Planning a 4th of July Party

For a lot of people, a really great summer means cookouts every weekend.  But you want your 4th of July party to stand out!  There are lots of easy, creative ways to make your celebration of Independence Day a special one.


The 4th of July, of course, has a built-in graphic theme--the flag.  Click here for printable flags you can use for invitations or decorations.  There are color images as well as outline images (for coloring).

If you've got a lot of people coming who don't know each other, you can plan a simple "ice breaker" that starts with the invitations.  One option is to take a puzzle of the flag and put one or two pieces in each invitation.  After everyone gets to the party, have everybody work together to put the puzzle together.

Want an educational variation for kids?  Cut the text of the Preamble to the Constitution  into individual words or phrases.  For a musical version, use the words to " I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy ." Put a strip of text in each invitation.  (You can also distribute them by putting them in a bag or hat and having people pick them out).  See how quickly everybody can line up with their words in the correct order.


Again, the flag is the obvious choice for decorations.  You can even easily decorate a cake to look like a flag.

You can also use red, white and blue streamers or strings of lights.  Tea lights in paper bags and paper lanterns can also make your outdoor party particularly festive.


If your party is outside, make sure you have plenty of citronella candles around to ward off the bugs.  You'll also want covers for any food that you'll be leaving outside for any period of time.  Ice is also crucial--you can never have too much!

Every outdoor party needs a back-up.  Make sure you have an appropriate space ready inside in case rain or other weather issues render the outside venue unacceptable.


What 4th of July party would be complete without fireworks? Check your local laws first and make sure it's legal!!

Make sure you have a variety of different types of fireworks for your different guests -- you'll want something for the kids (sparklers and ground poppers), something for the teenagers (firecrackers and roman candles), and of course, something a little more elaborate for the adults!

Whenever there are fireworks, there is an increased need for safety! Don't let your 4th of July celebration turn into a tragedy. Make sure you follow these fireworks safety tips .