How to Start the Summer Right With a Summer Kick-Off Party

The fun in the sun has just begun.

Matt Branhamby Matt Branham

The secret to any good summer is starting it off right, and no man can do that very well without a kick-off party to get things going. Get a head start on the happiness, debauchery and late nights the summer brings like no other season by following these steps to throwing a great summer kick-off party. If it’s your first time, it definitely won’t be your last.

Light the Grill

If you don’t own a grill, it’s about damn time. Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like busting out the manliest of household commodities, grilling up some way-too-big-for-your-mouth burgers and tossing on as many different types of meat that you can fit on there. Obviously, gas grills are the way to go, but if you dislike your vegetarian neighbors you can also blow steak and charcoal-flavored smoke in their windows. Or, just invite them over, make new friends and stop pulling their fresh garden vegetables up by the root and slapping them atop your grill.

Get Out Those Tiki Cocktail Glasses

You might have felt like a real Mary when you bought these on clearance in the wintertime, but now that the sun is out and everybody is mixing up their colorful cocktails, you don’t look like such a wuss at all. Go on, fill it and have a blast. It will just help everyone have a good time. And what is summer, anyway, if not the time to get festive with brightly colored kitchenette and dance around in neon colors like it’s the fricking ’80s again? Your neighbors might think you’ve gone mad, but the ones you really care about will still be there for entertainment.

Throw on Some Beach Boys

You clearly can’t celebrate summer without the proper musical accompaniment, so crank up something that makes you feel sunny inside, even if you’re in the middle of a field your friend bought, surrounded by woods, bears and poison ivy. At least you’ll feel bright and festive on the inside. We recommend the classics, songs from such bands as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Sugar Ray. Just kidding, we know that the Rolling Stones aren’t hip anymore, but you better damn well blast some Mark McGrath tracks while he’s still in style.

Toss Bags in Cornholes

It’s exactly as it sounds: a nice game of bags with friends. Toss those bean bags onto that professionally crafted wood board, or better yet, toss one in the hole. If you’ve never played before, you’re missing out on one of life’s best outdoor sports activities amongst functional alcoholics and party animals alike. If you’re well aware of the cornhole experience, it would behoove you to build a set of boards yourself before summer is underway, and have your needlepoint-loving hunny sew you up some bags. Or, if craftsmanship isn’t your thing, just buy a set that is your-favorite-sports-team themed.

Make Those Jell-O Shots

There’s always room for Jell-O. And don’t go thinking you’re ever too old for it, either. For those of you men who have a hard time taking down straight liquor, where you pinch your nose and gag every time somebody buys you shot of tequila, you might as well save them the money and yourself some embarrassment and load the fridge with trays of Jell-O shots.

Having said this, be advised that these little miracles have a tendency to speed the alcohol process. You might be having fun for awhile, but before you know it, you’re dancing around in your mother’s underwear, standing on a rooftop pretending you’re on drugs when, in fact, you just have a really low tolerance. Tequila and vodka are the best-known liquors for the job, but feel free to get creative and gross out your friends. And the green ones are surprisingly better than the red and won’t make it look like you’re dying whbeach, bonfire, guitaren you puke after having too many.

Toss Another Log on the Fire

Hot summer days are met by cool nights, and getting the friends around a warm fire with some blankets, drinks and that friend who’s barely above average on guitar with his four-chord ballads is really what summer nights are all about.

Don’t sit inside and watch the stars through the smudgy windows of a lifeless apartment. Step into the night and rage like wolves chasing after a bobsled team in the middle of nowhere. Okay, weird analogy. Just get outside and have some fun, live your life a little and don’t you dare bring up tomorrow’s responsibilities.

Stay Up Late, Dance All Night

Chances are you didn’t plan too far in advance for this, being a guy who Christmas shops on Christmas morning and all, so play it by ear and keep the energy up. All the best nights come from staying up later than you should, reminiscing over old embarrassing stories with lots of therapeutic laughs and then crashing on a surface you otherwise wouldn’t walk on, in a position that gives you a stiff neck for the rest of the month.

Summer can be endless if you let it, but more importantly, it’s the most exuberant time of the year for living wildly, dancing the night away and watching the sun rise again. So if you won’t take our word for it, try out some of these unruly techniques and tell us it didn’t go off without a hitch. If that means blaring some Will Smith to make it happen, then so be it. Just don’t blame us when people think you’re trying too hard.