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Throw a backyard barbecue!

Bring on the fireworks and parades! With midsummer comes holidays like Independence Day and Canada Day, and nothing goes with a summer celebration like a good old-fashioned barbecue (with some fun new twists, of course). Whether you like your cookouts sizzling hot or prefer something on ice, try out our ideas for throwing a smashing summer barbecue in your own backyard.

Stock up on snacks

Set up all the fixings for a build-your-own-burger bar or hotdog station and let guests load up their plates with summertime staples (think corn on the cob, veggies with dip and pasta salad). Use a Close to Home™ Tray as home base for sauces and condiments, or make it the first stop in the buffet line by stacking assorted buns for easy access.

Other easy (and mess-free!) ideas we love are fruit kabobs and antipasto skewers – food on a stick means you’ll always have one hand free for a refreshing drink!

Sub in your outdoor MVPs

Use a Close to Home™ Caddy or Tiny Utility Tote to hold silverware, salt and pepper shakers or mason jars full of fresh cut flowers. Keep sodas and water bottles on ice in the (1) Fresh Market® Thermal, or keep a couple of bottles of wine cool in the (2) Picnic Thermal Tote. Store grill supplies like lighter fluid, meat thermometer, matches, cooking spray, spatula, tongs, oven mitt and apron in a (3) Small Utility Tote or Essential Storage Tote, and for a picnic hero that can do it all, pack up all your food and fixings in the Insider Exclusive (4) Large Utility Cargo Thermal.

Keep it personal(ized)

Add fun summer or food-themed personalization to your coolers and caddies. Here are a few ideas we love:

  • Fries Icon-It™ with “Happy Fry Day”
  • American Flag Icon-It™ with “Let freedom ring”
  • Canadian Flag Icon-It™ with “True North, Strong & Free”
  • “Worry less, laugh s’more”
  • “The s’more, the merrier”
  • Cooking Icon-It™ with “Cake it easy”
  • Cooking Icon-It™ with “Don’t be afraid to take whisks”
  • Pineapple II Icon-It™ with “Stand tall, wear a crown”
  • Ampersand Icon-It™ with “grillin’ & chillin’”
  • Ampersand Icon-It™ with “good food & great friends”
  • Hashtag Icon-It™ with “grillmaster”

Find even more personalization inspiration here.

Try these activities and games

After the plates have been cleared, party the night away with these fun, family-friendly ideas:

  • Make s’mores around the campfire
  • Have a bubbles station
  • Play light-up “horseshoes” – put a stake in the ground and use rings made from glow-in-the-dark necklaces
  • Hang a large white sheet and set up a flashlight to make shadow puppets, or check out a projector from your local library and have an outdoor movie night
  • Use outdoor speakers to play some tunes or for a game of musical chairs
  • Spread out blankets or a Fold N’ Fun Mat and do some stargazing


Styles to try: Fresh Market® Thermal, Close to Home™ Tray, Essential Storage Tote