Perhaps the biggest advantage of finally getting your own place is having the ability to throw the parties you’ve always wanted to throw. As the weather heats up, it’s time to start thinking about what your next barbeque is going to look like. With proper planning, it’s sure to be a hit.
Pick a Location
Your patio or balcony could be the perfect place to host a small dinner for a few friends, but if you want to throw a bigger shindig, you’ll need to look at the party areas available in your community. Many communities have rooftop terraces (like Aloft Skyview and Tamarack!) or grills available in public spaces.
As you consider these areas, think about how you’ll do the cooking. If you’re hosting at home, do you have a grill for the gas hookup on the balcony? Is there already a grill on the roof terrace or do you have to purchase your own? Are the public grills big enough to cook all of the food you want to grill? These details can affect where you decide to have the party.
Schedule the Party
People tend to like barbeques on Friday and Saturday evenings. Choose a few dates and ask your friends if they have a preference. If you’ll be using a community space, you may need to reserve the space to guarantee you’ll be able to use it.
Some places only offer the amenities on a first-come-first-served basis. Remember, if you’re trying to plan a barbeque on a big holiday like Canada Day or the last weekend before everyone goes back to school, you may need to reserve the space early.
Plan the Menu
A good barbeque is all about the food. A lot of people like to stick with classic favourites like hamburgers and hot dogs with side dishes like potato salad. However, you could always choose to be different by serving tuna steaks or shish kabobs. If you have friends with dietary restrictions, make sure to plan a few dishes they can eat as well. Potlucks are always a good way to get a variety of foods.
You’ll also want to consider how it might be easy or difficult to prepare and serve certain types of foods. For instance, if you’re hosting in a public area it can be difficult to serve foods you need to keep cold.
Make a Playlist
Your barbeque will be a lot better if you set up some music. Whether you simply want a bit of light classical music in the background or want to turn up everyone’s favourite dance songs to really get the party started, making your own playlist is the perfect way to play every song you want to hear. Sure, you can tune into a custom radio station, but with a play list, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, and you won’t have to listen to the commercials.
Bring Some Fun
There’s no doubt your guests will have plenty of fun just hanging out with each other, but you can encourage interaction by bringing out a few fun games. If there will be some kids in the crowd, get some bubbles, chalk, and balls. The grown-ups might like ladder golf, football or Frisbee. These things don’t cost much, but they can definitely make your barbeque better.
Follow the Rules
When you buy a condo, you’re buying into a community and agreeing to their rules. Before you schedule the party, be sure to re-read your condo’s bylaws to see if there’s anything that might apply to your gathering. For instance, the rules might state your friends can’t bring their dogs, the noise must be kept to a reasonable level, or the party must end by a certain time.
Clean Up After Yourself
If you’re throwing the barbecue in a public area, take extra care to clean up after yourself. Put all the garbage away, give the grill a good scrub-down, and double-check the entire area for dropped food. You’d be upset if someone else left the space a mess, so make sure to leave the space as clean as you found it.
A great barbecue can take weeks to plan or could be something you decide to put together at a moment’s notice. With a bit of extra thought, though, you’ll throw a party your friends will remember.
Photo credits: rooftop BBQ, frisbee, friends