Let’s be honest, July 4th is (understandably) a top party holiday; we all know that the proper attire is Flamboyant Freedom Couture and the favored food groups include anything that can be barbecued and beverages that cater to the 21+ crowd. So why not celebrate America’s split from GB by partying in style with these family friendly tips & tricks:
You can’t throw an Independence Party without a menu to please:
Try a red and blue berry and yogurt (or white chocolate!) covered pretzel platter, laid out to replicate the flag. Or maybe a nice charcuterie board with a variety of cheese, crackers, red bell peppers, and fruits to please anyones palette. Finally, fresh pico de gallo with red, white, and blue tortilla chips can get the party started! Any of these starters can help keep the stomachs happy while your party guests wait for their main course.
You can’t go wrong with BBQ at a 4th of July Party; burgers, chicken, grilled veggies, and more…if it grills, it thrills! Make sliders and have a topping bar so guests can create their own plate of goodies. Make sure you have plenty of side dishes to keep everyone happy; some of my favorites are Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad, corn on the cob, and baked beans. Fresh fruits and veggies are always welcome on the dinner table so make sure to find the best. Summer fruits and vegetables to look for include blueberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, strawberries, nectarines, and watermelons. Also in season are zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, radishes, peppers, and carrots. Load the family up and check out a local farm stand to stock up for the big party!
Don’t even try to throw a party for the big holiday without a KILLER dessert! White chocolate covered strawberries with blue and red sprinkles are always a hit. However, my new favorite is red and blue jello with whipped topping to cool down at the end of the evening; try pouring individual servings into plastic dessert cups and have them ready for guests to grab as the sun sets and the fireworks ramp up.
This category is definitely open to interpretation. However, a fun, family-friendly drink to make for your party is an Independence Spritzer! Use red and blue gatorade (or juice) to make ice cubes; layer them in a glass with regular ice and pour Sprite or sparkling water over the top. It makes a fizzy and fun way for everyone to celebrate!
Even more important at a party, than the food, is the fun! One activity I recently learned about and can’t wait to try is Marshmallow Poppers! Use a paper towel roll cut into pieces, the bottom piece of a tied balloon, and a rubber band to secure the balloon to the tube; load the tube with mini marshmallows, pull the knot of the balloon down, and SHOOT! For added fun, let everyone decorate their popper with markers, stockers, or colored paper. An art activity and a game, all in one!
Another activity that is sure to wow a crowd is a patriotic ball toss. Use tin cans (wrapped in red, white, and blue paper) and a wiffle ball to keep the kids busy. Let them stack the cans any way they want and take turns throwing the ball to knock the cans down. Keep track of points and have a prize for the winner or just play for fun and see how tall you can stack the tower!
No 4th of July celebration is complete without fireworks! Moorpark offers fireworks on the 3rd of July at 9pm; buy tickets in advance (required) to watch from Arroyo Vista Park or find a spot at a local park and watch the show from a distance. Multiple shows are happening on the 4th, so look for your town’s specific show spot; Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Simi Valley, and the Camarillo Outlets are all shooting fireworks at 9pm so check out where the best spots to view are!
However you celebrate, enjoy your holiday, stay safe, and let us know what tips and tricks you tried to keep your party guests happy! Happy 4th of July!