Summer at my house means lots and lots of backyard barbecues. There’s just nothing that compares to hanging out with your family and friends while creating an amazing barbecue spread to enjoy. We have some tips to help you create the perfect backyard barbecue this summer and help you make some amazing memories. Our favorite backyard barbecue brands, HONEY MAID Grahams, HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and JET-PUFFED Marshmallows, helped me create today’s post and we are so excited to share some ideas with you.
With six kids, any family event takes a bit of planning. The process can be a bit overwhelming and I am hugely guilty of getting so caught up in the prep work that I forget to enjoy myself.
Don’t do that this summer.
I’ve had to make a conscious effort to do better because I realized that I was really missing out on having that time with my family. Since then, our backyard barbecues have changed a bit and I’m loving the time that my family and I have together.
I want you to have fun with your family this summer. I know as a busy mom, it’s so hard to slow down and just enjoy the moment. There are so many things fighting for your time and attention.
Backyard barbecues don’t have to be an elaborate production. They are a fantastic way to spend time together as a family or get to know your neighbors better, especially over a holiday like Labor Day weekend. Some of my favorite memories have been chilling out in the backyard on a lawn chair while my kids plan and get to know the kids in our neighborhood.
I’ve found a few ways to really help simplify our backyard barbecues and make them fun for everyone.
Keep things simple.
I know. I KNOW. You want to search Pinterest and come up with the perfect theme/menu/decor. Don’t do it. Your kids won’t remember that you created the perfect side dish. They’ll remember that you spent time with them so focus on making those memories!
I’m so guilty of this. Most of the elaborate plans I make end up frustrating me (and my family by extension) and they never turn out the way I think they will.
Throw a tablecloth down, create some family-favorite recipes, and sit down with your family to have some fun. It may not be perfect but your family will remember the time you spent with them and that is way more important than a Pinterest-worthy barbecue.
Make it a potluck.
I think potlucks are seriously underrated. Do you know why our parents didn’t seem as stressed at neighborhood gatherings when we were growing up? They knew how to share the load.
The best part is you get to try everyone’s favorite recipes. I’ve found some amazing recipes at family potlucks and they are often recipes that I work into my regular meal plans.
Each dish is a conversation starter. Usually people bring a family-favorite and it’s amazing how well everything blends together. You can do half the pre-work and you’ll still have an amazing spread of food that everyone can enjoy.
I’m telling you, potlucks are the secret weapon of backyard barbecues.
Have a set barbecue menu.
If you don’t want to go for a potluck, or you are enjoying a backyard barbecue with your immediate family, I find that it really helps to have a standard barbecue menu. We know that when we grill, we always go for hamburgers, chips and salsa, watermelon, a green salad, and S’mores for dessert.
We definitely still change things up when we feel like it, but it sure makes things simple when we want to throw an impromptu barbecue.
Having a go-to menu helps us know what groceries to buy (and we try and keep most of those things on hand so we are ready to go) and everyone in my family knows what their job is.
As long as you have the basics covered, you can get creative when it comes to hamburger toppings, salad ingredients, or any extras.
Share the Work Load
Let’s be honest. It would be amazing if all the work could just be done for us when we host a backyard barbecue but since that isn’t going to happen we might as well have a bit of fun with it.
Working together is a great way to spend time with your family and it can be so much fun to teach your kids some of your favorite barbecue tricks.
My boys are learning to be amazing grill masters (and they are pretty proud of that). My five-year-old daughter is anxiously waiting until she can help more but for now, she’s happy to help toss the salad and set the table.
Don’t forget Dessert
It isn’t a barbecue at my house unless we end it with S’mores. We make ours right over the grill and it is the easiest and most delicious way to do it! My kids all love toasting their own marshmallows. We have a bit of a competition going on to see who can make a perfectly toasted marshmallow.
S’mores are such a memory food for me and with how often we make them, I know my kids think they are an essential part of any barbecue.
We stick to the classics: HONEY MAID Grahams, HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate, and JET-PUFFED Marshmallows.
My family has lots of backyard barbecues planned for this summer and I’m so excited to enjoy some downtime with my favorite people. They are growing up way too fast and I want to make sure we spend each summer we have making lots of memories.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HONEY MAID Grahams, HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and JET-PUFFED Marshmallows.