Some spectacular summer memories are made outdoors with family and friends. Skip the restaurant this summer. Invite friends and family to your home for a scrumptious summer BBQ. This guide may make your summer BBQ a smashing success!

Set the Stage: Get your backyard BBQ ready. Read your manual to learn how far your grill should be from your house, patio, trees, and other potentially flammable spots. Get your table ready and consider bringing another table outdoors to set up a buffet. Add plenty of seating options and extra light sources for when the sun goes down. If your neighborhood allows it, build a bonfire and roast s’mores! Looking for more creative ways to arrange your space? Read our post, “How to Decorate for Outdoor Entertaining.”

Choose Your Foods: Will you be serving hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, grilled chicken or all of the above? Choose staples and sides. Consider asking guests to bring their favorite appetizer or dessert.

Plan Activities: Keep everyone entertained with fun lawn games. Set up games like cornhole, horseshoe, croquet, touch football, and wheelbarrow. Some people may choose to play and others may choose to chat. Stuck on games? Read our post, “10 Fun Family Lawn Games for Summer.

Decorate: Assemble festive decorations like lanterns, string lights, and centerpieces. Get creative and set up DIY stations with assorted toppings for salads, corn on the cob, and ice cream sundaes. Add a condiment bar with different types of condiments and dressings. You may also want to create a drink station and a photo booth with fun props like cowboy hats, sunglasses, and boas.

Now that the planning is done, pick up the phone and start inviting friends and family. Get ready to grill and chill.