How To Pull Off Your First Family Barbecue

words Al Woods

Family barbecues are common during the summer. The bright sunny skies and warm temperatures create the perfect outdoor environment. When you add great food, entertainment, and the company of people you love, you’re sure to have a great time. Of course, attending a barbecue and hosting one are two different things. If you’ve decided to have friends and family over this summer but aren’t sure where to start, these suggestions will undoubtedly come in handy. 

Family Barbecue

Don’t Overthink It

The main objective for any host is to ensure that they accommodate guests’ needs and for everyone to have a good time. Some people allow the desire to impress others to cause them more anxiety than it’s worth. Keep in mind that these are your friends and family. You know them well, so you probably already know how to ensure they enjoy themselves. Not to mention, people that care about you aren’t going to judge or criticize you (or at least they shouldn’t). 

Use Invitations To Manage Guest Attendance

Barbecues are popular and can attract more people to your home than you planned to accommodate. You can help keep this under control by sending out invitations or creating an event on a calendar or social media page. These digital resources make it easy to see how many people you’ve invited and who plans to attend. 

Keep Menu Options Simple

While there are many dishes you can prepare for a cookout, you don’t want to get out of hand with your menu selections. Opting for expensive or complicated food choices can add stress and cause you to go over budget. Stick to traditional barbecue items like hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, and chicken with a few sides like cold salads and fresh fruit. If your guests want specialty items, you can always suggest they bring their favorite dishes with them to your gathering.

If you plan on having dessert, basic options like cakes and cookies are ideal. There are also plenty of no-bake desserts that will save you time in the kitchen. If you’re looking for a simple way to impress your guests, adding alcoholic popsicles to the menu for adults and an ice cream bar for kids will get rave reviews. 

Consider Dietary Needs

As you’re preparing your menu, it’s essential to consider the dietary needs of your guests. If you have a vegetarian or vegan attending, you’ll want to ensure you have options that exclude meat and animal products. Similarly, if someone in your family doesn’t eat pork or red meat, you’ll need alternatives like chicken and fish. You should also ensure that you ask about allergies as you don’t want anyone getting sick at your barbecue. 

Entertainment Is A Must

Eating delicious food and engaging in great conversation is just part of what makes a family barbecue fun. You’ll want to add other forms of entertainment to keep your guests happy. Suggestions might include music, arts and crafts, cards, board games, swimming, and competitive outdoor activities like relay races, flag football, dodgeball, etc. 

Prep Your Home And Yard In Advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to start prepping your house and backyard for your family barbecue. Give yourself a few days to get things in order. You will need to tend to any necessary yard work, set up tables and chairs, incorporate outdoor decor, and spruce up areas like your kitchen and bathroom. 

Have Fun

As the host, you’ll feel tempted to remain on your feet throughout the day to try and ensure your guests are satisfied. However, the more running around you do, the less you’re able to enjoy your loved ones. Designate a helper for the day to assist you with getting things you need. That way, you can take a break and have a good time. 

A family barbecue is a perfect way to spend some much-needed time together during the summer. While hosting for the first time can feel intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Simply use the advice above to help you put together the perfect barbecue that you, your friends, and your family will appreciate. 


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