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Summer Party Ideas: The Classic BBQ Picnic

Posted by Alexandra C. | Thursday April 26, 201217 comments

Hello chicks! The sun is shining, there's the smell of steak grilling on the barbie and you've got a cold drink in your hand. It's pretty much impossible to feel sad when you're at a summer BBQ. Inspired by this feeling, I've put together a guide with everything you need to put together your own fabulous and fun BBQ party. 

Of course, when it comes to this type of soiree, follow the K.I.S. method: keep it simple. Don't overdue it and don't get fancy. This is all about the informal, laid back, get together. When it comes to food and drink, your menu should be bursting with flavour; use fresh and tasty ingredients. Fill your table with flowers and pops of colour. Blast the tunes and get your best girlfriends over and chicks, you've got yourself a party everyone is sure to remember. 

Decor and Venue 

Okay, so maybe you won't be pulling an 18th century romantic inspired picnic out of sleeve any time soon, but...le sigh, how gorgeous right? Use these as inspiration, a jumping off point for all your festivities. Think of a colour palette, I suggest going for bolds, brights and patterns for summer. Speaking of your colour palette, don't be afraid to mix and match! It's supposed to be fun so don't take it too seriously. 

Candles, tea lights, fabric streamers and banners are inexpensive and trendy, cute pieces. There isn't anything better for a table than fresh, gorgeous flowers in saturated hues. They add so much life and colour to an event. Now, I've got two words for you: mason jars. Check out this list of 15 different uses for mason jars. I love the idea of using them for vases and center pieces. 
Table Setting

Looking to host your own party and not sure where to start? Here are some pieces that I'm absolutely loving right now! 

1. Kikkerland 5 Piece Wine Accessory Kit (US$26.50)
2. Indigo Bone Handle Salad Server (C$12.25) 
3. Ikea Sommarlov Tablecloths (C$24.99)
4. Kikkerland Blinking Ketchup and Mustard (US$23.00) 
5. Kikkerland Polka Dot Straws (US$7.50) 
6. Indigo Aqua Oval Dish (C$8.00)
7. Ikea Iris Tea Towels (C$3.99/2 pack)
8. Libbey Drinking Jar (C$1.99, available at Canadian Tire)
9. Vivre Off Pitcher and Cup (US$246.00)

(images via abeautifulmess.typepad.comthepioneerwoman.comkirtsy.com)
A summer BBQ is the perfect time to bust out a tangy and fruity punch. For an alcoholic option, try a sangria or margarita. For a dessert/drink, a Jell-o shot may be the answer! Some genius also invented the fruit slice Jell-o shot- this one is on my immediate 'to do' list. For an after dinner, non alcoholic drink, ice coffees are so yummy and very easy to DIY, no Starbucks needed!

Looking for an easy, ready to serve option? Get ready to drool with a bevy of yummilicious beverages:

Coors Light Iced T (C$2.35, each), okay get this: beer and iced tea. Yup, that will work. 

Malibu Pina Colada (C$29.95) comes in a large bag with a spout; that's pretty much a party right there isn't it?
Jacob's Creek Moscato (C$10.95) is a light, sparkly white wine that goes great with almost anything. 


As I mentioned above, it isn't necessary to get all fancy with your BBQ food. By using really fresh, tasty, flavourful ingredients your food is going to do all the work itself. Look for fruits and veggies that are in season: tomatoes, avocados, corn, watermelon, am I making you hungry yet? 

A BBQ wouldn't be a BBQ without the classics, I'm talking about hamburgers and hotdogs. A BBQ with these basics and a spread of condiments turns something boring into something new and fun. 

Summer desserts are my absolute favourite. I love how sweet, tart and light they are. A twist on the kid-friendly popsicle or ice cream makes a dessert appropriate for the grown ups and little ones.  

Lavender and Blueberry Ice Cream + Blueberry Crumble 
Watermelon Lime Popsicles
Lemon Soufflés 

I'm not sure why but when summer hits, my go-to dessert is pie. I think it's because you can load them up with summer fruits like strawberries, key limes or lemon. Cute and attractive desserts like these rosebud sugar cookies or pastel macarons decorate a table as well as taste amazing.  
How will you be celebrating summer? Do you have a favourite summer BBQ food or drink?

(additional images via thepioneerwoman.com, hwtm.com)  
More by Alexandra C.
More on Home, Entertaining, Parenting

Facebook Comments


on May 04, 2012  Vlicious  3,810 said:

I'm trying to figure out how to make those jello shots in a lemon or orange....... seriously! that's a fabulous idea!!

on April 30, 2012  cutie_marlena  3,176 said:

I'm wondering if anyone's tried the Coors light iced tea? Doesn't sound too good :-S
Also, "comes in a large bag with a spout; that's pretty much a party right there isn't it?" ...hilarious! lol

on April 30, 2012  fredamans  11,711 said:


on April 28, 2012  fargiemargie13  1,009 said:

Also that tomato salad with avocado looks to die for!

on April 28, 2012  fargiemargie13  1,009 said:

I love the jello oranges.

on April 28, 2012  lisa_amanda40  775 said:

Everything looks so good!!!

on April 28, 2012  LisaDrew  2,063 said:

Everything looks fabulous! I want to be there right now!

on April 27, 2012  GoneBatty  3,196 said:

Well you sure made me hungry and excited for summer with this post! The Pina Colada with the spout is epic for BBQ's! Bring on the Mr. Sun!

on April 26, 2012  shuey  2,784 said:

What a FUN-TAS-TIC article Alex. I love the reciepes. I've saved a few of them already, Who knew there was another use for lemons...lmao
& the watermelon, what an awesome idea; I picked one up yesterday & now I intend to making some popsicles. I know everyone will enjoy them. Love the table ideas too, Keep them coming :)

on April 26, 2012  Becky  13,068 said:

these look sooo amazing! I want to organize a bbq for my friends where we're all gonna kick it back in the sun, play cricket (I dunno how to play either, but I wanna learn!) and eat yummy food. Just waiting for the weather to get warm enough ..

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