Memorial Day is upon us once again! We can almost smell the hot dogs sizzling now—who else is ready to embark on this delightful long weekend?
If there’s one thing you can expect for Memorial Day, it’s a plethora of backyard parties and barbecues. It’s just the American thing to do. As we use this moment to remember those who have fallen while serving our country, we like to celebrate exactly what makes us proud to be Americans.
And there’s no better way to do that than with a backyard Memorial Day party. Call us crazy, but we’re a little bit old-fashioned that way.
How to Throw the Best Backyard Memorial Day Party
If you’re planning on throwing a backyard bash this Memorial Day, chances are you’ve already begun planning your patriotic shindig. But just in case you’re a serial procrastinator or just haven’t gotten around to it yet, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your ultimate checklist for hosting the best backyard party in the neighborhood—because, yes, your party can be perfect (or as close as possible!).
Step 1: The food, duh.
What’s a good party without tasty treats? The first component of any successful soiree is a satisfactory selection of food. We recommend serving up the tried-and-true BBQ favorites—burgers and hot dogs—but spicing things up a bit. Maybe throw some yummy pineapple, veggies, and bratwursts on the grill to beef up the offerings. If you know certain guests have food allergies or restrictions, try to keep them in mind so they feel included.
And don’t forget easy finger foods. You can always ask a few family members to bring an appetizer if you’re feeling overwhelmed—there’s no shame in asking for a little help! You can also outsource the dessert. People love bringing their special recipes and testing them on a hungry crowd… Trust us on this. Just remember to put out the right serving and eating utensils for everything, and you’ll be set.
Step 2: A variety of drinks
Right next to great grub is the need for appropriate beverages. Instead of breaking the bank and stocking your bar with every liquor imaginable, just grab a few of the most popular staples such as vodka and whiskey. The same goes for mixers; keep it simple. You might want to put out some diet soda or juice options for those who are strict about their sugar intake, and, of course, make sure there’s plenty of water for hydration and options for the kids. Then, pick up some easy-to-drink beer (not everyone loves IPAs) and light wines.
If you do want to make your Memorial Day party extra special, you can make a “drink of the party” beforehand. Something like a modified Moscow Mule, fresh sangria, or patriotic punch will always go over well, and it alleviates the stress of having to provide a lot of options.
Step 3: Entertainment
To ensure your guests aren’t just standing around, give them something to do. Fireworks have become a popular Memorial Day activity, but besides the booms, you might want some additional entertainment. Get some yard games going. Corn hole, bocce ball, can jam, and plenty other activities are fun for all ages, and they bring a great energy to the party.
Pro tip: Have some mosquito spray on-hand for those who are especially susceptible to the bugs’ bites. It’d be a shame for people to miss out on a good time because they don’t want to get bit.
Step 4: Ambiance
Behold, the ultimate tip that will elevate your Memorial Day party to a whole new level. Many people painfully ignore ambiance, which is a shame, since it’s very easy to create and makes a huge difference in your guests’ experience. Creating great party ambiance is essentially a combination of three things: music, lighting, and comfort.
To keep the vibe upbeat and fun, music is essential. Have it on in the background to not only fill lulls in conversation but to also get people in a groovin’ mood. You can make your own playlist or use one of Spotify’s premade ones—the platform and its users usually compile playlists for specific holidays (try this one, full of popular hits).
Next up is the lighting situation. To keep your guests from fumbling around in the dark, outdoor lighting is a must. But you won’t want cheap, tacky lighting solutions—you’ll want something stylish that adds to the whole atmosphere. We think post-mount lanterns are perfect for the occasion—they just have that true-American feel. And you really can’t go wrong with lighting that was made in the USA!
Lastly, make guests feel at home with enough seating options. Maybe you’ll need to borrow some of your neighbors’ plastic chairs, or maybe you’ve got some patio couches that fit plenty of people. Either way, just make sure there are places to sit—especially if there will be elderly, pregnant, or disabled people who might need to be seated for the majority of the time.
Step 5: Enjoy yourself!
The last step to the best backyard Memorial Day party is to, yep, you guessed it—have fun. Remind yourself not to get too caught up in hosting that you forget to enjoy your own party. As long as you have the right ingredients—food, drinks, entertainment, and ambiance—your party will practically throw itself.
We hope you found these tips useful and you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend (and party!). We are so grateful for our troops that risk their lives to protect our freedom.