Looking for a way to entertain the home team this summer? Skip the stadium and hit one over the fences with this no-tickets-required party theme that puts the usual picnic idea on the bench. With my easy-to-execute party ideas, you can host a baseball bash that's a surefire home run!
Make Your Plan
This grand slam of a party is easy to host in your own yard or at your neighborhood park as long as there's space to set up a small diamond. Or, if it's an option, reserve a diamond at one of the local ballfields for an authentic stadium vibe.
Be sure to think ahead on where you'll be grilling and eating. Some parks will have tables and grills setups for you to use, or you might need to bring a portable hibachi or small grill and some folding tables or picnic blankets. If that's too much for you to schlep, you could stick with easier snacks at the field and save more substantial fare for the afterparty at your place.
Invite your guests to dress in their favorite baseball duds and don't forget the caps! Grab extras at a dollar store to make sure everyone feels a part of the fun. Assign teams the day of the party by family, gender, or local team allegiance, or keep it simple by having everyone draw names out of a hat.
Tip: Choose someone to play umpire and pick coaches for each team just for fun and make it official with a whistle.
Softball is a great option if your crew is up to it, but if they're not so sporty, whiffle ball is always a blast. Don't worry about sticking to official rules - play as long as you like and head home when you're done. Remember, this is about fun!
A nostalgic red, white and blue scheme is great décor for this all-American theme, and you can scoop plenty of supplies at your party store's post-July 4th sale. Go for red and white checked table cloths and colorful plates, cups and utensils. Craft simple pennants with construction paper triangles and hang them on ribbons to decorate trees or tables in your party spot.
For other ideas, think baseball-shaped balloons, inflatable bats, and blowup gloves to make your spot even more festive. Packs of inexpensive baseball cards are great turned into cute banners stapled to ribbon or just scattered on tables or buffets.
Pro tip: Take a tote filled with sunscreen, bug spray, a small first aid kit, a portable radio or speakers, and of course all your grilling gear.
Feed the Folks
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" gives you a great head start on the snack menu. Roasted peanuts and Cracker Jacks, then add on hot dogs, popcorn and beer to stick to authentic ballpark fare. Pack drinks in coolers of ice and don't forget choices for non-drinkers: lemonade, sports drinks, iced tea and adorable mini bottles of Coke that add the cute factor and match the color scheme.
Up your hot dog game with a fun toppings bar. Think shredded cheese, chili, sauerkraut, pickles, onions, hot peppers and relish. A simple make ahead treat that combines the best of two ballpark favs is my [Pretzel Wrapped Hot Dogs]. Wrap 'em individually and stash in the oven on low to pull out when you pile in from the park.
Or, want the easiest option EVER? Find a park with a hot dog cart, pay the guy up front and let him take over serving duties. You can also find your local ice cream truck driver and ask if they'll pull up mid-party as a fun surprise. If you're itching to bake, cake pops with white icing and red piped laces are a huge hit on the field. Or pre-make my mini ice cream sandwiches [Insert Some Recipe] for a sweet treat once you get back home.
This is one theme that makes the fun all on its own. Just keep the competition in check and make sure everyone gets a chance at bat. Give everyone black under eye smudges for a cute touch and consider a small fireworks display in the back yard if the community board and space allow. Party gifts? A package of Big League Chew or Cracker Jacks is a sweet memento of the day.
What’s your favorite baseball team?