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Rabido's & Rabidon'ts: Shawn's Summer Party Tips

The summer months of outdoor entertaining and pool parties are just around the corner. Expert Shawn Rabideau shares a few of his Rabido's and Rabidon't to make your summer party a big hit this year!


When decorating, take advantage of seasonal flowers, fruits and vegetables. Visit your local nursery and chose bright flowers and blooms that provide texture and movement.

Create a simple but well-rounded bar with a premade signature drink, white wine, beer, soda and juices.

Have a readily accessible summer amenities basket for your guests. Fill it with towels, bug repellent, sunscreen, band aids and Benadryl.

Keep bugs away from food and guests. There are plenty of decorative and nice smelling candles besides the typical citronella.

Lighting is a must! Hanging lanterns, string lights and votives create the perfect mood. If you have a pool, consider floating candles. 

Keep your guests cool by periodically walking around with trays of refrigerated, rolled washcloths scented with eucalyptus, rose or lavender. It adds that extra touch!


Don’t run out of ice! Keep batches of ice in your freezer so you never have a warm drink.

If you’re having an outdoor party, don’t forget that the sun can be a scorcher. Think about tents, colorful umbrellas and fans.

Don’t forget to keep kids hydrated. Instead of juices, make flavored water with fresh lemons and oranges. Give them a shaded area to play in. 

Don’t go overboard with the summer entertaining menu. Stick to simple and manageable items that can be made on the grill or in advance.

Don’t do it alone! Hosting a summer soiree with friends will be fun and helps cut costs and responsibilities.

Don’t forget the pets! Outdoor events make them overexcited and overheated. Keep them in a cool, quiet area.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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