Dining Outdoors for Summer: A Mostly Child-Friendly Table Setting

Welcome to the 502nd Tablescape Thursday!

I’ve been visiting with family the last couple of weeks and we’ve been having so much fun! We’ve been doing a lot of grilling, or I should say my son’s been doing a lot of grilling. I’m obsessed with corn-on-the-cob cooked on the grill now, don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat it any other way. Yum!

Pagoda Umbrella for Outdoor Table, Outdoor Dining 2


With all this dining outdoors, I decided to surprise my dil, son and grandsons with a festive table. You may recognize this umbrella I purchased a few years back to use with an outdoor table on my deck. It didn’t match my cushions but I thought I’d eventually find some cushions to go with it.

I never used it since I was never able to find any coordinating cushions for my outdoor dining table, so decided to pass it on to my dil and son since it matches their outdoor dining set so well. It looks like it was made to go with it, doesn’t it?

This umbrella is currently on sale here: Umbrella. It’s available in several colors and patterns, including a pretty yellow pattern and a red design. See all the various styles here: Umbrellas.

Outdoor Entertaining and Dining 2


Just as I completed setting the table and was starting to take photos, my grandsons arrived home. After a lot of oohing and ahhing over the table and the chocolate cupcakes that were part of the centerpiece, they ran over to their sandbox and started playing. So you may catch glimpses of them in the photos in today’s post.

Summertime and Flip flops 2


Have you been grilling out this spring? Spring has definitely arrived in Ohio and it has been wonderful! I’ve been enjoying lilacs for the first time and their scent is intoxicating! They don’t grow well in Georgia, although I think I read somewhere they are trying to introduce varieties that will grow further south. Anyone know if that has happened, yet?

Martha Stewart Outdoor Furniture 2


This was a fun, fun table to create!

Dining Outdoors, Summer Entertaining 2


The chocolate cupcakes in the centerpiece of the table were magnets for little hands. It’s so hard to wait until after dinner when you’re only 2 and 4 years old. So you may notice some flatware askew or swapped around in a few of the pictures taken after they got home. lol

Sea Animals Melamine Plates for Dining Outdoors 2


There are so many cute outdoor dinnerware patterns available right now!

Beach Themed Table Setting, Driftwood Chargers 2


My daughter-in-law and I had trouble choosing.

Octopus Plate, Beach Sea Creature Dinnerware 2


This was the other pattern we were considering. We both loved the floral design, the hummingbird and the gorgeous colors. It’s on sale here: Floral Dinnerware.


In the end she selected a fun Beachy/Sea-Creature pattern she thought the boys would love. I loved it, too!

Summer Dinning with Melamind Dinnerware 2


The dinner plates are all the same in this pattern, just realized I never took a photo of the dinner plate.

Melamine Dinnerware, Great for Outdoor Dining 2


Here’s a photo I took of it while shopping. My dil and I had been texting back and forth, trying to choose the best pattern from all the beautiful patterns that were available. It wasn’t easy because there are so many cute ones out there for summer!

Sea-Creature Dinnerware for Outdoor Dining, Child-Safe 2


There are four different sea creatures featured on the salad plates: Octopus, Stingray, Seahorse and Turtle. All are adorable and the colors are so pretty and vivid.

Seahorse Plates, Beach Ocean Themed Table Setting 2


This beach-themed summer dinnerware is made from outdoor, child-friendly melamine. It’s currently on sale here: Sea-Creature Outdoor Dinnerware. I really like that it’s dishwasher safe, too.

Driftwood Chargers, Seahorse Plate 2


Fell in love with these “driftwood” chargers! They are available here: Driftwood Chargers.

Melamine Dishware, Summer Dining 2


Normally I wouldn’t place the napkin underneath the flatware–that’s not considered ideal for dinner guests since they have to fiddle with the flatware to get to their napkin. But the breeze kept trying to take the napkins away so I decided it was okay to “break the rules” for this casual outdoor table. That’s me…always livin’ on the edge! Har, har… πŸ˜‰

Driftwood Chargers for Beach Themed Table 2


Update: After I returned home, I’ve been shopping for beachy flatware. I’m eyeing this Shell flatware, wouldn’t it be perfect with this dish pattern! It’s on sale here: Shell Flatware.


