Cookout season is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited. We love nothing more than firing up the grill under some fun string lights while dining al fresco. Here are just a few of our tips on making your cookout that much more fun!

Actually spend some time to set and design the table. Forage in your own garden and pull out some of your found items to make it that much more homey. I love to style sweet blooms effortless in a pitcher or use kitchen towels for napkins. Putting extra thought into the table, will make your cookout that much more special while remaining approachable at the same time. Lauren & Abby Ross Photography of Dorianne and Jordan’s Welcome Party in Calistoga

Roll out your bar cart, stock up on the ingredients for your signature summer beverage or simply have a cooler ready of your tried and true favorites. Easy yet crowd pleasing options are always things like rose or beer, but when entertaining, we love to go the extra mile by offering something a bit more thoughtful like a Mezcal Paloma or Aperol Spritz. Add some fresh blooms or brightly colored fruit to make it extra festive.

Image from Desmond Faison of Stephen’s Glamping Getaway

Nothing says outdoor cooking like using your grill! We love to create an entire menu around this outdoor kitchen tool. While burgers and hot dogs are always no brainers, I personally love to go a bit more unexpected with grilled salmon with a chimichurri sauce. I love to pair it with a beautiful summer pasta made with grilled corn, parmesan and light olive oil, and I never forget the grilled peaches. Grilled fresh fruit pairs beautifully with honey and feta to create a super fresh and light summer salad. After you finish grilling don’t forget to add some sage to fire pit or warm grill to make sure the outdoor bugs don’t crash your backyard party.

Image from Steve Steinhardt of Jaime and Wes’s Beach BBQ

If you have a pool in your backyard make your pool time fun for the kids and for the grownups by throwing in some floats to the pool, which can also double as decor because who doesn’t need a flamingo float in their pool? If you’re hosting a more active crowd, water volleyball or a water basketball net are always fun to incorporate.

Lauren & Abby Ross Photography from Olivia & Freddy’s Welcome Party in Sardinia

Lawn games can be as simple as setting out a deck of cards or a basket with frisbees or we also love corn hole, connect four and giant Jenga which can be played for hours or just a few minutes at a time, depending on your crowd.

Image by Max and Friends from Pardis and Aidan’s Welcome Party in Napa

No summer cookout would be complete without a sweet treat. Whether it’s ice cream and cookies or you fire the grill back up for S’mores, never let the guest leave without a bit of sugar to end the night.

As the day winds down, be sure to be prepared for guests a few guests to linger into the evening by installing market lights, having baskets of blankets or even lighting up an outdoor fire pit. We even love to keep a guitar laying around in case anyone wants to break into a fireside jam session.

Image by Steve Steinhardt at Hillary and Jonathan’s Wedding in Palm Springs

We made an easy to follow Amazon shopping list for anything you may not already have in your home.

Enjoy and let us know how it goes! Feel free to tag us on Instagram with #celebrateathomeBHE to share. We’d love to see how you’re celebrating!