Beginner’s Guide to Hosting the Perfect Backyard Barbecue

two men and a child around a grill in a backyard

After a year without parties, we think everyone deserves to enjoy being with their friends and family this summer! We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to the perfect backyard barbecue that is sure to have your guests in the mood to celebrate! From planning the menu to easy décor ideas, we’ve got you covered for the perfect summer soiree!

Food & Drinks

There’s something about the summer heat that whets people’s appetites. But we know you want to enjoy the party, not spend the whole day cooking! If you’re firing up the grill for burgers and hot dogs, we suggest prepping your toppings and condiments ahead of time for a Build Your Own Burger Bar. Once the meat is grilled to perfection, you can let guests make their sandwich just the way they like it, especially the kids! If you use dishwasher-safe dishes and platters, like our selection from Pampa Bay, everything can go straight into the dishwasher afterward, making cleanup a breeze.

Photo Credit: Annalise from

For sides, you can prepare one or two classic side dishes, request that guests bring a side for a potluck event, or even get a freshly prepared side from your local grocery. You can own up to it with a cheeky presentation in our Not Homemade Dip Bowl Set or in our tasteful Incognito 16oz Deli Container Holder. Either way, we suggest you serve cold sides, so they can be prepared ahead of time, and timing won’t be an issue.

Let guests know ahead of time if this is a BYOB party, or if you will be providing the frosty cold beverages. If you are, a few well-placed ice buckets can conveniently offer your guests fresh cold beverages without the need to man the bar. Just make sure to keep non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages separate, especially if this is a family-friendly affair. Or you can go all out with a DIY drink station. If you want to avoid the hassle of prep and clean-up, we would suggest serving one signature cocktail, like this beautiful White Peach Sangria. Presented in a Badash crystal pitcher, your guests are sure to enjoy both the presentation and the delicious cocktail!

There’s no use celebrating without dessert! We like to serve a fresh option, like these fruit skewers that are both tasty and easy to eat with a drink in hand! You can also put out something decadent and sweet, like the always classic Key Lime Pie Bars. Your guests will be wowed!

Key Lime Blondies with Graham StreuselPhoto Credit: Key Lime Blondie Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home


There are so many options to dress up your outdoor table! Here are a few simple options that we adore.

For a simple, stylish option head to your local florist (or garden!) and pick out a  bouquet of your favorite flowers. Place the arrangement in a chic glass vase or for a rustic look, painted mason jars. A floral centerpiece is always a great option. 

If you’re looking for some DIY décor options, you can make a quick trip to the local craft store, and make an endless variety of crafts. Fashion wreaths, bunting, and centerpieces from a selection of fabric scraps or ribbons. Here are a few of our favorites to inspire your crafty side, like this mason jar craft from Cultivate Create. Jazz up a plain jar with a pretty ribbon or a piece of burlap using hot glue. You can attach a clothespin on the ribbon for a cute food label or whatever message you want to share.

Photo Credit: Amanda Henderson from Cultivate Create


Or try your hand at this No Sew DIY Fabric Garland. Hang one behind the burger bar and on your DIY drink station for a unifying design theme, and a touch of flair. 

Black and white buffalo plaid garland with burlapPhoto Credit: Melanie from Simple Made Pretty


Games & Activities

Since we’re celebrating the return to activities with family and friends we have some fun ideas for games with the whole group. 

Magnetic darts can be played anywhere and are safe for most ages.  Our magnetic dart game comes with enough darts for four players.

Magnetic dart set in a boxTwo’s Company Magnetic Dart Game In Gift Box


If you don’t have a pool and need to find ways to cool down, a kid-friendly slip and slide is always a sure winner. If that’s not possible, ever-popular sprinkler and hose games will help cut the heat. 

For the kids who don’t want to participate in the water activities, start up a game of “Go Fish!”  with this cleverly designed set. Or use these Blue & Red Premium Playing Cards, which are made of premium plastic, thus flexible, durable, and washable for a rousing game of “Crazy Eights”.  These cards are perfect for outdoor card games – sticky or wet cards clean up in a snap! If you are interested in a more relaxing game for adults and kids, try your hand at Dominos with this Demdaco Dots to Dots Domino Set. 

Demdaco Dominos wooden game set with bag.Demdaco Dots to Dots Wooden Domino Set


We’re looking forward to our next backyard barbecue, and with these tips and tricks, we hope you are too! 

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