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10 Quick Ideas for a Kickass Memorial Day BBQ

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 Quick Ideas for a Kickass Memorial Day BBQ
Memorial Day is a time of remembrance for those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in military service for the United States. Customarily, the weekend is considered the start of summer. Kids are finishing their school year, and adults want to spend the long weekend in the warm outdoors.

For many, once respect is paid in remembrance, backyard BBQs are their Memorial Day weekend staple. What better way to kick off summer than with hosting a kickass BBQ? BBQ parties don’t require much planning, but having a general outline before you begin purchasing your supplies makes you look organized and, well, pretty kickass. Here, I’ve gathered everything you need to pull off a quick and easy party with this list of 10 ideas to throw a memorable Memorial Day weekend BBQ.

1.) Theme
It’s easier to plan a party when you have a theme in mind before you begin buying your food and party supplies. With Memorial Day, patriotism is a common theme. You can find cheap patriotic party supplies, such as plates, cups, and napkins at your dollar or party store. In a hurry? Spend $0 on these patriotic party printables to really liven up your backyard gathering.

Home of the Free Printable

Love these printables? So do I. Here is a list of more printable party decorations:

2.) Meat
What do you BBQ? Meat of course! And food is probably the most important aspect of planning a BBQ. Therefore, take time to think about what meat you’re BBQing. Even if you’re hosting a potluck style affair, plan a good meat for the barbie. I love the idea for a burger or hotdog bar. If you choose to serve ribs, steak, chicken, or fish instead, you can still create a nice food arrangement using cheap reusable bowls and platters from your local dollar store.

3.) Fruit
Creative fruit displays are a sure-fire way to make your Memorial Day BBQ stand out.

4.) Side Dishes
If you like the idea of easy grab-and-go appetizers and sides, create single serve seven layer dip cups, or perhaps individual containers filled with carrot and celery sticks. Wanting more variety? Skewer some asparagus or bacon wrapped scallops to throw on the grill for a mouthwatering side dish.

5.) Drinks
Get creative with your drink recipe or display. Try serving this summery watermelon lemonade or blue long island ice tea. If you have a kiddie pool on hand, dump some soft drinks, waters, and beer in a ‘pool’ of ice, and you got your backyard BBQ drinks easily accessible in a fun and creative way.

6.) Utensils
Dress up your utensils for an ulta-special attention to detail. Try adding a fork to those easy grab-and-go sides I mention above. It adds a little flair to an otherwise boring cutlery display - and you can continue looking pretty awesome with your quick kickass BBQ.

7.) Music
Create the right mood with the right music. Many people have their own portable music player or sound system for use outdoors. Make sure you provide music that’s tailored to your audience to set the right party atmosphere. Need song ideas? Check out this list of Top 10 Country Songs for Saluting Our Troops on Memorial Day.

8.) Games
Providing activities is always a win when entertaining guests for a BBQ. It allows your friends to really enjoy themselves and the day. Some all-time favorite outdoor games include corn hole, horseshoes, beer pong, darts, and volleyball. For the calmer crowd, offer cards, shuffleboard, or golf toss.

If you don’t have any of those games lying around the house for your last minute party, you can either make your own or ask your guests to bring them from home. For example, shuffleboard boards can be made in the grass with spray paint or on concrete with duct tape. Plus, most people are excited to bring anything they can to help.

9.) Desserts
Give them an excuse to save room for dessert with this Berries on a Cloud recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. For the health conscience, try offering Healthy Light Berry Dessert Pizza by Undressed Skeleton.

10.) Kid Zone
Kids need a lot of stimulation and activities to keep a party going strong well into the evening. I love the idea of providing kid friendly outdoor games, a kid’s table full of activities, or a backyard movie under the stars to ensure that everyone has a good time.

If you’re planning a last minute Memorial Day BBQ and need a short list of ideas for throwing a party that looks like it took weeks to plan, look no further than this list of 10 Quick Ideas for a Kickass Memorial Day BBQ.

Need an extra dose of quick inspiration? Check out my Pinterest Page that includes more party foods, games, music ideas, and printables.

* Image source: Cover image: Stock, Image 1: A Little Crafting, Images 2-10: Dollar Photo Club


  1. Love this! I love the blow up pool idea to store beverages in. Cute idea! I saw a healthy recipe (but never tried it) for a watermelon cake but you've got it covered on your pintrest page :). It looks good but I always forget about it and never have enough people over to consume one. Maybe I'll make a tiny one from the little watermelons... yummy! Also with so many great deals on meat for the holiday, one can stock up and freeze it for consumption later. For example, Albertsons has buy 1 get 3 free for a rack of ribs. Crazy deal but per usual this time of year. Great post!

    1. E,

      Thanks for the awesome feedback! That Albertson's deal is amazing! There are always great meat deals going on for Memorial Day weekend. :)

      - EB


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