Fourth of July celebrations come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing that seems to go without saying is that the Fourth is best enjoyed by gatherings outside - whether that be at the beach, a lake, a backyard, or a cul-de-sac. You may have a decades-long standing tradition, or you may be hosting for the first time, but either way, it’s always fun to throw in something new. Here are some ideas of “must-haves” to get you ready for the Fourth! Host(ess) with the Most(est) is in your future.


Lawn Excitement

No summer gathering is complete without a little play - and of course, some friendly competition can’t hurt either. The great thing about yard games is that it’s fun for all ages and all ability levels. The options for yard games are pretty unlimited, but for the fourth, you may want to go all out with a DIY giant Jenga, a DIY giant connect fourlawn Twister, yard dice, hula hoops… like we said, the options are endless. To be extra spirited paint the DIY yard games red, white and blue!


Don’t Be a Bartender

Don’t get stuck being the bartender at your own party (and make sure no one else is either) by setting up what may just be the most popular area of your gathering; the drink station. Pre-mix cocktails in glass dispensers, so those that want cocktails have it ready to go! If you want frozen cocktails, try setting out the ingredients and a blender with an instruction card on how a guest can DIY their own! You can also have a variety of beer, wine, any other drinks that you feel will round out your selection. To save glasses, drinks, and keep sanitary (especially for this year!), be sure to provide a fun drink identifier!

For kids drinks, set up a fun ice bucket or kiddie pool with kids’ options. That way, kids still have options at the “drink station” but it’s easier for them to choose and reach and no need to mess with the “fancy stuff” on the table!


Water Joy

If your Fourth fun is on the beach or lakeside - you’re in luck! You have the world of water-fun at your fingertips. Use the excuse to buy some fun oversized floats (the kind that delight kids, and adults, alike) for both floating and incredibly playful decor. Giant flamingos and watermelon slice floats? Yes, you aren’t the only one that eyes those every trip to Target! 

Not graced with a body of water at your gathering? You can still incorporate the cool, refreshing aspect of water at a summer party! Whether it’s kids or adults only, think about having baby pools that go with your theme (swim for little ones, a nice foot bathe for adults), small floating drink holders, giant DIYslip ‘n slides, etc. Feeling extra adventurous? Have some water balloons ready to go (and don’t worry, there’s a trick for doing that quickly)!


Seating for How Many!?

When the RSVPs roll in and you realize more people can come to your outdoor gathering than you originally envisioned … time to get creative with seating! The good news is that this makes your gathering area all the more creative! Try repurposing indoor furniture for outdoors (just for the occasion) for a fun look, as well as dusting off any camping gear you have on hand. Also - think about fun alcoves with hammocks, picnic blankets, and large pillows for other unique seating areas.


Red, White & Food

What would a Fourth of July celebration, or let’s be real, any celebration be, without the food! With everyone having to be more careful these days about large gatherings and keeping sanitary - think “hot off the grill” and individual servings for your lineup.

Instead of potluck or buffet style, having a grill master with burgers, chicken, veggies, and the works coming straight off the flame to hungry celebrators makes much more sense this year!

As for dessert, have fun with individual servings of summer favorites. Think mini pies, hand pies, popsicles, cookies … the list goes on, but those sugar cravings will stop at your dessert spread!



Whether or not you have fireworks in view for your celebration, plan to have your own send-off for the night! This is another fun, unique twist you can put on your gathering with fun for all ages. You can get creative and go with everything from sparklers, festive confetti with a confetti popper, floating (in air or water) lanterns, or giant bubbles! (Or hey, why not multiple options!?)

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