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summer entertaining

Summer Entertaining Done Right

Ah, sizzling St. Louis in the summer: baseball, barbecue, pool parties… the list goes on. Our hometown was practically made for backyard entertaining. Looking for summer entertaining ideas in St. Louis? Soak up the summer sun with some of our favorite ideas sure to make your backyard the place to be…


In St. Louis, there’s just no question: summer entertaining ideas start with barbecue. St. Louis-style barbecue is best known for ribs, but no matter what you’re grilling, add some flavor and flair to your backyard barbecue with non-traditional ingredients and condiments. Consider stuffing burgers with blue cheese, chopped bacon, or even barbecue sauce. Or offer guests a fully stocked condiment bar complete with various sauces and distinctive toppings, like onion rings, peppers, and avocado.

> > An American Classic: Looking to put a creative (and delicious) spin on a true original? Cut a hot dog lengthwise, add cheese, and wrap the whole thing in bacon. You’ll be the talk of the block for days afterward.

Backyard Dinner Party

Outdoor dining areas are one of the hottest trends in backyard design, and there’s no better way to beat the heat of a St. Louis summer than by hosting friends and family for a meal under the stars. Whether you’re working with a picnic table, patio set, or even an outdoor dining table, set the mood with affordable table settings and elegant lighting. Throw together a quick centerpiece with fresh cut flowers from the garden. Consider adding a fashionable firepit for after-dinner conversation (and even s’mores). You can find affordable options online or at your local hardware store. Don’t have a dedicated patio or pergola? No problem. Surround your table with tiki torches or drive some stakes in the ground and string some lights.

Backyard Games

When it comes to summer entertaining ideas, don’t underestimate the ability of backyard games to bring people together. From bocce to volleyball, croquet to horseshoes, and everything in between, there’s no shortage of family-friendly games to entertain kids and adults alike. For larger groups, consider organizing a tournament and offering fun prizes for winners.

> > DIY: Some of the best backyard games are those you make (or even make up) yourself. Check out this helpful list of DIY backyard games.

Scavenger Hunt

Whether you’re looking to keep the kids busy or the adults entertained, an old-fashioned backyard scavenger hunt is a great summer entertaining idea. They’re not just for kids, either. A neighborhood scavenger hunt is a great way to bring your community together, and a local scavenger hunt featuring historical sites and St. Louis landmarks is a fun-filled way to introduce guests to the area. End the scavenger hunt in your backyard and celebrate success with a barbecue, outdoor dinner party, or gathering around the fire pit.

> > Not sure how it works? Learn more about how to run a successful scavenger hunt.

Outdoor Movie

A backyard movie night is one of our favorite summer entertaining ideas, and you don’t need a fancy outdoor movie screen to roll out the red carpet for your guests. Simply hang a sheet on the side of the house or between some trees, rent a projector, spread out some picnic blankets, and you’re good to go. Up the fun with a DIY “concession stand,” featuring a selection of homemade popcorn, candy, healthy snacks, and sodas. Or go the “dinner and a movie” route and combine your movie with a backyard barbecue. For the adults, a glass of wine or beer is the perfect pairing to a night straight out of Hollywood.

maintain advantageWhen it comes to summer entertaining ideas, your backyard takes center stage. Get your backyard ready for a worry-free summer with virtually maintenance-free decking, fencing, railing, and lighting from Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions.

Learn more about why our Maintenance-Free Advantage makes us the most trusted fencing and decking company in St. Louis — and contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate.

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Tim Kelley

With over four decades in the St. Louis fencing industry, Tim Kelly leads Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions as its President. He is renowned for his commitment to quality, ethics, and community involvement.

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