Your American Summer: The Ultimate Party Guide

It’s the season everyone loves to celebrate—summer!

From casual backyard barbecues to annual 4th of July parties to much-anticipated family reunions, your calendar is likely filled with parties and get-togethers all summer long. Stick with us and we’ll show you how to plan, host and enjoy each one.

Backyard Bash

Illustration of assorted food on a picnic tableSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Need backyard party ideas for your casual shindig? We’ll show you how to host your friends and neighbors with stress-free dishes and fun takes on grilling classics.

How to Host a Backyard Bash That’ll Be the Talk of the Neighborhood

4th of July Party

Illustration of assorted on a Fourth of July themed table with various red,white and blue objectsSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Find the best patriotic desserts, summer recipes, easy outdoor DIYs, fun party games and other 4th of July party ideas that’ll make your cookout the talk of the block.

How to Host the Most Spectacular 4th of July Party

Family Reunion

Illustration of assorted food on picnic table with scattered polaroid photos and matching family shirts on benchSydney Watson/Taste of Home

A family reunion is a chance for relatives of all ages, generations and locations to come together and celebrate. We’ll help you plan, set a menu and keep everyone entertained.

How to Plan the Best Ever Family Reunion


Illustration of assorted lighter foods on a red gingham cloth laid upon the grassSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Whether your outing is for two or 20, you’re sure to have a good time if you keep these picnic pointers in mind.

How to Plan the Perfect Picnic

Block Party

Illustration of assorted potluck food on a green tableSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Throwing the biggest bash of the summer is so much easier than you thought, thanks to these block party ideas and tips.

How to Plan a Summer Block Party That’ll Make Your Whole Town Jealous

Southern-Style Party

Illustration of assorted foods on two circular tables, one red and one blueSydney Watson/Taste of Home

The key to throwing a good Southern-style party is sharing good food with friends that are like family.

How to Host a Southern-Style Summer Party

Church Picnic

Illustration of assorted food on two tablesSydney Watson/Taste of Home

If you’re looking to make this year’s picnic even better than the last, here are the best ways to contribute your time and talents.

How to Make Your Church Picnic Better Than Ever

Grilling Get-Together

Illustration of assorted food on a pink tropical print table beside a round grill with various foods. A pool on the top with various pool floaties.Sydney Watson/Taste of Home

Nothing says welcome, summer quite like a backyard barbecue. Gather up the crew—it’s time to grill!

How to Host the Best Summer Grilling Get-Together

Outdoor Movie Night

Illustration of popcorn and other treats spread upon scattered blankets on the grass. It is a night scene with light from a unseen movie projector over the whole imageSydney Watson/Taste of Home

We’ll show you how to throw together an outdoor movie night that’s so easy, it’ll be up and running before your popcorn is done.

How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night in Your Backyard


Illustration of assorted seafood on newspaper covered tableSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Celebrate all the ocean has to offer with a fun and festive clambake. We’ve got tips for choosing the best seafood and prepping your clambake right on the grill.

How to Host a Clambake Anywhere

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