What does the term 3D party bring to mind? The abbreviation 3D refers to three-dimensional space technically, but we often use it referring to an added dimension in a figurative sense. So, what does it mean to turn your next summer barbecue into a 3D party? For us, the goal here is making our summer outings more memorable and interactive. With that in mind, these seven hacks can make hosting easier and your party a greater success.
Hack #1: Choose a Theme and Stick with It
A great way to make your summer party memorable is to choose a theme, and stick with that theme in terms of decorations, food choices and so forth. A theme doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. Yes, something as simple as “summer” works, and this approach can help you makes choices when presented with many options.
Hack #2: Feature Visual Pop and Plan Activities
Don’t plan your summer party around the expectation that everyone will sit around talking. Better to plan activities that go unused than to have no answer for lulls. Add visual pop with decorations, fauna and pool toys and clearly define areas: eating, relax in the shade, beer coolers and so forth. Provide a shaded place for children to play, and plan activities with the outdoors in mind. A card game amidst stiff winds probably isn’t the best idea.
Hack #3: Set the Mood with Music
Music is a great way to set the mood, and it shouldn’t be too loud or too low. Music choices can fit the theme initially, but don’t plan to lock your guests in to that. It’s also a great idea to give adult guests control over what’s played. A speaker setup where guests can send Pandora and Spotify playlists from their phones is a lot of fun.
Hack #4: 3D Lightning at Night
According to American Paper Optics LLC, you can rent 3D lights from local party shops if your summer party will extend into the evening. They don’t cost much to rent, and even just one light can cover a large area. This gives you a way to light your outdoor area but in a fun and subdued manner.
Hack #5: Choose Adult Beverages Based on Cooler Temps
The right beer or wine can do a lot for a BBQ, and one of the common mistakes hosts make is over-chilling alcoholic drinks in a cooler filled with ice. While it works fine for lawnmower beers, it can really put the damper on a good stout, IPA or wine. If you can, opt for outdoor electric coolers instead, which can be rented for a reasonable fee. If that isn’t possible, it’s better to make frequent trips indoors than to mar the taste of a great drink.
Hack #6: Use Your Grill as an Outdoor Oven
Stop thinking of your grill as a grill but rather an outdoor oven. Plan a meal or a buffet rather than just a series of items. Prepare in batches and in advance. Garnish and present. You don’t have to cook all at once. Set a schedule, and make various aspects of the menu throughout the day or night. This will allow you some reprieves as well.
Hack #7: Take It Easy with a Buffet-style Approach
Even if you have a helper or two, you complicate your role when you have guests make selections a la carte. Instead, spread a diversified meal that accounts for special needs — vegetarians we hear you — and the tastes of children. Do that and you’ll be fine. Most guests will prefer it as well. They can choose what they want in the moment and get up for seconds without having to ask someone to cook extra for them, which many won’t do.