How to host the best Fourth of July BBQ, and must haves for outdoor entertaining

I love the Fourth of July. It is such a fun holiday, centered around friends, family, food, and the great outdoors. I have hosted many events on the Fourth and have so much fun with it. My absolute favorite part about the Fourth of July/Independence Day, is outdoor entertaining. I love to BBQ, serve fun patriotic themed food, float around in the pool with a refreshing beverage, and play outdoor games with my friends and family.

Source: Pinterest

Hosting a Fourth of July BBQ is easy and fun. In my opinion it is the most relaxed and informal holiday, you can put together quickly, with items you have on hand. You can easily make it festive, and fun. I personally like the ease of entertaining outside and a BBQ is synonymous, with America……Am I right? So, a BBQ is a must on the party list. I have a few ideas to share with you on how I entertain outdoors, along with my go to items to make it festive and fun! If you are ready to plan, keep reading!

Photo Credit: Pinterest


The first thing I do when I am hosting a party is plan the menu. I decide what my main course will be, and plan sides to go along with it. Up next is appetizers. I will generally have two, both a cold and hot choice. I will consider serving three, depending on how many people I will be entertaining. Then I will decide on a signature drink to serve. When hosting a large crowd in the summer time, I like to make batches and serve out of crafts or large drink vessels with spouts. This way, my husband and I are not behind the bar during the whole event. And finally dessert. Dessert is my favorite part. This is where you can theme it out and make it super festive! I love using red, white and blue fruit in my desserts, and using cookie cutters in the the shape of stars and flags to add to the table drama. Pinterest is my go to for any themed food ideas. I mean, have you ever searched Pinterest and scrolled through, to see the infamous, Fourth of July flag cake?


After the menu is decided, I choose the place settings, serving dishes, cutlery, and drink-ware. I choose the table cloth, napkins, and napkin rings after I have chosen the place settings. If I am using a place setting pattern with a print, I will choose a solid color table cloth, and a coordinating printed napkin. I do love a great mix of patterns, it adds so much depth, and interest to a table. And finally, I figure out the centerpiece. There are so many fun and festive, style options found here. I personally love the more traditional tablescapes with a touch of whimsy.

Photo Credit: Pinterest


I love food to be the star of the show at my parties, but decor is also an important part of hosting an event. It shows guests, you took time preparing, and planning the party, just for them, and it makes them feel special. Details are what makes a party special. In my humble opinion, the tiny details are the best part of any party. I try to incorporate easy design details, and something unexpected, to create a big impact. Easy is key. If you can prepare it before hand, even better. Not being rushed on the day of a party with last minute details, will alleviate unnecessary stress. For example, I love floating colorful balloons in the pool for an outdoor party, to add color and playfulness. You can blow them up in advance, and store them in large garbage bags, or in a room you aren’t using. Easy peasy, and they bring color, fun, and big impact! I also love me a good photo booth. Come on, who doesn’t LOVE to SELFIE? These are a party must have. Not only are they fun, you can create a special hashtag for your party and have memories to last a lifetime. I also use buntings, candles, flowers, and banners to theme it out. For a Fourth of July BBQ, flags are a must. You gotta have them everywhere. They are the symbol of our country, inexpensive, and add to the patriotic element. Trust me, you need to buy them in bulk on Amazon. I stick them in flower pots, line the sidewalk, decorate the food, and use with place settings. Basically, everywhere! Use your imagination, you can’t go wrong.


For outdoor entertaining, good music and activities are key element to every great party. And know your audience. If you will be hosting families with children, focus on activities for the various ages of their children. A basket of temporary tattoo’s, coloring pages with crayons, bingo, water guns, bubbles, and pool floats make for great fun. Coordinating colors, and the party theme with your activities is a must. Find patriotic coloring pages online here, temporary tattoos here, pool floats here. For adults and older guests, a pool volley ball and basket ball net is always a good time, and yard games are a must too. Boccie ball, corn-hole, yard jenga, and fireworks. What would the Fourth of July be without fireworks?! Sparklers are it for my kids!

There you have it folks. So many ideas, not enough time! Let me know what your go to party ideas are for the Fourth of July. Do you BBQ? Or do you or pizza or postmate it? Would love to hear your ideas. Happy Independence Day!

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