Summer is almost over, but there is still time left to end it the right way with a last-minute BBQ party. Let’s say the original host got sick and couldn’t have everyone over, or the day was so nice you wanted to invite people over. Even without much preparation time, you can throw a great BBQ party. The nice thing about these parties is that they’re casual, only requiring good food and good company. But good food doesn’t have to involve a lot of preparation, and some of it is cooked while your guests are gathered around. Here are the top three things you need for the Perfect end of the summer BBQ:

Easy food ideas

Prepared foods are the complete go to when it comes to last-minute parties. A quick trip to the grocery store should solve a majority fo your needs. For appetizers, grab some chips and dip, fruit and potato salad along with the right spices for convenience. Toss chips in a bowl, and you’re done with hors d’oeuvres. Grocery stores stock marinated meats and fish, hamburger patties, packages of hot dogs and even ready-to-grill kebabs. The deli section has cole slaw and potato salad, as well as pre-washed lettuce for a quick salad.  A few bags of ice for the drink cooler are helpful for keeping people outside the house during the party.

Spontaneous entertainment

Screenery check, the sun already provides all the light you need and backdrop. For the kids, bring out the sidewalk chalk and let them create masterpieces. Ask them to make a gallery of art or work together on a driveway mural. Get the kids moving by having them race, play hide and seek or a casual basketball tournament. With adults and kids, hold a hula hooping contest, or see who can blow the biggest bubbles. Put on some tunes and hold a freeze-dance contest, or see who knows all the lyrics to a given song. If it’s really hot, the kids might enjoy a slip-and-slide on the grass, and a few adults might even take a turn.

Easy clean-up

Don’t forget about the paper plates, disposable cups and plastic silverware. With those, you won’t have to worry about washing dishes all night after a long, fun day with friends. Keeping a stash of party supplies at your house makes last-minute gatherings less stressful.  Disposable table cloths are a great option, too. Bring trash and recycling containers outside in a spot conspicuous enough that people will use it, but not so close to the food that it attracts flies. That makes party clean-upquick, and means you’re not the only one doing it!

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to throw a Last Minute BBQ party when you realize there’s not much preparation needed. A good attitude, some easy foods and good weather mean happy and satisfied friends.

Keep your BBQ’s lit all summer. Click here for more tips, tricks and recipes. 

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