Our family loves summer, but we also enjoy this beautiful almost fall-like weather as well! The mornings are cool while the afternoon and evenings are warm and pleasant. It’s perfect! We still try to get outside as much as possible, spending time together as a family taking walks, grilling out, etc. We also love to entertain and get together with family which is why I loved hearing that Chef Aaron McCargo Jr. (host of Food network’s Big Daddy’s House) teamed up with Family Dollar to offer more reasons to host a summer gathering, more great grilling ideas and more ways to save!
Even though September is now here and we’re getting closer to cooler temps, it’s not too late to continue hosting fun gatherings outside with family an friends. If you enjoy entertaining, here are some party theme ideas you may find useful:
Midsummer Nights Dream: An Outdoor PJ Party
o Adults or Kids – who doesn’t love a good PJ party?
o Fire up the grill a little later than usual, as the guests vote for their favorite PJ outfit
o Once it gets dark, settle in for some spooky ghost stories
o Don’t forget to leave the vents on the grill open for toasting marshmallows
Dog Days of Summer: Bring Your Own Pet
o This time invite the most forgotten party guest of all – the pets!
o Serve a variety of animal-themed treats (puppy chow, anyone?)
o Goodie bags with dog treats are a nice touch
o Just remember to make sure you have the one party supply you might not normally think of – a pooper scooper!
o Use caution in keeping pet outside in hot weather and always make sure they have plenty of water.
Summer Toga Party
o What’s the coolest thing to wear in the summer? Shorts? A tank top? Wrong – A Toga!
o Roll up invitations in a scroll and use an “ancient” font
o Host a Greek potluck – have everyone bring their favorite Greek dish
o Fill wine glasses with water and put floating candles inside them for a nice touch
And, here are some great tips from Chef McCargo when planning your themed get-together!
- Don’t forget the table weights (even if you have to make them yourself). Pinning old, unused keys on tablecloth corners helps them stay in place in case the wind picks up.
- Leave out markers so guests can write their names on their plastic cups. Spice it up by encouraging them to use fake names, then try to guess whose is whose.
- Put stickers on the bottom of several plastic plates before serving time. Once everyone gets their food, give a prize to the guests who (unknowingly) picked up the stickered dishware.
- Keep the games going. Whether it’s kickball for the kids or cornhole for the grown-ups, nothing keeps a party hoppin’ like a little friendly competition.
- Marinate chicken in Glad® freezer bags several hours before grilling it to lock in the flavor.
- Have a sidewalk chalk drawing contest for the kids. Pick up goodies as prizes from Family Dollar. (Hey, you can even get the chalk there, too!)
- Place mini battery-operated fans on the food tables. The moving air makes it impossible for pesky flies to land.
- Turn meat just once onm the grill. For steaks, turn them when the juices start to bubble on the uncooked side (the clearer the juice, the more well done the meat).
- Apply sauces containing honey, brown sugar or molasses during the last 10 minutes of grilling to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Keep a spray bottle handy so you can spritz grill flare ups, which can blacken your food.
Now that you have all the tips and ideas you need to plan the best gathering yet…Chef McCargo and Family Dollar are kindly offering one lucky reader a Spice Up Your Family Fun giveaway package that will include all the essentials for hosting a great summer party! Included will be:
To enter – Simply fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below. If you don’t see the form, click here.
**The products for this review and giveaway were provided for free. However all opinions are my own.