t have an outdoor party in the South during the summer without water-based activities and games. It’s hard to stay cool outside in the heat without them. Plus, the kids will love them.
Here’s a list of water-based activities and games to consider for your party:
- Create a foam water table
- Play wet sponge dodgeball
- Try ice boat races
- Set up a DIY a slip-and-slide
- Have a water balloon fight
- Get a portable swimming pool and play games like marco polo
You can have individual and group competitions to keep the kids and adults engaged throughout your entire party. Beating the heat will be a bit easier with the help of these and other fun water games and activities.
Designate Oasis Zones
It would probably be nice to have some rain falling on you in 100-degree weather while you lay back in your lounge chair in the backyard. But rain during a southern summer is rare, if it happens at all.
Fortunately, you can recreate this rainforest, oasis feel with some designated areas in your backyard.
For example, you could set up a space with a large tent to shade people from the sun. You could put a fountain in the middle with chairs surrounding it. Set the scene with some good greenery and flowers. Set up a misting system and maybe an outdoor fridge for convenient access to hydration.
Something as simple as a large umbrella with seating and a play area underneath can be a designated oasis zone too. The point is to ensure your party guests have somewhere to go to get away from the sun and catch a cool breeze.
Provide a Spread of Frozen Treats
Of course, the fried, cajun, creole, and Lowcountry foods the South is known for will be a part of the menu at your party. But what might matter more for beating the humidity and heat in the summer is frozen treats.
Kids love a good popsicle, ice cream sundae, or Slushy. There are also adult versions of frozen treats that you can make to accommodate the parents and other adults attending your party.
Consider designing a frozen treat station. For example, let’s say you want to do ice cream sundaes. Keep the ice cream in the fridge and only allow adults to handle it. Then, put out all the toppings on your table or counter so that the kids can make their sundaes how they want to.
Providing a spread of frozen treats to your guests will help cool them off and give them something sweet and fun to enjoy.
Host Your Party in the Evening
It’s good to know when it gets the hottest during the day because you don’t want to throw your party during this time. If you have to host your party in the early afternoon, cling to the tips above to help kids and guests stay cool.
But if you can swing it, shift your party to the evening. The temperature may not drop a whole lot, but it will drop some, giving you and your partygoers a little bit of relief from the Southern summer sun.
Set up your backyard with cool lighting so that you’re ready for when the sun sets. Choose games and activities that the kids can do when it’s dark out. Finally, keep the food, music, and frozen treats going all night long.
The Southern sun in the summer is no joke. So, prioritize safety first when you throw your outdoor party. Then, use the rest of the tips to keep yourself, your kids, and other attendees cool as you party the day away.