Enjoying a gathering outdoors out in the summertime is one of the best perks of the good weather. However, preparing the logistics of a cookout and cooking that large amount of food can be overwhelming, especially without additional help. But with a bit of planning beforehand, it can make a big difference in making that next cookout extra special.
To help you get started, here’s a simple guide to refer to help in your planning.
Who Are You Planning to Invite?
The first step to a cookout is figuring out who exactly is coming. Having a guest list will help with deciding on a date and time, an appropriate location, and even the amount and type of food that should be prepared. It is therefore important to figure out who you want to reach out to, whether or not you will have the capacity to host all of them at once and if it would be helpful to create opportunities for multiple events.
When Are You Planning to Host the Cookout?
In the summer, there are many different festivals like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Father’s Day, and Labor Day that provide a great reason to gather and celebrate. However, it can be just as fun to host a cookout just because! However, the date that you choose to go for can affect the decorations that you choose to put up or even your choice of food and drinks. More importantly, it is important to consider the timing of the cookout. A cookout in the afternoon may be subjected to extreme heat whereas it can be chilly later in the evening. This will play a big part in the area that you choose to host the cookout and whether or not any structures providing shade should be set up as well.
What Is on Your Menu?
Once you have decided on everything else, it is then important to get started on the menu. In fact, this will require the most preparation leading up to the cookout day itself. Our recommendation is to stick to offering mostly comfort foods that your community has tried, tested, and loved. This means having options like mac and cheese, hot dogs, and burgers. Where possible, opt to provide healthier dishes like salad or low-fat options where possible. It is important also to offer options that are not packed full of spice and chili as some people may not be able to handle it.
On top of food, it is also good to consider If you should provide entertainment options. This can be as simple as preparing some music over the sound system and setting out some board games to hiring specialized entertainment. Making sure that you have interesting options will ensure that your guests are all enjoying themselves without you having to constantly hover and engage them individually.
Cookouts are one of the many community events that we offer in our senior living community at GreenTree At Westwood. Instead of having to worry about all the logistics and planning, our team members will take care of everything – all you need to do is show up and enjoy!