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5 Fun Summer Cookout Backyard Themes and Games

Montanans know how to spend their summers whether it’s taking a hike, casting a line, or floating the river. We want you to wring out the most of the last few weeks of warm weather, long days, and comfortable nights under the stars.  Enjoy the Labor Day weekend and celebrate summer with some fun ideas for your next backyard cookout.

Back to School

Back to School Cookout Theme

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Labor Day isn’t the only big event this weekend, it’s also the start of college football season. The Bobcat’s start their 2019 campaign tomorrow with a trip to Lubbock, Texas to play Texas Tech, so have the tailgate in your backyard before the 2pm kickoff. Show off your school spirit and celebrate finishing the first week of classes by firing up the grill and cheering on your favorite team. With a full slate of games across the country, you can get your football fix from morning till well past dark. 


Huckleberry Cookout Theme

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What better way to celebrate huckleberry season than having a huckleberry themed cookout? Spend the morning picking huckleberries at your favorite secret stash or grab some ready-made huckleberry treats before inviting the gang over. We have everything you need from a huckleberry vinaigrette to a delicious huckleberry bbq sauce that could go on top of just about anything. Cool off with some huckleberry lemonade or, if a sweet cocktail is more your style, try out a huckleberry margarita or daiquiri mix. Our friends at Bozeman Spirits have a couple recipe ideas to fit the mood; I’d recommend the huckleberry mule.


Pot-luck Cookout Theme

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Whether you’re a guest or hosting, don’t let all the cooking duty fall on one person. Not only does a pot-luck share the load, it’s a great way to get new ideas and share recipes. If you’re like me, a pot-luck is a great way to show off the one item you feel confident enough cooking to share with others. Just make sure to do a little coordinating, maybe even make a shared sign-up sheet on google, so you don’t end up with eight different macaroni and cheeses (there are certainly worse things that can happen).

Yard Games

Yard Games Cookout Theme

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Whatever the theme of your barbecue, a few yard games are always a crowd pleaser. Cornhole is a staple of every cookout and tailgate. Ask your guests to bring their favorite game along and you’re sure to learn something new that might just be your new favorite! Spikeball, kubb, ladder-toss, bocce ball, giant jenga are just a few options to consider. The perfect yard game can capture the little one’s attention long enough that parents might even get a chance to sit down and enjoy a burger. 


Campfire Themed Cookout

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As the nights get cool, grab a jacket and move the party to the fire-pit. Put your cold one in a coozie and gather round with your family and friends while the fire crackles. End your cookout with a campfire classic s’more or look for a fun recipe from Campfire Treats or  Gimme S’more!

Whatever you do this Labor Day weekend, have fun and be safe!


Written by: Stephen McNeal

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