Nothing beats a summer cookout. If you simply throw some ground beef on the grill, make up some simple burgers, and sit down with the family on a nice warm evening outside, you’re doing it right. It’s that simple, and it’s almost always delightful. But you could still be doing it better. You could always be doing anything better, and with that in mind let’s look at 5 fun ways to step up your cookout game this summer.
Go Beyond Your Family
There’s nothing wrong with a family cookout, and you should definitely sprinkle a few of them in throughout the summer. But extending invitations beyond your family – to your neighbors, your colleagues, extended family in the area, or even old friends who might be visiting or living within driving distance – is a great way to socialize. It sounds a little bit curmudgeonly, but particularly these days when we do so much of our communicating via digital means, hosting a big group for a cookout is just a great way to get some human interaction, and let loose with the people you enjoy the most.
Shop Outside The Box
Hosting a cookout can be surprisingly busy, and there’s definitely a temptation to just hit the local supermarket and grab the best looking meat you can find in bulk to throw on the grill. Usually that’ll do the trick, but if you’re determined to up your cookout game, you should shop outside the box. That’s because nowadays you can find some really high quality ingredients available online, shipped fresh and ready for cooking. And it’s not just about steaks and sausages and the like! Fresh seafood can be shipped to you ready to eat as well, as can some more exotic meats. You can really surprise your cookout crowd with an option like one of these, and put something truly delicious in front of everybody.
Get Creative With Cocktails
The easiest thing for a summer cookout, and sometimes the best, is to just throw some beers into a cooler and let everyone enjoy them at their leisure. It’s a casual approach and one that will probably satisfy most of your adult guests. But if you’re trying to host a more unique event, do some research on creative summer cocktails and set up a little bartending station. It’s a nice way to do something unexpected and people might really enjoy a fresh twist on a summer happy hour. For that matter, if you really want to go above and beyond you can always look into hiring a bartender for a couple of hours!
Go Crazy For The Kids
Summer cookouts can wind up being among kids’ best memories of childhood, even if they don’t need much more than a simple cheeseburger and they can’t yet enjoy the aforementioned drinks. Just running around the yard with each other usually makes an impression. But you can make the memory even more special by providing some entertainment for the kids beyond their own childhood games. Squirt guns are a nice cheap solution and way for them to get good and messy enjoying the summer fun. But another idea if you feel like splurging a bit is to look into trampoline brands that are manageable in a residential yard, and give them a real activity to enjoy. There’s just something happy and ideal about kids bouncing around on the trampoline before being called in to eat. It’s a great memory you have the power to make for the little ones.
Get The Music Going
This is a simple final point but a necessary one. We have more ways than ever before to play high quality music at home, and setting up a speaker outside for the cookout can make all the difference. The best solution is to find a home speaker of your choice, set it up with a Bluetooth link to a phone or iPad, and leave that phone or iPad out in the open for guests to pick their own tunes or adjust a Spotify playlist as the night goes on. You might wind up with a few weird songs playing, of course, but that’s half the fun!