5 Tips for Comfortable Outdoor Eating in Extreme Heat

When the temperatures rise it can be difficult to imagine yourself doing anything outside, let alone eating. But the summer months are a special time that should be enjoyed, even if you're close to melting. Have you had a chance to eat outdoors yet? How do you enjoy the time without feeling like running for the air conditioning? Here are a few tips!

1. Shade + Breeze: When temperatures push past triple digits, being in the sun can be a serious chore. Find some shade or even make some with a sheet and a few bamboo poles. Add a fan (even if you have to run an extension cord) as hot moving air is better than hot stale air.

2. Put It On Ice: Ice as many things as possible to keep things at different temperatures on your table. Serving lemonade? Make drinks with lemonade ice cubes to keep them from being watered down. Double bowl your salads with ice in the bottom to keep them cool and even chill plates in the freezer before serving time!

3. Make It Special: If you have kids, this might mean having a game or focus on an outdoor activity at the same time. If you're an adult with no need for a slip n' slide, a fabulous dessert or beautiful table can be all you need to warm folks up to the idea (literally). Either way, most memories start out, "Remember that one time we did (insert silly memory here). Yeah, that was so awesome, man it was so hot that day!" People will always remember the fun before the hot, so plan something special to go with your meal.

4. Serving Outside? Stay Outside!: There's nothing more shocking to your system than the movement from a cool air conditioned space to the hot outside. It makes many feel sick and makes the heat feel more extreme. By keeping guests outside the whole time, it can help regulate things and avoid that extreme shift. Worried about sweaty guests? Make it a Sweatin' to the Oldies party and play favorite tunes and offer sweet sweat bands for everyone to wear!

5. Make Sure YOU Enjoy It: Have you ever noticed that it's hard to be miserable when there are people around you that are ridiculously cheerful? They're obviously in the same situation as you, how come they aren't grumbling? Cheer is contagious and if you're having fun, so will your guests, or they'll at least make an attempt to show they're enjoyment while they're in attendance.

Do you have a smart tip to add to the list? Share your thoughts on serving up seasonal goodies in sweltering heat in the comments below!

Related: 5 Ways to Light Your Outdoor Dinner Party

(Image: Flickr member Herry Lawford licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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