Planning a summer cookout? These gatherings are great ways to let loose with friends and family. Be prepared to be the best host you can be with these easy tips for planning your next outdoor party.
- Choose a food theme. Especially if you are planning a potluck,
select a theme for the food. This will ensure that all of the sides pair well with the main courses, drinks, and appetizers. When thinking of a theme, consider planning it around an upcoming holiday or community event. Have fun with it!
- Remember the music. What would a summer cookout be without music?
Get your guests up and dancing by putting together a playlist to fit your theme. Allow guests to make suggestions and take control of the music too, as this will let everyone feel involved. Be sure to switch the music as the night draws closer to keep the party going.
- Have games and activities available. Scatter lawn games and other activities around the area to keep guests entertained. This is especially important for kids, who will be looking for something to do. Ladder golf, beanbag toss, and frisbees are all great ways to keep guests active during the cookout.
- Consider catering. If you already have your hands full with planning the party, ordering food delivery can save you time and money. Many restaurants have delicious catering options. Deciding where to eat can be tricky, but browse caterers ahead of time to ensure that you get your first choice.
- Have fun with drinks. While the food is arguably the most important part of any summer cookout, the drinks are a close second. Get creative by inventing a signature mixed drink for the adults and fruit punch for the kids. Also encourage guests to bring drinks to share, as everyone has their own unique preferences.
Remember: The best way to stay on top of your cookout planning is to order everything ahead of time, especially during busy cookout season. In the week leading up to July 4th, for example, Americans purchase 700 million pounds of chicken on average. Stay on top of this rush by renting your party space and researching catering restaurants as soon as possible. The results will not disappoint.