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Throw a kid-friendly 4th of July party

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Plan a patriotic party

Are you planning a party for Independence Day this year? Throwing one for your family and friends can be a wonderful, fun experience that creates fabulous memories. Plan kid-friendly games and other activities for 4th of July.
Kids in costume on 4th of July

Independence Day is a perfect holiday to celebrate with a big family gathering or a fun neighborhood party! From the history behind the day, to the fun annual traditions we share and all the patriotic attire, this is sure to be a party to remember — but how can you plan a kid-friendly one?

These tips and tricks will help you plan and throw the best kid-friendly 4th of July party ever.

Fun 4th of July party decorations

The best thing you can do is to keep the decorations simple. Use disposable tablecloths (in flag print or solid red, white and blue) for easy cleanup. Buy a small helium tank and fill up balloons to tie around your yard to make it festive — or skip the balloons and do streamers instead. Younger kids can help the older kids decide on the decorating scheme, then help them hang streamers around the patio and yard. You can buy small, inexpensive American flags to stick in the ground all around your yard. Be sure to have a flag hanging too!

Check out these kid-friendly July 4th crafts >>

Easy 4th of July party food

Choosing the menu for any party is important because you don't want to spend more time in the kitchen than with your guests. So, for an easy and fun July 4th party don't plan a complicated meal for your guest — simplicity works just fine.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are a classic 4th of July tradition, but don't let that steer you away from putting your own twist on tradition! Serve yours with a condiment bar featuring relish, a selection of mustards, ketchup, barbecue sauce, sauerkraut, sliced or chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce and whatever else your family likes. You can make it more interesting by including a few fun toppers too like chili, guacamole or hot sauce. Want to do something different than the usual burger? Serve marinated grilled chicken on rolls instead, for a different take on the traditional fare.

Serve your festive main course with a variety of kid-friendly salads like potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw. You can also serve a fresh veggie platter — think baby carrots, sliced cucumber, bell pepper slices, broccoli and sweet peas — with a selection of dips like hummus and ranch. For dessert, serve sliced or diced fresh fruit along with a baked good such as red, white and blue cupcakes.

We've got some great ideas for Fourth of July food for kids >>

Drinks

What's more perfect for Independence Day than a sparkling beverage? And yes, the kids can get in on it too — just make sure you have an easy way to keep the adult and kid cocktails separate. Jes Gordon, author of Party Like A Rock Star, suggests garnishing nonalcoholic drinks (like her Swamp Juice below) with strawberries to make them easily distinguishable.

Looking for a recipe? Here are a few kid-friendly ideas:

  • Shirley Temple: In a glass, combine 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda, 3 tablespoons grenadine and ice. Garnish with a wedge of orange and a maraschino cherry. Serves 1.
  • Swamp Juice: Combine 1-1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lemonade, 1/4 ounce pomegranate juice, 1/4 ounce grape juice, 1/4 ounce pineapple juice and 1/4 ounce club soda in a glass and add ice.
  • Pomegranate Spritzer: Combine two parts ginger ale with one part pomegranate juice in a glass with ice. Garnish with a lime slice and serve.

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