5 Easy Themes for a Backyard Barbecue

Kath Johnson

Summer has officially started, which means it’s prime time to utilize and entertain in your lush outdoor space. If it’s not already in use, get out your grilling gear and show off those backyard projects you’ve been working on–time to host a backyard barbecue. So, whether it’s a birthday party, special celebration, or just a regular weekend bash you’re hosting this summer, make sure you do so in style. Consider one of these rocking themes to host a simple and fun backyard bash.


Baseball Bash 

Hot dogs on the grill
Hot dogs on the grill

A baseball-themed backyard barbeque is a great way to celebrate a birthday, the big game, or any other barbecue worthy occasion. To have the best baseball-themed backyard bash, make sure you invest in plenty of American classics, like hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie. Grilling is a must for this celebration, so no matter what tasty treats you choose to serve, make sure you center the party around the grill master.

To decorate, add a few baseballs or mitts to a red-checkered table. Toss some ballpark style baskets on the table, and toss a few balls out on the lawn so that the kids can play a game of catch while the older folks finish eating.




Red, white, and blue!
Red, white, and blue!

For a patriotic party, consider decorating and styling your menu in simple reds, whites, and blues. Snow cones, popsicles, and fresh fruit salad are a must for using patriotic colors in your food selection.

Adorn your tables with simple, flag-themed tablecloths and bouquets of red, white, and blue stems–roses, hydrangeas, and tulips–although the opportunities are truly endless. Be sure there are plenty of sparklers to go around, and rock those American anthems all night long.




A rustic backyard celebration is a great way to celebrate a birthday, wedding, or even an anniversary. There are so many ways you can spin this classic theme, including as a barnyard, woodland, or campsite style party, but the one thing they all have in common? They’re sure to be a lot of fun.

The key element to throwing the best rustic party is incorporating multiple elements of nature. Use hay bales, logs, wood slices, burlap, and wooden pallets whenever possible, and use simple ingredients in all of your cooking. Corn on the cob, brisket, and fresh fruit make great menu items for this style of party. Once you have the bonfire going, you can also grill up plenty of s’mores to keep the kids, and kids at heart, content.

Rustic celebrations are great for pulling the mason jar collection out of the attic. You can use these handy glasses as drinking cups, serving containers, and more. Make sure there are plenty of lawn chairs to go around, and be sure to set up some fun, outdoorsy lawn games to keep everyone entertained.




Chips, dips and cold drinks
Chips, dips and cold drinks

A South of the Border inspired party is excellent for celebrating Cinco de Mayo–or any lively celebration. Turn up the heat with spicy dishes like seven layer dip, grilled tacos, and even campfire quesadillas.

Be sure to prepare several pitchers of margaritas and advance, and keep the kids entertained with classic pinatas and other fun yard games. Decorate in bright, natural colors, and be sure to get the stereo going with some festive, upbeat tunes.




You don’t have to live near the ocean in order to host an awesome backyard beach barbeque. For this party, decorate in shades of blue, green, and white, and make sure there are plenty of aquatic activities available for kids of all ages. Slip ‘n Slides, sprinklers, and splash pools are easy to set up on any lawn, but if you don’t have the time or space, consider filling a few buckets of water balloons and arming each attendee with a squirt gun.

For food, serve watermelon on a stick to keep everyone adequately hydrated, or decorate cookies with blue and white frosting. Use mini sand pails and shovels as silverware and holders, and don’t forget to set up a sandbox so that everyone gets a chance to build a sandcastle!

This list is far from comprehensive of the best backyard party themes, but it should get you started this summer as you plan the backyard barbeque of your dreams.


Kath Johnson is a avid gardener and outdoor living writer. When she’s not tending to her organic vegetable garden, she can be found exploring nature by bike or boat.

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