You are reaching the end of June, and you are wanting to make sure that your 4th of July party is perfect, better yet epic. How do you make sure that the party you are throwing is one that is remembered fondly for years to come?
What are some tips for planning an epic 4th of July party? When it comes to hosting an epic party, there are five things to keep in mind: decorations, activities, theme, food, and drinks.
For more suggestion on what to get for these areas as well as what makes for an epic party, continue reading.
5 Tips To Planning an Epic 4th Of July Party
Planning a party can seem a large task. You want to try to get all of the little details right and make sure everyone has a good time.
To avoid the stress associated with party planning its best to come up with a simple plan focusing on the 5 key things a good 4th of July party: decorations, activities, theme, food, and drinks.
Decorations help set the mood of any party. During the 4th of July, seeing the red, white, and blue scattered all around helps create a festive and patriotic setting for the people in attendance.
The goal with decorations is to ake the party setting inviting, however often times store bought decorations can be unnecessarily expensive. To avoid spending more than half of your party budget on varying party décor, you can use fun and easy do-it-yourself party decorations.
To avoid early onset boredom or to have everyone just set up camp in front of the living room tv, you need to have some activities on hand. It is always a good idea to have a mixture of traditional party games and something new most of the people in your party haven’t done before.
If your party is going to be attended by guests of all ages, it is also important to have games that are accessible for your younger guests.
The theme of the party, like the decorations, helps introduce the intended mood for the party. Ask yourself what kind of party you want. Do you want it to be a casual get together with just a few close friends and family, or do you want it to be a total rager?
Once you know the answer to that question, you can decide how you want to set up the decorations, activities, food, and drink.
Food and drink is a party staple. All important events and gatherings have their traditional food, and the 4th of July is no exception to this.
Your guests will have certain expectations when it comes to what kind of food you will be providing to the party, or if it’s a potluck what type of food the other guests will be bringing to the party.
All of the factors help establish a successful, fun, and epic party. They are easy to accomplish and will save you time and worry in the long run.
5 Tips For An Epic 4th of July Party
What Makes An Epic Party
Now you know what stapes to follow to throw an epic party. The question remains, however, how are you supposed to know if your party can be described as that.
Along with the tips mentioned above, there are three other things to consider that help determine the success of your party: guests, getting the word out, and having a plan to call it a night.
When anyone considers who they are going to invite to a party, they already have a list of people that they know they’re going to ask. The friends that the host has known forever, and have, in turn, known each other forever.
This is a comfortable place to be, and with only these guests, your party will be just that, comfortable.
If you want to throw a new and exciting party, you need to go beyond your comfort zone.
Inviting people who you don’t normally hang out with, like coworkers and casual acquaintances, will give you the chance to get to know them outside of the traditional setting.
This will also allow the invited guests to get to know others they wouldn’t have had a chance to meet before. A hallmark of a good party is people being able to talk and even having the opportunity to meet new people, potentially forming new relationships.
Once you have a guest list figured out its important to consider how you are going to get the word out. It doesn’t matter how well planned and awesome the party is if no one hears about it and doesn’t go.
There are two strong ways to get this done. The first is social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, what have you. The second way to get the word out about a party is to encourage others to spread the word.
One of the great things about living in the age of Facebook is that we can keep in regular, easy contact with everyone. What can at times be an annoyance, turns into an asset when you want to make sure that people learn about the party that you are throwing.
Once you’ve posted about the party, the people you are inviting can share the news with their friends. However, be sure that the friends who are spreading the word are discerning.
While unexpected guests can be a plus, again new people equals new potential friendships to be made, the party is still being held in your home, and you should always be comfortable with who is there.
Finally, there is your escape plan, or what you’re going to do when the night is at its end, and you want everyone to go home so you can begin clean up.
Every party inevitably has some stragglers that don’t pick up on when it’s the socially correct time to leave. For those guests that need a bit of a nudge to go, you can either be direct or subtle.
