A summer barbecue is a favorite tradition for many people. Between the smell of freshly grilled burgers and all of the classic barbecue sides (grilled corn, mac and cheese, potato salad, and more), few things are better than a barbecue on a warm day. Beyond a barbecue in your backyard, though, you can also host a barbecue at favorite summertime spots—like at the beach—as long as you have a portable grill and time to plan out a beachside day.
A beach barbecue combines two favorite summer activities: barbecuing and spending a day at the beach, making it a fun activity for both kids and adults of all ages. Throw on your swimsuit and get ready to party. Here’s what you need to know in order to throw a great beach barbecue.
When hosting a party away from your home, it’s important to list out everything you need to bring to the party venue, which, in this case, is the beach. Creating a list to help you figure out what items to bring is an important step in party planning. According to an article by Robert N. Kraft in Psychology Today, making lists has many benefits and keep us from relying on our memories, which can be flawed. Kraft notes that “lists are useful because they document what we ordinarily forget. Memory strongly prefers internal structure, and without this structure, remembering is hard work.” This way, if you make a list of items to bring to the barbecue, you won’t forget any crucial items. Instead, your beach bags will be packed with all of the items you need.
When making your list, be sure to bring extra of anything that you could run out of, like napkins and paper plates. You don’t want to be stuck at a beach barbecue without enough plates for your group.
A day under the hot sun is always met with the need for lots and lots of water. In an article in VeryWell Fit author Shereen Lehman states that “you sweat more when the temperature's hot, especially if you're working or exercising outdoors.
Drinking water helps replenish the fluids lost by excessive sweating.” In other words, water is necessary to keep the party going. Your party guests will be standing under the hot sun, exerting lots of energy as they swim or play in the sand, and generally feeling very warm as the sun pounds down.
Make sure you pack plenty of beverages to pair with the freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs but be extra sure to pack lots of water for your barbecue guests. While some people may pack their own reusable water bottle in their canvas tote bag, you don’t want to assume that everyone will—and even those who do pack water may run out after a day of splashing in the ocean and chowing down on great food.
Crowded parties are never ideal, so you want to make sure you secure enough space at the beach to accommodate your group. Rope off your area or set up clear markers so other beachgoers don’t take over your party space.
While your guests will likely be decked out in their sunglasses and sun hats, a shaded area for respite from the sun is always welcome on a beach day. Pack a few umbrellas to set up in your barbecue area—and one by the grill for the grill master’s sun protection—along with some beach canopies. Your guests will be thrilled to know they won’t have to deal with the hot sun all day long and won’t have to rely solely on their sunblock and rash guards as their main form of sun protection.
The beach is not typically a shaded place, so it’s important to bring some shade to the party so your guests aren’t uncomfortably hot throughout the entire barbecue. You don’t want people to go home early, right?
One of your party guests is bound to forget their beach towel. Bring some extra beach towels to the barbecue—you can lay them out on the sand, giving people a place to lounge in the sun or offer them to guests after their swim. Bring extra towels in all different prints and patterns so everyone knows which towel is theirs.
Throwing a beach barbecue is a great way to take full advantage of two favorite summer activities. If you’re prepared, you’ll be all set to have a fun party on the beach, whether you’re celebrating a holiday, a birthday, or having a barbecue just because.