It’s that time of the year again! As cool fall evenings replace warm summer nights, it’s time to dust off the old grill and get cooking in your backyard. A good old neighborhood barbecue is just what you need to kick off the fall season.
This fall, gather your friends, family, and neighbors, and enjoy an evening full of delicious food, music, and laughter. Now while the concept of a barbecue sounds great, organizing and getting the word out about it can be a bit tricky.
That’s where this little guide comes in. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about how to throw an awesome neighborhood barbecue in your backyard.
So let’s get cooking!
1. Prepare a mouth-watering menu
If there’s one thing you need to get right at a barbecue, it’s the food. So make sure this part of the process is delved into well in advance.
While the meats will be an obvious part of the menu, spend some time working on side dishes as well. These will help you balance your palette and add some diversity to your food options. And of course, it’s always a good idea to have some non-meat options for your vegan and vegetarian guests.
Here are some barbecue side dishes that you can never go wrong with:
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
- Corn on the cob
- Seasonal fruit e.g. watermelon and grapes
- Tortilla chips
You could also diversify your menu by asking guests to bring one side dish each.
Prepare some tasty dips as well. A fun idea would be to have a dip station, that guests can browse through to find their condiment of choice.
As far as meat is concerned, have as many dishes as you can. Steaks, beef burgers, hot dogs, chicken – you name it! You’ll find plenty of barbecue recipes online too in case you want to try something new.
If your menu is decided before the barbecue, send it out to your guests so they know what to look forward to. PosterMyWall has a great menu maker that you can use to design incredible menus within minutes. You can either print these out and mail them, or send them in digital form via messenger apps.
2. Set up your backyard
Make sure your venue looks pretty and inviting for your guests. Clean up your backyard by doing some snipping and gardening the night before. Then, deck it up with gorgeous rows of fairy lights. You can tie up your lights to treetops and branches, or to walls.
Every good party has some music too so make sure to create a playlist. You can create a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs and play it on shuffle on some nice speakers. Here are some songs to add to your playlist:
- A little more summertime – Jason Aldean
- September – Corb Lund
- I love a rainy night – Eddie Rabbitt
- Autumn’s not that cold – Skip Ewing
- Cold one comin’ on – Montgomery Gentry
Set up some wooden chairs and tables, and if you have the time, maybe bring in some firewood and add a little bonfire on the side. Finally, place a BBQ flyer or two around your venue, especially near the entrance so people know what to expect.
3. Send out your invites
This is arguably the most important part of promoting your barbecue. Get people excited about your party by sending out invites so they can save the date and offer to bring some side dishes.
PosterMyWall has plenty of fall party invitations for you to customize and share with your guests.
Check out this design guide for inspiration on how to create the perfect invite or flyer. Trust us, the more exciting your promotion looks, the more people will want to come to your barbecue.
4. Play some games
Nothing breaks the ice and gets awkward guests out of their seats like some fun games that everyone can play. All you have to do is get a scoreboard and some sports equipment based on what you want to play.
Here are some team games that will make your barbecue a hit:
- Backyard darts
And if you have a pool, use it. Let your guests know about it beforehand so they can bring their swimsuits. Use a pool party flyer to let them know beforehand the theme of your party.
5. Think about clean-up
Cleaning up after a party can be a nightmare. After a night of dancing, games, and food, who wants to sit around picking up empty beer bottles? This is why you need to plan for this stage even before your first guest walks in.
Use disposable plates, utensils, glasses, and napkins. You can simply throw these away after the barbecue is over, instead of having bucketloads of dishes to do. Moreover, keep a couple of giant trash cans across your backyard and encourage people to use them instead of littering.
Trust us, you’ll be thanking yourself after the party for not skipping this step.
Remember, throwing a neighborhood barbecue is all about having fun, spending some quality time with friends and family, and welcoming the fall season. Planning and promoting don’t have to be stressful. And if you implement these strategies, we can guarantee you that it won’t be.
The main takeaway here is to start planning well in advance. Plan your menu and send out your invites weeks before your party. Then, focus on setup and entertainment. Once that’s done, all you have to do is have a good time.
New to PosterMyWall? Make all your barbecue planning endeavors as easy as pie by using our barbecue flyer templates to design professional promotions in minutes.
Senior editor at PosterMyWall.