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BBQ Party Ideas

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Nothing says summertime quite like a barbecue. From time spent out in the yard soaking up some sun to the scent of something delicious being cooked on the grill, a barbecue a great way to celebrate summer birthdays and warm weather holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. In this planning you’ll find ideas for BBQ party invitations, decorations, party games, and more!

Shop our Summer Party Supplies or Americana Summer Party Supplies

Browse this guide:
BBQ Invitations
BBQ Decorations
BBQ Food
BBQ Party Favors
BBQ Games & Activities


Planning & Invitations

BBQ Planning

What Do I Need For the Party?

In addition to basic party supplies such as plates, napkins, cups, cutlery, table covers, streamers, balloons, and a grill, consider buying, renting, or borrowing the following items:

To help with your shopping, take a look at our Suggested Party Supply List. While you may not need everything on the list, it’ll help you to figure out the items that you do need for your occasion.

BBQ Party Invitations

If you want to send fun and unique invitations that have been custom created just for your event, here are a few ideas of how to do so in a themed way:

  • Attach a card-style invitation to one of our personalized BBQ party supplies with curling ribbon by punching a hole in one corner of the BBQ invitation.
  • Design the card to resemble the grill you’ll be cooking on.
  • Include a sticker or temporary tattoo and some confetti with each BBQ party invitation and seal the envelope with a personalized BBQ party sticker.
  • Use paper with a red gingham border to create your invitations.
  • Print your invitations on colored cardstock, and include clip art images of a barbecue grill, picnic table, etc.

Alternatively, you can choose ready-made invites that have been customized for your event.


Decorating & Food Ideas

BBQ Decor

BBQ Party Decorations

Enhancing the atmosphere of your barbecue will be a breeze when you include themed decorations. Here are some ideas of how to set the scene for your cookout:

  • Hang a banner above the entrance to the party area that reads “Welcome to [child’s name]’s Birthday BBQ!”
  • Cover tables with red and white checkered cloth. Use red bandanas as napkins.
  • Use a pot of flowers as the table centerpiece.
  • Hang small clear twinkle lights in trees or on deck railings.
  • Fill red and white balloons with helium and tie them together in groups of five. Anchor the groups around the party space with balloon weights, and tie one group to the back of the birthday child’s chair.
  • On really hot days, set up a canopy or beach umbrellas to provide some shade.
  • Place separate recycle bins for paper and plastic (to include glass/plastic/aluminum items) near the food tables.
  • Hang a piñata in the party area that can be used as a decoration before the activity begins. Remember, you can transform any piñata into a pull-string with these easy instructions.

BBQ Food
BBQ Party Food Ideas

One of the most important parts of any barbecue themed bash is the food. Here are some suggestions of classic BBQ grub to serve at your event:

  • Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken drumsticks
  • Grilled vegetable slices
  • Cole slaw, potato salad, sliced fruit, deviled eggs, baked beans, and small pieces of corn on the cob
  • Water, lemonade and other drinks that will keep kids hydrated in the warm weather. Use silly straws for some added cookout party fun!
  • Provide the ingredients for s’mores and let the kids roast their own marshmallows.
  • Popsicles or an ice cream sundae bar are a sure hit with kids when it comes to dessert. Set up a table with ice cream and a variety of toppings in serving bowls, and then let the guests choose their own toppings.


Party Favor Ideas

BBQ favors

BBQ Party Favors
Choose fun, summertime party favors to encourage guests to continue spending time outdoors even after the party comes to an end, like:

You can also include some personalized BBQ Party favors. Choose from bag tags, zipper pulls, magnets, lollipops, and more. Not only will these items be tailored to your theme, they’ll also be customized with your guests’ names or a personal message to them from you.

More Birthday Theme Ideas

Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.

 For more BBQ ideas, check us out on Pinterest.


 Games and Activities

Summertime Obstacle Course

Your guests will love running, jumping, and getting wet in this activity!

Horseshoes

Divide the children into teams, and have them play a competitive game of horseshoes.

Limbo

Just how low can you go? Find out with a game of Limbo!

Hula Hoop Contest

This activity uses up excess energy and is a lot of fun too!

Wheel Barrow Race

Fill the wheel barrows with a few beach balls and start the race!

Freeze Tag

In this classic game of tag, children must run to avoid being “frozen”.

Red Rover

For this outdoor game, children form two lines and try to break through the other team’s line.

Capture the Flag

Capture the opposing team’s flag and carry it back to home territory.

Ball, Squirt, Score!

Two players use water guns or hoses to spray their beach balls toward each other’s goal lines.

Beach Ball Pass

Teammates take turns running to the finish line and back while batting a beach ball in the air.

Hula Hoop “Head” Off

Be the first team to pass a hula hoop down the line while holding hands.

Bubble Fun

Fill the air with bubbles in different shapes and sizes.

Ice Cream Cone Relay

Players pass cones filled with water down a line until their team’s glass is full.

Flashlight Tag

Have your guests play this classic game to use up some excess energy!

Water Balloon Toss

Players will team up to see who can “go the distance” in this fun water balloon game.

BBQ Coloring Page

Print out this free BBQ coloring page to give to guests at your party.

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