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

9 Kid’s Patriotic Craft Ideas

9 Kid’s Patriotic Craft Ideas
kids patriotic craft ideas

We will be celebrating Independence Day next week-end.  I love celebrating with family and friends and I’m expecting 20 – 30 family members for my backyard BBQ. I’ve been thinking of games and activities for the kids.  As a result, I did a round of kid’s patriotic craft ideas to share with my readers.  I selected various activities for different ages, so I hope you will find 1 or 2 that you can use at your festivities:

1.  Patriotic Dish Brush Fireworks from Crafty Morning – A different twist on making firework crafts. If you don’t have old brushes around, a trip to the Dollar Store for a few dish brushes and the crafting can begin. It looks like this craft calls for a round brush.

2.  Patriotic Tee Shirt from Crafty Morning – This is a cute idea for the kids to make when they need a break from running and jumping or after drying off from the pool or sprinklers. Grab a few white tees, red and blue fabric paint, and a medium width paint brush from Michael’s.

3.  Patriotic Foot and Hand Print Flag from Sewing for Sanity – This is an adorable idea using the kids hand and footprints.  This particular example uses a 16 x 20 artist canvass which you can purchase from your local craft or art supply store. Decide how large you want the end result to be. I wish I had room for this project.

4. Patriotic Hand Print Wreath from Decorating With Dodi – This little hand print wreath is adorable. The blogger doesn’t have instructions on her blog, but it seems fairly simple to make. The background is white and various degrees of paint was used to make some of the prints darker than others.

Also, it looks like the fingers are spread a little so you can cut between them when you’re cutting out the hands. I’m going to use a circle made out of cardboard to glue the hand prints to and regular printer paper to make the prints on. This is a good idea for 2 or 3 year olds.

5. Patriotic Hand Print from B-Inspired Mama – This is a cute craft for kids of any age. I love placing the name and year on the finished product. Great way to remember 4th of July fun with family.

6. Patriotic Bean Toss from Sugar Bee Crafts – I love this idea for my grandson and his cousins. This will be a nice break from tossing the football. Find a shady spot in the yard.  I would suggest using a piece of cardboard under the plates to ensure the plates are stable.  Make the bean bags out of felt. You can find pieces at your local craft store.

7. Patriotic Luminaries from For The Love Of – I’m going to use these luminaries for my table center pieces. I have a ton of mason jars in my cabinets from my canning sessions and a few bottles of Modge Podge in the craft corner. I’ll be pick up the tissue paper and flags at the Dollar Store.  Cute, Patriotic and Budget Friendly.  Just the way I like it.

8. Patriotic Word Search from Crayon Freckes – Great idea to use when you want the kids to get out of the sun and relax a little. Have one of the older children assist them in finding the words. They can feast on a treat of watermelon or a fruit salad while they’re searching for the words. This can be fun for the adults too.

9. Patriotic Fork Fireworks from Crafty Morning – I love this idea or the kids and the little ones with a little help. Simply dip a fork into red and let the firework making begin. Dip a fork into the blue paint and fill in the blank areas or go over the red.  Just have fun.

Finally, we hope that you enjoyed our kid’s patriotic craft ideas.  Bingo just happens to be one of my favorite backyard games.  It’s a perfect game for adults, and of course the good old sprinkler and water guns for the kids. Do you plan to use any of the above crafts?  So, what are some of your favorite 4th of July activities?  We may want to adopt a few of your activities.