Happy birthday, America! As the nation celebrates Independence Day and fireworks light up the night sky, it's time for the biggest BBQ of the year. However, there's plenty to do to gear up for the perfect 4th of July BBQ. Consider creating a mouthwatering menu and coming up with patriotic decorations that suit your personal style. Along with fun activities for kids to help make this special and celebrate the red, white and blue.
First of all, remember that preparing for the event should start at least a few days in advance. A well-maintained outdoor living area and a clean grill (because of course you're going to want to grill up some goodies for the big day) are essential. To make the day even less stressful, prep your menu a day or two in advance as well. Marinate chicken, prep steaks, and ribs, and consider options such as flavorful burgers (including black bean burgers for vegetarian guests) for the main course. Meanwhile, soak some skewers. Craft kabobs with mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, squash and other bite-sized veggies for an easy, healthy treat that will cook up without any fuss.
A dessert table is a must as well. Since this is a traditional holiday, don't be afraid to go with classics such as fruit salad, ice cream sundaes, and apple pie. Nobody will fault you for having these classic American sweet treats on hand. As for drinks, remember to provide a variety of options. Refreshing lemonade (with a twist of strawberry perhaps?) and a cooler full of bottled water and soda are a great starting point. Save some room for adult beverages including beer, daiquiris or mojitos for a little refreshment in the blazing sun.
Since it is summer, there's no better time to break out your favorite lawn games for the celebration. Classics such as croquet, horseshoes, and bean bag toss are fun for all ages. Offer plenty of games if you'll have more than a few guests over for the celebration – you don’t want anybody feeling left out! You might even keep a few board games on the patio for those looking to sit back, relax, and get out of the heat for a little while.
Last but not least, don't forget the 4th of July décor. It is the perfect time to unleash your patriotic spirit, so go with a red, white, and blue color scheme. Tie up balloons along railings and in trees, and tie festive ribbons and streamers around posts in your yard. While it may be inappropriate to use the American flag as a décor item, you can use red, white, and blue bunting along your patio for a little bit more All-American flair in your outdoor space.
And while you can always decorate with faux flowers, fresh flowers are a great touch for a beautiful celebration. A mix of red roses, white carnations, and blue hydrangeas make a perfect red, white, and blue color combo that will give your tables an attractive touch. You can even make your own blue roses with floral dye and cut stems!
Remember to end your celebration by finding the perfect vantage point for watching fireworks burst into the sky for an evening that you won't soon forget.