Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HotRef Party Favors for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer is here, and the season of BBQ parties is underway.

Just a couple weeks ago I was gathered with a group of my own closest friends, tossing bean bags, drinking my Atwater Whango beer, and munching on burgers and classic summer salads.

My friend who hosted that backyard BBQ is fantastic at DIY projects, so I wondered if filling her wheelbarrow with ice to become a beer cooler was a creative Pinterest hack. That sparked my idea to compile my favorite tips for hosting a smashing summer BBQ party for this post in partnership with HotRef Party Favors.

Whether you are entertaining a few close friends at an outdoor dinner party or hosting a huge cookout this summer, below you’ll find five ideas to personalize your next backyard barbecue.

Invite Your Friends With Themed Invitations

In the digital age of email and Facebook event invitations, it has become novel to receive a paper invitation for any event other than showers and weddings. Through online printing services, you can create your own custom invites with just a few clicks. If that sounds too daunting a task, you can peruse Pinterest to find cute invitations that you can print for free at home. Some of my favorites are Crazy Little Projects’ BBQ invitations presented on a marshmallow skewer and the Dating Divas’ “Grill & Chill” invites for a couples’ barbecue group date.

Personalize Your Party Decor

BBQ decorations from HotRef.com

Personalized printed Mason jars and party straw flags from HotRef.com can add customized touches to your backyard BBQ this summer. (Photos courtesy of HotRef.com)

To add personal touches to your party decor use customized decorations and supplies. Instead of disposable plastic cups, invest in mason jar glasses that can be reused or given to guests as a favor to take home.

What I really like about HotRef’s party supplies is that you can personalize them with the party date, guest of honor’s name, or any other detail you want.

I particularly am a fan of red gingham check, so HotRef.com’s straw flags stood out to me. Wouldn’t they be cute atop cupcakes?

Beyond Burgers And Beer, Plan A Menu To Impress

Don’t get me wrong, I love burgers and beer. But, there are so many other delicious options for summer barbecuing!

Rather than classic All-American hot dogs, how about bratwursts with a condiment bar? Your guests can customize their sausages with spicy mustard, curry sauce, or sauerkraut.

Instead of grilled chicken legs, create kabobs with vibrant vegetables. This is a fantastic option for vegetarian and vegan guests!

Grilling is not just for meat. Think about serving grilled corn on the cob, pineapples, or peaches!

In addition to your cooler — or wheelbarrow — of local craft beer, serve a signature cocktail. Nothing says summer to me like sangria!

Entertain Guests With Games And Activities

When planning activities for your guests, consider whether or not the crowd will prefer structured activities. If not, you can just set up some of these activity stations or games that your guests can play at their leisure:

  • Athletic games: volleyball, badminton, Frisbee, horseshoes, corn hole, bocce ball
  • Drinking games: flip cup, beer pong
  • Classic card games: poker, euchre tournament
  • Great group games: Cards Against Humanity, Uno, Catchphrase, Twister
  • Water activities: pool, kiddie pool, slip ‘n slide, water balloons

Get Your Guests Customized Party Favors

BBQ party favors from HotRef.com (Photos courtesy of HotRef.com)

BBQ party favors from HotRef.com (Photos courtesy of HotRef.com)

Lastly, have your guests take a little bit of the BBQ party home with them! I like practical favors that the guests can use throughout the party like customized bottle openers or mason jar cups. The cute gingham gift boxes adorned with spatulas could hold candy for your guests to enjoy on their ride home. What a fun way to keep the memories of summer with us year-round!

For More Summer BBQ Party Inspiration

Click on the photo to my Summer BBQ Party board on Pinterest!

Click on the photo to go to my Summer BBQ Party board on Pinterest!

Pin it!

How to host a summer BBQ party via EpicureanTravelerBlog.com

How to host a smashing summer BBQ party via EpicureanTravelerBlog.com

Have you been to a BBQ party this summer? Are you planning to host one?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HotRef Party Favors for IZEA. As always, all opinions are my own.

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