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As spring and summer approach, it’s time to dust off your outdoor barbecue and start planning social occasions in your garden! Dining al fresco is one of the joys of the summer – as the daylight hours increase and the heat rises, you can enjoy the outdoors for much longer.
Here’s a list of ideas you should implement for your first barbecue party of the year, ensuring your hospitality and cooking is the talk of your guests all summer long!
Prep Your Garden
Of course, wheeling your BBQ out of the shed isn’t the only step to getting your garden party-ready. Consider these options to make a great fun environment for guests:
- Get a brand new state-of-the-art barbecue that cooks for as many people as you’d like, like ones offered at Barbecue Bazaar. Find them at bbqbazaar.com.au
- Hire or buy a marquee to protect against the elements if the wind picks up or it gets a little cold
- Provide blankets, a log fire or outdoor heater for when dusk draws in
- Set out chairs, furniture and picnic blankets so everyone can be seated
- Put out tables filled with food and cutlery
- Decorate with fairy lights, candles, lanterns, bunting, flowers – anything to make the space look inviting
Once this is done, you just need to wait for people to arrive and start barbecuing!
BBQ Meats and Veggies
For the main event, ensure you have a selection of well-marinated meats and veggie options. Give your food a twist so that everything is mouth-wateringly flavorsome. Go for:
- Spicy chicken
- Vegetable kebabs
- Piri-piri prawns
- BBQ sardines
- Garlic and herb corn on the cob
- BBQ grilled halloumi
- Sweet and sour hotdogs
Switch up your marinades and dressings to create a taste experience that nobody will forget! Variety is the spice of life – don’t bore your guests with plain cooked burgers and definitely no pink in the middle sausages!
Side dishes and accompaniments are what makes a barbecue. Set some of these out on a table for people to help themselves to along with their food from the barbie.
- Potato salad with chives and sour cream
- Cucumber, tomato and avocado salad
- A variety of breads for burgers and hotdogs
- Lettuce leaves to garnish
- Sauces – mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet and sour, ranch dressing
- Nachos with salsa and guacamole
It’s important to offer a variety of drinks at your event so that everyone has something to their taste and nobody goes thirsty!
For the adults, try whipping up some summer cocktails like these easy and tasty ideas:
- Mojito – crushed ice, mint leaves, soda water, white rum, lime and sugar to garnish
- Rosé punch – rosé wine, sherry, chunks of orange, lemon and strawberry
- Pina colada – pineapple juice, white rum, coconut cream, wedge of pineapple and ice to garnish
- Elderflower vodka – elderflower tonic, vodka, lemon, sugar dusted around the edge of the glass
For the kids and those who are driving, offer refreshing alcohol-free drinks, like:
- Homemade lemonade
- Citrus punch
- Ice water
- Herbal tea
Activities & Games
No party is complete without games after the food! Keep everyone laughing and having fun into the night with these party game ideas perfect for outdoor play.
- Pin the bug on the flower – this game twists the classic ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Make a variety of cardboard bugs for your guests to attempt to pin onto a large flower you’ve made! Blindfold each player and spin them around, before they must find the flower and hopefully pin their bug in the middle!
- Piñata – either buy a ready-made piñata or build one yourself! (You can also buy DIY kits that you can fill with your own prizes.) Give all your guests a chance to hit the piñata while blindfolded and then scramble to collect the winnings when it bursts!
- Coconut shy – set up your own DIY coconut shy and turn your garden into a fun fair! When coconuts are won, chop the tops off and fill them with cocktails (or mocktails) for the ultimate summer party drink.