Summer Nights – Entertaining on the Patio

Wow – summer will officially arrive in a few weeks!  Today, I am going to show you how we spend our summer nights and give you some summer entertaining ideas for your patio or deck.  

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking my links below, I will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Summer Nights – Ideas for Entertaining:

Before I share my summer entertaining ideas, I’d like to tell you that I’m also joining a wonderful group of bloggers for an Summer Nights- Mini Blog Hop!  

This blog hop is hosted by my sweet friend Cecelia of My Thrift Store Addiction.   To begin our tour, she’s sharing her beautiful pallet picnic so be sure to stop by!  Please also be sure to visit the links at the end of this post for more inspiring summer nights ideas from the rest of the group.

Summer Nights Inspiration

Now, let’s continue with my summer entertaining ideas…

Summer Entertaining – The Firepit:

At our house, the fire pit is the social hub…

Between toasting marshmallows to just sitting out on a cool evening, this has been the place for us to gather.  

firepit and summer entertaining on the patio

Summer Entertaining – Dinner Ideas:

Simple grilling options…

In the summer evenings, we grill every chance we get.  In my opinion, grilling makes everything taste more delicious.  Besides the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs, we also grill chicken and other cuts of beef on a regular basis.  We’ve also grilled tuna and swordfish on occasion.

Grilled Veggies and salad - simple summer recipes

Though lately, my absolute favorite things to grill are fruits and vegetables!  Of those, my favorites are peppers, onions and pineapple.  I just cut them into small pieces, toss in some balsamic vinegar and grill them on a copper grill mat.  Until recently, I hadn’t even heard of these grill mats.  Then one day my neighbor recommended them and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They are amazing and make grilling vegetables a breeze.  The mats are also easy to clean and are reusable.  Definitely check them out if you are planning to do some summer barbecue grilling.

Entertaining on the Patio – Landscape Lighting:

Our landscape lighting has been one of my favorite features on our patio…  

Since our lights are on a timer, they turn on at dusk to illuminate the walkways, stairs and seating areas.  For such a simple feature, they give the backyard such a welcoming vibe.  If you have considered adding landscape lighting to your yard, I say go for it!  You won’t be disappointed!

garden path lighting and patio entertaining

Summer Evening Entertaining with Candles:

To add ambiance in the evening, there’s nothing like the glow of candlelight…

Even though we have plenty of landscape lighting on our patio, I also love to bring out the lanterns.  They look so pretty lined up on the stairs and on the center of the table.

Lanterns on stone patio stairs - summer nights entertaining on the patio

In addition to regular candles, I also scatter some citronella candles around.  Who needs bugs spoiling all their outdoor fun?

Speaking of fun:

Summer is for swimming…

Summer Entertaining Ideas - Pool Lights

When we added our pool, my son requested the pool lights that change colors.  Originally, we had just planned on one color but he convinced us to go with the fun changing lights and we were glad we did.  The pool lights are linked to our phones so we can set the lights to cycle through a series of colors or stay on one.  The kids love it and it’s nice to look at while we are sitting out there.

Summer Nights with changing pool lights

You might also notice the tall lights by the fence.  Those lights turn on with the landscaping lights but they also double as tiki torches.  We can take the top off and light them for a real tropical look around the pool.  They’re filled with a citronella fluid so they keep the bugs away and look so cute when they’re all burning.  For some reason I don’t have any photos of them in action though…I need to do that.

Summer Entertaining and Appreciating the Sunset:

Enjoying natural beauty…

As the weather gets nicer, we spend more days in our backyard…which means more days to appreciate the sunset.  When we look out at the beautiful sky, all seems right in the world for those few minutes.

Sunset and Summer Nights on the backyard patio

Hopefully, I inspired you with ways to appreciate the summer nights along with some nighttime summer entertaining ideas. 

More summer ideas…

Now, for some more Summer Nights inspiration, visit Coco at The Crowned Goat to see her beautiful summer bedroom refresh!

Summer Nights Blog Hop

My Thrift Store Addiction

Calypso in the Country

The Crowned Goat

The Tattered Pew 

At Home with Jemma

Follow the Yellow Brick Home


Where are you spending your summer nights?

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Summer Nights - Outdoor Entertaining Areas


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  1. Your outdoor space is always so much fun, Shelley! I love how you guys get so much use out of it too from outdoor dining to making smores around the firepit to swiming in the pool. It’s all totally fabulous. Thanks for the recommendation on the grill mats. They seem like they would make clean up super easy. Hugs and happy summer, CoCo

    1. Thanks, Coco! Just last year, we completely transformed our backyard after living with a falling apart deck for many years. Could the timing have been more perfect for that? Who would have known we’d be home so much this year?!! It’s truly been a lifesaver for us. Thanks again – and yes, those grill mats were such a find. Great hopping with you!

    2. Your backyard is so pretty. We try and enjoy sitting outside as much as possible. We are big grilles too actually we try to in the cold months sometimes too.

      Your pool is gorgeous, enjoy!


