How to Host a Summer Cookout (Yes Even in an Apartment)

If the thought of backyard barbecues and cookouts makes you picture a single-family home with a white picket fence, then it’s time to re-think your ideas. While this can be the ideal summertime get-together, you can host a cookout in your apartment as well. Many apartments, like Varela Westshore, offer outdoor meeting spaces that provide an excellent place to cook up a meal. Here’s a closer look at how you can make a cookout work in your apartment.

1. Find Out the Policies
First, find out the policies for guests. Most apartments will allow parties and get-togethers, but they may have requirements for you to meet first. Check with a community staff member to learn what the requirements are for your community.

2. Plan the Menu
Next, plan your menu. If you need to cook in a community area, rather than on your patio or porch, you will need food that is easy to transport. This may not be the time to go for a full five-course meal, but some marinated meat, grilled veggies, chips, and a simple dessert will be quite enough food and quite enjoyable for your party guests.

3. Decide Where You Will Eat
Deciding where you will eat is an important consideration. Should you cook the food outside, then come into your apartment to eat? Or, should you utilize the community’s common areas to host your event. Perhaps your event is large enough to warrant reserving the common room or meeting room to host. Once you decide where you will eat, you will be able to plan the rest of the cookout. If you are going to eat inside your apartment, make sure you keep the guest list at a number that will comfortably fit in your space.

4. Consider Some Games
If your cookout will include people that do not know each other well, consider planning some entertainment. Games and ice breakers can help everyone feel more comfortable at your event. Consider the likes and dislikes of your group and choose an appropriate game or two. If you don’t end up needing it because everyone is having a good time talking, that’s fine! It’s always better to be prepared.

5. Send the Invites
Before you buy food, send out the invitations. This will give you a chance to know how many people are likely to come, so you can buy the right amount of food. Send them two to three weeks before the event to give everyone enough time to respond.

6. Keep the Plates Disposable
Finally, as you’re planning, go with disposable plates and silverware. No one wants a pile of dishes after hosting a big party, so keep things simple for yourself! Soon you will be hosting friends and family as they enjoy your hospitality in your modern apartment home, and dishes will be the last thing you want to worry about.