As sure as the rising sun, summer has its guarantees. Fireworks will be lit, pools will be filled, and charcoal will be burned. Many of us are going to throw parties that we will work diligently on to make sure our guests have the time of their lives, but one thing that is also a guarantee for summer is your guests will be invited to plenty of other events. It’s going to take more than buying those premium bratwurst and having a good playlist to make your party stand out.
Lucky you, we already spent a few hours thinking about it. Here’s what we came up with:
Create a mood
Just like when you’re in a restaurant with a good atmosphere, your cookout should have some attitude and character, too. Consider livening up your deck or fence with some stringed lights. You can go dig out those old white holiday lights (or be bold, go for the color ones!), or pick up some themed ones at department store. If you don’t have a deck or fence, no worries! Pick up some simple single pole garden hangers and use them to hang lights and create the feel of a room around on your patio, or even as an entrance to your yard. Don’t like the stringed lights? How about some tiki torches? Those are pretty affordable (unless you go for the Cadillacs of tiki torches). Toss in a few candles on a table or two and your mood lighting is done!
Make the cooler, cooler
What’s the one thing all of your guests will have in common? Having a drink in hand. So make sure to dress up the one place they are guaranteed to hover, the drink cooler. If you have an antique wheel barrel, whiskey barrel or an old toy wagon, clean them up and line them with some garbage bags, dump in the ice and you have doubled your drink station’s cool-factor.
Sure, you can still do corn hole, horse shoes, lawn darts or whatever your little heart desires, but how about a game guests can play without having to get away from the crowd? At the entry way, setup a list of items that you have placed throughout the cookout. Make it fun, like “Find the drink in the cooler from Germany” and have only one German beer in the bottom of the mix. Have a chalk or dry erase board that guests can write their names on and check off their items as the night moves on. At the end of the party, whoever has the most items might win a gift card, or a bottle of wine. A little cookout competition will liven things up and make your party the one to beat!
Field Day style
If you’re really feeling fresh, have the space and think your guests would go for it, how about a field day? The idea of adults doing three-legged races, sack races and even tug-o-war will be such a throw-back-and-cut-loose-like-you’re-12-years-old party that it will become an annual event.
Let us know if you have some more ideas! We’re still planning our cookouts, and we love fresh ideas!