The direct approach requires you telling any stragglers that the party is over and you want to go to sleep. It may seem rude, but it would be effective in getting your point across.
The subtle approach requires you just starting to pick up around the stragglers. Get everything into the trash bags and begin putting away the food. Start yawning to indicate how tired you are. If the guest isn’t too dense, they will pick up on the hint.
Personally, I would go the direct approach. After hosting a party into the wee hours would have worn me out, and I would want my house back.
Assumedly, any stragglers would be people who are comfortable enough to hang around after everyone else has left are people I’ve known for a while, so I wouldn’t be worried about appearing rude and hurting anyone’s feelings.
How To Make Sure Your Party Is Epic
- Word of Mouth
- Escape Plan
Tips For Easy DIY Party Decorations
As mentioned before party decorations can be ridiculously priced. They also tend to be unoriginal, using the same types of designs and materials that have been used since the 4th of July parties of 1955. That’s boring, and if you want to throw an epic 4th of July party, you want to avoid boring.
DIY decoration projects are a good way to save money and create unique decorations that your guests won’t see at every party they go to. Some decoration ideas are a 4th of July Fun and Games station, painted lawn stars, and patriotic string lights.
The most common item associated with the 4th of July is fireworks, adult and children alike have always enjoyed them.
However, it is becoming more and more common for certain neighborhoods to disallow the use of fireworks that make loud noises because of noise pollution, anxious pets, and even people who are more sensitive to loud sounds.
A fun and games station allows your guests to have access to the safer fireworks available: snaps, poppers, and sparklers.
These types of fireworks are fun for people of all ages and least likely to lead to serious injury. These stations are ridiculously easy to make. All you need are three containers, preferably glass, some colored paper, and markers.
Most of the work goes into decorating the containers. Once you’ve made you containers pretty, you fill them with the appropriate firecrackers. Kids will have a lot of fun with them, and once it gets dark, the adults can give the sparklers a go, embracing their inner children.
My favorite of the three potential ideas is the painted lawn stars. Most likely, your party is going to take place outdoors, and your guests will probably be coming when it is still light out. Having a bunch of red, white, and blue stars painted on your lawn is a fun and unique decoration. All you need for this project is a cardboard star cutout and construction spray paint.
The construction paint can be found in pretty much any home improvement store, and it won’t kill your grass, always a chief concern if you are going to do anything to your lawn.
The one fall back is that it won’t go away until after you mow your grass. If you decide to do this, be sure, because you will be looking at stars on your lawn for a while after July 4th.
Finally, there are patriotic string lights. You often see string light in most party settings, the twinkling lights give the atmosphere a fun feel to any party. The 4th of July is no exception to this.
To make the lights patriotic, you will need red, white, and blue yarn; 5-inch balloons, glue, water, Vaseline, wire, and string lights. You can find the balloons at any local party store.
To begin, inflate each balloon and tie the end knot firmly. You only need to inflate as many balloons as you have lights. After inflating the balloons cover them in a fine layer of Vaseline, this will keep the threads from sticking to the balloons static.
Once the balloons have been inflated and covered in Vaseline, fill a mixing tray with two parts glue and one part water. It’s ok if the measurements aren’t perfect, you can eyeball it. Begin stirring the mixture until it has a smooth and even consistency, think of it like mixing paint.
With the mixture stirred began gathering your thread. You will want to start with a small amount first to avoid tangling. Soak the thread in the glue mixture, use your fingers to make sure it has been absorbed by the thread throughout.
Take your now soaked thread and tie one end around the balloon knot. Wrap the thread around the balloon crisscrossing in different places to make a unique design.
When you reach the end of the thread tuck it into another piece of thread. Then take the whole balloon and soak it once more in the glue mixture.
