Local Flair

  • Marcy Lytle

Gathering and Games

We recently had our kids over to eat and have fun in our backyard. It’s not too often that the weather cooperates to do that! Food, fun, and games were on the agenda, and it wasn’t too hard to put it all together!


For the food, we had pork/avocado wraps! We opted to make the pork in the slow cooker ahead of time, so all we needed to do on the day of was heat it up. Inside each tortilla wrap was the pork, an avocado mixture, shredded lettuce and salsa.


The avocado mixture was mashed avocados, mayo, lime juice, chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, salt, cumin, oregano all mixed together. SO TASTY.


We had fun serving them in drawer organizers found at the dollar store – with a napkin tucked in – and with a set of vintage cups filled with hibiscus tea! We had never tried making it before, but it turns out it was easy with hibiscus leaves, orange juice and zest, and honey for sweetener. The carafes were also from the dollar store! (best place for party decor)


To set up outside, we included garden incense sticks to keep the bugs away, and lots of citronella candles.




To make it super easy, instead of making desserts, we opted for some really fun cookies from Trader Joe’s like dark chocolate laceys, black and white cookies, snickerdoodles and brownies. We even bought a couple of goodies at a festival the day before. They made a pretty array to choose from!


For our fun, we just put each name on individual slips of paper and had each one draw a name. The first time around, we could ask a question of that person. For example, one person asked, “What is your favorite color?” and others asked more detailed questions like, “If you could change something in your life, what would it be?” Even the little kids contributed their questions and answers. The second time around, we gave compliments to our persons. Our four year old told his uncle, “I like your clothes.” And before we finished this activity, our 6 year old asked to play Truth or Dare, and she started by daring her daddy to kiss her mommy on the lips!


We found this little bag of story cubes from Target and used it for fun, next. Each person drew out a cube and added to a story. The first cube had a fireman on it, so that person started the story about a fireman. From there, the next person drew a hammer, so she had to add that tool into the story. We continued around passing the bag and drawing the dice, until the last person ended the story. It was fun to watch at least one or two add drama (or trauma!) to the mix. Once, all the animals died!


The last fun piece (no pun intended) was a puzzle race. We purchased three 45-piece puzzles from the dollar store (because we had three kiddos) and let the kids pick a puzzle partner or two. We then had them race to complete the puzzle. All participants (well, the kids) got two bucks for playing. They then switched partners and puzzles and went again!




One final fun is a corner of our yard where we have lots of gravel, painted cement blocks, and pinwheels spinning. We call it Pinwheel Land, and the kids make little fairy villages together! Silly and spectacular!

It doesn’t have to be expensive or too laborious to have family fun, especially if a couple of the guests will help with the clean-up – that’s so wonderful! The food doesn’t have to be fancy, either.


What’s on your summer agenda for family fun and food?



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