We’ve planned an outdoor 4th of July party for you! This 4th of July party plan is just what you need to throw a party at which you can relax and truly enjoy. Bonus: it is planned with your budget in mind! Sit back, create your guest list, and leave the party planning to us.
Every party needs a theme, but our theme of choice should not surprise you. We are sticking to the reason we even celebrate on the Fourth, our country’s independence! Thus, our decorations will be as patriotic as they can be. Think all things red, white, and blue, including the American flag.
Balloons. Of course, choose red, white, and blue balloons. Blow them up with helium, bundle multiple together, then tie fishing line from the bundle to some sort of weight on the ground. Place the bundles around your yard for easy and quick, yet large decorations. For extra fun, hang streamers (again: red, white, and blue) from the bottom of the balloons to the ground.
Tables. Purchase plastic tablecloths from any dollar store or party supply store. Choose tablecloths in red, white, and blue colors to alternate between tables. Then, sprinkle star-shaped confetti down the middle of your tables. For your centerpiece, place sparklers in a cute container for your guests to use later in the night. Prefer a sweeter centerpiece option? Place red licorice and other festive candies in jars for edible decorations!
Lighting. Do you have Christmas lights sitting in a box in your attic that only get used once a year? Get them out! Christmas lights are a great addition to any outdoor party. The surface to which you’re attaching your light strings may determine the method of attachment. You can hang them up or simply wrap the lights around your tree branches. Do whatever works best for you and your party setup and location!
Garland. Do you have kiddos who love to do crafts? Have them make a festive chain garland. Cut strips of red, white, and blue construction paper then loop them together to make as much garland as you need. Hang them around your awning or down from serving tables or place them down the center of your table.
Menu: Finger Foods
Keep the menu simple, yet fun. Outdoor parties are normally a lot less structured, meaning your guests are free to eat as they please. Prepare simple and easy to eat finger foods, but tie in the holiday theme as well.
Hint: if someone wants to bring a dish … let them! Then, mark it off your to-do/to-buy list. Guests like it when you give them direction as to what items are needed still, so have a few ideas ready. Be open with your guests (this way you don’t end up with 4 sheet cakes and 3 corn casseroles).
Main Dish. Again, keep it simple and grill out. Stick some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and supply the toppings. This is an easy way to cook for a group, and if you use paper plates, cups, and utensils, clean-up is a breeze! Bonus: this is the perfect time to show off your (or your spouse’s) grilling skills.
Side Dishes. Don’t forget, simple is okay. Chips and dip, fresh fruit skewers, veggie trays, deviled eggs, and cheese cubes are sides that your guests are sure to enjoy! These side dishes are also easy items for guests to bring.
Drinks. If you are planning to have alcohol, cut your costs by asking guests to BYOB. But remember to always drink responsibly. You may want to consider having a designated driver available in case some guests celebrate a little too much. Soda, juice boxes, and water bottles are great items for guests to bring instead of a side dish. Let them know you will provide the coolers and ice. Don’t forget to have some plastic cups available for people to use as well!
Desserts. Make an American Flag cake! Bake a sheet cake in a 9”x13” baking pan, then top with white icing. Arrange the top left corner with blueberries, then slice strawberries into fourths and create your stripes. Want to stick with the finger food theme? Make chocolate covered strawberries! Guests love them, and they are easy to prepare.
Entertainment: Yard Games
The 4th of July is a laid-back holiday where people enjoy spending time with friends and family outdoors. Give your guests activities to make the party exciting and to keep the laugher high. Remember, this day is supposed to be relaxing, so choose outdoor yard games that do not involve much work.
Icebreaker. A fun icebreaker is called “Line ‘Em Up” and involves teams of 4 or more people. Have one guest (or yourself) call out a specific order the team needs to line up in. Some examples include length of hair, age, month they were born, distance from home, shoe size, and height. This is a great way for guests to get to know each other while having fun!
Family Fun. Does your party guest list include kids? Plan some family-friendly relay races. A few ideas include the crabwalk, egg & spoon race, tennis ball relay, and back to back balloon pop.
DIY. Create a giant Jenga set out of 2”x4” boards. Don’t have a saw? Ask your local lumber yard to cut the boards you purchase; most will cut to any length. Make your set perfect for your 4th of July party by painting the ends red, white, and blue!
Yard Games. Set up your yard with some traditional yard games for guests to enjoy throughout the party. Hillbilly golf, badminton, cornhole (bags), and washers are all popular options. If you don’t have these games, ask your guests if they do!
Miscellaneous Items: Hints & Tips
When planning a party outdoors, there are some items you do not want to forget in order for your guests to be comfortable.
Bug Spray. Do you live in any area where bugs are out at all times of the day? Provide some bug spray for your guests so they can focus on having fun, not swatting bugs.
Sunscreen. The sun can be harsh. Don’t let it get the best of your guests. Have sunscreen sitting out and inform guests that they are welcome to use it.
Seating. Are you and your guests planning on watching the fireworks* at your party? If so, make sure you have plenty of seating and old blankets available for your friends and family to enjoy the show. If you do not have a lot of seating, kindly ask your guests to bring their own lawn chairs.
* Fireworks should only be handled by professionals. Ensure that all guests and pets are a safe distance away from all fireworks displays.
Music. Find a 4th of July/Summer Pandora play list and play it at your party. Make sure it is not too loud, but just a nice addition in the background. Mix in children’s songs if you have a large group of young ones for some extra fun!
Clean-up. Make the end of the night a breeze by having trash cans available for your guests in easy-to-find locations. Make sure they have a lid to prevent more bugs. Your guests will be more likely to throw away their trash if the trash can is visible, making for easy clean-up at the end of the party.
It’s time to declare a little independence from party planning … pull up a chair, play some yard games, watch the fireworks, and enjoy your guests!