Throw an Alfresco Bash

Just add friends for great summer picnics and parties

Just add friends for great summer picnics and parties.

Give drinks a summer kick by using these fun

Paper Straws ($3 for 50; They're way more green than their plastic counterparts.

01 of 08

Instant cheese party

David Hamsley

The top of the Picnic Time Brie Cheese Board Set ($26; swivels open to reveal three serving tools for soft and hard cheeses.

02 of 08

Better than glass


Add a major dose of sparkle to your summer quenchers with this shatter-proof, BPA-free acrylic Glitter Goblet ($28 for 4;

03 of 08

What a dish


This colorful, hard-to-break, and reusable Jonathan Adler KaleidoscopeDinner Plate ($12; is perfect for casual meals or picnics.

04 of 08

A cold one


Throw some ice and drinks into the handy El Deano Insulated Scout Tote ($20; and you've got a lightweight cooler for your backyard or hitting the road.

05 of 08

Grill time!

David Hamsley

Make barbecuing a breeze with the compact Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere Grill ($45; It has a sleek porcelain-enameled lid and base with a steel cooking grate, plus glass-reinforced-nylon handles for easy carrying.

06 of 08

Store it

John Becker

These leak-free melamine Multidot Storage Containers ($32 for a set of 3; are great for storing dips, fruit, chips, and other snacks.

07 of 08

Drink up!


Make plain water look and taste great by adding berries and fragrant herbs (like basil) to a glass pitcher of ice water, suggests Jill Donenfeld, founder of The Dish's Dish, an at-home chef service in New York City and Los Angeles.

08 of 08

Get creative


To serve dips, use clever edible containers: a cleaned-out green pepper, for instance, or a bowl made of bread, says Katie Brown, host of the Katie Brown Workshop on PBS. Cleanup is a cinch—just eat the containers!

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