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23 June 2022

3 Steps for Hosting a Successful Backyard Sleepover

The sun is out, the grills are going, the flowers are blooming…and the kids are in need of seemingly constant entertainment. The worst part is, you feel like you’ve done it all: gone to the pool, did the chalk thing, playdates, slip-n-slides galore, eaten. so. much. ice cream., explored every park, the zoo — you and your kids have covered every inch of summer with no end in sight.

Enter: the backyard sleepover. While allowing your kids to have friends spend the night is basically a summer rite of passage, why not add a fun summer twist to it and let them sleep outside? That way, they have all the fun of “camping” without actually having to camp. And you get to watch them have all the fun without giving up access to running water.

If a backyard sleepover sounds like just the thing to stave off a complete summer meltdown, read on for tips and tricks for pulling it off without a hitch.

Step 1: Ensure Proper Set Up

Having the party ready to go when your guests arrive is key to being able to enjoy the festivities and keep an eye on any little ones, or take the opportunity to sit back and watch the night unfold.

Guests. Depending on your kids’ ages, decide how many people you can comfortably fit in your backyard. If the kids are younger, you’re going to want to include parents in the mix of campers. If the kids are older, how many of them do you trust/can you handle together?

Equipment. What will this backyard sleepover entail? Will you sleep out under the stars? Will everyone bring a tent? Do you have enough chairs? What about a fire pit? Will you be telling ghost stories or watching a movie (if the latter, check out our tips for hosting an outdoor movie night).

Ambiance. How much light will you need? Should you set up twinkle lights? Will a campfire be enough? Should you provide flashlights for everyone? What about blankets in case it gets chilly? Will there be music?

Bugs. Depending on where you live, you could be battling all the bugs outside this summer. Prepare to repel them by using a people-and-pet-safe yard fogger ahead of time, setting up tiki torches, lighting citronella candles, providing bug spray, or all of the above.

Activities. Some fun ideas for keeping kids entertained till dark include old-school games like tag and touch football, camping-related crafts, and water activities like balloon tosses, running through sprinklers, and kiddie pools. (Make sure to have your guests pack an extra change of clothes if you’re planning on getting wet.)

Step 2: Feeding Your Guests

After setting up your backyard sleepover area, lining the yard with tiki torches, and dusting off the old lawn chairs, the last thing you’ll want to do is cook. That’s where Wings and Rings comes in! We have the fan-favorite menu items and party packs your backyard sleepover needs — and they are all kid-friendly too!

Wings. Possibly the best finger food ever invented, wings make perfect outdoor eats. No utensils needed to eat them (heck, no plates, either!) and should you spill some sauce? Well, you can just wipe off any evidence in the grass. Provide both traditional and boneless wings and a variety of sauces. That way your guests can choose between a mild chicken wing sauce or a spicier version for the braver ones. As a special treat, try our latest offering: Marco’s sweet and spicy dry rub wings. No messy sauce, all the same amazing wing flavor.

Nacho Bar. Who doesn’t love nachos? Our Nacho Bar comes with a party snack box full of tortilla chips and is served with your favorite toppings like queso blanco, cheddar jack cheese, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream or bleu cheese dip. Order them “loaded” with grilled buffalo chicken for those extra hungry friends.

Designated Hitter Pack. For those kids who just can’t get enough chicken tenders, this party pack is perfect! You’ll get 14 jumbo-sized, fried or grilled chicken tenders with chipotle ranch and BBQ dipping sauces, tortilla chips and queso, and the choice of two additional sides.

Loaded Potato Wedge Bar. Want to add more build-it-yourself options to your sleepover spread? Try this party snack box, piled high with homestyle skin-on potato wedges, crumbled bacon, queso blanco, cheddar jack cheese, jalapenos, ketchup, and sour cream or bleu cheese dip.

Tailgreat Pack. This party pack is perfect for large crowds. Thirty traditional or boneless wings or 14 tenders come with a party-sized appetizer trio of pretzel bites, potato wedges and tortilla chips, all served with sides of queso and salsa.

Catering. For the extra-large crowds, your best bet is to order from our catering menu. From boxed lunches to wing platters and from party snack boxes to entree salads (and even dessert boxes), we have something for every one of your backyard campers to enjoy.

Step 3: Clean Up & Lights Out

As all good things must come to an end, so, too must your backyard sleepover’s evening activities. Take some time to clean up a bit and get ready to settle in for the night — it will make your morning that much smoother.

Store the food. Dispose of any used plates, forks, napkins, etc. and recycle what you can. If you have any leftovers, store those in an airtight container in the fridge. (For reheating those wings the next day, follow these tips.)

Blow out the candles. And tiki torches and other bug-repellant flames or fires. But consider keeping the twinkle lights or another light source on all night in case anyone needs to come inside or make their way to the bathroom.

Lay down the ground rules. Be sure to tell the guests what the rules are for the evening when everyone is sleeping. Can’t sleep? Don’t wake the guest next to you. Need to use the restroom? Follow the lights inside. Etc.

Cash in those app rewards. If you use carry out or delivery, don’t forget to scan the barcode of your receipt into the Buffalove Saucity app. All those points can really rack up to some great rewards!

Ready to host your backyard summer sleepover? Awesome. Don’t forget that we’re just a call or click away when you’re ready to feed that hungry crowd. Order for pickup, delivery, or check our locations for dine-in.