July 2  |  Home Inspiration, Our Communities

Your Guide to Throwing a Backyard BBQ in Fort Collins

‘Tis the season for backyard BBQs! It’s an opportunity to eat grilled burgers and vegetables, spend time with friends and family, sip on refreshing drinks, play yard games, listen to fun music, and soak in the abundance of sunshine we enjoy here in Northern Colorado.

To take your BBQ game to the next level, check out these local resources, including Fort Collins businesses offering crucial ingredients to-go and stores selling outdoor patio furniture and various BBQ supplies. Whether you’re hosting a large backyard party with all your friends or an intimate gathering with family, these resources will help your BBQ go smoothly!


Get Your Produce from a Local Farmers’ Market

Farmers' Markets in Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Jenni Emmett–Duenez via Fort Collins Farmers’ Market

No matter what’s on the menu, make your meal extra fresh by sourcing your produce from a local farmers’ market. This could include your fruit platter, lettuce and tomatoes for burgers, and various vegetables you plan to throw on the grill. Although this year looks a little different, nearly every market in the area is still operating — just with specific guidelines in place. Check out our Guide to Northern Colorado Farmers’ Markets 2020 to track down the market nearest you — and to know what you can expect when you arrive!


Get Supplies From JAX Outdoor Gear

If you’re looking to fill a few gaps in your outdoor space, now’s your chance to stock up! Head to JAX Outdoor Gear for all your outdoor needs, including fire pits, grilling and BBQ supplies, lighting, outdoor decor, outdoor games, coolers and more. Whether you need a whole new firepit setup or a few utensils for your grill, JAX has you covered.


Pick Up Patio Furniture From Outpost Sunsport

Patio Furniture Stores in Fort Collins, CO

You might need a little more seating or tables to accommodate your guests. Outpost Sunsport is a locally owned patio furniture shop in Fort Collins that has been providing Northern Colorado with outdoor furniture essentials for more than 40 years. Check out their wide selection of outdoor furniture, including dining, lounge, deep seating and bar furniture, plus umbrellas and other accessories.


Make Your Own Yard Games

Keep everyone entertained throughout the day by providing a yard game or two. If you don’t already have some, consider making your own! This list is packed with ideas for DIY yard games, from giant Jenga to cornhole. All you need is a few supplies and a little creativity!


Stock Your Cooler With Local Brews

Zwei Brewing Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Zwei Brewing

What is a BBQ in Fort Collins without beer from a local brewery? Make sure the cooler is stocked with a variety of beers from breweries in town. If you don’t already have a favorite, check out some of ours! And if you want a few options from a number of breweries (or your favorite from elsewhere in the country!), head to Wilbur’s Total Beverage to get all your beverage shopping done in one place.


Pick Up Cocktails To-Go

During the coronavirus shutdown, many Fort Collins businesses got creative by providing to-go options for all our biggest needs, including groceries, meals, and of course — cocktails! Many of these restaurants are still offering to-go cocktails, even though many have reopened for dine-in service. To provide for the masses, consider ordering from The Rio, which is offering a jug holding the equivalent of six margaritas, plus salt and lime slices. Make it a double with their “Big Tex” margarita jug!


Make a Recipe From a Local Food Blogger

Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Photo Courtesy of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Get creative in the kitchen (and on the grill!) by following a recipe from local blogger Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts. She has endless BBQ-friendly recipes to choose from, including Classic Hamburgers, Smoked Baby Back Ribs, BLT Pasta Salad, Chili Lime Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Summer Coleslaw, Barbecue Pulled Pork Hot Dogs, Berry Fruit Salad, and even ideas for a beautiful Charcuterie Board.


Pick Up Burgers + Hot Dogs From Big Al’s Burgers and Dogs

If you’re looking for a no-stress alternative to cooking, pick up a dozen or so burgers and hot dogs from Big Al’s. All of the burgers and dogs are made with fresh, high quality meat — aside from the veggie burgers of course, which are made with top notch veggies, beans and quinoa. One of the most popular options is the 60/40 burger, which boasts a patty made with 60% beef and 40% bacon for a decadent flavor. Get everyone’s order ready or pick up a variety of options to choose from when the order arrives. And to make it even easier on you, Big Al’s also delivers!


Get Sauces from Old Town Spice Shop

Old Town Spice Shop Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Old Town Spice Shop

If you’re going the homemade burger or steak route, make sure you have all the spices and sauces you need to add flavor to your meal. Old Town Spice Shop has a great selection of hot sauces, mustards and BBQ sauces and several blends and seasonings to choose from. Their Brewhouse Sauces come in a variety of flavors, like Jake Slade’s Revenge crafted with Bock from Gilded Goat Brewing Company or their unique NoCo Beer Jelly, perfect for the beer lover.


Turn Up the Music

Every good party has upbeat music playing in the background. Spotify has a number of playlists to choose from, including this one titled Backyard BBQ filled with classic, laid-back songs. And if you want to keep it hyperlocal, tune into this playlist featuring artists from NoCo, and learn all about them here!


Happy Hosting!

What local resources would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

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