This is the weekend to get together with family and friends and honor those who have fought for our freedom.
In addition to being a powerful holiday dedicated to remembering those who gave their lives defending our country, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer. And it’s the perfect opportunity to host the first cookout of the year.
If you are the person in your circle of family and friends that everyone looks to for a great Memorial Day cookout, you probably already have a pretty strong grasp on the basics. You’ve been doing hamburgers and hotdogs with soda and beer for years. You might even have a fire pit or badminton set ready to go.
But hasn’t all that been done before? Heck, didn’t you do exactly that just last year?
In order to really impress your friends and family this weekend, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to make this year’s cookout the best one they’ve ever been to!
Upgrade the Food
The first step in upgrading your basic cookout is to add a few foods that your guests won’t be expecting. It’s not that there is necessarily anything wrong with burgers and dogs, but what would your reaction be if you showed up expecting that and instead were treated to BBQ chicken, ribs, or pulled pork?
Whether you are ordering out or cooking yourself, each of these items are just as easy, but will add a unique element that will definitely upgrade your spread. For bonus points, you might also want to consider investing in a smoker and really taking the time to make some really elite BBQ foods!
Upgrade the Beverages
Falling in line right behind the food is the idea that you probably stock up on exactly the same sodas and beers each and every year. How about sprucing up your drink menu with a featured cocktail this year? There are thousands of creative cocktail recipes available completely free of charge on the web.
You might also want to consider picking up a few unique bottles of wine for your guests to sample. Chances are, they don’t know much more about wine than you do, so ask the experts at your local store to recommend a few bottles that would make for an interesting tasting.
Upgrade the Music
If you don’t already have plans to liven up your cookout with some festive music, that’s a great place to start upgrading your fiesta. But you can also look into changing the type of music you are playing to accommodate your guests. Think about what they might enjoy and customize a Pandora channel or Spotify playlist that is perfect for the “audience".
Upgrade the Seating
While many cookouts are able to knock it out of the park when it comes to food, beverages, and music, so many of those parties fall short when it comes to where they expect everyone to sit while enjoying those things. Don’t make that mistake!
Memorial Day is the best weekend of the entire year to run out to your local home improvement store to stock up on some outdoor seating. Not only will all the big stores be running specials, you’ll also get to enjoy your purchases all summer long!
Upgrade the Atmosphere
While you are at the home improvement store, keep an eye out for any plants or flowers that might add something to your patio. Even the slightest changes and splashes of color can completely transform your outdoor space and dramatically upgrade your cookout.
Upgrade the Competition
That old badminton set might have been plenty of fun back in 1994, but there are tons of other backyard games to choose from today. Check out your local sporting goods store for fun ideas.
Upgrade the Memories
The last way to really upgrade your Memorial Day cookout is to find a creative way to help everyone remember what a great time they had. Ask all of your guests to document their experience by taking photos and videos with their smart phones and sharing them with you on Facebook.
Of course, the key to having a great cookout is to have great people to spend time with. But if you are already having some great people over, make this year a truly remarkable experience?
Happy Memorial Day from your friends at the Villages of Citrus Hills!