South Park Magazine

Festive ideas for end-of-summer parties

Colorful decorations and themes can make an end-of-summer party fun.
Colorful decorations and themes can make an end-of-summer party fun. Diedra Laird

After working as an event planner in New York City and Charlotte, for companies including MTV and CBS radio, Diana Ades opened her own company – Confetti Creations ( – a decade ago. Always a source of creative party ideas, she suggests these fun themes as way to make an end-of-summer party memorable.

Dog Days of Summer: Invite guests to bring their well-behaved dogs so everyone can join in the festivities. Label the appetizers as “kibble and bits,” and if you’re really feeling frisky go so far as to use clean, new Frisbees and dog bowls as serving platters or dishes. Have oversized dog beds (again – clean and new) thrown around for human guests to lounge on.

Beach: Create a beach scene in your backyard. Use pretty beach towels as tablecloths and decorate with shells. Fill a small child’s swimming pool with ice for the beer. Place flip-flops “walking” around the perimeter of the party and put a tea light in each one.

Retro: Have retro games (Twister anyone?) laying around for guests to play if the mood hits. Decorate with “protest” signs with Give Peace A Chance or Make Love Not War. Serve pigs in a blanket and other party food that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.

Asian: Think out of the Chinese takeout box. Laminate maps of Asia and use them as placemats. Use a low table with pillows for seating, and inexpensive Asian beaded bracelets as napkin holders. Have a small vase of Lucky Bamboo at each place setting for decoration, and for guests to take as a party favor.

Garden Party: Use small (clean and new, of course) gardening tools as serving utensils for your platters. Small, new terra cotta pots can be used for individual desserts. Have a large watering can filled with funny questions that each guest has to pull out and answer.