Creative BBQ Party Ideas for the Summer

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018

Kick the summer season off with a fun and memorable BBQ party with family and friends! Hosting a BBQ is always a fun time, serving as the perfect excuse to throw an outdoor party. Whether you’re in the mood to plan an elegant backyard dinner party in the evening or need block party ideas for a larger-than-life cookout, gathering creative and fun BBQ party ideas will help you throw the best BBQ of the year! Use these BBQ party ideas to set the standard for summer.

Choose a theme for your BBQ party idea to set your party plans in motion. Your food and decorations should all be on one page if you want to craft a full-fledged experience for family and friends. Avoid simply BBQ party mistakes by staying true to one theme and ultimately making it your own. These themes are fun, memorable, and easy to execute.

summer bbq meat on grill

Traditional Country BBQ Party

Host a classic and traditional country BBQ this summer! These BBQs never disappoint and you can put your own twist on this classic theme by taking traditional décor and making it your own. When planning your party’s design, stick to picnic-inspired décor such as checkered table cloths, mason jars, daisy flowers, basket centerpieces, and lanterns. You can also set up small areas around your backyard party area or a park with comfy pillows and blankets to add a warm touch. The best part of a country BBQ is simply the delicious food. Staple BBQ foods such as burgers, hot dogs, hot links, chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, and corn on the cob are a must. However, this year you can sweeten things up by offering guests a decadent ice cream bar with some of their favorite old fashioned ice cream treats, embellished ice cream cones, and an array of toppings. Adults and kids won’t be able to stay away. Your BBQ party invitations should have a grill on the front or picnic-inspired graphics to set the tone.

bbq party invitation with custom photo

Western BBQ Party

Plan a good ol’ Western BBQ party to spice things up and introduce your guests to what they’ve been missing out on. This theme is inspired by Texas BBQ, which means you can really try your hand at more slow-cooked meats such as brisket. Give your traditional hamburgers and hot dogs a flair by using apple or hickory BBQ smoking chips to add some flavor to your grill. After deciding on a menu, you can then create a special table filled with different flavors of BBQ sauce to give your food a kick. When it comes to decorations, you can turn your summer soiree into a Western party by incorporating easy Western signs, hay, cactus plants, and barn-like décor to finalize your party set-up. Take your party over the top by building a custom ‘Watering Hole’ bar with traditional drinks such as Texas Tea. Your Western party invitation should have colors such as red, brown, or beige to match your theme. Lastly, greet guests with complimentary cowboy hats and bandanas as they walk in the door to make everyone feel welcomed.

By The Sea Party

Throwing a BBQ party over the summer doesn’t mean that you have to stick to red meat or chicken. Tap into your seafood side with a ‘By The Sea’ grill party, featuring some of your favorites such as grilled shrimp, scallops, salmon, seafood skewers and kabobs, or grilled halibut. You can also grill corn and cook an array of pastas to complement your off the grid theme, blowing your guests away with recipes like lobster mac n’ cheese or seafood linguine. Decorations for this theme should make guests feel like they’re at the beach. Add sand and seashells to your bar area and use plenty of sea blue decor to craft an airy and breezy atmosphere. Play island-inspired music and whip up a Mai Tai to cool guests off. Give guests a glimpse of what’s to come with a lovely blue party invitation.

Backyard BBQ Dinner Party

If you’re looking to create an intimate and elegant atmosphere for your guests, you can opt for a fun backyard dinner party in the early evening! You can send out stylish dinner party invitations and use the color palette from your invite to design your entire celebration. Keep your menu simple for a small BBQ dinner party by choosing only two meats to grill, such as salmon and steak. The main focuses of an outdoor dinner party are always the tablescape and backyard decorations. A coordinated and charming tablescape along with ambient decorations that complement one another will leave guests in awe. When it comes to your table set-up, use a long table and wooden benches to add a rustic picnic vibe to your summer dinner party. Once you finish grilling all of the food ahead of time, you can then use holiday lights, fresh flowers, candles, linen tablecloths, tablerunners, and beautiful custom glassware to set the mood outside. Add a designated bar area with two to three special cocktails, along with a refreshing water bar, to take this party to the next level.

All White Party

All white parties typically occur during the end of summer for Labor Day which makes this the perfect theme for your barbecue party! This is one of very few themes in which guests get to shop in advance for an all-white outfit and feel like they’re a core part of your plans. Your decorations for this party should follow the theme’s main color exactly, with plenty of white tablecloths, flowers, white paper lanterns, and white furniture. You can give your party an edge by using succulents as décor and seasonal greenery throughout your tablescapes. Stick to traditional BBQ such as hamburgers and hot dogs since most guests will be on a mission to keep their white outfits clean. Prepare an all-white candy buffet and let guests fill their party favor bag before they leave.

Whichever theme you choose, be sure to plan ahead since BBQ parties typically require a lot of day-of cooking and grilling. Do your best to finish making or buying decorations a week before the party so all you have to do is focus on grilling and having fun with your loved ones. Barbecues are perfect for celebrating summer holidays, birthdays, baby showers, and graduations. Use the lovely summer weather as an opportunity to throw the best BBQ of the year.