If the 4th of July is a big deal is your family or neighborhood, you’re going to want to throw a great party. This is the first big holiday of the summer, and that means that most party planners roll all of the best parts of summer into one big bash for Independence Day. That means barbecues, pool parties, outdoor games, fireworks, and more! If you want to throw the ultimate 4th of July party, here’s how:
1. Send the invitations out early.
What does this have to do with planning the ultimate 4th of July party? 4th of July is usually a busy day for most people (in family, it as house-painting day). You want to get your invitations sent out as early as possible, to make sure that the people you want to invite haven’t already made other plans. Even if they have—if your party starts at noon and doesn’t stop until the neighborhood fireworks show, you can always have people stop in and leave as their time commitment allows. Including that on your invite will up the likelihood of more of your guests being able to show up!
2. Plan your menu.
Don’t be afraid to go big and bold with your menu. A barbecue is the “traditional” for a 4th of July party, but if you don’t have a barbecue or you don’t like barbecue, you certainly don’t have to grill anything in order to make your party awesome. A variety of options, however, is the best way to ensure that all of your guests will have something to eat. Fruit, veggies, cookies, cake, hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and even grilled chicken are all easy options that can be prepped ahead or cooked as needed as people arrive. If you really want to do something different and fun, you could serve traditional British food to thumb your nose at the UK.
3. Red, white, and blue it up.
You’re going to want to start stocking up on 4th of July party supplies right now, before the stores are completely wiped out. Making your backyard or house (if rain decides to come down on us this Independence Day) a 4th of July wonderland is as easy as picking up some red, white, and blue decorations from a party supply store. A red checkered table cloth, set with blue and white plates is a great start. Top it off with some patriotic banners and hanging paper lanterns and you’ve got the ultimate 4th of July space to celebrate our Independence Day.
4. Get your music in order.
If you’re planning a day-long bash, you’re going to want a lot of music. Your guests will only be able to listen to the Boston Pops play The Star Spangled Banner so many times before they’ll opt for no music over hearing that brass band go at it again. While there is a huge selection of “patriotic” music to choose from, you can also widen your scope a little bit and select not just from traditional Independence Day tunes, but from classic Americana music as well. Bands like Boston and Chicago, as well as any number of “country” acts will add variety and interest to your playlist and won’t tire out your guests.
5. Start a water fight.
This summer is already too hot. Can you imagine having to hang outside all day in this summer heat? The best way to cool down your guests without sending them running for the air conditioning inside is a water fight! You can pick up cheap squirt guns from just about any dollar store or party supply store, and put out a few buckets of water to make them easy to fill up. If you really want to go extreme, buy some of the big super soakers and give everyone a real water weapon. Fill up water balloons and leave them in strategic points around the yard and then just let everyone run free! Kids and adults alike will love being able to cool down in this summer heat.
6. Plan some games.
A water balloon and squirt gun fight might keep most people occupied for the entire afternoon, but you might want to come up with a few other games and activities in case the water runs dry or some people don’t want to play. Three-legged or gunnysack races are popular choices, but you could also set up some corn holes, horse shoes, or other games to keep the rest of your party occupied. Bocce ball is another popular choice, as are lawn bowling and croquet. If you can set up a quick mini golf course, this is also great for adults and kids.
7. Hand out some starry party favors.
If you’re looking for a way to deck out your guests in addition to your backyard or home, why not pick up some plastic star-spangled necklaces inred, silver, and blue. These party favor necklaces are extremely cheap and will make everyone look just as patriotic as they feel. You’ll give your party a little bling and your guests will have a memento from what is going to be a 4th of July party for the ages. You can find necklaces like these in any store that sells 4th of July party supplies.
When the barbecue has cooled down and the fireworks are over, don’t forget to end out the night with some sparklers!