How to Take Your Memorial Day BBQ Over the Top

Entertaining  / 

We’re not sure if you’ve checked your calendar lately, but Memorial Day is just around the corner and after that, you know what happens, right? Yup, summer happens. And with it, all the outdoor entertaining you can handle. You’ve got this party thing down pat. You know which caterer you like, you’ve got your favorite, reliable servers on speed dial, and your playlist is kickin’. But what can you do that’s different? That adds that wow factor? That takes your party from a good time to an unforgettable bash? Check out these over the top party ideas that will make your upcoming Bergen County barbeque next level.


Explosion Cakes

Oh Instagram, how we love thee. For showing us these confectionary creations in all their glory. And thank you Flour Shop for bringing these showstoppers to our attention in the first place. Cut these innocent looking cakes open and a flood of sprinkles, candies and chocolates flow from the hollow middle – a burst of color from the inside out. Want to find an explosion cake close to home, check out these three Bergen County bakers who have mastered the art of surprise.



Custom Balloon Installations 

Okay, we are not talking a couple of mylars bouncing around the room only to get caught in the spokes of the ceiling fan. We are talking full on, full room balloon installations. Floor to ceiling décor is taking over because more is always more, right? Follow Wild Child Party to see how it’s being done in Cali (omg, there’s a Balloon ROOM!). Looking for help closer to home? Check out Balloon Saloon and Balloon Artistry to help make your high flying dreams come true. 


Interactive and DIY Food Bars

Otherwise known as Buffet 2.0. This is not your ordinary grab a plate at one end, don’t forget your utensils at the other end buffet line. These babies offer you choices within choices and the chance to get creative with your food. For appetizers, offer a nacho, popcorn or French fry bar, for dessert, go with crepes, ice cream sandwiches or waffle bars. Having a breakfast party? Try an oatmeal, yogurt or doughnut-making station.


Specialty Drink Bar

And speaking of customizing, why not hire a mixologist for your party? What could be more fun than a special drink for each guest? How about a special drink made by a flair mixologist (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail)? Or, how about hiring the Cocktail Caravan, a mobile bar that comes equipped with everything you need to serve your guests in style, right down to a signature cocktail to get the party started right. 



Pioneered by Michael Breach, baristart takes the coffee service from afterthought to center stage with a barista who will not only whip up delicious caffeinated creations but who will then wow with works of art in the foam. Almost too impressive to drink (but then, what are you going to do with them after you’ve taken the requisite social media pics), these masterpieces leave the traditional hearts and ferns in their dust. 


Live Illustrators

Step aside photo booths, there’s a new keepsake in town. Drawing Booth is the latest trend in creating memories. How does it work? Artists mingling in the crowd, sketching on iPads as they go, recording special moments and providing guests with a unique and individualized party favor. Mobile printing and stroke by stroke videos of the pictures as they’re made are some of the features they offer. 


Kids Play

Why should kids have all the fun? Sure get the bouncy house for them, but then how about adding in a human foosball game, pedestal joust, or bungee run? Or, human hungry hippos, a bouncy pony race or a toxic meltdown challenge? What could be better than a friendly throw down among friends? Just remember your ibuprofen. Remember, you’re not as young as you used to be!


Home Spa Treatments

No need for guests to pregame with a mani/pedi or massage before your bash if you have a professional massage therapist or nail technician on call for your soiree. What could be more hygge (cozy, warm and special) than that? Best bet? Talk to your favorite nail tech or spa service provider. They might be willing to do you a favor, for the right price. 


Food Trucks

You've got enough on your mind when you're hosting. You've got to figure out decor, cocktails, and music. So give yourself a hand with this idea that never goes out of style. Hire a food truck for your shindig and leave the cooking *or icy dessert!* to them. 


Hire a Real Grillmaster

If you're one of these people who loves to serve BBQ but hates the mess (and the smell on your clothes post-grilling) hire a real life grillmaster to do the work. One of Englewood's bravest, fireman Curtis Barnes of Backyard BBQ will come to your house and wow guests with his smokey meats and creamy mac & cheese.


Interactive Party Games

Ya got your corn hole and your ring toss but what else can you offer your guests to keep them occupied while their burgers are grilling? How about an interactive, immersive or VR experience? Something as small as a headset connected to your TV screen or as epic as an interactive wall projection game – guests compete head-to-head by throwing actual balls at a wall where the game is projected. Best part? You can customize the game with logos, faces, or themes. 

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