June 27, 2022 4 min read

It's time to celebrate the 4th, and typically it's the first big bash of the summer, an outdoor celebration where we can enjoy the weather and spend time with friends and family. All it takes is a little planning and preparation to get this summer kick-off rolling and make it memorable – no matter what.

First Up. The Menu.

Menu ideas for grilling out like kabobs

Photo credit: Pexels-Pixabay

With food costs on the rise, it just makes sense to economize. Get creative! Grill out with 4th of July favorites but mix it up a bit.

  • Cook up a variety of sausages instead of just hot dogs.
  • Add turkey or black bean burgers to the hamburger menu.
  • Grill a variety of marinated chicken wings and drumettes instead of chicken breasts.
  • Do kabobs instead of cuts of beef and chicken. Add a variety of veggies and marinades to the mix.
  • Make the main course casseroles or BBQ sandwiches. They can be made ahead of time, and are self-serve, freeing you up to enjoy the festivities of the day.

Invite others, and accept offers, to bring an appetizer, refreshments, side dish, or dessert. After all, variety is the spice of life, so celebrate it. It's hard to please everyone, and some of us have food allergies, sensitivities, or special diets—so if everyone brings a dish, it's covered.

Don't Overdo the Decorations

July 4th party decorations

Photo credit: Rodnae Productions

Hey, if you love this holiday, go for it! But you don't need to spend much on decorations to set the mood. Instead, pick a few focal points and theme them.

Start a tradition and build on it over time; that's half the fun! A little red, white and blue can go a long way, such as blowing up balloons, crafting a couple of table decorations, hanging streamers, handing out party hats, or decorating a dessert. The point is to celebrate the day with those you cherish most.

Get Your Groove On

There's nothing better than music that puts guests in the mood to move and groove, so get your summer playlist ready ahead of time.

  • Today, there's an abundance of music apps like Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Apple Music, or Tune In from which to stream music or compile playlists quickly and easily.
  • Choose playlists that set the mood and build energy over time, mix it up, or keep it light and breezy.
  • Sync your smartphone to a portable Bluetooth speaker, and you're good to go.

Party Games

Fun Party Games for Kids and Grownups like Pull Rope

If you're a super-organized party planner, you probably already have a theme and several games to accompany the day's events. Fantastic, and we applaud you, but for the rest of us who might be party-planning challenged, coming up with a few ideas would be… well, a game changer (pardon the pun). Games give kids something to do and can help spark conversations and interactions between adults. It can also keep the party rolling longer, which means epic memories.

  • Backyard Favorites: Setup corn hole, a ring toss, horseshoes, badminton, volleyball nets, or a croquet set.
  • Go with the Classics: Arrange for an old-fashioned egg and spoon race, sack race, three-legged race, or musical chairs so kids and grownups can join in the fun.
  • Board and Card Games: There are plenty of games to choose from, including family-friendly ones for kids attending the festivities. Board games, such as Yahtzee, dominos, rummy royal, and even backgammon, are entertaining for kids and grownups alike. Beyond the traditional card games everyone loves, like UNO, Taboo, euchre, spades, and hearts, there are many other ingenious, laugh-out-loud options like 'What Do You Meme?', Spot It, and Splurt.
  • If you own a swimming pool, great! If not, you can set up a 'slip n' slide' for the kids or hand out water balloons—super easy to do and so fun on a hot summer's day.

Keep the Weather Forecast in Mind

MonsterMeshPod Pop-up Bug-Screen Tent for the Outdoors

The weather becomes unpredictable as summer heats up and can make the day fun or unpleasant. If you're hosting an outdoor party, plan for additional shelter depending on your guest count. You can set up a canopy, rent one from a party supply shop, or consider investing in a pop-up Pod or two. Pop-up Pods, like those from Under the Weather®, are ideal because they're portable, lightweight, and pop open in seconds, literally, with no assembly required. The Summer Pod collection is hassle-free, convenient, and oh-so-versatile.

  • Choose from 1 up to 6-person Pods.
  • Zip-up bug screens provide a shady, breezy spot —no waving off gnats, mosquitoes, or bees.
  • Use as an additional seating area, outdoor bar, or food station to protect snacks and refreshments from sun and bugs.
  • Create an instant game zone, play area, or nap zone for little ones to curl up in, out of the sun.
  • These Pods fold down into a compact backpack case so you can take them with you anywhere—the beach, the lake, the park, camping, or in the RV.
  • There are also weatherproof Pods with plastic panels that keep the rain, wind, and cold at bay.

Get Your Sparkle On

Sparklers are Fun for 4th of July Festivities

While we all love a good fireworks display, most residential areas and neighborhoods now prohibit fireworks as they can be a fire hazard. And injuries, damage to property, annoying neighbors, and scaring pets are sure ways to ruin a good time.

  • Sparklers are considered safer but still require some caution, in the way they are lit and handled, particularly with kids. Sparklers are available in a variety of sizes and colors to make the evening festive.
  • Party crackers are more kid-friendly and are a good substitute for firecrackers.
  • If a local fireworks event is happening, arrange for your party to shift to that location to enjoy the display. It's a great end to the night and keeps the party from going too late.

A little prep and a go-with-the-flow attitude is the best way to turn your Fourth of July party into an epic event. So, give yourself permission to kick back and enjoy spending time with your friends and family because these are the memories you'll cherish.


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