  2. Shelley, I am diving into that salad in my mind – YUM! Loving the post and hoping you are doing well!

  3. Shelley, you have the perfect outdoor space to enjoy summer nights at home with your family! Thanks for joining us and sharing your awesome entertaining ideas! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    1. Thank you, Cecilia! We are definitely appreciating our outdoor spaces these days. Stay well and thanks again for hosting!

  4. Good Morning Shelley!
    You have the most wonderful backyard retreat! Such a serene Oasis and I just know that it provides you with a calmness and joy unlike any-other.
    I had no idea about grilling on copper mats, I love this idea! (Certainly beats the alternative of overdone veggies or soggy ones that are cooked in aluminum foil.
    Thank you for the tips and inspiration.
    So lovely to share in this hop with you!

    1. Thanks so much, Jemma! We’ve been outdoors so much more these days…it’s definitely nice to have an extra place to hang out. Yes, those copper mats are awesome. They wash up pretty well too! Thanks again for your sweet comment and have a great weekend!

  5. Shelley I’ve said it before but will say it again, I am in love with your pool and backyard! Thank you for all of your fabulous ideas. Our goal this summer is to add outdoor lighting to our backyard…thanks for the push! Pinned!

    1. Awe, you’re so sweet, Kelly! Yeah, the lighting really does make a difference and we love how they all come on automatically. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks Carole! I have a feeling we’ll be using that fire pit a ton during future summer nights!

  6. Oh Shelley everything about this post gives me all the summer vibes! You will create so many happy memories in your backyard! I am a little bummed that I found out yesterday I will be having surgery this summer; mostly because I will miss some pool days. In light of everything gong on in the world my situation is first world problems for sure! Take care!

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! You always write such sweet and encouraging comments. I hope your surgery goes well and you heal quickly so you can enjoy some time in your pool. I think we’ve all discovered an extra appreciation for our homes these days. Stay well and take care!

  7. What a fabulous outdoor space you have, Shelley! No wonder you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer. We have those changing lights in our pool too and agree it was a good choice, they’re so fun! I am loving your tiki torches too, and your lanterns. We’ve been thinking about getting a fire pit but I am not sure if we’d use it enough – do you find you use yours a bit?

    1. Thanks so much, Katerina! Yes, aren’t those pool lights fun? As far as the fire pit goes, I would definitely recommend getting one. Not only is it great for s’mores, but it’s a relaxing hangout area. Even when the kids aren’t making s’mores, they gather around the fire with their friends. Just the other night, they went swimming. The pool was warm but the night air was getting chilly so they ran straight to the fire pit to warm up and dry off. It really is wonderful for entertaining on those cooler summer nights. Thanks again for your comment and have a great week!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy! I think we’re all getting a ton of use out of our yards this year…Yes, those mats are great. With all the grilling we’ve been doing, we use them all the time. Stay safe and well!

  8. I would love to spend time chatting around your pool and firepit! It is all so welcoming, beautiful, and perfect for summer nights. Your lights look so elegant and perfect for your style. Those grilled recipes sound delicious too!

    I hope you many nights filled with happy memories this summer!

    1. Thank you Amber! Our whole family has been spending a ton of time out there…day and night. We just redid the backyard last year and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect since we’re home all the time. Thanks again and enjoy your summer!

  9. I have been considering getting a small fire pit. We live in a very old town in New England (1629) and we live in the oldest section of it so the homes are quite close together. I think I may have to check with our local ordinances. Yours looks so much fun.

    1. Thanks, yes we do love having the fire pit. If your town would allow one, I’d definitely recommend it! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi Shelley, wow your pool and fire pit area are so gorgeous. A pool at night is just magical. That salad looks so yummy. I’ve really missed having a great restaurant salad, since I just cant make one that’s close. thanks for always coming by to share at All About Home!

    1. Thanks Debra! We’re so thankful to have the pool this year…who would ever think we’d be home this much! Thanks again for hosting and stay well!

    1. Thanks so much, Karin! This pool has definitely been useful this season. Perfect timing too…we only had it installed last year! Thanks for the invite – I will stop by.

  11. Love your post! Love your fire pit and I’m sure it’s created some wonderful memories. Lots of great ideas here. Thanks for sharing

  12. Thank you for hosting! This is what I featured the week of 6-8 to 6-12 on my blog. On Tuesday was Salsa Roll Ups. Wednesday saw Stuffed Peppers. Thursday was Basic Marinara Sauce. And winding up this Week was Homemade Beef Stew Seasoning. Enjoy!

  13. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    1. Thanks so much, Anita! Our backyard and patio really have been a nice escape for our family these days. I just wish we could entertain more! Someday…

  14. What a godsend that pool must be this year! Your garden is beautiful and I love how you’ve incorporated so many features like the firepit and the gorgeous pool lighting!

    1. Thanks so much, Jayne. Yes, the timing was perfect on this one. Even though we haven’t been able to do much entertaining, my family is still enjoying the outdoor spaces.

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