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Summer BBQ Party Planning Checklist – 2024 Ideas

There are a lot of great things about summer. The days a longer, the weather is generally great, and perhaps the best thing out of all, one can spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying fun activities whenever they want.

From going to the beach, on a hiking trip to visiting your local swimming pool, and playing sports, there are so many things one can do during the warmest season of the year. But what is one activity a person can always enjoy with both family and friends no matter if they are an outdoor person or not? How about a barbecue party?

There isn’t anything better than spending time with people who are dear to you, at the same time enjoying delicious food, however, hosting one such party requires a bit more preparation than one might expect.

Besides getting the food ready and grilling it when the time comes, there are other things necessary to make the get-together perfect. So, if you are planning to host a barbecue party this summer season, here are some things you can do to make it the best and most fun for both your guests and yourself.

1. A Guest List

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Granted, you won’t need a guest list if you are having just a few people over. However, if you are planning to throw a bigger event, making a guest list will help you with organizing everything else. This way, you will know how much food and drinks you need to buy, as well as the number of tables, chairs, and table settings you will need. Make sure to check with your guests and confirm if they are coming to the gathering or not.

2. The Perfect Grill & Grilling Equipment

No matter if you are using a gas or charcoal barbecue, you need to make sure that it is clean and ready to be used, especially if you are grilling for the first time since summer has started. Make sure your patio gas canister is full or that you have charcoal and lighter fluid. Adding wood chips to charcoal will give it a more unique and smoky taste.

Prepare all of your grilling equipment from a spatula, tongs, grill fork and glove to aluminum foil, oil, and a towel. Of course, do not forget your apron.

3. Lighting

Unless you want the party to stop once the sun sets, you should bring some lighting into your outdoor area. For example, fairy lights or tiki torches will add some light but also add to the atmosphere. Besides, tiki torches can also help keep mosquitoes away and add a fun, playful touch to your backyard decor.

4. Outdoor Furniture

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You might already have an outdoor dining setting, but it is probably not enough even if you are having just a few people over. For such occasions, you can get cheap plastic furniture so that you will be able to accommodate everyone.

However, you might want to consider adding quality wooden or wicker outdoor furniture that is durable and will serve you for a long time. Not only is it useful, but it also adds to your backyard decor, unlike any plastic furniture pieces. It is more comfortable too.

For example, if you love throwing parties or having get-togethers often, why not get an 11-piece dining setting? Manufacturers such as Woodbury House even offer a 15-piece set. This way, everyone can sit comfortably and more importantly, together.

Having an outdoor lounge sofa and lounge chairs is also a great idea, especially for enjoying beautiful evenings with your family.

Make sure there is enough shade for everyone to get out of the scorching sun, meaning you should add some parasols if you need to. Candles, table cloths, picnic rugs, and similar accessories can all add to the atmosphere.

5. The Menu

You can never go wrong with the classics such as hot dogs, chicken skewers with vegetables, and hamburgers. However, you should consider the crowd and plan your menu accordingly. Children will probably enjoy hot dogs more, so make sure you have enough. If any of your guests are serious meat eaters, consider adding some steak. For vegetarians, you can either get delicious veggie burgers or simply grill veggie skewers.

Side dishes are also a great idea, so add foods such as corn on the cob, salads, coleslaw, dinner rolls, and whatever else you can think of.

Do not forget to buy or even better, make some tasty BBQ sauce and have condiments such as ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, and mayo ready too.

Serving simple appetizers is a great way to keep your guests happy while the food is being prepared. Tortilla or potato chips with guacamole, salsa, and hummus are all great, easy appetizers.

Of course, desserts are a must and there is nothing better than eating a delicious fruit salad or chilled watermelon on a hot summer’s day. Another option is serving some delicious ice cream.

6. Beverages

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Besides the traditional drinks such as ice-cold beer and wine, why not try making simple cocktails? They are sweet and refreshing and you can find recipes online that are easy to make. Add some lemonade or non-alcoholic punch onto your list, as well as soda and water. Make sure you have enough ice to last you the entire day.

9. Table Setting

You do not have to bring out your fancy plates and utensils for such an occasion. Paper or plastic plates, cups, and utensils are much better, not to mention easier for clean up since you simply need to throw them away. Add some napkins, toothpicks, and salt and pepper shakers onto the table.

10. Entertainment

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There is no party without music, so make sure you find an awesome playlist or make your own. If you are up for it, you can come up with some fun activities and games for the kids too. Even adults might enjoy a fun round of Jenga or a simple card game.


Even though it seems easy, getting everything together for a fun summer barbecue takes some effort and time. Make sure to plan well, so you can not only be a great host but also ensure all of your guests are having a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable time.

About Stefania Trtica