Starbucks, S'mores and Stargazing Summer Night Party

Summer means late sunsets, balmy nights and no early school mornings. For me, that's the perfect mix for late night fun with family and friends. Kids can sleep in so they can stay up late and enjoy what magic happens when the sun goes down. There is a lot of late night activities you can have for kids of all ages (firefly catching, glow in the dark rock scavenger hunts, etc.), but I have an affinity for star gazing. Nowadays, with the help of inexpensive apps, you can show kids all the constellations and planets swirling around in the night sky above you. If you have a telescope, it gets even better!

I decided to make it a fun summer night party, and included treats for adults and kids alike. I went with an array of Starbucks refreshing coffee drinks (after all, it's hot and staying up late needs some caffeine help for most of us!). Then I put out my famous S'more buffet for everyone and got the fire pit lit.

During set up I also got the kids going on some tealight Mason jar lamps for the patio. In the heat, they dry quickly so by the time the sun goes down, they will be ready for lighting! These lanterns allow for some ambient, magical light around the patio.

Here is my step by step approach for a fun filled, refreshingly yummy summer night party.

Starbucks Yum

Star gazing makes for late nights, and we all need some caffeine to keep a pep in our step and our eyes to the sky past our bedtimes. Thanks to Starbucks, you can provide your guests delicious, refreshing coffee beverages. They've just come out with some new summertime flavors, like S'more and Mocha Coconut, as well as protein packed espresso double shots. They've also extended their VIA lines to include sweetened iced coffee flavors. Don't even get me started about VIAs-they have saved girl scout camping weekends time and again every year. I mean...have you ever tasted camp coffee? (*shudder ) VIAs are the bomb.

For our party, I pre-chilled my Starbucks beverages-new flavors and old standbys. I then placed them in a basket for guests to grab. I had glasses nearby, ice water for VIAS as well as an ice bucket to keep things cool or if guests wanted some ice in their drinks. The Starbucks bar was a huge hit. My daughter thought the mocha coconut was sublime. I prefer the smooth, subtle vanilla flavored ice coffee. My nephew and grandpa fought over the S'more ones, but there was plenty for everyone.

Speaking of S'mores, you can't have S'more Fappuccino flavors without the real deal! A nighttime summer party isn't complete without campfire S'mores!

S'more Fun

Making a S'more bar or "buffet" is my new thing this summer. I wrote a how-to post about it here in case you want to print out my ingredient cards and my "recipe" poster. All you need to do is have a variety of fillings, grahams and cookies set out for guests to mix and match to their hearts' content. Light your fire pit and let guests have fun while the sun goes down.

Tealight fun

This is a great activity to occupy younger guests while you wait for the sun to set. Once finished, these tealight lanterns can then light your patio or deck with a subtle glow as you star watch and enjoy the yummies.

Here's how you make them:

What you need:
Tissue paper
Elmer's glue and water
sponge brush
Kosher salt
tea lights
Mason jars or other glass jars

Rip up or cut up the tissue paper in small pieces. In a plastic cup, dilute the glue with some water. Brush the sponge brush with glue and brush a thin coat on the glass, then lay a piece of tissue paper on the glue, then brush another thin layer on top. Continue layering areas with tissue paper in the same manner until the glass is all covered. let air dry.

Once dried, pour Kosher salt in the bottom of the glass, about 1/2" deep. Nestle the tea light into the salt, and light it.


Star gazing was always a favorite past time of mine, but I could never remember the constellations. Now with smart phones and tablets, you can find an app to help you navigate the night sky with just a tap of your finger. Some have really cool 3d renderings and illustrations around the constellations to help young children see why constellations have the names they do. As you can see above, I was able to spot Venus!

There are a handful of stargazing apps, free or paid, out there. Here is a post listing some popular ones.

A great time was had by all, and I definitely will do it again this fall, but maybe with a hot Starbucks coffee bar and hot cocoa flavors. That would be super fun, and guests could compare the summer sky to the fall sky.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's enjoy summer while it's here. Fall will come soon enough.

Please note: Starbucks iced summer coffees 
were provided by Starbucks. All thoughts, opinions and obsessions about Starbucks coffee are completely my own. Thanks! #starbucks @starbucks @frappuccino #icedcoffee #coffeepassion



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