Enjoy the company of family and friends as you celebrate America's birthday. A successful 4th of July party requires planning---consider the menu, activities and décor before you send the invitations. Ask your guests for contributions to reduce your party planning stress this 4th of July.
Send out invitations to your party in early June to ensure your guests can make it. If you're feeling creative and want to avoid sending store-bought invitations, hand-deliver invitations that double as fans for the party. Disney Family Fun suggests using card stock and wooden paint sticks to create patriotic fans. Add stars and stripes to one side and write the party information on the other. Guests can bring their fan invitations to keep them cool at your event.
Fourth of July celebrations are synonymous with backyard barbecues. Let this outdoor theme inspire your menu. Grill hamburgers and hot dogs for a traditional cookout, or surprise your guests with steak and chicken kebabs and fresh fruits and vegetables. Make your menu planning easier by enlisting the help of your guests. Host a potluck, where each guest or family brings a dish to share. Potlucks take the burden off of the host, allowing you to get out of the kitchen and enjoy your party. Plus, guests love to showcase their favorite homemade dishes. If you choose to host a potluck, include this information on your invitation.
For dessert, get patriotic. Keep your guests cool with frozen desserts. An ice cream bar full of red, white and blue toppings will delight children and adults alike. Offer a variety of ice cream with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream so that each guest can make a patriotic dessert.
Red, white and blue streamers or balloons offer a patriotic and festive touch. If you're having an outdoor party, stock up on citronella candles to create some ambiance while keeping the bugs away. Enlist the help of your children or friends to create homemade 4th of July crafts. Martha Stewart suggests creating homemade fireworks fan centerpieces using construction paper and bamboo skewers. Scatter these centerpieces---or others featuring red, white and blue flowers---on dinner tables and buffet tables.
If you're hosting a kid-friendly event, put together a 4th of July parade just for your party. Encourage guests to wear their best patriotic gear, and decorate wagons and bikes to ride during the parade. To cool off in the July heat, kids can participate in a red, white and blue water balloon fight. Tell parents to bring towels and dry clothes on your invitation. Sparklers are a fun way to end the night---just make sure parents supervise their children.