One more beautiful pattern that would work with this setting or any summer tablescape. This one is on sale here: Shell Flatware.

Found these adorable Adirondack chairs in Hobby Lobby. They make great dessert “plates” for cupcakes. The blue glassware is from Dollar Tree.

Summer Table Centerpiece and Cupcake Holder 2


The lanterns in this centerpiece are available on sale here: Lanterns. They are so pretty at night. We forgot to blow them out one of the nights we dined here. My daughter-in-law spotted them still glowing brightly on the table from an upstairs window. I went back out to blow the candles out and kinda hated to do it because they were so pretty glowing in the darkness of the backyard.

Adirondack Chairs as Cupcake Holder 2


Happy outdoor dining! Hope you are enjoying some sunny, warm days!

Pagoda Umbrella for Outdoor Table, Outdoor Dining 2


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  1. I love this table Susan! I’m so ready to bring out the beach team items and decorate! Enjoy your visit with your family.


  2. Great table for dining outdoors! I love the china and of course those fab chargers Susan.
    Thank you for hosting this great party where I can still find wonderful tablescapes as when I started blogging.
    Happy Mother’s Day !

  3. Dorinda Selke says

    Such a fun and cheerful tablescape, Susan. We also use the colors of marine blue and kiwi green with a splash of mango in there for our outdoor dining area on our deck. And I love the cute plates which will put smiles on the faces of adults and children alike. Happy Spring and Happy Mother’s Day Hugs, Dorinda

  4. I am so glad you are enjoying your family. Table was fun too

  5. I bet you are having a blast with your family. especially the little guys! I love this table and am thinking I may get this dinnerware too! I do have a beautiful set of melamine that I got last year but this is tugging at my heart too:) I was just outside taking some pictures and about to set an outdoor table when the heavens opened and I had to run inside! Hopefully later:) Enjoy the rest of your visit!!!

    • I love the designs and the boys loved it, too. I like how sturdy it is, not thin/cheap feeling like some melamine can be.
      We’ve been having those pop-up storms here, too. They seem to pass over pretty quickly. Hope we’re having them in Atlanta!

  6. I love this table – and it would be as perfect at the beach as it is in Ohio! (And your grandsons are darling.) I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need a lantern or two, but I really do like them! Thank you for sharing your sources, and have fun with your family.

    • Thanks, Joy! I was originally thinking about flowers for the table but then I saw the lanterns and imagined them burning at night. We forgot to blow them out last night and my dil saw them out a window. lol I ran back out and blew them out, but I sorta hated too because they were so beautiful burning brightly in the darkness.

  7. Yay- a nice long visit with your family! Wow that dining set and umbrella are wonderful- love the colors. What a cute tablescape. Your daughter chose well- the kids will always love those dishes as well as the adults! Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Thanks, Liz! I couldn’t believe how perfectly the umbrella went with it!
      I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! This will be the first one I’ve spent with my son in 15 years, so that will make it more special.

  8. Lilacs like peonies don’t do well in warmer climates. They need the cold for their spring glory. They have been successful with lilacs blooming, but they have no scent. Maybe someday.

    Your littles are growing. πŸ™‚

    • I think you’re right! Same for tulips…which is why the second year we only get the foliage back and no flowers in Georgia. I wonder if they can grow Southern Magnolias, azaleas and camellias here. I need to google and read about that.
      Yes, they are…so fast! πŸ™‚

  9. Susan: I live in KY and the lilac season is my favorite time of the year! I didn’t realize that they didn’t do well in your area but at least you can enjoy the lilacs at your son’s home. I bet your grandsons were happy with those cupcakes!

