Hosting a Backyard BBQ? Read These Mom Hacks for a Fun (and Manageable) Feast, First!

Can you smell that? It’s the sweet scent of spring in the air, birds singing their morning songs, and the perfect excuse for a backyard BBQ bash! It gets me excited!! But let’s be honest, reminding the kids to make good choices, prepping the food, and entertaining overall can feel like a juggling act. Over the years, however, I’ve mastered the art of throwing the ultimate backyard BBQ party with family, family friends, and friends who are family. Sans the slight anxiety of it all. So whether you’re a seasoned host or a newbie to the backyard BBQ scene, I’m here to share my top tips and tricks for a stress-free and kid-friendly (I promise these two things can coincide with one another!!!) outdoor feast that’ll have everyone asking when you’re doing it again!

Backyard BBQ bliss awaits! I'm sharing epic mom hacks for hosting a fun-filled and stress-free feast with your family and friends!

Planning Ahead is Key

  • Make your shopping list well in advance and gather everything you need, from food to decor.
  • Prep as much as possible ahead of time to avoid last-minute chaos on BBQ day, such as chopping veggies and storing them in containers or marinating the meat overnight.

Keep it Easy on Mom (AKA YOU!)

  • Ditch the fancy plating: Paper plates and plasticware is where it’s at. No shame in the disposable game! Less washing up means more time relaxing and enjoying the company.
  • Relax and Delegate: You’re the hostess with the mostest, but you don’t have to do it all! Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring an app, side dish or dessert. Delegate tasks to older kids – they can help set up tables and chairs, or even stir up some dips. Propose that your other half is in charge of the grill – a task that my own husband prides himself on!!
Backyard BBQ bliss awaits! I'm sharing epic mom hacks for hosting a fun-filled and stress-free feast with your family and friends!

Let’s Talk Food

  • Easy Appetizers Only! Put out chips and store-bought dip + a charcuterie board and call it a day! If you want to get crazy and make something the day before, this addictive black bean and corn dip recipe is so simple and always a crowd pleaser!!! I pretty much make it for every backyard BBQ we have and now my friends and fam request it!
  • Family-Friendly Menu: Burgers and hot dogs are classics for a reason. But don’t forget the veggie lovers! Skewers with colorful peppers, cherry tomatoes, and pre-cooked chicken are a hit with my crew. Plus, they’re easy for little hands to manage.
  • Simple Sides: I always suggest a big fruit salad as a side! Plus, some store bought deli counter potato salad or coleslaw. Yum!
  • DIY Topping Station: Elevate those classic foods with a DIY topping station. Think lettuce, tomatoes, sliced avocado, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo, and add some fun options too. Ranch dressing for the veggies, a sweet BBQ sauce, honey mustard, or even a creamy avocado spread would be a hit!
  • Dessert Extravaganza: My advice is to keep it simple with store bought sweets! Ice cream cones and cookies are always a good idea. Have some whipped cream on hand! If you have a BBQ pit, always have all the fixings for a S’mores Bar on hand. Let everyone make one (or two or three!) s’mores for themselves. It’s a hit with kids and adults!!!

Drinks Aplenty

  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages: I like to put out cans of Diet Coke, regular Coke, Fanta (my kids’ fave!), and maybe some Root Beer too, as well as water bottles and small bottles of lemonade or ice tea!
  • Alcoholic Beverages: We always have some chilled beers or cocktails on hand for a little extra refreshment for the adults!
  • PRO TIP: Keep a marker nearby so everyone can put their names on the outside of their drinks!!
Backyard BBQ bliss awaits! I'm sharing epic mom hacks for hosting a fun-filled and stress-free feast with your family and friends!

Set the Scene

  • Cozy Atmosphere: Turn on the tunes, open up the patio umbrellas, and bust out the outdoor pillows in your comfy seating areas.
  • Keep the Table Set-Up Simple: Cover the tables with outdoor table clothes (the kind that have the elastic work best for outside – no worrying about wind!!) and set out some floral arrangements as centerpieces. It really does not need to be fancy but the added decor is nice!
  • Yard Games: Take classic games outside with giant versions! We have jumbo Connect 4, giant Jenga, and Bean Bag Toss! These are perfect for keeping older kids and adults entertained together.

Kid-Friendly Setup FTW

  • Have a Few Balls on Hand: Kids love to throw a ball, whether they are 2 or 12. Make sure they are in good shape!
  • Arts and Crafts Corner: Set up a little area with crayons, sidewalk chalk, and construction paper. Let the kids unleash their creativity while you chat with your guests.
  • Bubbles: Because everyone loves them and they can keep the littles occupied forever!
  • Water Games Galore (Weather Permitting!): This might not be applicable during the spring or fall months but if it’s summer, embrace the heat with some water fun. A sprinkler, a kiddie pool, or even just some water balloons can keep the little ones entertained for hours. If you want to be a cool mom, freeze some water balloons the night before for an extra chilly surprise ;)
Backyard BBQ bliss awaits! I'm sharing epic mom hacks for hosting a fun-filled and stress-free feast with your family and friends!

Bonus Pro Backyard BBQ Hosting Tips

  • Stock up on bug spray and sunscreen and have it out for everyone to use as needed!
  • Keep a basket of disposable cameras on hand. It’s a fun way to capture candid moments and your kids will love using them!
  • If you are having a few other families over and you know there will be a ton of kids around, you might want to think about investing in hiring a babysitter (or even two high school friends who love kids!) to play with the children and help them out when needed. Your adult friends will be appreciative too!

Embrace the Chaos!

Remember, mamas, the goal is to have fun at your backyard bbq, even as the host. Don’t stress about perfection. Embrace the little mishaps because let’s be real, they’re bound to happen! Take some deep breaths, crank up the tunes, delegate, and relax! Oh! And leave the clean-up for when everyone is gone. These backyard BBQ memories you create will be cherished by all, promise!! If you find these tips useful, let me know!!!


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