The 4th of July is the highlight of the BBQ season. Are you ready for it? If you need a little inspiration, check out these ideas collected from some of our favorite bloggers, pinners and party planners.
Create a (tastefully) star-spangled menu.
Pinterest is flooded with red, white and blue cakes, kebabs, candies, salsa, pies, fruit trays, cookies, ice pops and more. We’ve even seen patriotic pasta and popcorn! With so many options, it’s easy to go a little overboard. But, in small doses—and with the right recipes—a themed side dish, dessert or beverage can help your 4th of July BBQ stand out from every other BBQ you’ll have this summer. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
Red, white and blue beverages…
- Hibiscus Strawberry Rhubarb Iced Tea via Gourmande in the Kitchen
- Brazilian Lemonade by The Recipe Critic
- Sparkling Blueberry Ginger Iced Tea from Family Fresh Cooking
- Roasted Red, White & Blue Potatoes from Proud Italian Cook
- Star Fruit (Carambola), Blueberry & Pomegranate Salad by Cooking in Sens
- Blue Corn & White Cheddar Herbed Biscuits via Spice’s Bites
- Light & Buttery White Dinner Rolls from the Inquiring Chef
- For the non-cook, red, white and blue potato chips or corn chips and salsa
- Watermelon Granita via Mowielicious
- Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake with Blueberries from Life, Love & Sugar
- White Cheddar & Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies by Desserts for Breakfast
- Easy Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (with 4th of July flair) from The Yummy Life
Build a patriotic playlist.
Depending on your musical tastes, your party playlist could run the gamut from George M. Cohan’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag” to Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” to Katy Perry’s “Firework.” If you don’t have the time to build your own, you’re a quick internet search away from shared playlists, like this one from USALoveList.com.
Showcase your outdoor space.
The 4th of July may be a time to celebrate “Old Glory” but your decorations don’t have to be old hat. Whether your style tends toward the rustic, the glamorous or the eclectic, here are a few ideas to help inspire you:
- For a simpler look, Martha Stewart Living suggests decorating with red and white, white and blue or blue and red—instead of all three colors.
- For a modern look, HGTV recommends floral or geometric patterns in patriotic colors. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! That goes for your dinnerware as well as your linens.
- Ditch the red, white and blue and use symbolic patterns like stars and stripes to evoke a patriotic theme.
- Flowers can bring color and life to your tablescape. With a little paint and some DIY spirit, some types of flowers can even become personal fireworks displays, like these dried allium blooms or these fresh mums. If you happen to try this using glow-in-the-dark paint, please snap a picture and tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook—we’d really love to see it.
- Keep guests comfortable with this thoughtful sun supplies station from HGTV. We’d probably add festive fans, like these, for especially hot climates.
- Plan activities for any kids that will attend. Sidewalk chalk, water balloons or a craft station could help keep little hands busy.