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2013 Summer Survival Guide: Al fresco parties

Amy Atlas shares creative ways to celebrate outdoors

bdaypartyspots

Party pro Amy Atlas could transform even an industry awards dinner into a fabulous soiree. Here are her five suggestions for making a little one's summer birthday party memorable (and tasty).

1. Happy Trails. Invite your guests to have a mock "campout" with teepees, s’more cupcakes, and allergy-sensitive trail mix. Personalized campsite signs are a fun touch.

2. Great Gardens. Host a garden-themed party: Lil' gardeners can plant seeds and snack on in-season vegetables and fruits. Have gardening toys on hand, and send tiny green thumbs home with herb or vegetable seeds in a pot or watering can.

3. Get Your Shake On. Nothing is better in the hot summer months than something cold. (Obvi.) Instead of an ice cream buffet, blend up some shakes and let the kids add their favorite toppings like chocolate chips, whipped cream, and fruit. And don’t forget the straws.

4. Fill Em' Up. Donuts, that is. Load mini squeeze bottles with yummy jams in seasonal flavors like strawberry, blueberry, and cherry. Have your pint-sized guests infuse donuts (or donut holes) with the flavors they want.

5. Flip Out. Whether it's a (closely supervised) pool party or beach bash, give your little guests personalized flip-flops to save their feet from the hot summer deck.