When the dog days of summer come around, you don't want to be heating up the oven in the kitchen. The outdoor grill or barbecue is really your best option. It's easy, the house stays nice and cool and the cleanup is really easy! Here are a few tips for keeping it cool when the temperature rises.
Make it brunch
If you want to do a little weekend entertaining, it doesn't necessarily have to be dinner. Think breakfast or brunch, when it’s a little cooler, and take the skillet, eggs and pancakes outside to the barbecue. Toss the bacon in a grill basket and toast bread on the top rack. Everyone will love getting to start their day in a relaxed atmosphere, before heading out to summer activities.
Load up the cooler
It's easy to get dehydrated on a hot day. Make sure you offer your guests plenty to drink. Replenish pitchers of ice water and iced teas, which are very refreshing (think herbal tea or fruity combinations that are now easily available). Load up a giant bucket with ice and toss in soft drinks, juices and carbonated water, so people have lots of refreshing choices.
Dress for comfort
Be sure to tell your guests to keep it casual. Women don't need to be in stockings and heels and men don't need jackets in the heat. Walking shorts, T-shirts and sandals are comfortable options for everyone -- including you, the host!
Keep the games simple
If the temperature is soaring, then a soccer or football game is probably not the best option. Opt for lower-energy games, such as horseshoes or lawn bowling. Or, skip the aerobic games altogether, and instead play games like broken telephone, add-a-word stories or I Spy, which kids and adults can both enjoy. Or, think water games, such as water-filled balloon tosses, water slides or kiddie pools.
Keep the guests cool
Make sure there's lots of shade available. If you don't have trees that offer natural shade, be sure to put up umbrellas to keep guests cool and protected. It's no fun for your guests to be sweltering in the hot sun for a few hours, but even on a hot day, it's lovely in the shade. If there's no breeze, set up mini fans to cool everyone.
Don't forget the pets
It's easy for pets to get overheated, too, especially if they're excited with extra guests at your home. Be sure to put out water bowls, and check and keep water fresh and clean, even adding a few ice cubes occasionally. Offer shade for pets, too, as well as guests.
If possible, set up a sprinkler for dogs -- and kids -- in one area of the yard.
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