Setting the Scene
Between the fireworks, sparklers and outdoor festivities, the Fourth of July holiday is full of whimsy. Why not get your guests in the mood by creating a throwback seating arrangement? Instead of strictly using tables and chairs, lay out some patchwork quilts on the lawn and invite guests to picnic in your backyard.
To complete the sweet scene, our crafts expert Kendra Smoot suggests that instead of the traditional cooler, line a red wagon and fill it with ice for a new take on keeping drinks cool. Get the how-to here!
Keep younger party guests entertained with some fun and easy retro crafts. Holidash Blog Editor Susan Wagner suggests having kids make red, white and blue streamers to attach to their bike handles or providing supplies like construction paper, glue and tape so they can make star spangled decorations to put in their bicycle spokes. See an example by Kendra Smoot here.
Since guests will be spending most of their time outdoors, help them by folding some red, white, and blue paper into handmade fans. Or put out some markers, glue, and glitter, and make it a party activity. Guests can customize their own and take them home as a patriotic party favor.
Think beyond the grill when planning your menu. Dig out your old Jell-O mold and make an easy dessert. Add blueberries to cherry flavored gelatin mix and serve with whipped cream to make a themed red, white and blue dessert.
Berry season is in full swing and different varieties will bring fresh flavor and vibrant color to your sweet spread. Layer strawberries and blueberries in a trifle dish for a new take on a tasty fruit salad.
One of our favorite retro sweets is cotton candy. It's inexpensive and easy to find in stores. Or for a real treat, rent a machine and help guests swirl their own dessert to snack on while watching fireworks.
Help guests beat the heat with assorted beverages served in vintage containers. Many beverage distributors still sell soft drinks in glass bottles. Not only will they remind guests of times past, but they are easily to recycle or re-purpose for home crafts.
Make a nod to the '50s and '60s by serving signature party drinks like sangria or Mai Tais in a punch bowl. Need a recipe for a summer drink? Check out Kendra Smoot's ideas here.
Fourth of July parties can last all day and into the night, so it's important to prepare for a day of pre-fireworks fun. For this type of party, tuck away the Super Soakers and supply your guests with some classic (and dry) games such as horseshoes, croquet, badminton, and, of course, hula hoops!
If you're on a budget for party supplies, skip the expensive games and take a note from Holidash contributor Kristen Seymour -- gather guests of all ages for a classic game of freeze tag. It's free, it's fun and it's great exercise!
Now that you're ready to plan for a throwback Fourth of July party, check out our favorite retro Etsy finds that will make your party even more explosive.
These handmade flags can double as an adorable centerpiece and as party favors for your guests.
Looking for more patriotic decorating tips? ShelterPop has the scoop on using red, white, and blue to spiff up your home -- all year long!