This summer we’ve worked on several amazing landscaping projects including pools, fire pits, rock walls, walkways, patios, & more. Now it’s time to celebrate and show off your backyard landscapes! What better way to do that than with a backyard barbecue with friends and family? Follow these 9 steps to host the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue this summer!

Step 1: Games

There’s a reason games are #1 on the list. Games are a must-have for a summer barbecue. Make sure you have a variety too! Choose some games that will get people moving and some that can be enjoyed sitting down.

  • Horseshoes
  • Badminton
  • Volleyball
  • Cornhole
  • Wiffleball
  • Frisbee
  • Cards

Step 2: Cooling Off

It’s gonna be hot! Make sure both kids and adults can keep cool with water-activities. While having a pool is ideal, your backyard barbecue will still be awesome with a few items on the list below.

Step 3: Food

You can’t overlook the food when hosting a backyard barbecue. While the classic burgers and hotdogs will do the trick, there’s a lot of room to get creative with this summer. Pro-Trick: prepare as much food as you can before the party (for maximum relaxation)! Take a look on Pinterest for some great recipes to try.


  • Burgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Pulled Pork
  • Ribs
  • Shish-kabobs


  • Grilled Corn
  • Grilled Veggies
  • Summer Salads
  • Pasta Salads



  • Chips, pretzels & crackers
  • Dips
  • Tortillas, Salsa & Guacamole
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Fresh vegetables

Step 4: Drinks

Backyard barbecues are prime-time for you favorite summer drinks. Take a look at Pinterest for refreshing recipes for everyone’s taste. You can also use this website called Cocktail Builder for ideas – enter the ingredients you have and find out what drinks you can whip up. Don’t forget plenty of ice, coolers, and cups! Please drink responsibly.

Step 5: Invitations

We’re only halfway done, but this is a good spot to take a break. Now that you have the games, water activities, food and drinks ready to go, it’s time to prepare awesome invitations. Summer gets busy, so you’ll want to tell friends and family about your barbecue in advance.


Create a Facebook Event

If you’re savvy with Facebook, you can make an event to promote your backyard barbecue to all your virtual friends. This gives you a great platform to communicate with guests and answer any questions.

Send Invitations through Snail Mail

Although we’re using the US Mail less and less, it does serve its purpose. Design an invitation online at and mail them out yourself for a more personal touch.

Step 6: Fire

If you have a fire pit built by J. Kramer Landscaping, now is the time to put it to the test! Get it ready for your backyard barbecue by giving it a clean sweep, stocking up on marshmallows and chocolate, and be sure to gather sticks and firewood for the ultimate summer evening.

  • Firewood
  • Chairs / seating
  • Sticks for marshmallows
  • Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores
  • A hose close by to extinguish the fire

Step 7: Outdoor Lighting

As the sun sets, your guests will be more inclined to stay if you have landscape lighting in place. Make sure that walkways and seating areas are illuminated. You have a lot of options to choose from here. If you want J. Kramer to set up landscape lighting for you, please get in touch with us a few weeks in advance.

  • Oil lamps
  • Tiki torches
  • Citronella candles
  • Solar lights
  • LED landscape lighting
  • String lights / rope lights
  • Flood lights

Step 8: Music

Music is a must! Pickup your smartphone, tablet, or laptop and pick a good station from your favorite internet music app. Pandora is a great choice, and you can get a free-trial of Pandora One (premium version without ads) to use for your backyard barbecue. Pair this with a quality bluetooth speaker and you’re all set.

wireless speaker- photo

Photo by 246-You

Wireless Bluetooth Speakers

Step 9: Landscaping

Your property should be in pristine condition before your backyard barbecue. Give us a call to clean it up and get your backyard ready!


  • Clean your pool
  • Clean your patio and walkways
  • Cut your grass
  • Trim bushes & trees
  • Weed
  • Cleanup flower and landscape beds

Start Planning Your Backyard Barbecue Today

Follow those 9 steps and you will host the ultimate backyard barbecue this summer. For help with landscaping or lighting, give J. Kramer Landscaping a call at 973-948-7035. Thanks for reading – now go get started!