Instantly elevate your next backyard bash with these must-have items for entertaining a crowd.

By Rachel Sylvester
Updated May 24, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Memorial Day officially marks the onset of summer, and while we'll take just about any excuse to bust out a cooler brimming with bottles of ice-cold bubbly, the true appeal in warm weather lies in backyard barbecues. Even if you're aren't blessed with enough square footage to host a proper outdoor party of your own, it's pretty impossible not to have a good time when good friends, grilled fare, and frosé is involved.

Before you send out e-vites to your next backyard fete, stock up on these five smart summer entertaining essentials. Our picks go beyond basic party must-haves like cheese boards and indestructible wine glasses to include a 2-in-1 speaker and a set of genius grilling bags. Planning a get-together over the weekend? Read on for five party purchases that are guaranteed to take your next outdoor soirée from good to great.


This summer must-have makes beach bar-worthy frozen cocktails at home, no blender or fancy soft-serve machine required. Makes four to six servings.

To buy: $40;


Keep hungry bugs at bay with this genius contraption that protects freshly grilled food until its ready to be devoured. The cover's mesh design allows air to circulate through, while its 16-inch width easily covers plates large and small.

To buy: $10;


The only thing better than a powerful speaker is one that secretly doubles as a piece of decor. This compact LED lantern speaker easily connects to Bluetooth, so you can seamlessly blast some tunes at your next after-dark gathering.

To buy: $110;


Skilled grill masters understand the struggle of losing precious morsels to the grates, which is why we can't get enough of these mesh grilling bags. The durable bags keep all of your grilled items in one place, so you'll never lose a cherry tomato or sliced veggie mid-flip.

To buy: $32 for 4;


While convenient, plastic dinnerware is anything but earth-friendly when it comes to outdoor eating. Instead, opt for these eco plates made from pressed fallen palm leaves. Zero chemicals, waxes, dyes or additives are included in the production process, so you can chow down and rest easy knowing they're good to the earth.

To buy: $22 for a set of 25;