Backyard Barbecue Party

barbecue party ideas

As the weather gets warmer, nothing beats gathering the gang for a backyard barbecue party. Here are our favorite barbecue ideas for decorations, invitations, activities, and more.

Barbecue Party Invitations

Sending great invitations can make your guests feel special before the party even starts. You can either make your own barbecue party invitations or send pre-made cards. Here are some ideas for both options:

Squirt Bottle Invitations — Invite your guests to make or bring their best barbecue sauce by sending your invitations in clear plastic squirt bottles. Write your party information on a decorative adhesive label and then attach a blank label to the back of the bottle for your guests to fill in their name and sauce info. If your bbq sauce competition will have rules, write these on a piece of paper and stick it inside the bottle. Either hand deliver these invitations or mail them in padded envelopes.

Apron Invitations — Use fabric markers to decorate the front of white aprons for a unique barbecue party invitation. Write something like, “The Smith Barbecue — June 25, 2011” on the front of the apron. Write the rest of your party information on a decorative tag attached to the apron strings with ribbon.

**General Invitation Tips** — If you choose to make your own invitations, don’t forget to include the date, location, and time of your event. It’s also helpful to put the host’s name, RSVP by date, and either your phone number or email.

You can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite,


Here are some invitations that would be great  at a barbecue party!

Gingham Party Invitations

Summer Barbecue Invitations
Backyard BBQ Personalized Invitations
Backyard Barbecue Invitations


How to Decorate for a Backyard Barbecue Party

barbecue party decorations

Since this party will be held mainly outside, the first thing you want to do when planning for a backyard barbecue party is to be sure that the grass is mowed and the yard looks nice. Then you can have some fun adding your decorations. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Set a Rustic Table — A red and white gingham table cover is a barbecue party staple. You can make it look even better by using blue bandannas as both placemats and also rolled and tied with raffia to hold forks and knives.

Mason Jar Centerpieces — Use different sized mason jars tied with raffia bows as a centerpiece. Add flowers such as daisies, sunflowers, or black eyed susans to a central taller jar, and surround it with smaller jars containing candles anchored in sand.

Provide Ample Seating — Be sure to have enough seats and table space so that all of your guests have a place to sit and eat comfortably.

Set the Mood with Lighting — If your party is going to last into the night, be sure to provide enough lighting. Hang white twinkle lights, use torchiere lights, or line your patio or driveway with votives (be sure that all candles are a safe distance from traffic areas).

Serve Food and Drinks Creatively — Use an inflatable pool or a wheelbarrow filled with ice as a creative drink cooler. Use different sized galvanized pails to serve snacks and appetizers.

Set Up a Backyard Fire Pit — If you are able, set up a fire pit somewhere in your party area with seating around it. This can provide light and be a great conversation area. As the evening rolls on you might bring out some marshmallows for roasting!

Here are some party supplies that can help you decorate for your event:

Barbecue Party Supplies

Barbecue Party Tableware
Frosted Etch-It Cups
Frosted Etch-It Cups



Keep your party hopping with some great activities. Here are some ideas:

Have a Barbecue Sauce Contest — Ask your guests to bring their favorite barbecue sauce for a taste-off! Use the different sauces when you are cooking and see which one is the crowd favorite. (You can let your guests be judges or appoint a designated taster.)

Play Some Traditional Backyard GamesHorseshoes, volleyball, ladderball, bocce, and badminton are all great activities for a backyard barbecue, guaranteed to get your guests up and mingling!

Play Some Great Music — Music can set the tone for your party. Make a playlist or set the radio to your favorite station for some upbeat party hits!

Make Ice Cream — Us an old-fashioned hand crank ice cream maker to churn up a barbecue treat.

Have a Water Balloon Toss — If the weather is warm, cool off with a fun water balloon toss.

Make Barbecue Grill Cupcakes — Looking for a fun dessert to serve at your barbecue party? Check out our Creative Party Themes Blog for directions on making some adorable barbecue grill cupcakes!

Decorate your cupcakes to match your backyard barbecue

For even more great ideas, be sure to check out our barbecue party board on Pinterest!

Follow Creative Party Themes’s board Barbecue Ideas on Pinterest.

If you enjoyed these backyard barbecue party ideas, you might also enjoy these parties:

western theme party
Western Theme Party
pool party ideas
Pool Party
Fiesta theme party
Fiesta Party



  1. […] 1. Host a Barbecue — Gather some friends or neighbors and make the most of warm summer evenings by cooking out.¬† Pull out your favorite summertime recipes or make it a potluck where everyone brings one special summer favorite. Here are some great backyard barbecue planning ideas. […]

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