12 Clever Summer Party Ideas For People Who Are Sick Of BBQs

No backyard required. 👍

Summer is prime for group gatherings, and there’s still time to plan one before the season ends. Cookouts are a staple, of course, but they’re difficult to pull off if you don’t have a backyard or a grill. Plus, we’re getting tired of hotdogs and their weird ingredients.

Here are 12 ingenious ideas for the ultimate summer get-together. These party themes will work whether you’ve got a lawn or live in an apartment without one: Just take the setup to your living room, common area or a local park if you lack the space. Some themes demand a bit of cheerful prep work, while others require no more than a group text. Choose one, and party on!

Midsummer brunch
In Sweden and much of Northern Europe, the summer solstice is celebrated with flower crowns, traditional fare like cured salmon and dancing around the maypole. Stage a similar setup in your backyard or living room.
Christmas in July
Summon that holiday spirit with a white elephant gift exchange, and savor the oddness of playing Christmas music at the height of summer. Cool off with mugs of frozen hot chocolate and perhaps some cookie decorating.
Movie night
Build the ultimate fort, and invite a small group of guests to snuggle in with a popcorn bar and candy. If you have more space, rent a projector and take things outside.
Classic carnival
Now’s your chance to revisit all those silly games, like the bean bag throw and goldfish ball toss (with faux fish, of course). It’s also a great excuse to make your own healthier funnel cake.
In-house campout
Skip the dirt and grime, and set up sleeping bags in your living room or backyard. Chances are you've never tasted anything like s'mores pizza.
Blind wine tasting
Assign each guest to bring a bottle within a specific price range, and cover the labels upon arrival. Sip, and rate each wine from 1-10, or get a little more creative with your rankings before the big reveal. Appetizers are a must.
Regency picnic
Popular among Jane Austen fans, this classic British pastime involves fancy dress, finger foods and tea -- lots of tea.
Beer Olympics
"Draft" your friends onto teams for a day of old-school games like water balloon tosses and wheelbarrow races, with plenty of brew on tap for responsible hydration. Incorporate drinking games if your crew is mature enough to handle it, then tally up points and crown the winners.
This New England-based tradition has its roots in the practice of Native American tribes, who cooked clams and lobsters in sand pits filled with hot rocks. Don't worry; your stovetop makes a fine substitute.
Country cookout
Kick your typical BBQ up a notch with country music, hay bales and Southern-style cooking. Encourage a Wild West dress code, and feel free to incorporate games like cornhole.
Potluck picnic
Assign each guest a course – appetizers, salads, main dishes and more – or allow everyone to bring their signature dish. Spread out blankets on the living-room floor, in a backyard or at a local park.
Bastille Day fête
Go all out with French wines, cheeses and baked goods for this July 14 holiday. French-inspired dress is required, obviously.
5 Potluck-Perfect Appetizers