There’s never a bad time for a good old fashioned cookout. As long as it isn’t raining and the sun is out, who doesn’t like some meat on the grill and some drinks in the ice chest? But admittedly, some barbecues can be a bit monotonous. There’s a lot of the same things going on: talking about work, kids on their phones, opinions on how to cook the meat. Here are a few creative tips to make you the new best weekend barbecue host.

1. The Food

Food selection is the primary centrepiece of any good barbecue. You have a few choices. You can go the traditional route with all-beef hot dogs and sizzling patties. You can also go completely new and make it a fancy showcase for expensive foods. Lastly, you can have a good mix of both and introduce a bit of new spice to the usual fare. The third sounds like the most fun. An amazing way to keep with the standard barbecue theme while adding something new is to experiment with kebabs. You can take any kind of meat and work it into a kebab. You can even choose which style you want. Many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries have a version of it. You just need to find the one you like the best.

2. The Games

If you have kids or plan to invite people with kids, it’s absolutely necessary that they get up and play. Don’t let the tablets and cell phones get in the way of good exercise, social development, and a whole lot of fun. Plan out some outdoor games for the yard that anybody can play. Hey, maybe set up games the grownups would want to join in on. A few quick sprints and some fancy footwork is a way to work up an appetite. Also if you have access to a pool, by all means, use it! Making fun and active environment for people to play is as easy as setting up two sticks as a goal and throwing in a ball. Or, if you really want to get creative, get a kiddie basketball hoop and place it next to the pool and watch the competition rise.

3. Food, Part 2

Now, back to food. Another idea is Asian inspired food. Kushiyaki is a general Japanese term for skewered and grilled food. You might be familiar with its more well-known subset, yakitori. Or, if you really want that down-home feel, go for Filipino flavours. Filipino barbecue skewers are tangy, rich, a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and 100% going to be your new favourite. For an awesome weekend cookout, going with these options is sure to be a hit. They’re familiar, delicious, and just a lateral step away from the classic idea of summer barbecue food. And if you’re going to cook up something like the above suggestions, make sure your sides fit the program, too. Unless it’s a Filipino barbecue. It goes perfectly with macaroni salad.

All in all, you need some interesting food and some good games to play. A good barbecue isn’t complicated. It’s not a fancy, five-course meal. If you have some good food, fun games for the kids, and some ice-cold drinks, the beautiful afternoon will take care of the rest.