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20 BBQ Party Ideas for Adults That Are Easy to Plan

BBQ parties are a great way to get together with friends and family. Whether it’s an intimate gathering or a larger celebration, there are plenty of BBQ party ideas to make your event a hit.

From classic BBQ favorites to creative twists, this list of 20 BBQ party ideas for adults is sure to have something for everyone.

Top 20 BBQ themes to consider

With good food and even better company, BBQs are a great way to celebrate any occasion with friends and family. Planning for a barbecue party can be fun and exciting, but it doesn’t have to involve hours of preparation. 

Here are 20 easy-to-plan ideas for your BBQ bash:

Traditional country BBQ 

A popular option for any summertime gathering, this classic BBQ theme offers the perfect combination of comfort and fun. 

Start by serving up mouth-watering meats like ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and hot dogs. Accompany your meal with a variety of side dishes, such as coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and cornbread.

Backyard movie night BBQ

Twist up the traditional backyard BBQ by organizing a movie night. Before dusk, fire up the grill and get your guests to help out with food prep. Then, when it’s dark enough, move everyone outside for an outdoor movie screening under the stars. 

Find a trusted outdoor movie screen rental company to provide the equipment, then pick a movie that appeals to your guests. Don’t forget to provide comfy blankets and cushions for extra comfort. 

Western BBQ party

Supply cowboy hats, bandanas, and vests to your guests. Serve hotdogs wrapped in tortillas with all the toppings of your choice. You can also play some country music and have a hoe-down dance. 

BBQ pool party

For some good summer fun, a BBQ pool party is the perfect way to enjoy your get-together.

Prepare delicious grilled dishes paired with refreshing drinks, and let your guests lounge in the pool. Don’t forget to put up some vibrant decorations around the area and fill it with upbeat music.

Sports-themed BBQ party

One of the best barbecue party ideas is to have a sports-themed gathering. You can even sync it with a particular sporting event, such as the Super Bowl or World Cup. Set up TVs around your BBQ area and ask people to wear their favorite team’s colors.

If you’re in LA, Rent for Event provides high-quality outdoor screens and sound systems, making your sports-themed party even more of a success.

Holiday hurrahs

Make your BBQ a holiday celebration! Create a festive atmosphere with decorations and special foods. 

Enjoy traditional dishes from the season, like smoked brisket for Independence Day or slow-cooked ribs for Memorial Day. Let your guests bring their own favorite holiday treats to share.

Hawaiian luau BBQ

Throw a classic Hawaiian luau BBQ for your friends. Stock up on island-themed decorations, such as tiki torches and hula skirts for all the guests. Serve traditional recipes like Kalua pork, poke bowls, teriyaki chicken, and grilled pineapple slices.

Mexican fiesta

Get creative with your decorations, including cacti, sombreros, and ponchos. Serve dishes like tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, and chips. 

You can even have guests make their own tacos at the grill or create their own nachos with a nacho bar. Moreover, spice up the evening by playing festive Latin music!

Mediterranean grill party

Mediterranean food is another cuisine that you can easily incorporate into a BBQ party. Mediterranean grill party ideas, such as kebabs, grilled chicken, and grilled vegetables, can all be cooked outdoors. Add in some meze platters with hummus for a flavorful summer BBQ party. 

BBQ and bourbon soiree

Another great BBQ party ideas for adults involve combining two classic favorites: BBQ and bourbon. Set up a whiskey bar with different varieties of bourbons, as well as beer and wine for those who aren’t bourbon fans. 

Serve the traditional BBQ staples, such as pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket sliders, and ribs. For sides, offer sweet potato fries or coleslaw to round out the meal.

Around the world BBQ

Why limit yourself when you can enjoy all the BBQ party food ideas available? Take your guests around the world with an international-themed BBQ party. 

Serve up grilled dishes from various countries, such as Japanese Yakitori, Hungarian Szalonnasütés, Argentinian Asado, and Indonesian Satay. Have fun with your recipes and use them as an opportunity to teach your guests about different cultures.

