Archives for July 2015


quotes for success, Reba McEntire


Tips To Plan Your 4th of July Festivities

4th of July festivities


Planning your 4th of July festivities can be stressful, right?  The 4th of July is one of the biggest summer celebrations for most of us during the summer. So, if you’re like me you want to serve great food, have plenty of drinks, play games, and put on a great fireworks display. However, hosting family gatherings can get overwhelming.

I have learned over the years to plan my summer celebrations and make lists to ensure I don’t forget anything. Here’s a few other tips that have helped make my 4th of July festivities successful:

Plan Your Menu

Meats – First, if you’re serving food that will take longer to cook, start cooking those foods on your grill or smoker at least an hour before the guest are scheduled to arrive.  Also, burgers, hot dogs and sausages can be started shortly after guests start arriving.  Because they don’t take as long to cook, reserve them for later.  For my 4th of July festivities, you will always find these items on my grill/smoker:

  • Burgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • BBQ Ribs
  • Sausages

Side Dishes – Next, I fix as many of my cold dishes the night before and refrigerate them.  Furthermore, I start anything that I can fix in the crockpots on low the night before too. The house smells great in the morning.  I love getting everybody excited about the day and their mouth watering for great food.  Here’s a few ideas for side dishes:

  • Potato Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Pasta Salads
  • Steamer Meat
  • Baked Beans
  • Corn On The Cob
  • Green Beans & Corn
  • Greens
  • Grilled squash and zucchini
  • Salad -(I set out various bottles of salad dressing for guests to choose from)
Veggies/Chips and Dip – Also, I make a dip for veggies and a dip for chips.  If I serve a salad, I don’t do a veggie tray.  But, I do make this Spinach Dip for my vegetable tray when I do make it.  It goes well with crackers too.

Fruits – Additionally, everybody likes something refreshing on a hot summer day. I love to put a fruit salad together or do fruit skewers.

Desserts – Berries are big in the summer.  As a result, I do several trifles this time of year using fresh strawberries.  Be as simple or elaborate as you would like.  But, I have been known to do a tray of brownies or cupcakes and little cups of ice cream too.

Drinks – It’s important that everyone stay hydrated.  Because liquids are important, make sure you have plenty of water and drinks.  If you’re serving alcohol, beer and cocktails, please have a designated driver for those indulging.


4th of July festivities

Plan Your Games – Also, I make sure I have plenty of activities for the kids and adults.  Here’s a few 4th of July ideas that I have used in the past:

  • Patriotic Crafts for the kids
  • Sack Races
  • Turn on the sprinkler
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Use printables/coloring pages for the kids
  • Horseshoes
  • Badminton or Croquet
  • Bingo
  • Cards
  • Charades

Solicit Co-Hosts – Most importantly, I have learned that I can’t do everything and do it well.  As a result, I ask my family to help with keeping the food flowing, grilling, assisting with children’s crafts, games, music etc. Things go much smoother and it takes some stress off me when I have help.

Last, I like to decorate on a budget.  So, I head to the Dollar Stores to buy items that I didn’t pick up on clearance the prior year.  If your crafty make your own center pieces and luminaries to add festive touches.  Also, the Dollar Store sells festive plates, napkins, mini flags etc.  Don’t forget to head to Michael’s or AC Moore for paint and other supplies that you can’t find at the Dollar Stores for the kid’s activities.

Finally, I hope these 4th of July festivities will help you remove some of the stress of entertaining.  And, I hope they help you plan a great backyard BBQ with family and friends.  Also, what are some of the dishes you prepare or activities you use to entertain guests?

You may also like: 9 Kid’s Patriotic Craft Ideas