Amy, also known as Mom Advice, lives in Indiana. She is a writer, wife and mom to two beautiful children. On Snackpicks she shares her easy entertaining tips and advice for all occasions, from holiday parties to day-to-day family meal planning. Amy is also the founder and creator of the Mom Advice community.
In the summer months, there is nothing I love more than throwing together a backyard barbecue for our family and friends. With a smaller home, the great outdoors allows us to offer a comfortable place for our guests to spread out and enjoy themselves. Backyard barbecues can be practically effortless with a little bit of planning and preparation. I wanted to showcase some easy ideas for achieving a successful & fun backyard bash that will long be remembered.
Create a Fashionable Spread
Outdoor entertaining can be very fun and chic by using a few fun and inexpensive pieces that are already on hand. Use simple terra cotta pots for displaying your snacks. A recipe that works great for this is Crispix Mix BBQ Style. Fill an old wheelbarrow with ice to display the drinks, use jars for serving old-fashioned lemonade, and fan finger foods out on wooden cutting boards for a fun display. I also love to visit the summer display section of superstores for inexpensive & fun outdoor dishes that add a splash of color to your outdoor entertaining.
Offer Ample Seating
If you have a large gathering coming up, don’t be afraid to bring your indoor seating outside to add extra chairs to the mix. Create seating areas outdoors using your lawn chairs and, if you are short on seats, ask guests to bring their own chairs so everyone is comfortable. Folding tables and chairs can provide additional seating and quilts or blankets can provide fun seating for the younger children.
Bring on the Games
The key to a fun outdoor party are a couple of great outdoor games to keep the guests entertained. Our family loves to play badminton and a few rounds of bean bag toss for a little outdoor fun and to get conversations flowing. These are great investment pieces to make for outdoor entertaining and will provide additional entertainment even in those fall months for tailgating season. Inexpensive sprinkler toys, a sand box, coloring books, crayons, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles are fun items to have on hand for the smaller guests at the party.
For a creative idea to keep the children entertained, create a game of Ring Toss from simple items from your recycle bin. Fill empty plastic two liter soda bottles with colored sand and fasten the tops on tightly. Obtain a package of plastic rings (in the outdoor section of your superstore) for the children to toss on the bottles. Have the kids stand behind a tape line to throw the rings. If they get three rings around the bottle, they win the game.
Take the Night Off
Instead of making food on your outdoor grill, try a fun night of entertaining by roasting food over an outdoor fire pit instead or let guests help make their own dishes to go along with a few simple sides that you have created. I would recommend something quick and easy like this Tomato & Watermelon Salad for a fun and unexpected flavor combination.
Make Clean Up Easy
A successful party is one that can be cleaned up quickly, so I love to prepare ahead of time to make clean-up easier on myself. Set out a dish tub to collect the dishes, a basket where people can toss used cloth napkins, and a container for the recyclable items. I also try to make sure the dishwasher is empty to accommodate the dishes that will need to be washed. When I see that the dish tub is full, I can quickly throw the dishes straight into the dishwasher.
“Nothing says barbecue like a Classic American Burgers Recipe! I recommend that you give this easy burger a try. These veggie burgers are delicious and just as decadent as the real thing and can be personalized with your favorite toppings!”