Creative Themes for Your Summer Cookout

Need an excuse to gather friends and family for the ultimate outdoor eating extravaganza? Pump up your plans by incorporating one of these unexpected themes that’ll offer imaginative and festive cookout inspiration.

Everything’s Better at the Beach

You might not have the ocean at your doorstep, but you can certainly bring beach vibes to your backyard. Set up several kiddie pools and either fill with inexpensive beach balls and water, or sand and sand toys. Choose colorful plates with eye catching decoration to scatter on the table. Suggest swimwear for kids and age appropriate water toys, too. Keep the food simple and easy to eat like hot dogs, kabobs, and popsicles.


The Fourth of July and red, white, and blue go together. But any summer gathering is excuse enough to celebrate your country. Set up a special menu that reflects a certain region (serving Tex-Mex? Chicago dogs?). Trail streamers in the color trio down each table and tie on chair backs, too. Serve cherry pie for dessert and have a custom playlist going all throughout the day to keep the party going strong.


Fun with Food

Think about all the fun ways you can theme food—and then theme a party around it. Everything on a stick? It’s great for grilled mini sliders, brownie bites, and cut-up fruit. How about little plates? Serve a table filled with appetizers, cheeses, and other pint-size edibles. Or choose your favorite ethnic food and create party décor and a cookout menu centered on those specific cultural flavors.

Outdoor Games

Hosting parties is hard when you’re trying to please different age groups and tastes. With an outdoor game theme, you can offer a little something for everyone. Go old fashioned with potato-sack races, hopscotch and four square or set up card tables for checkers and board games. On casual nights like these, take a low-key approach to décor and food—sandwiches, salads, even pizza ordered in or cooked on the grill . Want more? Host the perfect cookout with these tips!!