Once you’ve finished wrapping at the balloons in single or multiple thread colors find a place where they can be hung to dry. A clothesline between two chairs will do in a pinch, lining the ground another the clothesline with newspaper to catch any glue drippings. Allow the balloons 48 hours to dry.
Once the balloons are completely dry gently pop them and remove the balloon remnants.
The thread should be durable, standing stiff on its own. You then attach the new light covers to the string lights using the smallest opening in each covering and a little bit of wire. Be sure when you are attaching the coverings to alternate between colors.
Out of the three activities mentioned, this one does take the most effort and can be a bit messy. While the end result can be quite pretty, bear in mind the amount of work need to complete this project before you decide on it.
If none of these ideas really appeal to you or the type of party you want to throw, don’t worry, there are plenty more on the internet. Just do a quick search to find something that suits you.
Suggested Decoration Ideas:
- Fun and Games Station
- Painted Lawn Stars
- Patriotic String Lights
The Best Activities For a 4th Of July Party
If you want to make sure that your party goes well and continues to go well throughout the night, you want to make sure that you have some good activities in store.
There are traditional activities such as dancing that always get the crowd moving, but there are also more out of the box activities that are sure to get people excited as well.
One such activity is having a photobooth with themed props. Photobooths are becoming an increasingly popular thing for most parties and events. They’re a fun way for someone to capture memories of the moment they’re in without having to step outside of it to take a selfie.
Good props for a photo booth should be goofy and not serious at all. You can have little star-spangled pinwheels that the guests wave around as they have their photo taken. Or you could make a ridiculous cardboard cutout of a red, white, and blue hat.
The goal of the party photo booth is to joke around. If you have people laughing as they go in and laughing even harder when they come out, then the photobooth is doing its job.
Another fun idea that I wouldn’t really recommend if you have children running around is a homemade game of balloon darts. All you need is a white pegboard; red, white, and blue balloons; darts; and prizes (cash, candy,etc.).
This is a fun idea that you don’t see a lot of. Nothing brings people together more quickly than a friendly sense of competition. If you make sure that no one is being careless, it can be fun for everyone.
If the unique options don’t really appeal to what you’re trying to do, you can always go for the tried and true method and have a space cleared for dancing.
It is an oldie, but there’s a reason that it is still popular at parties, weddings, and every kind of social gathering on the planet. As long as you have a good playlist playing on a loop, people will be willing to go all night.
Suggested Activity Ideas
- Photobooth and Props
- Outdoor Balloon Darts
Theme Ideas For a 4th Of July Party
With a 4th of July party, the motif is already pretty well set. That being red, white, and blue, patriotism, and freedom.
The question can remain though what kind of party do you want. Your party can range from a backyard barbeque, a block party, or even a rented out bar.
A small scale barbeque is pretty simple. There is a casual air to everything, and typically everybody of all ages will be in attendance.
These type of parties tend to be low-key. Everyone knows everyone, and even if they don’t, the conversation is still pretty easy. Other than the occasional trips to your guest bathroom everyone will be outside.
You’re in charge of the entrée’s, and everyone invited needs to bring some sort of side dish to share potluck style. The party will typically start early in the afternoon and then drag on into the night usually ending about an hour after the big firework show, if not earlier.
A larger block-style party does require a bit more planning, but since you are in a group when you are planning not all of the responsibilities lay on your shoulders.
These type of parties will have bigger and more coordinated events, there will also likely be an area designated just for children to play where they can all be watched over.
Everybody tends to bring a different entre and side dish to this, and its all served buffet style. You will see the traditional food staples, but there will also be another option available depending on who is providing the food.
Like with a smaller backyard party these tend to start in the afternoon and go on until the end of the designated fireworks.
There is also the type of parties where you rent out a bar or some equivalent space and have the party there. These are the kinds of parties where you invite everyone you’ve ever met. Also, traditionally, these types of parties won’t have any children present.
These parties typically have catering, so you don’t have to worry about cooking the food or making the drinks your job is just to make sure you have a good menu.
