Good Morning everyone! I hope you have been enjoying the start of summer and are ready to celebrate our nation’s Independence tomorrow! Maybe you already started celebrating this past weekend or are getting together with friends and family today to celebrate the 4th of July. We have been away visiting with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew at my mother-in-law’s before they go to live in Italy (my brother-in-law is being stationed there for a 3 year tour).
Even though we aren’t having a cookout this year for the 4th of July, I know a lot of people will be planning get-togethers to celebrate tomorrow, so I figured this would be the perfect time to give some tips and tricks for Planning the Perfect BBQ.
It can be stressful trying to plan an event like a BBQ for friends and family, so I wanted to share these top 10 tips and tricks that I’ve found (and used) to help make it smooth and easy. I hope you enjoy these ideas and that they help you with your family BBQ!
Top 10 Tips and Tricks:
- When it comes to trying to figure out how much food you will need for your party, check out this great Party Calculator from foodnetwork.com. It will tell you exactly how much you’ll need to keep everyone happy!
- If you like to be organized and tend to make lists when planning an event, here are two checklists you will love. Outdoorcooking.com’s checklist will tell you what to do and when to do it so you stay ahead of the game and can enjoy your time more. bbqplanner.com’s checklist will tell you everything you need to remember so you don’t forget that key item and have to run out at the last minute to pick it up.
- Make sure you enjoy the BBQ along with your guests by delegating some of the tasks to friends and family. Have one person keep an eye on the drinks in the cooler and refill it occasionally, and ask another person to man the grill. You don’t have to do everything yourself – if you split the tasks up no one will feel burdened and everyone will still enjoy the party.
- Ask friends and family to bring a food item with them to the BBQ. A side dish or dessert, hamburger or hot dog rolls, chips, or even sodas or bottled water are great ideas to ask your guests to try to bring. This will take some of the load off of you, and your guests will feel like they are contributing to the party too.
- Don’t try to do it all (are you seeing a theme yet?). Yes, you may want to try those 10 great new ideas from Pinterest in your party, but do you really need to try ALL of them? Pick one or two new recipes or ideas and keep the rest simple and fun. You don’t have to blow everyone’s socks off in order for them to have a nice time – spending time together with friends and family is enjoyable enough!
- Choose simple decorations for your BBQ. You can keep your BBQ festive and fun just by making a couple of simple choices: use colored or patterned plates, silverware, cups, and napkins to make it fun, create a simple centerpiece to decorate your table, or set up a photo booth for your guests to enjoy. Check out my Spring/Summer Holiday Ideas or Spring/Summer Holiday Recipes Pinterest Boards for some more great ideas for your 4th of July BBQ.
- If you don’t have a lot of seating options in your yard, consider blankets and quilts with throw pillows for your guests. You can also ask them to bring some camp chairs with them so there will be enough options for everyone.
- Plan some outdoor activities so everyone can stay busy and have fun. Set up a volleyball or badminton net, resurrect a set of lawn darts or horseshoes and watch the kids learn a new game, have a sprinkler or slip ‘n slide to keep everyone cool, or have a corn hole competition. There are a ton of great ways to let everyone enjoy their time at the BBQ – and it allows them to be independent if you have them set up before the party so you can enjoy your time as well.
- Don’t forget about the evenings when the sun goes down – plan something fun and relaxing for everyone to enjoy. Plan an S’mores bar, have sparklers for the kids (and adults), light the fire pit and sit around it, or if you’re adventurous you can plan an outdoor movie to end the party (Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once – consider scheduling another gathering to have the outdoor movie another night).
- HAVE FUN! I know that the best parties that I’ve thrown are when we all just sit around in the yard and talk and laugh together. That is what is most important – don’t let yourself get caught up in the “doing” and forget about the “enjoying”.
I hope this list has given you some great ideas for planning your next BBQ the stress-free way. I would love to hear some of your tips and ideas, so please leave a comment and share them with us all. And don’t forget to share this post on your social media site so your friends and family can take advantage of these great ideas too! Happy 4th of July!!
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