Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Fun for the Whole Family! How to Throw an Awesome All-Ages Cookout

Throwing an all-ages cookout isn’t as simple as inviting your friends and firing up the grill. You’ll need to put in some extra effort to ensure that the entire family can have a good time. If you’re ready for the challenge, here are just a few tips for throwing a wholesome party with good food and even better company.

Consider Logistics

The first step to throwing a great backyard bash is to figure out the “how” and “where” of the occasion. Seating arrangements are probably the biggest priority, but you should also consider things like shade, lighting, pest control and bathroom access. If you’ll be using electric cooking equipment, make sure that no one will trip over the cords. If you’re opening the pool or hot tub, place some non-slip mats around the edges to keep people from falling. If you’re having an indoor get-together due to weather conditions or personal preference, make sure your home is safe for all ages attending the gathering.

Provide All-Ages Entertainment

Plan activities that are fun for both kids and adults. You don’t want the little ones to be bored while the grown-ups play trivia games, but you don’t want to leave the adults standing in awkward circles while the kids chase each other through the sprinklers. Try to find things that are enjoyable for everyone. This might include bowling, badminton or board games that allow a large number of players.

Diversify Your Menu

The best cookouts have the best foods on the menu for everyone. For example, even a meat lover’s party can provide soy or imitation alternatives for the vegetarians on the guest list. You might also want to offer dairy-free or gluten-free options for people with allergies or dietary restrictions. If you’re ever in doubt about your menu, reach out to your guests and ask if they need any special accommodations.

If you don’t have any dietary restrictions to worry about, be sure to look at all your options before investing in bulk options. For example, you may not want to go to local grocery store and just load up an entire cart of plain, white bread hamburger buns. Looking into purchasing higher-quality Kaiser buns in bulk instead could help take the quality level up while keeping the cost low.

Turn Up the Volume

Last, but certainly not least, it isn’t a party without music. The good news is that on-demand streaming services make it easy to play your favorite tunes without having to haul out ’90s-inspired boom boxes. You can search songs, curate playlists, adjust volumes, look up artist information and listen to various radio stations with the click of a button. Don’t be afraid to get digital with your music selection.

These are just a few tips for throwing a cookout that will delight everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. You might need to make some special preparations, but at the end of the day, the happiness of your guests will be worth it.

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