The weather's warming up, the bugs are out in full swing, and kids are sticking around the house for summer break. All that can only mean one thing: Memorial Day is just around the corner!
Memorial Day is the ultimate, all-American holiday. Celebrated on the last Monday of May, it holds tons of significance. The most important thing is that it's a day to honor the brave men and women who died serving in the United States military. It's about respecting those who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom.
How do we celebrate that freedom? Through a good, old-fashioned cookout! Despite its purpose, Memorial Day is anything but melancholy. It's a day of celebration and is usually the kickoff to the summer season!
Ready for some festivities to remember? Follow these tips to have the ultimate backyard bash!
Stock Up on Booze and Beverages
What cookout is complete without some good drinks?
The sky's the limit here, and what you stock up on largely depends on who will attend. You'll likely have a healthy mix of adults who want to let loose and kids running around like maniacs! A good host will have something for everyone.
Stock up staples like soda and sweet tea. Realistically, anything cold will do. Provide plenty of variety, and don't forget to have some juice boxes on hand for the kiddos.
Once you have all the non-alcoholic drinks set out, you can focus on the booze! You don't have to get super fancy here. Beer is a fundamental choice, and it'll certainly fit the bill for most. However, you can also go for simple drinks like sangria for those looking for something sweeter.
Make Sure You Have Good Grub
You can't have a Memorial Day cookout without the cooking part! Food is the main reason most people come to these things. Sure, the company is excellent, and the games are fun.
But let's be honest: Food is the biggest draw for many of your guests. Let's not disappoint!
There's no end to what you can cook and serve, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Here's the thing about Memorial Day cookouts: the process of cooking the main course is a big deal. We'll get into that soon. The critical thing to remember is that you'll have hungry guests until the main event is ready.
What's the best way to hold people over until then? Appetizers!
Finger foods are the name of the game, and providing plenty of variety can win over even the most discerning food critic. You want people to pile the food on those red plastic plates and chow down as they have fun.
Get a rainbow of chip flavors and accompanying dips. Fruit and veggie platters, cheese plates, and even charcuterie boards can go a long way. Of course, you can get creative, too.
Turn classic standbys into snackable appetizers. You can whip up some mac and cheese, prepare salad, cook up pigs in a blanket, and so much more.
The Main Staples
Memorial Day is the embodiment of summer fun. What better way to revel in the heat than firing up the grill?
You can't go wrong with grilling favorites. We're talking about juicy hamburgers, steaming hotdogs, and delicious brats. Those foods are pretty easy to prepare.
Set up a whole condiments table, and everyone can customize their meals how they want.
If you're looking to go above and beyond, try cooking up some barbecue! Slap some chicken quarters on the fire, let a brisket smoke all day long, and work hard to perfect mouthwatering ribs. Memorial Day is a fantastic opportunity to flex your grilling skills.
Let the spices waft through the air, and you're sure to be the cookout to beat on your block.
Cover Food Allergies and Diets
What's the quickest way to ruin the fun? It's by not having food options that cater to everyone's needs. That's why having variety is so crucial to the success of a Memorial Day cookout.
People have allergies and special diets. You might have some vegetarians and vegans who don't want anything to do with the meat on the grill. You could also have some non-gluten folks or those who can't touch the cheese.
Be mindful of people's needs and cover the basics. Offering a healthy variety of foods ensures that everyone can enjoy the fun.
Line Up Some Tunes
Great music will get the fun going. Once people start downing drinks, they'll want something to dance to and cut loose!
You don't have to create a full-blown dance floor, but having some background music everyone enjoys goes a long way in setting the mood. Pick up some outdoor speakers and create a playlist for non-stop tunes!
The best music to play are universally loved jams. Try some smooth summer jazz, classic rock, or even Top 40 hits. Don't be afraid to throw in some patriotic songs to remind everyone of the reason for the celebration.
Have friends who know how to perform? Invite them over for a live show! Live music on Memorial Day hits differently. Everyone's letting loose and having a blast. A live concert is just the thing to take the fun to a whole new level.
Grab Your Games
At this point, you should already have the perfect recipe for a memorable backyard bash. The only thing that can make it better is games!
Pick up some yard games and set them up throughout the cookout space. Create little corners of fun and live out your carnival fantasy!
Most outdoor games are simple enough. You can go with the classic cornhole boards or try something unique like ladder ball or ultimate frisbee!
For the adults, set up card games and drinking games. Beer pong anyone?
Whatever you choose, these games will keep people occupied well into the evening.
Get All Your Cookout Needs with Lovd
Throwing a Memorial Day cookout is a lot of work, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune! Hit up the Lovd marketplace to find everything you need. From serveware for all the food to used backyard games you'll play for hours, it's all here!
Check out the app and see what you can find! Delivery only takes 24 hours, so you can start setting up in no time.
Start your summer off right! Your Memorial Day celebrations can start some amazing traditions, setting the stage for many fun cookouts to come. Make it a smash!