If you’re hosting a 4th of July party, you might be feeling overwhelmed because, let’s be honest, planning a party can be a lot. Not only do you have to come up with activities to keep your guests entertained, but you have to plan and prepare a menu that everyone will like, decorate your patio, and provide the drinks.
But there’s no need to back out of hosting duties. These 4th of July party ideas can help you plan a successful event, whether you’re doing something low-key with your family or hosting the neighborhood block party. And no matter how small or big the party, you don’t have to break the bank. If you really want to cut down on costs, get your guests to pitch in and provide somee food or entertainment.
Now that you're ready to tackle your party planning, this list will give you some inspiration on 4th of July recipes, family activities, and homemade decorations.
When planning a 4th of July party, you need a number of American flags present. If you're planning on hanging one in your home, remember that the stars go on the observer's left.
What you'll need: Stick Flags ($12 for 50 flags, .com)
Don't forget to set up an area with these 4th of July-themed photo props so friends and family can take pictures as the Statue of Liberty.
What you'll need: 4th of July Photo Props ($7, etsy.com)
If you're one of the lucky ones with a backyard pool, get the kids to play pool tag with these patriotic pool noodles.
What you'll need: Patriotic Pool Foodles ($21, .com)
This hearty summer salad works as a side or main dish, and is a great partner to anything off the grill.
Paper fans add a patriotic touch to porch railings and fences.
What you'll need: Paper Fans ($15 for 12, .com)
Green beans aren't just for Thanksgiving: this colorful salad will brighten up any summer BBQ.
Wrap craft paper around tin cans for a fun way to serve snacks. Speaking of snacks, amp up your standard onion dip with creamy ricotta, as seen in the bowl on the left.
Feast on burgers adorned with cutout stars and flags taped onto toothpicks.
Store relishes and condiments in pretty glass containers that can go from kitchen to table — just open and serve.
Dress up store-bought lemonade by adding sliced lemons to the pitcher. Serve with decorative skewers threaded with cut-up peaches and berries.
For sparkly spangled pies, make dough cutouts with cookie cutters in multiple sizes and sprinkle with extra sugar before baking.
To help guests party until the fireworks start, serve this light slaw side with a fresh lime dressing so they (hopefully) won't overstuff themselves.
Repurpose wine corks to create this all-star party decoration.
Get the tutorial at Hostess with the Mostess.
Serve potato chips in snow cone cups for easy snacking, and a cupcake holder makes a convenient stand.
Use chalkboard labels to give these colorful Mason jars a personal touch.
Get the tutorial at Big Bear's Wife.
READ MORE: Sweet 4th of July Cake and Cupcake Recipes
Planning to light a campfire? Serve the s'mores essentials in fry holders, and your guests will be all set to create the ooey-gooey treats.
Get the tutorial at Balancing Home.
Tuck napkins and utensils in mason jars: They're easy for guests to grab after they've loaded up their plates, plus they do double duty as drinking glasses.
Stick strips of blue painter's tape down the center of a white fabric or plastic tablecloth. Then, cut apart a decorative firework chandelier and nestle the bursts into sand-filled metal buckets. Wrap utensils in a red or blue bandanna-turned-napkin and place them on top of my festive plates.
What you'll need: Firework chandelier ($15, .com); Blue painter's tape ($6, .com); 36-count bandanas ($35, .com)
Serve chilled water in reusable glass containers instead of buying bottled water.
What you'll need: Glass Beverage Bottles ($20 for 6, .com)
Grill hamburgers and serve with the old standbys (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles), then add a special topping like this bacon jam.
All you need to do is spoon your favorite ice cream between two store-bought cookies, then serve them in a cupcake liner to avoid drips. Try these combos:
• Chocolate cookie + mint chocolate chip ice cream
• Shortbread + strawberry ice cream
• Gingersnaps + coconut sorbet
Clinton Kelly cuts watermelon into 1-inch-thick slices, then uses cookie cutters to make the stars. Pop them onto colorful paper straws and you're ready to go.
Once the night has settled in, hand out sparklers to your guests. Of course, be careful of letting the smaller kids handle them.
What you'll need: Sparklers ($20 for 72, walmart.com)
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