The 4th of July is upon us, and you may be planning to throw a big bash in honor of America’s independence. With the kids out of school and many people off work to celebrate the holiday, it’s the perfect time to come together and have some fun. You can host an outdoor barbecue on any other day of the season, so why not make this holiday’s celebration a little more unique? We’ve rounded up our top ten tips and 4th of July entertaining ideas that will make your Independence Day gathering one to remember.
- Take it outdoors
- Provide some simple entertainment
- Plan fun ways to cool off
- Be sure your guests stay hydrated
- Go all out with decorations
- Have some festive colored drinks and appetizers
- Make a holiday-themed dessert
- Invest in kid-friendly fireworks
- Have some plans for when the sun goes down
- Keep health and safety in mind
Why stay inside when the sun is shining and the weather is gorgeous? Bring the party outside by setting up your buffet and dining tables in the yard so your guests can dine under the clear blue sky. Be sure to have sunblock and bug spray available so everyone can protect themselves from sunburns and bug bites. To beat the heat, we also recommend setting up lounging chairs near shaded areas so that guests can have a break from the sun.
Midday parties can run anywhere from a few hours around lunchtime to an all-day bash that continues well into the evening. Keep the whole crew entertained by having yard games, like bean bag toss, ladder toss, giant Jenga or Connect Four, and volleyball, ready to go. Remember to have plenty of kid-friendly options available as well, so pick up some bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and frisbees. Last, set the party mood by selecting a long playlist ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about playing DJ all day.
Since the July sun can be scorching hot, be sure to have some fun water activities that will keep both kids and adults cool. Turn on the sprinkler, prepare water balloons, or set up a DIY slip n’ slide. If you have a pool or your yard is on the shore of a lake or ocean, blow up the inflatable water toys so guests can use them in a snap.
Dehydration is a real concern on a hot day, particularly if your guests will be drinking alcoholic beverages and participating in backyard sports. Keep your guests safe and healthy by stocking plenty of coolers with ice, bottled water, and soft drinks.
No Independence Day bash is complete without festive red, white, and blue decorations. Head to your local dollar store to grab a handful of American flags, balloons, flower bouquets, and festive place settings. To give your guests a fun keepsake, set up a photo booth with Independence Day photo props and put all the snaps in a shared album so they can relive the day years later.
Food is an easy way to incorporate signature holiday colors into your party. Assemble a festive fruit tray with blueberries, strawberries, and white flesh nectarines for a sweet and colorful side dish. Charcuterie boards can also follow an Independence Day themed with white cheeses, red and blue-colored jams, and even American flag toothpicks. Don’t forget to incorporate festive drinks and cocktails for the adults.
Dessert is the best part of the meal, and you can go the festive route here too. Whip up a berries and cream cake or flag-frosted cookies and cupcakes. To make this more interactive, set up a cookie or cupcake decorating station for the kids to create their own festive treats.
Since no Independence Day celebration is complete without fireworks, be sure to pick up varieties that the kids can set off safely (with supervision), and don’t forget to have sparklers on hand for some great photo-ops when the sun goes down.
Speaking of the sunset, prepare for the day-to-night transition with proper lighting and evening activities. String up some lanterns and get your fire pit going so guests can roast marshmallows and enjoy a night under the stars.
If you do plan to make your Independence Day bash a larger gathering, keep your guests’ health and safety in mind. Set up your party space with the option to practice social distancing, and ensure hand sanitizer, a handwashing station, or antibacterial wipes are available for guests. Even if all of your guests are healthy and vaccinated, sanitary habits are still a must.
Whether throwing an Independence Day bash is your yearly tradition or you’re undertaking the responsibility for the first time, there’s no shortage of ideas to take your party from good to great. With these few tips, you’re sure to make the most of this exciting holiday and make great memories with your friends and loved ones.
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