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  • In this day and age, most people would rather have their parties at home. Seriously. When you think about it, aren’t outdoor parties much more fun than indoor parties at your home? I mean in an outdoor party you don’t have to worry about a child breaking a vase or something. The best way to put together a kickin’ party to is to make a good plan. Since you want to throw the best bash your friends and guests could have, you will now want to take a look this list.

    So here you go. A few ideas for you to think about when planning a backyard party. Just let it rattle your cranium for a second. This is by no means a be all to end all list. This just a kind “what if . . . ” list. So let’s get started with our – drum roll please ! ! ! ! !

    Backyard Party Ideas:

    OUTDOOR GAMES: we happen to have a pretty decent sized backyard (for a city home) that we love putting to good use. A few different games can be set up and ready to roll after the BBQ is done. (we’ll get to the eats in a second)

    VOLLEYBALL is a big seller in our house. All ages can play. Even if you’re not that good it’s okay to play. Little tykes can join in with teens and college kids. How? Use a Beach Ball instead of a volleyball. It’s lighter. It’s bigger and it won’t hurt your hands if you hit it wrong. You can switch teams. Have tournaments and the jokes will be flying as high as the balls.

    FOUR SQUARE is also a great game again for old folks and young’uns alike. Easily set up out on a sidewalk or even in the alley behind your house. The driveway is also a good choice. We have even played inside our garage if you happen to catch a rainy day. You won’t need much room for this game. Just four squares. Draw them with some chalk. Bounce balls are cheap and available everywhere in the summer months at a local store. Try and unseat the King. Work together and team up with a cohort. If you have a lot of people playing, you can set up a ‘minor league’ four square where you only get to move up to the Big Squares if you win in the minors.

    If you have the volleyball net set up, another good choice for an outdoor game would be BADMITTEN. Another fairly inexpensive game that everyone will enjoy. Quick and easy. Super squeezy.

    Active outdoor games are handy to have going after chowing down on your favorite grub. If you are throwing an outdoor party this year there is only one way to feed everyone is – BBQ!!

    Getting famous all over western hemisphere, Chicago BBQ has a rich tradition. Drive around the streets of Chicago or the suburbs in any given Summer night and you can smell the varieties of scrumptious platters.

    I know the southerners think they have a solid claim to some good ‘Qs. But the point is everyone can Bar B Que. Properly supervised children love cooking up their own food. Many, many nutritious foods are easily grilled over charcoals, over wood or in smokers.

    Nutritious? BBQ? In the same sentence? Yes! The usual fair would be hot dogs and hamburgers. But fish and chicken are great additions too. Use a smaller screen over the grill for fish because it can get kind of flaky once heated.

    Hot dogs are an old standby. But if you are looking for healthy sausages, many companies are coming out with chemical free chicken or turkey sausages. They can be so tasty you wouldn’t know the difference unless I told you.

    Chickens and fish can be marinated. You can slather them in sauce and let them absorb that rich smoke.

    A nutritious addition are vegetables. Skewer them and shish kabob them over that BBQ heat. Onions, green peppers, mushrooms that can be eaten separately or used to garnish your burgers and dogs will go quickly no matter where you live.

    And let’s remember the good music. No party is complete without good tunes. Of course there are some awesome ways to pipe in your music to your outdoor parties. i-pods now have some excellent sounding speakers you can bring right outside with you. There is also Pandora, Napster and Rhapsody; online services that allow you to pick your genre. Some are free. Some require a subscription.

    But nothing can replace live music. There are tons of great musicians who are your friends who still play guitars or who like to sing. Keyboards are amazingly portable these days and sound really good; very rich and authentic. After the sun goes down and the games and food are over (for the most part), you can break out those talents. You won’t need a campfire, but it does help.

    When everyone is relaxed after a day of fun, the inhibitions are ready to roll and you’d be surprised how much everyone will love it. Be sure to include it in your invitations. “Musical instruments are welcomed” or something like that.

    You don’t have to be a professional. We are. But that doesn’t mean you have to be. Music is meant to be shared and it brings all kinds of people together. We have seen it time and time again how valuable songs and singing can be. So consider hiring live music for your next outdoor party this year. BBQ season is upon us sooner than you think. And anyone of these ideas will be make your hosting efforts a complete and total succes