Summer garden party BBQ

Turn your backyard into a summer oasis by setting up an outdoor bar, stringing lights through the trees, and creating fun activities for guests. Serve a variety of light snacks, like veggie skewers, and refreshing cocktails made with fresh fruits and herbs. 

80s retro party

Ah, the 80s. Reminisce the good, old times with a retro-themed BBQ party. 

Set the vibes with 80s music, decorate the area in bright neon colors, and serve up classic snacks from that era like Sloppy Joes and Kool-Aid. For an extra dose of nostalgia, why not try to dress up in some iconic 80s outfits? 

Fire and ice BBQ

Create a symphony of fire and ice with a BBQ party that includes sizzling hot dishes and icy cold drinks. Serve up burgers, steaks, grilled veggies, chili-spiced chips, and some cool treats like gelato or popsicles. 

BBQ brunch

A BBQ brunch party is one of the most straightforward backyard barbecue ideas you can do.

Start the party off right by serving up a delicious spread of breakfast favorites, like pancakes and bacon, alongside lunch fares, such as burgers and hot dogs. For dessert, top it all off with an amazing fruit platter or some homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Rustic picnic BBQ

Picture a rustic picnic in the park, complete with blankets and baskets filled to the brim with delicious food. Create an old-fashioned barbecue atmosphere by serving up classic dishes like hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salads, and coleslaw. 

You can also add some fun decorations, such as wildflowers or fairy lights, for a cozy feel. Make sure to check out other gorgeous cookout decor ideas to create an unforgettable outdoor atmosphere and keep your guests entertained.

Steakhouse BBQ

For meat lovers, there’s nothing better than a steakhouse-style BBQ. 

Make sure your menu features high-quality steaks, chicken, and b

urgers, plus sides like macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, or coleslaw. Offer condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and horseradish to give guests some variety. 

Burger bonanza

Another option for a great summer BBQ party is to host a burger bonanza! Create an array of different burgers for your guests to try and let them pick their favorite. 

Don’t forget the condiments – these can really make the burgers pop. Serve up some classic sides like potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans to complete the meal.

Carnival extravaganza

Carnivals are always a hit for both adults and children and setting up a mini carnival for your BBQ party is an excellent way to get everyone involved. 

Set up classic carnival games like a ring toss, lawn darts, or a ladder toss. You can even create your own mini-golf course. For added fun, print out tickets with each game so that the one who wins the games can receive prizes at the end of the night.

S’mores camping party

If you’re looking for a fun and easy outdoor party idea, why not throw a s’mores camping party? All you need is some graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and fire pits. 

Gather around the bonfire to roast marshmallows and make delicious s’mores — it’s the perfect way to end the night.

Fun BBQ game ideas

Aside from thinking about the food and decor, you should also plan for some fun activities at your BBQ party. Here are five great game ideas to make it a blast for everyone:


Charades are a classic BBQ party game that never gets old. Split into two teams, and take turns guessing what the other player or team is acting out. The game is easy to play, and it’s a great way to get the party started. 

Flip cup

Classic beer pong is a fun game to play and is always a hit at outdoor BBQ parties. Set up two teams and have them race to see who can drink their cup of beer the fastest and then flip it over first.

Murder mystery

Up the ante at your next BBQ by adding a murder mystery into the mix. Guests can take on roles and figure out who committed a faux crime. You can even add in some fun props to make it more exciting. 

Scavenger hunt

Spice up your BBQ party with a scavenger hunt! Hide items around the backyard, such as picnic plates or utensils, and have guests search for them. The first to find all of the hidden objects wins a prize.

BBQ-themed trivia or quiz

Ask questions about popular BBQ dishes, grilling techniques, or the history of the barbecue and award prizes for the winners. This can give everyone a fun and informative break from cooking and eating.

Fire up the Grill and Create Lasting Memories

No matter the occasion, a BBQ party is always a great way to get together with friends and family. With these 20 easy-to-plan ideas, you can create an unforgettable event that all your guests will enjoy.