We first fell in love with Sam Sidney when she opened the doors to her Charleston oasis in our Holiday 2014 issue. The artist’s family-focused home was full of colorful, eclectic decor ideas and plenty of Southern charm. (Who could forget the ping pong table in the dining room??) When the weather warms up each summer, Sam takes the party outside. Her sprawling backyard sets the scene for many kid-friendly soirees all season long. And in true Sam Sidney form, every event she hosts is just as fun for the adults. Read on to learn her tricks for throwing unforgettable outdoor events everyone will enjoy:
First off, what was your inspiration for this fun party?
Whether I am hosting a party for kids, adults, or a little of both, I love to keep it simple. Sticking to one or two colors makes for a cohesive theme. I also love mixing patterns- stripes and polka dots are my fave! I guess old school backyard fun is my style. A classic red and white check table cloth keeps it light and fun! Always have those on hand!
Any DIYs or trick of the trade you can share?
I love a good but simple DIY. We use mason jars for everything! Perfect for glasses, also great for keeping straws and silverware together. Sometimes I add a few stripes of washi tape around the glasses for a simple but chic DIY.
I also love a good Craigslist score. I am a huge fan of mixing high and low and always have been. It’s fun to find a vintage piece that has potential, add some paint, and buy new cushions for a fresh outdoor look.
Often, entertaining with kids can be an “on the fly” decision. (I.e. bringing friends home from school.) What do you do to always be prepared?
Having a pool means, pool parties, and often. When the temperatures rise, there are some things I always like to have on hand: Juice boxes, ice pops, mini water bottles. Chalk, bubbles, and hula hoops. Large bouncy balls you can find at Target or super markets are the best! I love seeing them in the stores, its a great reminder that summer has arrived! For the moms, I always have a bottle of Champagne or rosé in the fridge, chips, and guacamole!
Any other menu items that are sure to be a hit – especially for the little ones?
You can never go wrong with pirates bootie, goldfish and cheez-its. Frozen grapes are a refreshing and healthy snack too. Oh, and watermelon! Whats a backyard get together without watermelon!?
What are your top resources for party supplies?
For party supplies I usually go to Target or the dollar store. Sometimes I’ll grab some cute napkins or striped straws at Home Goods if I see them!
With little ones, it’s even more important to make sure everyone stays entertained. How do you suggest planning a party so that all are happy?
Happy kids mean happy parents. Having the pool certainly keeps the little ones entertained. I try to add new pool toys and floats to the mix, keeping it new and exciting makes it fun for them. When I am out and about I’ll snag some cute dive sticks, kick boards or noodles when I can. In general, having the pool is the best entertainment for the kiddos. But when the kids need a swim break or aren’t in the mood to swim, its good to have some other options too.
This winter, we bought a trampoline which has been the best. Year round fun, but also a great activity when you need a swim break. Sometimes the kids bring some of the floats and balls in there and go bananas.
I also have some large galvanized buckets I bought at the hardware store on the back porch. Inside the buckets are some of our staples – chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, big trucks, and bouncy balls. We also have a little mini soccer goal, t-ball set and balls scattered around the yard. I try to keep them outside as much as I can!