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Outdoor Summer Party Ideas: Tips for Hosting a Barbecue

Jul 6, 2008
Barbecuing during the summer months is a tradition that many people look forward to all year long. Between the great food, good company and casual atmosphere, it's no wonder that barbecues are popular.

Now that the weather is warm, it's time to host your own summer barbecue. By following these tips, you'll be able to host a party that your friends and family will be talking about for years to come.

You'll want to start your barbecue off right by planning it for a good time and day. Saturdays are a great day to host a barbecue, and you'll want to plan it for a time of day where it's not too hot. While lunchtime barbecues give you more time to hang out with your guests, it can be hot during that time of day. Anytime from 2 pm to 5 pm is a good time to start a barbecue, especially during the summer months when it gets dark late at night.

Send out invitations, or make calls if you've prefer to be less formal. If all of your guests are web savvy, try using an electronic invitation like those available at Evite.com. This way you'll be able to take a running inventory of who will be coming and who won't be able to attend. Make sure to have a backup date just in case you have some unexpected rain or the weather gets too hot.

Barbecue potlucks are very popular. If you decide to make your party a potluck, make sure to assign food to people. Generally, one side dish or dessert per person is expected. As the host or hostess, you should provide the meat and drinks. Think about your guests' likes and dislikes when it comes to your food choices. For a large group, hamburgers and hot dogs work well. Smaller groups would appreciate steak or chicken. Make sure to offer some grilled vegetables or veggie burgers if there are vegetarians in the group.

Activities are always popular at barbecues. Pools make for a lot of fun at summer gatherings, but if you don't have a pool there is still plenty that you can do to entertain your guests. Depending on the ages of the group that you are hosting, you can arrange anything from a (controlled) water balloon fight to classic outdoor games such as croquet or badminton.

Make sure to plan ahead for the comfort of your guests. If you won't have enough chairs or tables for everyone, rent some extras or ask guests to bring them. You can also provide for their comfort by placing citronella candles around your yard to ward off mosquitoes. Placing them around the perimeter of your yard will help keep the space bug free as the sun starts to go down.

Hosting a summer barbecue is a breeze if you plan ahead and keep your guests at the center of your plans. Getting together with family and friends in our backyard is a great way to create terrific memories that will last for years to come. Just follow these simple steps and you'll have a party to remember.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com and Susies-Coupons.com, where you can find coupons for women's activewear as well as coupons for spa products and skin care coupons.
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