The Fourth of July is the quintessential American summer holiday. The 4th brings out the best in patriotic pride and easy summer entertaining. It may seem to you that all Fourth of July parties are the same — red, white and blue color scheme, barbeques fired, and fireworks popping. There is nothing wrong with traditional; but, with a few adjustments, your Fourth party can stand out from all the others!
Start the party off right with little game stations for both kids and adults. Stations could include: guests drawing their favorite president with chalk on the sidewalk (leave a few dollars anchored with stones, or coins out for inspiration.) Have a friendly water balloon toss using patriotic colored balloons, have a short-timed watermelon eating contest, a hula hoop contest, and any other popular summer yard games, like badminton, or croquet. If you are expecting more than a few kids, have a Fourth of July craft corner– our guess is, the adults will join in the crafts too! Having games set up throughout the party will keep everyone interested, socializing, and laughing until firework show time!
The 4th is all about the red, white and blue, though there are a few unexpected ways to incorporate the flag colors. Think about going old school and give your party a vintage American feel. Decorate with up-cycled watering cans spray painted in patriotic colors or gold, fill with red carnations, or bright blue hydrangeas. Place old-fashioned soda bottles on each table and fill with pinwheels and sparklers for when the sun goes down. Use red and blue bandannas for napkins and roll around individual flatware sets using taffeta to secure. For a more current themed party, hang up patriotic paper lanterns from branches and patios, layer clear vases with red, white and blue candy, and make an easy and festive parasol wreath. For centerpieces, paint small terracotta planters solid blue, or add white stars, plant with red petunias and top them off with pinwheels to double as party favors for the kids. Since Fourth of July parties usually go into the night, make sure you have plenty of light and string up outdoor lights, or lanterns.
We love a simple grill menu of burgers and hotdogs, and admit it is easy when serving a crowd, but if you are looking for something new this year, try getting regional with your menu. If you have roots in Maryland, serve crab cakes. Family from the South? Try jambalaya kabobs. For a shout out to New Mexico: green chili burgers; Kansas City: barbeque ribs… you get the idea. If you have guests attending who are from other parts of the country ask them to bring a signature, regional dish, so you won’t have to do the homework and cooking. You can even make a game of it, ask guests to “guess the dish region”– after the crowd makes their guesses, each person who made a dish can explain what the recipe is and what it means to their home state . (Adults and kids might learn something new too!)
One of the best parts about a Fourth of July menu is that many of our desserts are already red, white and blue, and as an extra bonus, many of them are easy! Take sliced strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream and layer them in Mason Jars for an instant, easy dessert. Decorate store bought, or homemade cheesecake with berries in a flag shape, or cut a cheesecake into mini squares and skewer with berries for dessert kabobs! Also look for classic American pie recipes (what is more American than pie?), or if you are looking for chilled idea serve patriotic popsicles or a fun watermelon shaped bombe.
Looking for drinks to serve too? Try any of these summery easy-to-serve-a-crowd drinks!
Need more Fourth of July ideas? Look for our newsletter this Friday with everything the 4th!