With weather warming rapidly across the country, it’s no secret that summer is just around the corner—meaning inconspicuous tan streaks and hot red tar are just weeks away. And while we’re counting down the days to December 1, it’s not that we’re longing for a Saturday beach trip—we kicked off those days the moment we got to September. No, this year the lockdown was lifted just in time for us to make the most of the holiday season, by hosting all the gatherings, meetings and nights out you wish. In fact, in the coming weeks you’ll be able to meet your fellow statesmen, so you can bid farewell to those inter-city rivalries. The only question left is how do we celebrate? As a hint of inspiration, we’ve teamed up with Innocent Bystander to put together the best ideas to flag down.
After some extensive research on our part (read: endless sampling of Innocent Bystander wines while trying to play board games with missing pieces), we’ve found the best ways to spend your spare time this summer. From homemade tapas to high-flavored tea, here are our top tips to help you make your way through the holiday season.
Raise a glass (and brush) with DIY paint and sip
As much as we love good old paint and a sip, it doesn’t feel like a night out with the crew. Get your creative juices flowing with a DIY paint and sip, led by legendary Bob Ross. YouTube is filled with many of his videos, so there is no shortage of ideas your masterpiece can spark. Once you’ve chosen your fave, swing by the Kmart to grab your paint, brushes, and canvas, and you’ll be golden. The only thing left is to arrange a “sip” for half of the activity. Our favorite drink? Innocent Bestandre Pinot Noir Rosé. This drop plate features red raspberry compote with a clean, crisp finish. If you’re feeling hungry, we recommend partnering with a Margherita pizza or a charcuterie platter.
Treat your taste buds to tapas
Eager to serve but don’t want to cook? Keep it simple with a plate of bite-sized appetizers that you can throw together without a lot of commitment. Look for recipes that don’t require a lot of prep work, but are still there as if you put the effort into them. Do you prefer us personal? Chorizo, Manchego and Olive skewers – quick, easy and very tasty. For something a little sweeter, try a sweet dish of fancy floss, Turkish delight, fresh strawberries, and savory cheese served alongside a fancy bottle of Moscato.
Gather the gang for a backyard party
No, we don’t mean hiring a band to play your backyard event – but if you’ve got cash to spend, we can hook you up with some local moso. But seriously, we were thinking of something a little more low-key, like passing the mic to a buddy for some off-cuff karaoke. Even better, have the guitar teacher in your group play a few strings, and you’ll get a temporary performance by Angus and Julia Stone. Of course, if your friendship group is less inclined to music, you’d better keep it safe with a round of Guitar Hero, or some strong tunes from a decent speaker.
Keep things competitive with a classic game night
When all else fails, there’s no defeat at all in a good old fashioned game night featuring all your favorite classic childhood games. Of course, the best part about adult game nights is that you can trade Monopoly for something that doesn’t make you want to flip the board. Sure, you have what you want, like KleidoAnd Cards Against Humanity And What are you doing Mimi? , but hey – new games can be fun, too. All you need is a good group of friends, a little luck (you want to win, right?), and a baby girl to encourage your success. A glass of Pinot Noir, anyone?
Pinkie’s prepares for a luxurious Bridgerton-inspired tea
With Bridgerton renewed for three more seasons, you’ll need to practice keeping that pinkie high if you want any chance of mingling with London’s high society. Prepare yourself for Lady Wesleydon’s latest offering by serving fine tea in your own home style. You’ll need to grab some fresh bread for the cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, not to mention a few slices of fresh quiches and scones. But the real key to a successful rich tea is the quality of the tea on offer – so make sure you choose wisely. We recommend a bottle of Innocent Bystander Yarra Valley Chardonnay to keep things nice and stylish.
Party Like 1999 With Your Y2K Night
Light up your playlist and dust off this trendy design – 1999, word on the street is that the world could end in the middle of the night. Celebrate humanity’s most successful millennium with frosty white eyeshadow, low rise jeans and lots of sparkle. Britney and Christina should blast through your speakers, and canned foods should be stacked six feet tall on the kitchen table. Keep disposable cameras on hand to die for as party favors, and seize the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved vacation from the bumps of the twenties.
what are you waiting for? Fire up the group chat and bring the crew together for an epic night. While you’re at it, be sure to keep the vibes high and pick up a bottle of award-winning Innocent Bystander wine.
Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Innocent Bystander and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To learn more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.
Design credit: Dom Lonsdale