Swimming pools, barbecue, games, and more – if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that no summer is complete without a backyard cookout!
Most of us are familiar with the fun and deliciousness of a summer cookout. From the chargrilled burgers and corn on the cob (displayed on a red and white gingham tablecloth), to the joy of catching fireflies after sunset, cookouts are the perfect way to celebrate the summer season. We’ve listed some of our best tips to help you make YOUR cookout the best in the neighborhood. So fire up the grill (even if it’s hanging outside your apartment window) and let’s get cookin’!
Tip #1: Festive decorations are a must!
The first step to any great party is setting it up with the perfect decorations – and cookouts are no exception. We suggest choosing a theme and/or color scheme and coordinating your decorations around it. Want to throw a beach-themed party? Try making this DIY beach ball garland from Studio DIY, made by painting styrofoam balls and glueing them to a string. It’s easy, inexpensive, and can be used again next year. How awesome is that?
Tip #2: Plan the perfect menu (in advance)
Make your cookout easier by planning out your menu in advance, keeping in mind that a lot of the food you’ll be serving will have to sit out in the sun. Burgers and hot dogs served fresh off the grill are always a fan favorite, as well as corn, watermelon, and baked beans. But who can forget the creamy goodness of a homemade potato salad? This potato salad from Alyssa at The Recipe Critic is a great twist on the summertime classic – it features bacon, ranch mix, cheddar cheese, and green onions. Like your favorite loaded baked potato! YUM.
Tip #3: Keep the fun going
Every summer cookout needs a little entertainment. No need to hire a live band here – just create a summer playlist on your phone or MP3 player to liven up your party for FREE. And who can forget the fun and games? Summer cookouts are great for making DIY carnival games that both kids and adults will enjoy. We love this DIY (giant) Jenga game from Dream Book Design. All you need to do is cut 2x4s into 10.5 inch pieces, sand them down, and stack them up for an extra-large game of Jenga- you can even paint them in fun colors for some variety! Tip: if you don’t feel comfortable working with a saw (and you live near a lumber yard or hardware store), you can have the store cut the 2x4s for you. Otherwise, Etsy sells pre-assembled giant Jenga games here
Tip #4: Don’t forget dessert!
We believe that a great dessert is the perfect way to finish off any backyard cookout. After all, we ARE a dessert company! For anyone with a firepit, backyard s’mores are a tasty (and crowd pleasing) option. Make them even more fun by substituting ingredients, like peanut butter cups or Nutella for the chocolate, or by adding fresh bananas. Delish!
Now that you’ve got everything you need for your summer cookout, all you have to do is add the guests – but with a party this cool, your friends and neighbors won’t want to miss a thing.