One of the best ways to kick off the summer is with a backyard barbeque. Not only is this a great way to celebrate the warm season and get outside, but it is a fantastic way to eat great food while mingling with neighbors, friends, and family. Overall, barbeques are a great American passtime and are a fun way to spend any afternoon or evening. Even more so, they can be quick and easy to plan with a few simple steps.
The first, and most obvious, thing to do is plan the menu. Firstly, decide how many people will be attending so you can get the correct portion sizes. Then ask everyone whether they have any food aversions or allergies, so you can make separate dishes for them. Plan to include most of the classic barbeque foods in your barbeque party, as well. Start by planning a few different meats, then move on to the side dishes and desserts. Also, don't forget to provide plenty of beverages for your guests. Beverages be a variety of different drinks, such as water, alcohol, soda, and lemonade. Then, create a spreadsheet of all the ingredients you will need for these foods and take that list to the store with you, so you don't forget anything. Once you have completed your list and done your shopping, map out how long it will take to cook everything so that everything will be done on time the day of the barbeque.
Next, ask a few close friends to help. Between cleaning the area of the barbeque, setting up tables, chairs, or even tents, planning a barbeque can be a lot of work, especially for larger gatherings. You can also ask those friends to invite others. Give them a guest list and ask them to spread the word. Most barbeques do not require the formality of a written invitation, so it is perfectly acceptable to get the word out through phone calls, in-person, or online invitations. Finally, get get a few friends involved in preparing the food. It can be tough to multitask once your guests arrive, and preparing the food requires a lot of attention. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help during the event; stocking the food, keeping everything clean and making sure everyone is having a good time could be overwhelming.
Finally, make sure there are plenty of fun activities. Starting a fire to roast marshmallows, playing music and keeping adequate lighting for dancing and spirits is always a good idea. Be sure to keep some games on hand for both adults and children. Popular games like bean bag toss and horse shoe never go out of style and are great at barbeques. Kids toys such as chalk and water guns are also a good idea to have on hand to keep kids entertained and occupied.