outdoor entertaining essentials

16 Outdoor Entertaining Essentials for Warm Weather

Plan your parties accordingly.
By Mary Claire Lagroue
May 23, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Stock up on outdoor entertaining gear, and you'll be set all summer for backyard bashes, family barbeques, weeknight dinners on the deck, and all occasions in between. Here you'll find outdoor entertaining must-haves, including unbreakable glasses, ice buckets, melamine dishes, grilling tools, and popsicle molds.

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set of four Amazon Basics Tritan Hobnail Texture Highball Glasses
Credit: Amazon

Crystal Clear

Made of food-grade, BPA-free Tritan plastic, these highball glasses have the look of textured glassware, minus the risk of shattering, cracking, or clouding.  

Buy It: Amazon Basics Tritan Hobnail Texture Highball Glasses, $22; amazon.com

glass beverage dispensers with lemonade and pink lemonade inside
Credit: Amazon

It Takes Two

Deciding on a drink to serve becomes much easier when you can serve two. Each of these mason jar dispensers holds a gallon of liquid to keep your guests hydrated.

Buy It: Estilo 1-Gallon Glass Mason Jar Double Beverage Drink Dispenser On Metal Stand, $38; amazon.com

wooden bar cart with wheels at the front
Credit: Amazon

Open Bar

Skip bartending for the night; keep cocktail ingredients and tools on this outdoor wooden bar cart for your guests to take a shot at making their own.

Buy It: Tangkula Outdoor Acacia Wood Serving Cart, $100; amazon.com

mini melamine bowls with orange design
Credit: Target

Bowled Over

Small but eye-catching, these melamine and bamboo bowls make the perfect vessel for pre-dinner dips and snacks.

Buy It: Opalhouse Melamine and Bamboo Mini Bowls (Pack of 2), $3; target.com

blue dinner plate
Credit: West Elm

Dinner Winner

Available in six shades, from bold blue to lemon yellow, these sturdy melamine dinner plates will last through the summers. Pair them with a salad plate in a contrasting color to accentuate this dinnerware's modern look.

Buy It: Modern Melamine Dinner Plates (Set of 4), $40; westelm.com

set of four salad plates with stripe and abstract shape motifs
Credit: Amazon

Side Dishes

This set of four salad-sized plates, printed with stripes and an abstract citrus pattern, will instantly add zest to the table.

Buy It: Kate Spade New York Citrus Twist Melamine Tidbit Plates (Set of 4), $30; amazon.com

rattan placemats
Credit: Amazon

Gather 'Round

Crafted from sustainable water hyacinth, rattan placemats will bring a touch of natural beauty to your tablescape.

Buy It: Round Rattan Placemats (Set of 4), $29; amazon.com

white melamine 5-section serving serving platter
Credit: Target

There's an App For That

Pulling together a party appetizer can be as simple as filling this five-section melamine serving platter with some combination of dips, chips, veggies, fruit, and cheese.

Buy It: Threshold Melamine 5-Section Serving Platter White, $10; target.com

serving bowl made of spun bamboo
Credit: Target

Super Bowl

Made of bamboo with rattan handles for easy carrying, this oval-shaped serving bowl would look gorgeous as part of a summer setup. 

Buy It: Opalhouse Bamboo Spun Serving Bowl, $15; target.com

metal bucket holding ice and drinks on top of a stand
Credit: Pottery Barn

Ice Breaker

Keep drinks cool with this iron-forged bucket, complete with a built-in can opener for maximum convenience.

Buy It: Galvanized Metal Party Bucket & Stand, $49.50–$118.50; potterybarn.com

set of 8 citronella candles
Credit: Amazon

New Flame

Citronella-lemongrass candles naturally repel mosquitos and flies, making them a warm-weather winner. Divide this set of eight candles around your gathering area, and bugs won't bug your crew.

Buy It: SCENTORINI Citronella Candles, $21; amazon.com

black speaker
Credit: Amazon

Speak Easy

Set the mood with music piped through this wireless, waterproof speaker, which uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone or another device. Nearly 5,000 reviewers have given it a five-star rating on Amazon.

Buy It: MusiBaby Bluetooth Speaker, $32; amazon.com

set of grilling tools
Credit: Amazon

You Go, Grill

Channel your inner pitmaster with this case of stainless steel grilling essentials — including grill tongs, a chef’s spatula, a digital temperature fork, skewers, corn holders, and a cleaning brush — which will set you up for your best barbeque ever. 

Buy It: Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set, 20-Piece, $44 (was $60); amazon.com

blue popsicle mold
Credit: Amazon

Keep Your Cool

Ice pops are an outdoor party pleaser, but you'll use this BPA-free silicone mold even when you aren't entertaining. 

Buy It: 10-Piece Silicone Ice Pop Molds, $15; amazon.com

Related: The 10 Best Popsicle Molds to Keep You Cool All Summer Long

outdoor fire pit
Credit: Amazon

It's Lit

This Amazon bestseller boasts more than 6,000 five-star reviews. It's lightweight but sturdy, not to mention safe — it comes with a spark screen and uses zero propane.  

Buy It: KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit, $50; amazon.com

turquoise melamine tray
Credit: Pottery Barn

Hey, Platter Platter

Available in a dreamy seafoam-blue shade as well as classic stone white, this melamine platter has pool party written all over it.

Buy It: Cabana Melamine Rectangular Serving Platter, $24.50; potterybarn.com