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The Best End-of-Summer BBQ Party Ideas

August 27, 2021

Two burgers are laid out on a bar with ketchup behind them.

As summer comes to a sizzling end, take your last chance for a BBQ blow out! From a flavor-filled burger buffet to a crave-worthy hot dog bar, give your grilling favorites their last hurrah. This list has everything you need to make your Labor Day Weekend the best ever with our top bbq party ideas including grill recipes, side dishes, desserts, even DIY yard games the whole family will love. Plus, we’ve even made room for a little magic: match your sun sign to your summertime recipe to find the perfect cookout food fit for you.

A Hot Dog and Burger Bar

Update the burger vs dog debate with a hot dog buffet and burger bar! Friends and family can build their dream dog or burger with all their favorite fixings. Load up a baking tray with freshly grilled dogs, burgers, and veggie patties, then use ramekins or small paper cups to create a “bar” of toppings, sauces, and more. Pre-prep the toppings the night before for an even faster kitchen-to-picnic table set-up!

Here’s some inspiration to build your bar:

A Recipe Match Made in the Stars

You don’t need to be into astrology to enjoy these dishes! Learn a little more about your sign and see if it matches your favorite flavors with this guide. Find the sign your birthdate falls in to meet your match.

A graphic shows each star sign with an illustration of their corresponding recipe.

Aries (3/21-4/19)

Fiery Aries never backs down: so they’ll love this spicy, kicky BBQ burger. 

Taurus (4/20-5/20)

All-or-nothing Taurus can appreciate that these loaded hot dogs are topped with all the textures and tastes of summer. 

Gemini (5/21-6/20)

Charismatic Geminis (known as the “twins”) can enjoy this simple buffalo chicken recipe smoked *or* grilled. 

Cancer (6/21-7/22)

Cancers are known to love comfort, so they’ll love these classic, delicious sweet potato fries during their birthday season! 

Leo (7/23-8/22)

Leo loves a bit of attention, and these eye-grabbing, bright pops are the perfect “look at me” treat! 

Virgo (8/23-9/22)

Friendly and organized Virgo will love the complementary, complex flavors of this sweet and refreshing salad. 

Libra (9/23-10/22)

Loving Libra knows how to keep the peace, so these crowd-pleasing sweet potato sliders are the ideal fit. 

Scorpio (10/23-11/21)

This shrimp ceviche is bursting with more flavor than meets the eye...just like enigmatic Scorpio!

Sagittarius (11/22-12/21)

Truthful and loyal Sag never settles: so serve up these savory and smoky grilled kabobs with unsweetened BBQ sauce. 

Capricorn (12/22-1/19)

With their eye on the prize and a busy to-do list, these 2-ingredient tasty potatoes are the perfect flavor for fast-paced Caps. 

Aquarius (1/20-2/18)

Free-spirited and easy-going Aquarians will love this unexpected anytime snack with a kick of creamy flavor. 

Pisces (2/19-3/20)

Dreamy Pisces can dive into a summer sipper full of unexpected, fantastical flavor and color that’s as imaginative as them! 

Sizzle-Worthy Sides

Stumped on sides? These dishes steal the show with flavor and simple, easy-to-follow directions.

Vegan Coleslaw with Apples 

Balsamic Roasted vegetables 

Air-Fryer Potato Wedges

A tray is lined with paper with air fryer potato wedges and a ramekin of ketchup on it.

Gram-Ready Desserts

Don’t skip dessert! These photogenic sweet treats help you keep your cool.

Avocado Ice Cream Sandwiches 

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Matcha Ice Cream 

A bowl of matcha ice cream sits on a counter with matcha powder behind it.

DIY Yard Games

Relax and unwind with a little friendly competition between happy campers.

Cardboard Cornhole:

Carefully cut a hole in the center of a cardboard box. Place the box, hole facing up, standing on the flaps. Cut a diagonal line from the middle of the side to the bottom. The hole should be facing up, supported by the cut diagonal lines. Fill balloons with rice or water and tie off to throw in. Let the games begin!

‘Fridge Fish:

Repurpose fridge magnets in this sweet game little ones will love. Use packing tape to attach a ribbon or string to the end of an unsharpened pencil. On the opposite end of the string, attach a magnet. Scatter magnets (magnet side up!) at the bottom of bucket with water to go fishin’.

Backyard Bowl:

Don’t let single use plastics go to waste! Add water or rice to 6 bottles (feeling creative? Break out the paints and make them into bowling pins!) and use any ball to knock ‘em down.

Ready to Make It?

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