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The countdown is ON. Parents are stocking up on school supplies while children try to hold on tight to what is left of summer. The back to school season is upon us, and the best way to say goodbye to a sensational season is a party! Of course, right? With temperatures in Florida hitting record numbers (or at least, it feels that way), a late afternoon or evening party was in the works. I gathered a few items to have a simple party to celebrate the back to school season, and I invited a few friends and family to enjoy one of the last weekends before the bell rings.
Back to School Party
Back to School parties can be simple and affordable, and I created an easy menu using pizza and snacks. Ice cold juice and chocolate milk filled the coolers, and it didn’t rain. What a win! With TOMBSTONE® Pizza, NESQUIK, and JUICY JUICE 100% Fruit Juice, I knew my party guests would be thrilled to soak in the sun stress-free one last time.
The idea was to have a no-fuss party with great conversation, plenty of cool drinks, and lots of hot treats! I’ve been in a fresh flowers mood lately, so I rounded up a few green mason jars and filled them with baby’s breath.
I used this summer tablecloth (getting one last use before it’s time for autumn colors!) to set up our spread which included Tombstone Pizzas.
I used metal buckets with chalkboard labels to decorate, and I filled each one with colorful pencils. School supplies aren’t just for the classroom! Add them to a party theme for easy decor.
Glittery frames are just a fun addition too!
I used clip art to make a simple printable to display.
I also whipped up a batch of printables to hang. I chose those images and words since they remind me of my time in school. I felt like I spent my days creating, and my nights and weekends revising my homework or essays. Though, it was all worth it…right? The achievement at the end. There was a light at the end of tunnel! Side Note: I went to school FOREVER. I never took a break. I hopped into college right after high school graduation. I then stuck around in grad school for two years too long.
Want to add these printables to your own party planning?
The achieve, revise, and create prints are 8 x 10 PDF files. The big cheer is a PNG file sized to 4 x 6.
Surprise your guests with a party favor. I bought mint binders with clear covers, and I inserted this Back to School Checklist inside each. I thought this was a fun way to celebrate the start of a new school year, but it also doubles as a useful (and thoughtful!) gift. Click the link to download the PDF to try this yourself.
A party is more than just clever decor and games. The menu is MOST important. I headed to my local Walmart to find simple items that would please everyone on my guest list.
I found a variety of beverages in the juice aisle, and I settled on Juicy Juice and Nesquik Chocolate Milk. I also bought a few Tombstone frozen pizzas.
Don’t forget the veggies and dip! Celery + carrots + hummus. Consider it done!
I prepared the appetizers and the Tombstone pizza ahead of time since we were heading to a local park. I usually entertain at my home, but we wanted a change of scenery. Plus, nature. Obviously. We mingled at my home and then carpooled to Myakka River State Park. The park is super close so the pizzas were still warm on arrival. We rented a pavilion to reserve our spot, and we set out to enjoy the evening. I love that the sun doesn’t set until 8 p.m. or so now!
I made sure to purchase individually wrapped beverages that would cool down in a hurry. The small packaging left plenty of room in the cooler for other items, and everything was ice cold quickly. To add a little flair to each beverage, I set up a tray with Nesquik chocolate milk. I gave each one a striped straw!
It’s such an easy way to add color to an event.
On a hot day like this one, Nesquik was refreshing and a delicious drink!
My son, however, preferred his Juicy Juice. With a variety of flavors, I knew there would be one that he would love.
One perk about having a party at a public park are the amenities. Depending on your location, you can hike, fish, ride a bike, ride a train, or perhaps even hop on a boat for an ecological adventure.
Since we were at Myakka, many guests were able to fish! Some of their catches were keepers, and everyone gathered around to see what they found.
Can you tell they’re related?
Don’t overthink it. Bring along a few different sports balls, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or set up a sprinkler. If you are at a park, they may be a playground. This particular location didn’t have one, but it didn’t matter.
One of my favorite purchases from this past summer was a picnic blanket. It has a permanent home in my trunk just in case I need it. This is the perfect example of a time to use it!
The (After) Party
After a fun afternoon enjoying pizza, chatting about school festivities (seriously, I know a lot of teachers who are already back in the classroom!), and sipping cool juice and chocolate milk, it was time to explore the park. There is tons to see here in Myakka, and the weather cooled off enough to enjoy it.
Don’t forget a milk for the road!
My son was way into chasing squirrels.
Wait for it…
I had to share this one last! I didn’t think I would see any alligators, but I spotted one! Full disclosure: My zoom is totally being used, and I am higher up on a boardwalk. Though, he did feel very close! How neat, right?
This was kind of the perfect afternoon with good food and friends. Want more?
Are you celebrating the back to school season? Would you consider throwing a party in two locations to give guests different activities?