SOURCE: Hershey's

July 05, 2016 10:06 ET

5 Tips for Your Summer Family Cookout

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Jul 5, 2016) - (Family Features) Are your backyard barbecues feeling humdrum? Spice up your summer cookout with fun-filled games, grilled treats and more. With these five ideas, you can turn your backyard into a summer bonanza for the entire family:

1. Add ambiance to your evening.
Take your cookout into the sunset and light it up to continue your gathering into the evening. String some whimsical lights around tree branches, place along the picnic tables or wrap along the back fence. With some summer jams playing and an added glow to your space, you'll make family memories throughout the night.

2. Cook out in style.
Grill your meat and veggies in style by piecing all your favorite items together to build scrumptious kabobs. Grab some pineapple chunks, veggies and meat, and have the kids help piece together their own kabobs for the cookout.

3. Take S'mores beyond the campfire.
What better way to celebrate summer than to combine smooth Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, crunchy graham crackers and sweet marshmallows to create a delicious taste experience for the entire family? You can even make them right on the grill. Or, if you're in the mood to try something different, whip up S'mores Dip and share your creation using the hashtag #HelloHershey.

4. Make sweet table weights.
Fill mason jars with Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates for an easy DIY solution to hold down the corners on your tablecloths. You can even give them away as favors for your guests to take home.

5. Bring back childhood games.
Challenge the kids to an old favorite, like kickball, tag or even a water gun fight. Bring everyone outside by hosting a competition for the whole neighborhood. With all of the delicious food coming off the grill, a game is a great way to get everyone moving after dinner.

For more gooey, chocolatey recipes and fun summer ideas, visit Hersheys.com.

S'mores Dip
Prep time: 6 minutes
Makes: 1 cup

3 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 ounces)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2-3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
  graham crackers, for serving

Heat oven to 350 F. Remove wrappers from chocolate bars; break into pieces.

Place chocolate pieces and heavy cream in microwave-safe and ovenproof ramekin or cassolette. Microwave 30 seconds on medium; stir. If necessary, microwave 10 seconds more and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Cover surface of chocolate mixture with marshmallows. Heat in oven 10-12 minutes, or until marshmallows are puffed and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Serve with graham cracker pieces.

Note: Recipe amounts can be increased or decreased. Each chocolate bar used will require 1 tablespoon heavy cream.

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