Tips on Hosting the Perfect Family BBQ


Springtime in Florida is an ideal time of year — there is plenty of sunshine and the heat of summer has not arrived yet. To celebrate this amazing weather and get outside with your loved ones, you have been thinking about hosting a big family BBQ. Of course, preparing for a get-together does require quite a bit of planning; everything from the menu and the food shopping to getting your backyard ready must be taken care of ahead of time.

Like many things in life, if you break down BBQ party prep work in to a number of smaller steps, you will hopefully avoid feeling overwhelmed. For example, consider the following tips:

Step 1: Protect your garden

If you have garden areas out back, it’s a good idea to set up some fences or other barriers prior to your BBQ. This way, your flowers and other plants won’t get trampled by your guests, and/or you won’t have to worry about Aunt Dottie doing a swan dive into your dahlias. You can either pick up some pre-made fences at a local retailer or if you are a DIYer, you can create your own.

Step 2: Make sure your backyard is party-ready

If it’s been awhile since your picnic table and other outdoor furniture have been cleaned, invest in a power washer and give everything a good scrubbing. Because the BBQ may go well into the evening hours, ensure that you have adequate lighting by investing in some light sets that are as gorgeous as they are functional. One current trend in outdoor lighting that looks great in the Florida evenings is string lights. A set of 25-light globe string lights can be run from the patio to a palm tree out back. Also consider a set of six solar-powered pathway lights that you can use to light up your landscaping. If you have a pool, make sure it is clean, and invest for a few fun new pool toys and games if you plan on swimming.

Step 3: Plan the menu

To keep things as stress-free as possible, plan your BBQ with tried-and-true favorites in mind. As Holidappy notes, stick with classics like hamburgers, hot dogs and/or simple chicken, beef and veggie skewers for the main course. For appetizers, chips and salsa or a veggie platter with dip are great options. For side dishes, you can make your own macaroni or potato salad or buy some from a local deli. Also, do not be shy about asking your guests to bring something; your cousins can pick up some cupcakes at the grocery store for dessert and your folks can spring for the beverages.

Step 4: Have a great time!

Now that you have the prep work all done, you can enjoy your family and food at your upcoming BBQ. As a bonus, much of the work you have done to prepare for this party will last well into the summer and beyond, so when you have your next outdoor party you won’t have to spring for new outdoor lighting or fencing again — you’ll mainly have to focus on having fun.



I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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