Sometimes rain and thunder threaten outdoor fun and the Fourth of July or Labor Day cookout has to relocate into the less-seasonal confines of your home. While it's not as exciting as a game of badminton with a few cold beers and the smell of ribs and veggie kabobs grilling, an indoor party doesn't have to be any less fun.
When your barbecue is forced indoors, consider some of these tips for keeping your guests (and yourself) comfortable and entertained despite the monsoon.
1. Keep the food coming. Just because the grill's out of commission (don't forget to cover it up!) doesn't mean you can't keep serving great hot foods. Set your oven to broil and turn out delicious meats and vegetables similar to what you were making outside, or cut up some sweet potatoes and bake them for a piping hot alternative to French fries - certain to keep your guests from catching a chill.
2. Look into radiant heat ahead of time. Although you rarely consider using the heat during summertime, radiant floor heating technology will provide you with the perfect amount of control over your heating system - keeping your guests comfortable without blasting them with hot air from ducts. Rainstorms can be chilly, so make sure no one's shivering on your watch.
3. Have board games on hand. This is the natural inclination for kids, but most adults might not consider themselves board game players. The truth is that there exists such a wide variety of board game types, that the right one can make a perfect activity for any age group, no matter how old or young.
4. Start a movie. If board games are just too complicated, suggest putting on a movie. With the right atmosphere, a relaxing few hours of cinema could be the perfect party activity. Take a vote on what to watch and arrange seating to feel like a theater.
5. Have a conversation. One of the benefits of indoor parties that backyard cookouts don't share is their intimacy. You'll likely all be gathered in or around the kitchen, where the possibility of a large conversation is much more likely. Why not all relax at the dining room table and pour a few more glasses of wine or beer? Settling into a conversation with old (or new) friends is the greatest joy of any gathering.