The traditional events at these kinds of parties range from dancing to popular bar games, like giant Jenga and darts. Out of the three types of parties, this one starts late and finishes late.
Types of 4th of July Parties
- Backyard Barbeque
- Block Party
- Rented Space
What To Serve Your Guests as a 4th Of July Party
Now onto the real issue about planning a party. You have a good group coming, there are fun things for them to do, and you’ve made the space look nice, but what are you going to feed them.
Are you going to go traditional or try to be a bit more experimental? For drinks, are you going to serve only non-alcoholic or are you going to serve alcohol as well, what kind of drinks? My answer is, why not have the best of both worlds.
Food and Drink Suggestions:
- Potato Salad
- Cheddar Bacon Ranch Corn
- Tuscan Tortellini Salad
- American Cake
- Brie and Fruit
- Red, White, and Sparkling Blueberry Punch
- Red, White, and Blue Layer Punch
For the food, you can have the regular staples that your guests will expect but also something a bit more adventurous that still fits with the 4th of July.
First, to consider are the sides, your traditional choice can be something like potato salad. It’s something that everybody knows about, and it is really hard to screw it up unless you leave it in a hot car.
On the more adventurous side, you can try making something like cheddar bacon ranch corn.
While roasted corn is a standard staple for a 4th of July mean adding something extra to it like cheddar bacon ranch will introduce your guests to something familiar yet different and just as delicious.
For the entrées, you have your regular dishes, like your burgers and hot dogs. These are awesome, and frankly, some things don’t need to change.
However, since we are entering into a more health-conscious state as a country, one thing to consider is adding healthy alternatives, like salads.
One good salad that can work if you don’t want to go with the traditional Caesar is Tuscan Tortellini salad. It’s a hearty pasta style salad with prosciutto and spinach that will keep your healthier eating guests as full as the people chowing down on burgers and hot dogs.
Finally, there is the dessert. Which is always a fun one to think about. In my family whenever we had a 4th of July party one of the chief desserts was a white sheet cake with white frosting and blueberries and strawberries used to make the shape of the American flag, very creative is my family.
If you like the white cake tradition but want to zest it up a bit, one option is the America cake. For this cake, you will need a box of white and red velvet cake mix; blue dye; and red, white, and blue sprinkles.
These combined ingredients will make a cake that looks and tastes (metaphorically) like the American flag with every bite.
If you want to go beyond the traditional white cake and venture into something a bit more on the edge, one alternative is brie and fruit. Using blueberries and strawberries, you can form the image of the American flag, keeping that dessert tradition alive.
Considering what kind of crowd you’re going to have this may be the perfect dessert for your party.
Personally, I would go with the America cake, but I’m nostalgic.
Now onto the drinks. As mentioned before the age-old question when it comes to what drinks you should serve is, alcohol or no alcohol? Again I say, why not both?
Traditionally when people think of non-alcoholic drinks, they think of bottled water. That isn’t the only option though, and the minors, designated drivers, and other non-alcohol drinking individuals shouldn’t be limited just because they aren’t drinking anything boozy tonight.
The first kind of drink that can be made both alcoholic and non-alcoholic is the punch. As long as you make it clear, which is which there is no reason that both groups can’t enjoy a fruity drink while celebrating the 4th of July.
The alcoholic version of this punch is called the Red, White, and Sparkling Blueberry punch. It is made out of Moscato, sparkling blueberry juice, Smirnoff Sorbet Pineapple Coconut, and ice to keep the punch cold.
The non-alcoholic punch is called the Red, White, and Blue Layered punch. This drink is made from Cranberry juice, pomegranate Gatorade, and Mandarin Orange Clear American Zero. If you want the punch to keep its cool layered look, avoid ice if possible.
With these two punches at your party, everyone is guaranteed to be happy with what they drink, be it from the alcoholic side or the non-alcoholic side.