3 Fun and Frugal Summer Get-Togethers

fun and frugalStaying home during the summer doesn't need to be boring. You don't have to go away to have fun. Plan some fun family-friendly events that that you can look forward to throughout the summer. They don't have to be extravagant to be a success. Pick up discount party supplies and decorations to get ready for your events. Invite some friends, neighbors and family members to stop by. Stay relaxed and connected. Here are three ideas for fun and frugal get-togethers to help you get started.

Backyard Luau

Aloha means hello and good-bye in Hawaiian. Say hello to the summer and good-bye to the school year with a family-friendly luau. Accessorize with colorful poly leis or fabric flower leis with matching hair clips for each guest. Pick up some Musician's Friend's ukuleles to achieve the sound of Hawaii. Raffia or plastic grass skirts for kids and adults are a must-have for a luau. To keep costs low, make it a pot luck or serve manageable foods like fresh fruit skewers, cold ham slices, grilled ham or chicken and pineapple kabobs, banana nut bread, macadamia nut cookies and citrus-garnished punch. Create a limbo stick with a broom handle or a pole and tie balloons, raffia or crepe paper streamers to the ends for a more festive look.

Independence Day Picnic

Keep the theme red, white and blue. Use cups, napkins and plates in a mix of patriotic colors. Party decorations are simple with streamers, ribbons, luminaries and balloons. Keep the menu simple with hot dogs and fresh vegetables on the grill. A fixings station will help guests personalize their meal. Kick off the event with a neighborhood parade, inviting the kids to decorate their bikes or wagons, march with friends and family, then head to the picnic afterward.

Watermelon Day

Celebrate National Watermelon Day on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. Have a watermelon rolling contest, a basket carving contest and, if you're daring, a seed spitting contest. Slice up some fresh watermelon, providing plastic tablecloths and plenty of napkins. Decorate red and green balloons with felt-tipped markers to make them look like watermelons. Include red, white, green and black crepe paper streamers for decorations. If it's too hot or rainy outside, hold your get-together in a screened-in porch or carport.

For some fun activities at your event, put on some music, play some simple games and provide party favors as frugal prizes for the winners. Remember, it doesn't have to cost a lot to be a lot of fun. You can always use the leftover party decorations and supplies for other events, like birthdays, family reunions and a back-to-school party.

Readers: What fun and frugal ideas for get-togethers would you like to share?

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