Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Party

Every year we host a 4th of July party in our backyard for friends and family.  We have a great view of the town fireworks right from our backyard and our guests don't have to fight traffic to get out of town like they would if they went up to the fireworks event itself.  This year our little town celebrated the 4th on Saturday, June 30th.  We had about 60 guests at our house! WOWZERS!!
I thought I'd share some of our party fun with you...

The Refreshments...


I made a red punch in a drink dispenser and provided these mason jars and straws to drink from.  I tied red, white, and blue ribbon around the neck of each jar for a little added pizazz and used red and white striped and blue and white striped paper straws.  (The straws came from Mindy Mae's Market.)

The kids especially loved getting their own drinks!

This photo above is a bit blurry but we also had a glass jar with a trail mix that included nuts and red, white, and blue M&Ms.  Little red, white, and blue treat cups sat beside the jar so kids could help themselves.  The jar is at the left end of the table by the ice bucket.

I made fruit and marshmallow kabobs in red, white, and blue. The fruit was raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and red grapes. I found red, white, and blue star shaped marshmallows that I also added to the kabobs.

We provided the fruit kabobs, a veggie tray and dip, meatballs, a black bean and corn salsa with tortilla chips, cake balls and lots of drinks.  We asked each guest to bring a dish to pass.  We had a sweet and sour pasta salad, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, cherry tomato BLT bites, a cheese and meat mexican dip with chips, popsicles, chocolate cake and banana cake - lots of yummy food!

Cherry Tomato BLT Bites (recipe to follow in a few days!)

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

You can get a peek in this picture above of the plates and silverware holder - red, white, and blue polkadots.  The napkins were also polka-dotted. 

 I kind of liked having the dots rather than the typical stars.  It was cute together!

Click HERE to see how to make these patriotic cake balls!

The Decorations...

Click HERE for a tutorial to make this American Flag Pallet Art.

This Lady Liberty used to belong to my husband's grandmother.  She lived in an apartment and always had something seasonal hanging on her door.  When she passed away I was the one who inherited all her door decorations!  I like having this out because it reminds me of Nanny and makes me feel like part of her is here with us for our party!


A burlap and polka-dot red, white, and blue wreath I whipped up!
The bow on the left side has little tiny flags in it. 

 The Kids...

Oliver spent a lot of time on his tractor during the party - talking to himself as you can see here!
He can't let a little party slow down his farming!

The Fun...

We asked the kids to bring their swimsuits for water games.  We had the Slip & Slide out and a sprinkler going too.

We filled this tub with water and provided the kids with squirt guns and sponges we made from this Pinterest idea...

 Pinned Image

The kids continually refilled their squirt guns and rewet their sponges! 
We adults just tried to stay out of the line of fire!

Lots of boys!!!

 Watch Out!

Some of the kids at the party - all boys here except my Claire in her tutu bathing suit!

My sister and I filled regular size balloons (not water balloons) with water - about 1/2 full - and tied them to strong string and gently hung them from the monkey bars of our playset.  They seemed so fragile to us but they were incredibly strong.  This was a hot summer's day version of a pinata!

The kids used two baseball bats to swing at the water filled balloons - one bat was plastic, one was foam.

This one broke just a moment later!

 I did an art project with the kids on the patio table just before it began to get dark. 
 Here is what we did...

Fireworks Art Project

Materials Needed:  Large sheets of white paper
                               Food coloring
                               Straws (one for each child)

Instructions:  Each child squirted dots of food coloring in red, blue, yellow, and green on their paper.  They used a straw to blow their food coloring all over their paper.  Blowing the dots of food coloring made it spread out in random lines to resemble fireworks! The kids then used the crayons to draw pictures of little people watching the fireworks!  This project was a big hit with both the girls and the boys!  Each child took their painting home with them at the end of the night.

 In this picture you can also see a red wooden ramp with a hole in the top and bean bags.  Some of the children enjoyed challenging themselves and each other to a bean bag toss competition!

As it grew darker, we handed out popsicles to all the kids and everyone got settled onto blankets and lawn chairs to watch the fireworks!

 Some of the little boys sitting together watching the fireworks!

They were beautiful!

Getting ready for a party is no easy task.  The host/mama always has a lot to do to prepare for a party with this many people - getting the yard ready and cleaning the house, the food, the drinks, the entertainment, and the kids' activities.  I was tired, but it was SO worth it.  We are so blessed to live in a town that has such an awesome 4th of July celebration, and being able to have family and friends in our backyard to celebrate this special day just makes it even better!  I know we are creating wonderful memories our kids will carry with them of times spent with family and friends watching the 4th of July fireworks from our own backyard!

See my Linky Party page to see which other blogs I'm linking up to this week!


  1. That looks like a wonderful time for everyone! So many great ideas!