If you ever watch House Hunters, which we do and thoroughly enjoy, about half the people say they really enjoy entertaining and make that a priority for when picking a house. I think we would be in the half that doesn't say that. We are not real good (or consistent) about entertaining at our house. Most of our non-family socializing comes in the form of daytime playdates and while we sometimes meet here (or other houses, or parks, or the zoo, or the library, etc.) it's not like I have to have a set activity list and perfectly prepared snacks.
Other than Luke's birthday party, almost all of our entertaining happens in the summer (I've said before we are kinda hermits in the winter and I stand by that). It's just so much easier to have guests when it's warm and nice outside. Five reasons why.
I don't know if you've ever eaten with a toddler but they aren't the neatest of people. Still figuring out all that hand-eye coordination, silverware, just general messiness. We eat lunch and supper outside most days when the weather cooperates and adding more kids just makes it even more necessary to be outside. Food falls on the ground? Fine! You spill juice? Fine! Food falls off a fork? Fine! Something will come along and eat whatever falls, eventually, and other than wiping off the table, there usually isn't much cleaning up to do. This is very, very important for my sanity.
2) MORE SPACE
We have a small-ish house. Luke's past few birthday parties have had around 10 guests and that's about as full as our house can be. Having a full backyard (no matter how small ours is) gives plenty of space for people to eat, kids to play, and adults spread out. It's quite wonderful to not be all packed on top of each other!
3) EASY FOOD
I feel like when we can eat outside the food can be less impressive. Or not impressive at all. I'm usually not trying to impress people with food (besides maybe baked goods). We have the same menu every cookout: grilled chicken, chips, blueberry crisp, brownies, sun tea, and lemonade from a jar. Ask people to bring sides. Boom. Done. Planning might be half the reason we don't invite people over when it's cold. I just don't like thinking about what to make. So we don't. But in the summer...no thinking involved.
4) EASY ENTERTAINMENT
Keeping kids entertained outside is much easier than inside. It's partially why Luke and I have been spending our afternoons outside lately. Sandbox, bubbles, chalk, balls...give them a few things and kids will usually keep themselves busy. Somehow it's just easier outside. Same with adults. We might get out cornhole but other than that...even just sitting around and talking is better when enjoying a gorgeous evening outside.
5) GORGEOUS SUMMER EVENINGS
I mean, it's pretty hard to top those perfect evenings with a "pretty sky", cooler temps (but still warm enough for outside), and good company. Especially in the late spring/early summer (and I'm totally on the "summer begins at Memorial Day weekend, NOT June 21st or whatever the date is. Matt disagrees.). We want to be outside as much as we can. I'm still amazed, in early June, that it's not freezing outside and that I don't need a coat to walk out the door. Winter doesn't seem that long ago. Being outside is a treat. Gotta soak it up while we can!