Start planning your July 4th party today

June 28, 2016

Who's ready for July 4th? Somehow, everyone's favorite patriotic holiday is already upon us, and you know what that means: party time! Backyard barbecues, park get-togethers, beach bashes and lakeside soirees are all raring to go this summer, you just need to put it all together. Party planning for the Fourth is one of the more fun themes because there's no such thing as too much - as long as you're red, white, blue and fabulous you're good to go!

Once you've figured out the location - because the date is already set for you - you can ship out the invitations and get to work putting together the perfect July 4th party. Check off each of these categories as you go so you don't miss out on any of the independent party details: 

Food and Drink
It goes without saying that everything should be red, white and blue themed - as long as it isn't coming off the grill, that is. Getting creative with flag-themed treats is easier than you think and often includes some of your favorite summer fruits, so you know they're healthy snacks for all. Think: fruit parfaits with vanilla yogurt mixed with strawberries and blueberries. Dip pretzels in white chocolate and serve them with raspberries. You can also have a little fun with your cheese and fruit plates by cutting out star-shaped watermelon bites. 

"Don't overindulge in sugary sodas."

Of course, you'll want to include healthy drinks for kids so they don't overindulge in sugary sodas. But kids won't always reach for something healthy like a raspberry and blueberry infused water option - although keep this around for you and the adults anyway - so you have to get creative with your flavored drinks.

Consider mixing together all natural juice with seasonal fruits for a frosty smoothie - perfect for a hot summer day.

Decor
Again, make sure everything is detailed stars and stripes. You don't have to go absolutely overboard with this, however. Good Housekeeping explains that there are plenty of decorations that you can make yourself that are even easy enough to have the kids help before the party as well. The home design magazine says that you can get creative with white lanterns by painting them with red and blue paints in any pattern you want. Of course, there are plenty of other things you can paint as well. Flower pots, candle holders or lawn decorations are also a fun craft for the whole family.

Fill some pots with paper pinwheels to act as both a center piece, and a toy for anyone who wants to play with them. Don't forget, all little red, white and blue ribbon can go a long way when it comes to making ordinary things pop. For example, the jar holding your silverware for the cookout? Tie some bows around it and voila! You've left no detail behind. 

Now you're an expert party planner.Now you're an expert party planner.

Activities 
Now that you have the rest of the party set up you just need something for the kids to do before the evening's firework show begins! 

  • Capture the flag: Every kid - and adult, occasionally - loves a good game of capture the flag. Give the kids their flags, divide them into teams and let the fun begin. 
  • Tie-dye shirts: Grab some plain white T-shirts and red and blue dye from the craft store and set up a station where they get a little messy with the colors. Don't forget to offer them cover-ups so they don't ruin their clothing as well!
  • Fly kites: You can have the kids either make their own kites or just have some on hand to fly in the wind. You can also turn this into a mini history lesson and teach them all about Ben Franklin's kite flying experience.
  • Water balloon fight: Pick up some stars and stripes balloons, fill them with water and have a revolutionary water balloon battle! Just make sure your guests don't have a latex allergy before you bring them out.
  • Ghost in the graveyard: Once it starts to get dark out it's time for a spooky game of ghost in the graveyard. If you want to give it an educational twist, have the kids hiding dress up like revolutionary characters so the kids can learn more about important thinkers like George Washington or John Hancock.

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