Some Show-Stopping Ideas For Your Summer Barbecue

Some of summer's best memories may be of the backyard barbecues and parties that bring family and friends together. Make your event a little different by doing something that will awe and surprise your guests. These summertime suggestions don't have to cost a lot of money and are simple to execute.

Some summertime show-stoppers for your barbecue are:

Create magic with dry ice. Visit a vendor like United City Ice Cube for dry ice to give your barbecue some flair. Dry ice should be handled with care, and you should not touch or consume it. Use dry ice around your buffet to keep cool dishes and salads chilled, and to create a magical fog that will intrigue your guests.

Cool down in a fun way. Construct your very own slip-and-slide to cool down guests on a hot day. Invest in a couple inexpensive vinyl tarps and secure them on a smooth surface with tent or garden stakes. Use a garden hose or sprinkler to keep the vinyl wet and to provide the slippery slide surface.

Make a movie memorable. Base your barbecue around a particular movie and project it on the side of your house, garage, or a flat wall. It is easy to project movies using a computer and a movie projector; hang a solid, light-colored sheet or tarp on the surface for a clear projection.

Concoct a custom cocktail. Make your event memorable with your own signature cocktail. Try garnishing the drink with a small chunk of dry ice to create a dramatic presentation. Go with something that utilizes the fresh fruits or produce of the season, like a cucumber margarita or a berry rum punch, and make by the pitcher to keep serving simple.

Hire a food truck. Save money on caterers and get away from the hot grill—hire a food truck! Food trucks in many regions are willing to service parties, barbecues, and functions, and often the costs are much lower than a caterer. Also, this frees up the hosts' time to spend with their guests.

Give something away. Bring your party to a close by giving something away. Give a great door prize to someone that attended your function, and send guests home on a high-note. Consider something that will appeal to a wide range of guests, such as a gift card, fruit basket, or even cash.

Make the most of your summer barbecue by treating family and friends to something special. Try these tips to create a show-stopper at your next party, and create lasting memories that guests will remember long after.