    • I wish they did, they smell heavenly! I bet they create a gorgeous arrangement for the table! Thanks, Gina! Yup, they may have needed a bit of prompting to eat their supper, none was needed for the cupcakes. lol

  10. Susan, you and your dil did a great job! The umbrella is the crowning glory! Even the boys are dressed in blue. What a beautiful yard they have. Enjoy your visit!

    • I hadn’t noticed that… too funny! That was definitely an accident since they pick out their shirts every morning. Thanks, Julie! XXX

  11. Stephani says

    I live in Ohio too and for us this year, Spring has been a long time in coming:(
    Your umbrella look great with your son/dil”s table and chairs! What a cute tablescape, but you always do them so nicely. Enjoy every precious moment with those grans!

  12. Ann E Seigman says

    Hi Susan, I am all about making memories and you are doing that right now! Those grandsons are so blessed to have you.

    I think the dinnerware that your daughter-in-law chose is perfect for 2 little boys at the table and will be special to them as they grow older.

    The lilacs are in full bloom here in NW Ohio and the fragrance is intoxicating! I step outside at my daughter’s house and the air is scented with their wonderful aroma. (Mine didn’t do as well as hers did this year. I think they need cutting back.)

    Have a Great Mother’s Day! Ann

    • Thanks, Ann! I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Enjoy those wonderful lilacs! So nice they are blooming for Mother’s Day! πŸ™‚

  13. You need to move here and become a Buckeye! Are you north or south of Columbus? Anyway, I love your table setting as always. Thanks for sharing!

  14. A lovely table. I know your daughter-in-love and grandsons must look forward to your visits to see what you have in “Santa’s” bag. Safe travels.

    • I keep bringing up my son’s old toys on each trip. They LOVED the huge dinosaurs he played with when he was little. I saved them thinking about grandchildren one day, so glad I did now. Amazing dinosaurs are still as popular as ever! Thanks, Bobbie!

  15. Marlene Stephenson says

    I love your table setting, it’s perfect for summer and children. What would summer be like if not for watching children have so much fun.

  16. This table would be so much fun to sit around. I love the colors and the mini adirondack chairs are just too cute. Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Thanks, Sandra! I need to look for some in the Hobby Lobby near me when I get home. I love those! Have a great Mother’s Day!

  17. Elinda Turner says

    Love the table and blue and green color combination. Enjoy your visit with family and prayers for safe travels coming home.

  18. Super, super cute! Both the table and the boys!
    That plate with the turtle, stingray and octopus is definitely my favorite. Reminds me of sights of scuba diving! Have fun with your family, Susan, and Happy Mother’s Day.
    ps the outdoor furniture and umbrella look great!

  19. Darlene Gardner says

    Your table was so gorgeous! Didn’t you get this outdoor dining furniture for your son and daughter-in-law? I love the combination of the brown with blue. By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed your 500th tablescape Thursday – so much fun looking at everyone’s favorite place settings. Thanks for being such a great hostess all these years, just sorry I didn’t follow you until about 4 years ago.

  20. Mary from Virginia says

    So cute and really sweet that your Daughter in law thought of her boys enjoying the beach/ocean plates. Great colors and super pretty umbrella and dining set.

  21. Laura T. says

    You wild woman, with the silverware on the napkins!!! :0)
    It all looks great but I am totally in love with the pagoda umbrella! I need an umbrella right now & I like things that are a bit different! I have been looking for something like that. Thanks for the link!

    • lol You got that, huh? Hee, hee. I love that umbrella, too! I hope they keep carrying it, maybe I’ll eventually get some cushions in that color scheme, then buy it again. πŸ™‚

  22. Rachel Wolters says

    Why are you waiting so long to move to Ohio when your son, dil, and grandsons are here and you want to build/find a darling little cottage to make your own? We want you to move HERE! We moved from Calif. 22 years ago (because we WANTED to) and have never regretted it! I enjoy your posts and bought those little “emergency” LED collapsible lanterns after reading your most recent post about them and am so glad I did. What a deal! I have a girlfriend in Calif./Oregon (yep, she is lucky, she lives back and forth) and we often discuss your posts and what we like. Come on! Move here! Seize the day!

