Leave basic backyard BBQs in the past and transform your event into the best party on the block with these can’t-miss tips

The sun is shining; the flowers are blooming; the grass is green; it’s summertime, and if you’re the event planner of your household, that means one thing: BBQ season. Nothing says summer after all like a group of friends and family eating, drinking, and laughing together outside. 

It seems so easy to plan a summer BBQ – you just set out some chairs, buy a sleeve or two or Solo cups, crank up the tunes, and invite your friends over, right? 

If you’ve hosted your share of backyard soirées, you know that it’s not quite that easy. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be super hard either. Whether you’re having one big summer blowout this year or you’re aiming to make every Saturday a party for the ages, these summer BBQ tips will get things cooking. 

1. Decorate your backyard

Here’s the cool thing about any outdoor party: decorations are pretty much already in place. The trees, flowers, and sunlight do so much of the decorating work for you. Fill in the rest of the scenery by setting up some string lights (crucial if your summer BBQ is after dark!) and getting some festive table settings. Gingham or checkers are great for summertime place settings, and a few vases of flowers or potted succulents can also create a pleasant atmosphere. 

2. Put thought into the seating

You’d be surprised by how many party hosts forget to have enough seating for their guests. Don’t let that be you! Plan your seating with the maximum number of RSVPs in mind. Since it’s a casual event, you can mix it up by having lawn chairs, picnic tables, benches, camp chairs – whatever you’ve got. Don’t have enough seating? Spread out a few picnic blankets for guests to relax on. 

3. Make batched cocktails

The day before your summer BBQ, make a big batch of spiked punch for your adult guests. Divide it into mason jars the day of with lids and place them in a galvanized tub of ice. This is a festive, easy way to create that perfect summertime backyard party vibe.

4. Don’t forget about drinks for the kids

Have some non-alcoholic beverages for the kiddos, too. You can stock up on some cool old-fashioned sodas in glass bottles, set up a lemonade stand, or make fun mocktails. Just be sure that the adult beverages and the children’s beverages are clearly labeled.

5. Have extra napkins

It’s a BBQ, which means lots of people eating with their hands while walking around. It can get messy! Translation: buy more napkins than you think you’ll need. 

P.S. We love this easy hack for preventing napkins from flying away when the wind picks up.

6. Games, games, games

People will have fun socializing and eating at your summer BBQ, but they’ll have even more fun if you set up some backyard games. From cornhole to sack races to giant chess sets, the options are limitless. Go big by setting up a backyard volleyball court, or keep it simple by just investing in some cards for a post-dinner round of poker.

7. Keep your guests’ comfort in mind

Even if the weatherman says it’s going to be 73 degrees and sunny, you want to be prepared. Have a covered area so guests can get shade from the sun or rain, and set up a station (away from the food) where partygoers can grab sunscreen, bug spray, and personal fans. If you really want to be the host with the most, have extra hats, sandals, and towels (if you have a pool) on hand.

8. Consider a fire pit

Picture this: A starry night, your closest friends, ample s’mores supplies, a crackling fire. Doesn’t a fire pit sound like the perfect addition to your summer BBQ? If you’ve already got one, great! If not, you might be surprised to learn that they’re cheaper than you think.

9. Leave the food to the pros

With summer almost here and BBQ season ready to go, these nine tips will help you plan a fun shindig. TooJay’sCatering is a trusted caterer that can make your summer BBQ a hit. Whether you’re feeling fancy or no-frills, we’ve got you covered. Select the TooJay’s menu that sounds tastiest for your party or let us customize something special! Contact us to get started.