A cookout is a great way to celebrate a summer birthday. It allows your guests to enjoy the warm weather, indulge in barbecued food, take part in outdoor activities and feel more relaxed than they would at a more formal affair. When planning your cookout, use a combined birthday and summer party theme.
Plan your birthday cookout menu. Dish ideas include barbecued meats, various green salads, potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, grilled vegetable skewers, baked beans, baked potatoes and buns. Purchase or make a summer-themed birthday cake and serve ice cream to accompany it.
Fill large buckets or coolers with ice and various types of beverages. This way your guests can help themselves and you won't need to take time away from the party to serve them.
Decorate the area. Hang a "Happy Birthday" sign on a fence or the back of the house. Tie helium-filled balloons to table legs. Drape streamers or plastic lanterns from trees.
Set up tables. The food table needs to be large enough to hold all the side dishes, desserts and condiments. The table for dining should be able to seat all of the guests. Push two or more tables together if necessary. Place a disposable, birthday-themed tablecloth on top of each table and use themed disposable plates, cups and napkins.
Play upbeat, summer-themed music.
Fill an inflatable pool with water for any children who will be attending.
Plan a few outdoor games. Examples include a three-legged race, a water balloon fight or an obstacle course. Award prizes.
Give your guests summer-themed favors as they leave. Examples include kites, beach balls, BBQ sauce, suntan lotion or outdoor-themed mugs.
Tips & Warnings
- Have a backup plan in case of rain. This could involve moving the party indoors or setting up a screen tent in the backyard.
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