Barbecue Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

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. 

Planning & Invitations

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:

  • Outdoor games and activities
  • Water guns and other water toys
  • Themed candy
  • A potato sack race game
  • A pinata
  • Insect repellent
To help with your shopping, take a look at ourSuggested Party Supply List. While you may not need everything on the list, itll 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 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 pinata in the party area that can be used as a decoration before the activity begins. Remember, you can transform any pinata into a pull-string with these easy instructions.

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

  • Kites
  • Jump ropes
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach balls
  • Bounce putty
  • Water Toys
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, but 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.

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