Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to scrub up the old grill and have some friends over. Here are some ideas for making a memorable backyard barbecue party that your friends and neighbors will love.
Set the Scene
The right decor sets the scene as people enter. But before you start adding extra flair to your yard, make sure that what’s already there is in good repair. That might mean re-staining your deck, or doing some fence repairs. It might mean getting rid of the odd tools that you have hanging out in corners of your yard and porch. Give your yard a thorough once-over and then take note of any larger repairs and changes that you need to make.
After that’s done, you’re ready for the fun part of decorating. Take a look at some of these awesome ideas:
- Add some floating lights to any water fixtures you have (a pond, fountain, pool, or hot tub).
- Incorporate pops of color throughout your yard – it might be a bright lawn chair, ribbons on the table settings, or curtains and sashes that block out the worst of the sun for your guests.
- Make room for comfortable seating. This might be as relaxed as some blankets that people can sit on in your yard, some hanging hammocks, or extra lawn furniture. If you don’t have enough materials for seating, think about renting extra chairs – they’re usually pretty cheap!
Prep the Grub
When it comes to food for a backyard party, there’s one rule: keep it simple! It should be a low-key event. Consider these tried-and-true ideas for your party:
- Have a BBQ – that’s what everyone wants in the summer anyway, right?
- Ask friends and guests to bring side dishes. This serves a few purposes: it helps you confirm who is and isn’t coming, allows people to feel involved and gives them a chance to show off, and takes some pressure off of you. Make sure you’re clear about your requests, though. For example: “Could you bring dessert for 10 people?”
- Simple sandwiches are another crowd-pleaser, and a big club sandwich, or pinwheel wraps are both easy to make in bulk.
- For a more health-conscious crowd, shish-kebabs are a fun way to switch up the grill fare.
- Taco salad is another delicious ad easy way to fill everyone up. If you want to make it extra-easy, assign each friend a topping (cheese, chili, tomatoes, onions, etc.) and only take care of the meat yourself.
Think about the Extra Details
There are some fringe details that most of us forget, but these details will keep everything running smoothly:
- Keep bugs away with nets and bug-repellent candles.
- Make sure the area is well-enough lit for your purposes.
- Make a background playlist. This sets the mood and gets the party mood going even before the conversation goes into full-swing. Pick out classics that people will recognize and play it low so that people can hear each other.
- If you have families with little kids coming, you’ll probably want some activities available for them. Have nerf balls, or maybe a badminton net, sidewalk chalk, and a slip ‘n slide set up. If the kids are occupied, the parents can have more fun too.