Friends outdoors

Outdoor Entertaining is meant to be in Ryan’s Crossing

The plush lawns and beautiful patios found on Ryan’s Crossing’s sprawling homesites offer a perfect canvas for outdoor entertaining. With generous lot sizes, backyard gatherings can easily incorporate fun for all ages without a feeling of overcrowding. You can create an affordable, simple, inviting setting that follows only one rule: Throw out the rules!

While classic dining rooms tend to focus on matching place settings and trending decor, the outside table should veer from tradition. The more your table comprises mix and match items, the more it will tout a high level of charm and eccentricity. Think budget-friendly, repurposed, and unique. Summer surfaces take centerstage for just three to four months per year – by selecting pieces that pop with delight, their memory will remain year-round. Pick up bright, flower-patterned plates throughout the year from clearance racks or swing by local second-hand stores for vintage finds with a tea party vibe.

Follow the same path with cutlery. Rather than relying on your everyday “in-house” silverware when dining under the stars, use mason jars as silverware caddies to assemble random collections of forks, spoons, and knives. Adorn place settings with cloth napkins (this is especially helpful in popup rainstorms!) that can be tossed in the washer and pinned to the back of your patio chairs to dry. Look for decorations that withstand the elements, such as solar-powered candles or faux plants. You will remove the need to clear the table after each gathering. And you will also be able to create a go-to Outdoor Decor bin that you’ll look forward to opening at the first hint of spring each year.

For many households, the first challenge of summer is having the whole family (and often drop-in friends) strolling through the kitchen in search of the dinner menu. Think outside the icebox and pair up with a few neighbors to share the load! Choose one week per night to rotate hosting outdoor “eat and greets” all summer long. Al Fresco Fridays, for example, are a simple way to give kitchens a break while the host home grills hotdogs, meatless burgers, and sausages.

Start a traveling Bucket of Fun for your dinner group to encourage some post-meal activity with items such as:

  • Frisbees
  • Footballs
  • Whiffle Ball
  • Badminton
  • Bubbles

Another trick to prolonging a night of homegrown fresh air is providing a Sunset Survival Basket, stored on a side table or even served as a centerpiece. Fill it with anything you can imagine guests might need:

  • Bug Spray
  • Anti-Itch lotion
  • Portable Chargers
  • Blankets
  • First Aid Cream
  • Band-Aids

Another twist on summer entertaining is the stay-at-home date night. Rather than worry about outfits and reservations, create a romantic night for two under the stars! Leave the car in park and have dinner delivered from your favorite restaurant. Find a quiet corner outside, lay down a cozy blanket outlined with a few scentless citronella torches, and enjoy some alone time with no worries about the drive home.

This August marks the 38th anniversary of National Night Out, also known as the nation’s biggest block party. It was designed in 1984 to reestablish connections with our neighbors, and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your entertaining outdoor talents in front of your home! It’s also a wonderful evening to meet those new to our Pittsboro neighborhood as we take a moment to pause and connect with those we are fortunate to share our sidewalks with.

Set the mood for outdoor entertaining. No one wants to use that oven inside when it’s hot outside – and you don’t have to! Your whole household will be drawn to evenings spent watching the fireflies come out to play. By creating spaces for adults to mingle while the kids play, evenings can be drawn out into memory makers.

Whether spending time with your family or mingling with friends, Ryan’s Crossing offers the perfect backdrop for outdoor entertainment.