How to Host a Memorable Backyard BBQ

How to Host a Memorable Backyard BBQ

Backyard barbecues are always great events for making memories. They are relatively easy to put on, the food is easy to cook, and since they are so casual, people can relax and have fun. Perhaps you have hosted many summer barbecues over the years. Maybe this summer, in particular, has seen many barbecue parties in your backyard. You want to throw another one, but you want it to be special. What can you do to make your next backyard barbecue unforgettable? Here are some ideas for what to do to make your backyard barbecue memorable.

Stage a Water War

It is still summertime, and most of us would be alright with relieving the heat. Warn your guests of impending invasion so they can be wearing bathing suits or something they don't mind getting wet in — or don't — and start your own Summer Hydro Wars. Break out the squirt guns and water blasters! Double garbage bag a few trash cans and fill them with "ammo" for the battle. Prepare both sides with bags or bins brimming with pre-filled water balloons so that water grenades are available to all. Pull out your hoses or borrow some extras for extra fire...waterpower. A great battle followed by delicious fare will go down in the history books as an awesome barbecue.

Make It a Murder Mystery

A murder is always interesting! Set up a murder mystery party wrapped around your usual backyard barbecue. It can be a surprise, with people walking into a little "murder scene," or you can let people know beforehand and have everyone come in character. If you want to take things to the next level, have someone "die" after most people have eaten or while the food is being cooked. If you use the real person option, provide the dearly deceased with a bag of chips and continue on with the clues! Use typical barbecue items as your murder weapons, like grill tongs or a poisoned bit of barbecue sauce. See if your guests can find the murderer before dinner is served or before the sun goes down. Along with some fabulous grilling, this will be a party to remember!

Get Fancy With It

Barbecues are, by nature, pretty casual events. That it's held outside in summer, with burgers and hot dogs being the standard menu, lends itself to a nice informal occasion. Since that's the expectation, why not change it up? It's not hard to turn a barbecue into a more formal affair. Switch out the paper plates for real plates, or at least nicer paper plates with matching utensils. Try napkins with prints or even cloth napkins instead of the usual. Have all your toppings and sauces in crystal dishes and use the glasses for drinks. Use a real tablecloth with a floral centerpiece and candles. Offer food that's a little different from the typical barbecue. Try grilling a tasty fish or doing kabobs with meat and vegetable combinations. Request your guests come dressed a little nicer?—like summer dresses for the ladies and short-sleeved men's polo shirts for the guys?—so they can match the mood you are trying to create. When it all comes together, you will have yourself a real special occasion barbecue!

Alter Your Menu

Speaking of changing up the food, sometimes that's all it takes to surprise your guests and give them something to remember. Barbecues are all about making special food, so you might as well play with it! We mentioned grilling fish or doing kabobs. What about grilling pizzas instead of burgers? Have each person make their own personal pizza, then pop them in and get them going. If you have a bigger grill, have people split a larger pizza. If there are too many people or things are moving too slowly, your oven can help in a pinch, maybe even the neighbor's oven, if you invited your neighbor. It is definitely a good idea to practice a new menu before offering it to your guests. If you don't feel so adventurous, just try a new flavoring to something you usually cook. What about grilled pineapple with the chicken this time? Then you can turn the barbecue into a barbecue luau, and your night is set! On the drinks side, what about multiple types of lemonade for a lemonade tasting? You can always add some alcohol or some ice cream to spice things up! Whatever food options you like, share them with your friends so you can enjoy them together!

With these suggestions spinning around in your head for making memories, there's no way you won't have even more ideas of your own that will make your next backyard barbecue especially unique. Remember, the best way to be memorable is to help your guests have a good time. Now, eat up!


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