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Thursday, July 18, 2019

With bright colors and floral prints, melamine makes a perfect tabletop addition. (Credit: On The Table)

Summer has finally come, the weather is warm, camp has begun and July 4 is just around the corner. When the weather is nice, barbecues or even dairy al fresco meals become a no-brainer. Independence Day barbecues are just the start of frequent outdoor events. So if you’re looking for ways to take the outdoor oasis up a notch, here are some ideas that can be found locally.

Get rid of pests. Nobody wants to come home from an outdoor event feeling like the bugs ate them more than they got to eat their own food. Citronella torches add ambience and are a start in the fight against mosquitos. For added defense, The Purple Bow in Teaneck sells ParaKito mosquito repellent bracelets that wearers find successful at warding off those pesky blood suckers. Even people who normally find themselves mosquito magnets report that they can finally enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten up.

Don’t discount the dollar stores. They often have thematic decorations (think stars and stripes on sunglasses and red, white and blue hats) and printed or solid paper goods for much less than regular party stores. For an outright patriotic theme, they are sure to have paper goods galore, and for more subtle color-scheme events, they have you covered.

Paper is fabulous for its ease of clean-up, but sometimes serving pieces need a little more durability or formality. On The Table has a great selection of melamine plates. They’re lightweight and thick, not to mention dishwasher safe. They come in a variety of floral patterns for a summertime feel. On The Table also has melamine serving pieces in bright patterns.

Background music makes a difference. Whether you use an Amazon Echo, a souped-up sound system or portable bluetooth speakers, music can enhance your backyard party. Spending a few minutes on a customized playlist will cater the music to your guest list. Of course, you can always take a musical wildcard and opt for Google Radio on Google Music, Pandora or other music-streaming apps that curate your music based on likes.

Stay hydrated. Making sure your guests have enough to drink is always important, but especially during the hot summer months, drinks can go quickly. On The Table has adorable pitchers certain to add a cute-factor to any table. If you don’t want to be on water duty the entire time, oversized water dispensers are a great way of keeping large quantities of cold drinks available. Fill with water, lemonade, iced tea or any drink of your choice. If using water, add cut fruit or mint leaves for an extra-refreshing taste.

Enjoy the summer season, and stay safe.

By Jenny Gans