Sorry, No Mosquitos Allowed: Outdoor Party Ideas and Tips for Bug-Free Entertaining!

Enjoy these outdoor party ideas and tips for bug-free summer fun and entertaining in your backyard with family and friends! This post is sponsored by OFF!®.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Depending on where you live, the weather has a lot to do with how much time you can actually spend outdoors. No matter the location or the type of an outdoor space, as a host you want your guests to feel comfortable and relaxed, which means keeping bugs at bay and away from your company! The best summer entertaining focuses on the people, and the last thing you want is for bugs to ruin your party.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

For us summer is sweeter when shared with people we love. So, the other afternoon we hosted an outdoor party in our backyard, enjoying the pool, the outdoors and board games with our family and friends.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Cell Free Zone

We started off the party by presenting our guests with a basket where they could leave their cell phones. We call it the “cell free zone.” When we entertain, we like our guests to enjoy themselves without constant interruptions from the outside world.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Set a pretty buffet

Creating a buffet area is easy! Set out a stack of dishes, a beverage container, cups, add some festive paper napkins and flatware. You can use paper, plastic or summer dishware for a party. I like to keep it classy and use Melamine dishes, which are light and easy to handle. Don’t forget the flowers!

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Water games

The kids are content to just be outside, but they especially love to play water games. Obviously, having a pool in your backyard is a bonus! Your guests will not need much coaxing to dip in. In no time you will see them play water limbo, do a balloon toss, have water fights or simply pick up a beach ball (the ultimate pool toy)!

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Don’t be surprised when adults and kids alike start playing volleyball or hot potato in the pool, or have a diving or cannonball jump contest.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

My family likes to add competition to the water fun by pairing one family against another.

Lawn Games

Set up some lawn games for those who prefer to keep dry. In no time, your guest will pick up a round of bocce, croquet, bean bag toss or ladder golf.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

You’ll find the best results with the OFF!® Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent when used sitting and relaxing.

Board Games

I’m a huge Scrabble and puzzle lover. Set up a side table with a puzzle and a Scrabble game for the die-hards, like me, who love a good competition.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Be prepared, as Scrabble can go late into the evening.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Keep it short and sweet with Pit, my personal family favorite card game that I grew up with in the 1970s.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

I found this game at a yard sale years ago and now our entire family loves it. A word of caution though: this game can stir up a lot of emotions, so don’t be surprised when it gets kind of loud!

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

OFF!® Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent

You may have noticed something a little different in my pictures … enter the OFF!® Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent, the niftiest thing on the market since sliced bread!

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

This small, light-weight gadget provides mosquito protection that you don’t spray on. Instead, you clip it directly onto shorts, a belt or a shirt pocket and a quiet, battery-powered fan circulates odorless repellent which, within minutes, creates head-to-toe mosquito protection for up to 12 hours (each refill last 14 days after opening). It even has a small red indicator light that lets you know when it’s time for a new refill. I like having the option of not spraying bug repellent when I’m busy entertaining and the added benefit of the OFF!® Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent is that it is so discreet that no one notices it.

Used in the mountains

A side note: you don’t have to use the OFF!® Clip-On™ only when entertaining in your backyard. In fact, my husband and I recently went up to our favorite fishing creek up in the mountains to enjoy the summer air and do some fly fishing, and this little gadget helped us enjoy our time outdoors.

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas


Back at our backyard party we warded off the nighttime bugs with the OFF!® Mosquito Lamp. It’s not only attractive, but it also protects an area up to 10 feet by 10 feet. You simply activate the diffuser by lighting the candle (which works up to six hours). The heat from the non-scented candle triggers repellent from the diffuser, releasing mosquito protection.

The OFF!® Mosquito Lamp worked beautifully and it tied in well with the summer décor. Our guests commented on the quaintness of the lamp, not really knowing what it was — until I pointed it out.

Happy people

Spending quality time with each other – and not mosquitoes – made everyone happy. And that made me happy because there’s nothing worse than having to move the party inside because the bugs have taken over!

Putting the bugs aside, enjoying time with family or friends is important. I find that by keeping it casual, the stress is removed, which makes for a great evening together.

Starting with this …

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

And ending with this …

Bug-Free OFF!® Outdoor Party Ideas

… is what a relaxing summer evening is all about!

Do you worry about bugs or mosquitoes when hosting during the summer months?

This post is sponsored by OFF!®, but as always, all opinions are my own.

13 comments on “Sorry, No Mosquitos Allowed: Outdoor Party Ideas and Tips for Bug-Free Entertaining!”

  1. The cell-phone free zone is a great idea to keep guests talking to each other and having fun. It’s also great because, like you said, they don’t have to worry about what’s going on in the outside world. I’ll have to try it at my next outdoor party. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. I love your party ideas, Sandy! When we have friends over we like to relax on our deck after dinner. Unfortunately we end up being attacked by mosquitoes and having to head back into the house. I am definitely going to purchase some of the OFF Mosquito Lamps so we can enjoy the outdoors.

  3. Wow, this party looks so fun!! Great way to celebrate summer!

  4. How funny! Loved your post. Worked for SC Johnson for 25 years and seeing the OFF! name just made me smile! Than k s gir making my day!

  5. I’ve never tried the Scrabble method for pest control. Do you think that would work for my very persistent kitchen mouse?

    • HA HA, Jeri. No, but I’ll let you borrow Haggis (our Cairn Terrier) for your mouse! He gets them always on the first try! :)

  6. I am curious about how people respond to the cell-free zone. It is a great idea, and I think we are going to need to be more and more intentional about taking a break from the world of technology, but I can see some people being offended. Have you had to deal with any push back with this?

    We have married kids who live out of state. We are rarely all together, but when we are I think a cell-free zone is a PERFECT way to keep the sacredness of that time intact.


    • Great question, Diane. We’ve done it at a couple of parties, but it’s an option (not mandatory, of course). If anything, it gets people to think about their phone, right? Thanks and happy weekend!

  7. They are a pain, but they actually don’t like me much :)

    We love the game Pit but we play it with spoons…it gets loud and sometimes dangerous when everyone starts reaching for spoons. But so fun…I also love scrabble and puzzles and just games in general!!!

  8. I definitely need the clip-on. Bugs love me the moment I step outside!
    What a fun looking party too. Now I want to find that card game!

  9. Oh my goodness I have to stock up on those pocket ones! Believe it or not…we get killed with mosquitos every year while Trick or Treating of all times. There is never an off season in Florida for mosquitos (ugh!). Love all the ideas in this post! We love playing scrabble and corn hole!

  10. Sandy your parties always look so fun!! I love the cell free zone.
    the Off Clip-On is a fabulous idea!!!

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