For those of us lucky enough to have a bit of outdoor space to call our own, throwing an outdoor party is basically a rite of passage. But outfitting your fête isn't always easy — big-box party store offerings tend to be lacking in the sophistication department, but if you throw caution to the wind and use your best indoor-friendly stuff, you're bound to walk away with a few sangria stains (at best).
That's why we've rounded up our favorite sources for outdoor-friendly partyware that won't disappoint — whether you're putting together a Pinterest-chic poolside afternoon with a few close friends, throwing a safari-themed party for your toddler and a few dozen of his closest friends, or hosting an ultra-sophisticated outdoor farm dinner, these sources will help you pull it off with ease.
No surprises here — your go-to online source for pretty much everything on your shopping list is also a solid first step for finding the ultimate outdoor party supplies. With everything from surprisingly chic light-up LED pool globes to every variety of beer cooler under the sun, Amazon is a great resource when the mood to party-plan strikes you. (And if that mood strikes spontaneously, free 2-day shipping will be your best friend.)
You might know Ban.do for its irresistibly cute (and surprisingly functional) day planners, but there's a lot more adorable where that came from. If your main party goal is looking great on Instagram, you'll want to pick up some inflatable accessories and retro-fun acrylic wine glasses from this cool-girl staple shop. (Because outdoor parties and "good" glassware really don't mix — there's nothing worse than picking broken glass out of the grass when you'd rather be swimming.)
In recent years, Etsy has made a significant pivot from macramé wall hangings and ironic tea cozies; it's now a top destination for all things party related. Not only can you nab custom monogrammed confetti, photobooth backgrounds, and even floating wedding monograms at the craft marketplace, but there's a burgeoning category of printables — like this retro picnic-themed set from FeteUS — that let you DIY your decorations ASAP, with reliably professional results.
For the eco-conscious host, look no further than Food52's stock of biodegradable partyware made from fallen leaves (yep, you read that right). Not only are these segmented plates much better for the environment than your typical Party City plates, but we think there's something chic about their vaguely woodgrain-esque pattern, too — especially for a tropical-themed outdoor bash.
IKEA to the rescue, as always. While the Swedish superstore doesn't have a party category per se, its vast, ever-changing selection of inexpensive decor finds make it a good outdoor party supply source for those in the know. Shop paper lanterns galore, affordable string lights, and durable fabric by the yard to bring a colorful, playful air to your next outdoor event.
6. Meri Meri
Cute and colorful is the name of the game at Meri Meri. A made-for-Pinterest aesthetic permeates the online party shop, which leans toward the youthful (but, let's be real, is equally irresistible to partygoers of all ages). While most of Meri Meri's decorations and supplies are intended to be disposable, we can't help but think that its hanging paper "chandeliers" would look equally adorable indoors after the party wraps up.
7. Paper Source
If you've ever spent $11 on a birthday card, you know the strange and mystical pull that Paper Source products tend to have on the aesthetically inclined. Even the simplest paper plates take on an undeniably chic quality when festooned with patterns from the perennially cool Rifle Paper Co., bringing an elevated air to your next alfresco garden party.
8. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn's outdoor party offerings are usually limited to seasonal appearances, but it's worth checking the site in the off-months too, as there are usually some sale scores to be found. Not to mention, evergreen outdoor entertaining staples like its understated galvanized metal snack stands and drink buckets are worth the investment any time of year.
The folks at Terrain are firmly of the opinion that outdoor entertaining should happen year-round, and we happen to agree. Make this shop your first stop for everything from outdoor lighting (its selection of string lights is unmatched), heritage-quality lawn games (croquet, anyone?), and more types of tasteful mosquito repellant than you can shake a stick at.
10. Urban Outfitters
Of course Urban Outfitters knows how to have a good time. Peruse its "Fun & Games" category for a seasonal selection of fun pool floats, party games, and novelty drinkware that will bring a little of that cut-loose college party vibe to your next shindig.
Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.