Growing up, my parents threw the annual 4th of July celebration every year. We missed two over the years. Just two. Noooo, I’m not sharing how many years I’ve been helping them with their 4th of July outdoor party. Just know I’ve more than 20+ years of experience, and the tips here will help not just the beginner party givers, but also those who have done this for a few years, too.
Outdoor party tips
Food, safety, activities and drinks. Nothing else will matter. Music is important, but during a 4th of July outdoor party, you don’t need to worry as much about music. Just throw the radio on, or whatever you use to entertain with – iTunes, Sirius – and leave it alone. Focus on great BBQ, duh. But don’t get lazy on the snacks, safety, activities and drinks. Or you’re going to find yourself alone on Independence Day for years to come. Stick with me, and you’ll be the hostess with the most-est.
Put Water Safety at the top of your MUST list
Hire a lifeguard, or designate a couple of responsible adults, for pool duty. Everyone has at least a few adults who never consume alcohol. However, hiring a professional life guard, is the best thing to do. With kids, a lifeguard can keep them all safe. No ending up on the local news with an accidental drowning. Keep it safe, and keep your guests from worrying the entire time their kids are in the pool.
Also, have life vests for anyone unable to swim. Or Puddle Jumpers.
Keeping your skin safe is important. The sun causes skin cancer, and ages the skin. However, when packing a bag for a party, one of the forgotten items: sunscreen. It’s what I call the sunblock mental block.
A good hostess makes it a point to supply it to her guests! Our closest pharmacy is CVS. It’s my go-to when picking up last minute items. CVSHealth now has sunblock, so it’s easy to grab a few spray bottles, and put them at every table. The CVSHealth Sport works great, because it’s also water resistant!
Don’t forget about pain relief
After many years of entertaining, everyone can attest to that “one person” who ends up getting a headache. A headache can come out of nowhere, and of course, no one remembers to bring anything for a headache. Normally, I have a selection for guests: my favorite, Ibuprofen, as well as, Acetaminophen. Guess what? After grabbing sunblock at CVS, grab a little bottle of CVSHealth Regular Strength Pain Relief. As a hostess, it’s important to offer the things people prefer, right? I aim to please.
Think of the kids
Kids can’t spend the entire day, and night, in the pool. They’ll need to take a couple of breaks, so you’ve got to think about the kids when out of the pool. They need things to do, so they aren’t bothering you during your eating of chips and BBQ, along with your consumption of alcohol.
- HotWheels Flipping Fury™ – it’ll keep kids of all ages occupied for hours. It’s a car that flips, and keeps on racing. Plus, it makes noise and lights up.
- Water Guns – We still love the Nerf Rebelle, and a few others from Alex Brands, you can find them in the 5 hot toys for summer article.
- Bubbles – Edible bubbles, and of course, the fun Paddle Bubble, both are brand new for the 2016 summer season, and you might remember them from the 5 hot toys for summer article.
Think of the thirsty adults
All good parties need a great selection of booze, snacks, and grilled meats. If you have a non-meat eater attending, pick up a salad for the poor sucker. Remind them, 4th of July is about the meat eaters enjoying lots of BBQ’d meats. Vegetarians will have to be okay with some random grilled veggies, and a lovely salad. If you want to class it up, offer up a lovely signature cocktail that isn’t just about keeping everyone cooled off, but also a great way to help them all relax.
Strawberry Lemonade Frozen drink made with Prairie Organic Spirits Vodka
Frozen Strawberry Lemonade with Organic Vodka
12 ounce can of Frozen Lemonade Concentrate (if you can get organic, great, if not, squeeze some lemons, and use more ice in the mix)
10-15 Fresh Organic Strawberries (depends on what tastes good to you)
2 cups of crushed ice (if you’re going to juice lemons, then more ice will be required, to make up for the frozen concentrate)
8 oz. of Prairie Organic Vodka
*If you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice, you’ll need some kind of organic sweetener of your choice. Strawberries won’t be sweet enough. Add this and taste as you blend.
Puree the strawberries.
Place ice, and vodka, into the blender. Blend together. Add the lemonade concentrate. Blend. Add strawberry puree, and blend. *If using freshly squeezed lemon juice, add your sweetener of choice and taste as you blend. Adjust as you go, and if more ice is needed, add it. WING IT. It’s a fun, frozen drink to get the Vodka into your pie hole. Let’s not get nuts, here. Blend, taste, and adjust!
Delicious. And totally good for you. It’s got organic strawberries, lemons and vodka. I’m all about keeping it healthy, friends. I’m sure the crazy good healthy folks out there will find a way to get the sweetness into the lemonade without sugar, but hey, it’s a holiday and I’m good with good ol’ sugar. I’ll cleanse on July 5th!
Snacks are important for the hungry souls
Along with the BBQ, and booze offerings, snacks are a must. Chips and dips, along with chocolatey goodness. You’re going to love my ideas, I promise. If you’ve been hanging around for a bit, you’ll remember my suggestions I made for the best chips to serve for your Memorial Day outdoor event. All of those chips work for any party, so serve them up for your 4th of July celebration!
Don’t forget about the chocolate lovers, though. Normally, salty and sweet is a huge hit with guests. Granted, it gets super hot during the day, but these party guests will probably be staying around well into the evening to set off sparklers, and enjoy some night swimming. Pull out the salty and sweet Snappers! Pretzels covered in chocolate, and things like caramel and peanut butter – you cannot go wrong with Snappers. They’ll go great with your signature cocktail, along with beer, and every other alcohol you’ve been serving all day.
Have we covered all our bases? All guests should be happy, entertained, well-fed, and of course, totally relaxed with tasty lemonade goodness. Just make sure all their keys are safely hidden, until they’re sober enough to venture out onto the roads, to get their party butts back home!
I’m planning on throwing a party this summer. Thanks for the advice about having drinks for the adults that will help them cool off. I think a great idea would be to get a frozen drink machine that has kid friendly options so that the kids can cool off as well.
Normally, I focus on water for the kids. It’s best in the summer to hydrate with water for kids. But I’m all for trying out frozen drinks for the kids, too!