Seven Entertaining Tips for a Seize the End of Summer BBQ
While it’s not quite time to start thinking about fall, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that most of summer has already slipped by. (I swear it happens faster and faster every year!) Why not enjoy what’s left of the season to the fullest by hosting a summer-themed barbeque? Here are some easy tips for making it one your friends and family will remember:
Tip 1: Set the Scene
Save the patio for grilling and move your seating area into the grass. Spread out blankets, beach towels, and cushions in shady spots around the yard. Then, generously scatter flowers and boughs of freshly-cut greenery around the patio and sitting areas. For a casual but eye-catching centerpiece, try placing one or two flowers in a bunch of mix-matched jars or vases.
Tip 2: Cool off “Pool-side”
Arrange your lawn chairs around a shallow wading pool and let guests wiggle their toes in the water as they chat. You can get small plastic pools for about $10.00 at most large grocery stores.
Tip 3: Boat Building
Keep children busy with a miniature boat building contest. Fill up a shallow kids’ pool or a few Rubbermaid tubs and set out a bunch of household materials like empty food containers, Popsicle sticks, twisty ties, glue, etc. Let the kids go crazy and then award small prizes like sidewalk chalk and bubbles.
Tip 4: Summer Smells Contest
Hand out blindfolds torn from scrap fabric and invite guests to sit in a circle. Next, pass around small bowls filled with sunscreen, cut grass, and other summer-y smelling items. Cover the bowl after each person has had a chance to smell it, and then have your guests write down what they think it was. The person with the most correct guesses wins. Other items could include berries, watermelon, rhubarb, roses, coconut, charcoal, BBQ sauce, and tomato stems.
Tip 5: Capture the Season
Sun-sensitive paper allows guests to create beautiful prints of summer flowers and foliage. Just lay items on the paper, place in the sun for a few minutes, and then rinse the paper in water to set the image. Check your local craft store or order it online.
Tip 6: Savor Summer Foods
Grilled meats, tangy potato salads, crisp cole slaws, and creamy chip dips all scream summer. Pair traditional favorites like these with the foods you’ll be yearning for come winter: vine-ripened tomatoes, sun-sweet berries, and garden-fresh vegetables.
Tip 7: Serve a Signature Summer Drink
Make things easy on yourself by creating one big batch of a signature mixed drink and serving it along side bottled refreshments. Try summery libations like Porch Swing, Pimm’s Cup, or Mexican Sangria. For a non-soda, non-alcoholic alternative try Watermelon Lemonade.