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Topic: Ideas for backyard Barbeque

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Subject: Ideas for backyard Barbeque
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2008
Posts: 101
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My son graduates this year and we are having a barbeque for his graduation party.   I really need some ideas on decorating..on a budget and really any other ideas you may have.  I need suggestions on drinks...something creative/easy to put them and keep them cold and on ice.  Any/all ideas appreciated I am really out of my element here.  Thanks, Joyce.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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To keep the drinks cold- A baby pool filled with ice.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,028
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Yep, I'd just get one of those plastic wading pools and fill it with ice and drinks.  It can just sit out on the grass.

Since it's outside, I wouldn't worry about decorating too much.  Do you have a dollar store nearby?  They've usually got some cute things you can put on the tables or decorations to put in your windows.  You can always just get a big piece of posterboard (or a few pieces) and handwrite congrats messages on them.  Maybe have one for everyone to autograph that comes to the party and write a message to the graduate.  For an outdoor party, I really wouldn't get too elaborate.

Subject: Thanks!
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2008
Posts: 101
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I like the kid pool idea alot, thanks!  My neighbor just called earlier to tell me a paper supply store was going out of business and the prices were cheap so I am going tomorrow to see what I can find...I agree I thought going with the barbeque idea would cut down on decorating.. I just want what things I do need..i.e. drinks and such to be cute and I am well on my way.   If you think of anything else let me know.  Joyce.

Date Posted: 4/26/2009 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,028
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Do you have a Dollar Tree near you?  I was in there yesterday and they have gobs of Graduation decorations and Hawaiian Luau decorations.   You could seriously get everything you'd need to decorate and cups and plates, etc for $20 or less there.  If not, check out dollartree.com and see what they're offering online.  They had some really cool stuff!

Date Posted: 4/26/2009 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,435
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Crepe paper is cheap, tie it on trees & bushes.

Or save colored paper that comes in the mail, there is a way to cut it so it looks kinda like crepe paper when hung up.  I don't remember exactly how--fold it in half and cut from folded side partway in every inch or so? Something like that?  Maybe alternate between folded and non-folded side.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 55
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To save money on the drinks...My mom always made punch for this kind of event. It's way cheaper than soda and you can get creative with it and make it healthier too.

Whatever punch mix you decide to go with - mix it up before hand and chill it in the bottles/cartons that the juice came in or cleaned out milk jugs. You can add white soda to it to make it fizzy when you are getting ready to serve if that's wanted. 

Also, take a couple of the juice cartons filled with the punch mix and freeze them to put in the big bowl/pool or whatever you are serving it from. The frozen blocks of punch will keep it cold without diluting the flavor.

Koolaid is great for part of the mix - tons of flavors, you control the amount of sugar, its cheap and has vitamin C.  

Balloons are always festive.

Date Posted: 5/15/2009 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 1,251
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Watch for sales!!   Our local store always have a sale on 12 packs of pop close to Memorial day.  They are also having a big 3 day meat sale.  Lots of buy 1 get 1 free.  also for drinks, we use a big water trough or water tub filled with ice.  A water trough also is good for keeping watermelon cold.   

Congrates, on your son's graduation.  Our son graduates next Friday.  Have fun!!  We are doing pizza as our party is late that night.  Got a good deal from the local pizza place.  So that helps.

Date Posted: 5/15/2009 4:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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I think the best bbq are all about the food & friends, and decor is provided by your back yard--you don't need to go overboard with the decorations. But, pick the most festive of decorations appropriate for outdoors: tiki torches--lots of tiki torches!

If space allows, set up a volleyball net--always fun & festive.

A fun decoration, which will double as a game--a pinata!

Like others mentioned--use a kiddie pool filled with ice, or big galavanized tubs, or big plastic tubs filled with ice to hold drinks. Smaller tubs, but still bigger than an ordinary pitcher, are great for holding punch. Koolaid is great, and pre-freezing several jugs makes a great ice cube--you might also be able to make Koolaid "ice sculptures" from cake molds (a bundt cake mold will make a pretty one)

Colorful utensils and bowls add a lot of pizazz.

Then, focus of fun food presentation.

Make fruit kabobs or a watermelon bowl.

Serve dips or salads in bread bowls (won't work with liquidy dressings, but more mayo/cream based salads will work well)  Use a variety of colors--traditional beigey colored bread & a dark pumpernickle will look good.

When you set up the buffet table (assuming that a buffet table was in the plans) use cake stands to add height. 

At a restaurant I worked out, some hor d'oevres and desserts were placed on a huge mirror that was placed on the buffet table. The presentation is amazing!

Another fun idea is a s'mores bar for dessert--meaning, set up some marshmellows, grahm crackers, and chocolate bars all by each other for self-serve s'mores.

Hope this helps!


Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 5/15/2009 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,127
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I've used the small wading pool and frozen water in juice/milk jugs.  The ice lasted so much longer than the store bought bags! And using frozen juice/punch as ice cubes is a great idea as well.   I also vote for the dollar store and I hope you get some great deals at the paper store sale!  For one large decoration,  you could tape a bunch of pictures from your son's life onto a large cardboard square and trim it in crepe paper.  Family and friends get to see his pictures as he's grown up and it's always a fun conversation piece.

 Congrats on your son graduating!!