It’s officially HOT. In fact, most of the country had temperatures in the 80s and 90s this weekend. The increased temps combined with school being out make it feel like Summer is here; and with it, comes backyard BBQs, potluck meals with friends and families, and long hot days. Especially coming out of lockdown from the past year with Covid-19, the opportunity to spend time with friends and family feels magical. We’re not taking it for granted.

Today’s post is on our favorite Backyard BBQ Essentials. Our favorite items to help you have the best summer nights with your loved ones. Check out the list below and start planning your own get together today!

5. Potluck-Style Food + Drinks

It’s a given that you’ll need great food and drink for a successful backyard soiree. We love planning BBQs potluck-style. Ask friends and family to each contribute a dish to help make it easier on the host to plan and prep all the food. For the main dish, you can't go wrong with some burgers and hotdogs. Or, try making shish kebab skewers to mix it up. For side dishes, we love a refreshing green salad, some fresh fruit, or a pasta salad.

Check out these summer side dish recipes for more ideas. Add some chips and dip, a veggie dish and a dessert and you’re golden! Make a refreshing sangria or summer mocktail to go with it.

Family Eating at a Potluck Style BBQ

Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

4. Reusable Plates and Dishware

To kick-off your summer of BBQs and get togethers, ditch the plastic one-time-use utensils and invest in cute reusable dinnerware. Not only will you be more environmentally conscious, you’ll also save money in the long run. The average set of disposable plates costs far more than the cost of water to wash dishes. Looking for some cute dinnerware options?

We love these Reusable Plastic sets from Target. For just fifty cents a piece, these are a score! 

Reusable Plates and Dishware

Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

3. It’s Hot - Add Some Water!

With the high temperatures, it’s important to add some water activities to your event to stay cool; especially if you have kids. Get a cheap mini plastic pool or throw some sprinklers on and let the kids run around. We also love slip-in-slides or even a water balloon fight!

No matter how you decide to incorporate water into your event, make sure you’re looking stylish and supported in your HAPARI swimsuit. We love the Sport Tankini Top, the High-Neck Tankini or the Tank Tankini Top for a full coverage, supportive top that’s great for chasing the kids around in or running through the sprinklers.

Little Girl Playing with Water Ballons

Photo by Georgia Maciel from Pexels

2. Don’t Forget the Ambiance

Next up, add some fun summer decor items to your backyard BBQ. We love colorful tablecloths (pick up a reusable one form your local dollar store for a cheap find!), candles, flowers for the table, and outdoor lighting (we love these outdoor string lights for $15 from Amazon).

Make sure everyone has a space to sit at the table and throw a blanket on the grass for the kids. You’re all set for a beautiful, fun outdoor summer evening!

Cup of Tea with lemon slices on a  wood Tray

Photo by Кристина Александрова from Pexels

1. Games and Activities

Last but not least, plan some fun activities to do! We love setting up a friendly game of corn hole or trying a new game like bocce ball, horse shoes, or wiffle ball. If you have enough room in the backyard, or live near a park, try a pick-up game of baseball, soccer, or basketball. Nothing makes food taste better than getting some exercise in and some sweat on!

Man Playing Horseshoes Game

Photo by Laura Stanley from Pexels

Ready for more lifestyle articles, product features and healthy living tips? Check out the other articles in our HAPARI blog. We include special product spotlights, healthy eating and fitness advice, and exclusive insider deals on our swimwear.

Header Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels