Family Party Ideas for the Fourth of July

Family Party Ideas for the Fourth of July
  • Opening Intro -

    America's birthday is reason enough to celebrate, with families and friends gathering across the nation to mark this festive and patriotic occasion.

    Many of us have grown up with parades, picnics, entertainment and fireworks, continuing these long-held traditions with our children and grandchildren.

    The day marks our nation's birth and the liberties we have. Why not use this July 4th to throw a family or block party?

Patriotic celebration ideas for your family.

Read on for some family party ideas for Independence Day:

Morning festivities.

Encourage everyone in your neighborhood to decorate their homes for the days leading up to Independence Day. Flags should be flown, bunting can be added to homes and children can be encouraged to decorate their bicycles with streamers. If you live in a small community where no local celebrations are marked, why not create an informal neighborhood parade? Invite your neighbors to walk down the street with you dressed in their patriotic best with balloons and streamers marking the occasion. Hold a scavenger hunt for children after the parade, hiding coins with the faces of U.S. presidents and the backs of U.S. states on them. Set up clues and provide treats such as red, white and blue popsicles for all of the young participants.

Noon picnic.

Once the morning festivities have ended, those neighbors who plan to stay around can join you for a block party. Your town may allow you to close the street once you secure the proper permits. Or, if a neighbor’s yard is especially large, that family may have the room to host everyone. Hold a potluck affair with one family providing the corn on the cob, another the tomatoes and others bringing salads, pickles, sandwich fixings, chips, sodas and other drinks. Make it a “bring your own meat” event and set up several grilles to handle the cooking. You’ll be snacking and visiting all afternoon, so bring out the umbrellas and the sunscreen!

Make music.

Larger communities will sometimes have the town band perform at the shell on July 4th. If your town is without a musical festival, invite some of the more talented neighbors of yours for an impromptu musical festival. Stringed instruments, horns, drums and the like can come together to form a band. Patriotic piped in John Philips Sousa music can also be played. Soft rock with a “Born in the USA” theme can also be allowed.

Judge a bake off.

Did someone say pie? Once the main meal has ended, why not hold a pie judging contest? Summer pie recipes can be put to the test with best deep-dish apple pie given its own category. You’ll want to encourage a mix of specialty pies too including French silk, key lime, strawberry rhubarb and if still in season, peach pie. Of course, you can extend this bake off to include cakes — strawberry shortcake, berry trifle, cherry limeade cupcakes and malted milk ice cream cake to name a few choices. You’ll have no shortage of judges for this event!

Evening fireworks.

With everyone hanging around ’til dusk, why not give them a patriotic send-off with a round of fireworks? Naturally, these must be legal in your area, so know the law before setting off sparklers and fountains. Firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, ground spinners and mortars may also be legal. You’ll want to set these up a safe distance from people and have only two or three responsible adults set off each banger. Keep a garden hose handy just in case and your pets should be safely inside.

Further Considerations

There are so many ways that you can celebrate Independence Day with family and neighbors. Encourage your guests to bring patriotic table decor, young children to draw festive pictures and ask the oldest people in your crowd to share their memories. Take many photos and share these among each other. Set up a Facebook page to mark what is certain to become an annual event.

Home Improvement reference:

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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".