Hi guys! It’s Chris here, from Celebrations At Home, and I’m excited to stop by to share some fun backyard bbq ideas with you. There’s nothing better than spending a Summer day with family or friends while grilling or hosting a pot-luck party. However, as a home entertainer I like to add some style to the usual fare, whether it’s in decor, presentation, or flavor. These are some of my favorite suggestions:
When you’re hosting a party in the back yard you usually have the luxury of space which is great for setting up different areas to gather or conduct an activity. One thing I like to do is set up a welcome area close to the entrance where guests can pick up a drink or snack as soon as they arrive. Here, I have snack cones available that are easy to grab and go. All you do is roll scrapbook paper into a cone shape and secure it with staples or tape. I like to fill them with potato chips or popcorn.
I am a big believer in setting up self-serve stations ahead of time so, as the hostess, you’re not running around like a waitress during the party. It’s also a good idea to connect the different areas visually by using recurring elements like fabric, coordinating signage, or other decorative items.
For this backyard bbq, I decorated with red and blue fabric in classic patterns and kept the overall look casual. I also incorporated fun glassware, for instance canning jars are used for lemonade, flip top jars & bottles are used for condiments, and small canning jars are used to hold a single serving size of baked beans. These containers can be found at most large home or craft stores and add more personality to the setting.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate style into entertaining is by serving a signature drink chilled with shaped ice. There are silicone ice molds in a multitude of shapes and all you have to do is fill with water & freeze. If you want to go a step further, fill them with juice and/or berries. Pop them into your signature drink and serve. Here’s a great recipe to get you started, and it even matches our red, white & bbq theme:
1/4 cup white grape juice, chilled
2 Tbsp cherry juice, chilled
1/2 cup ginger ale, chilled
combine the juices together and top with ginger ale.
The great ending to any meal is of course dessert. Make yours memorable by setting up a “build your own shortcakes” bar complete with mini cakes, a variety of berries to choose from, and whipped cream. Your guests will enjoy making their own combination of berries to suit their taste and it’s such a unique idea.
Or maybe you want to serve a side of ice cream. Wow your guests by serving pre-scooped ice cream balls from an ice bowl. The ice bowl is easy to make and only takes about 24 hours. You can find the directions here.
Since we’re only halfway through the summer there’s still plenty of time to put these ideas to use. Inviting people to your home is one of the best ways to show you care about them. And don’t forget to take a snapshot with Instagram and share it so you can enter the red, white, & bbq contest!
Also be sure to check out other great tips for your summer gatherings in the FREE at-home entertainment guide. Download it today to get your party started! Cheers!
Chris Nease is a home entertaining expert & creative party stylist who has spent 15 years specializing in small celebrations. As the Editor & Creative Director of Celebrations At Home blog, Chris shares ideas & tips for celebrating all occasions with unique & accessible style. She’s also a freelance writer and editorial stylist for the web and print, and has been published in Woman’s World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, Cottages & Bungalows, and authored a chapter on holiday party planning for the book Clutterbug’s Guide to an Organized Christmas.