    • Thanks, Rachel! I can never find a cottage that I like for sale here and building is so daunting to think about. I keep hoping the perfect little cottage will come up for sale. That’s great that you have loved it so much, good to hear!
      Glad you like those lanterns. I have them stashed all over the house, love them for seeing into cabinets and closets, and of course when the weather is bad.

  23. Cyndi Raines says

    What a great summer table! So glad you could come north to enjoy your family and get in on our nice spring weather finally. My tulip tree is blooming pretty pink and white tulip type blossoms and my Azalea is in full bloom. The Pink Bleeding Hearts are almost at full bloom. Love them all, love spring! Enjoy your family and when it gets sweltering hot in Georgia, you can always come north as it will be more tolerable.

  24. Beatrice says

    Susan, google Bloomerang!

  25. The table is delightful, the umbrella is a superb gift, and I’m especially thrilled that you were able to share your passion with your daughter-in-love. I’m also betting that those pics with your precious boys here and there become some of your all time favorite blog pictures. Thanks for hosting us each week, and for inviting us for a peek at your tables. Cherry Kay

  26. Oh Susan it’s perfect! I love the umbrella, and the new plates look so cute! I love the chairs holding the cupcakes, and how clever of your grandsons to have on shirts that match everything πŸ™‚

  27. Tina Reynolds says

    What a pretty and fun table! The umbrella is the perfect compliment to their table and chairs, and, to that lovely backyard setting. The plates are the best choice for a household with boys! I also loved the floral with hummingbird, but grandmas tend to delight in things that will delight their grandsons—so, the sea creatures it is! As for the lilacs, you can’t grow them in Georgia but we cannot grow that stunning crepe myrtle up here in the upper Midwest! Georgia is a beautiful place. We have our lilacs and peonies for such a short time. When I see the peonies fading I always “over-sniff” that day and end up with a stuffy nose! Thanks for sharing your trip and table.

  28. Charlotte says

    The umbrella looks great with their table! I think that was smart to keep the kids in mind when choosing the outdoor dishes, they are so cute. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your DIL!

  29. Are the purple blooms above the outdoor dining table in our photos from a lilac?

    • Yes, that’s a lilac. The blooms are almost white, with hints of soft lilac color. They smell so amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Oh, actually those darker blooms may be something else. I need to take a look again to see what that is. The lilac I was talking about is the lighter colored blooms you can see that look like they are above the grill, but are actually closer to the table.

  30. Sorry, I misspelled. I meant to say your photos.

  31. Hi Susan,
    I left a comment on Thursday, but it went lost, I’m afraid. I wrote that I love that table AND those toddler’s flip-flops! They’re adorable! πŸ™‚
    I remember when you purchased that Pagoda umbrella, it’s beautiful and it creates pretty patterns (flowers) on the table! How kind of you to give it to your son and your dil! I’m sure they love it, too. πŸ™‚
    Susan, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow, enjoy spending it with your family! I found a quote on internet that said. “In a family ‘love’ is spelled ‘time'”. Isn’t it beautiful and soo, soo true? β™₯
    I am going to spend it at the beach in the Netherlands with my husband and our son! β™₯
    ~Hugs to you~

  32. How like you Susan, spreading the beauty of a well dressed table wherever you are, home or away. The little Adirondack chairs are another of your clever tricks for making the tablescape more kid friendly. Some sweet little boys have a fun Grandma.

  33. Mary Rogozinski says

    None of the links to Pier 1 dinnerware, umbrella, etc. are working.

    • This post was written back in 2018 so the links are all old links now. I just checked and Pier 1 still carries Pagoda umbrellas. These are the two styles they have in for this year, at least so far: https://bit.ly/3cw2vni
      You can see all their outdoor dinnerware here: https://bit.ly/2RMCKHl
      Since this is just April, I bet they’ll get more in over the next month or so. Hope that helps, Mary.

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