4th of July Patio Prep

fourth of july

Fourth of July parties are the Super Bowl of backyard BBQs. They are the ultimate reason to go crazy with your red, white, and blue pride. This is the time to get your festive games ready, bust out your engaging décor, and ramp up your finger food buffets.

Because this year, make your 4th of July party one for the record books with these helpful tips.

DIY Patio Food & Drink Stations

The problem with hosting is that you often spend so much time checking on and taking care of your guests that you don’t get to enjoy the party. But, with DIY patio food and drink stations, your guests can take care of themselves — freeing you up to focus on having fun! The following DIY ideas can easily be prepped (mostly) in advance. Plus, they’re focused on finger-foods — the perfect outdoor treats.

watermelon

DIY Watermelon Bar

Watermelon is the signature fruit of summer. Ultra-juicy and perfect for cooling down on a warm day, the crisp flesh is a healthy treat everyone loves. Turn this fun and healthy fruit into a hands-on delight with a DIY watermelon bar. Arrange chilled slices in a large bowl and place them on a table in the shade. Add small bowls of watermelon-friendly toppers like flavored salts, chile pepper, and fresh citrus. Your guests will have a blast dressing up their own treats.

hotdogs
Build-Your-Own Burger & Hot Dog Bar

Like watermelon, burgers and dogs are the quintessential backyard cuisine. Setting up a DIY station for folks to help themselves to toppings, takes the pressure off you to make a refined meal. All you have to do is set out a variety of toppings, such as:

  • Ketchup and Mustard
  • Flavored Aioli
  • Pickled Okra
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Relish
  • Hot Peppers
  • Roasted Poblanos, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Sliced Red Onion
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Buns

s'mores

DIY S’mores Station

As the sun goes down, don’t let the festivities end. Keep the night sweet and fun with a dessert that will bring out the inner child in everyone — s’mores. A DIY s’mores station will let your guests get as creative as they want. You’ll want to offer the classics: marshmallows, chocolate, and gram crackers. But, you might also include some untraditional choices, such as:

  • Oreos
  • Thin Mints
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Candied Bacon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Waffle crackers
  • Salted Caramel
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Rice Krispy Treats
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Kit Kats

iced wine

Help Yourself Bar

If you love a good cocktail, then by all means have them available for your guests. But remember, cocktails can sometimes be fussy and hard to keep replenished and fresh — especially outdoors on a warm summer day. Instead, consider sticking to beer and wine, which can easily be stashed in a cooler until needed.

Arrange coolers in the shade and be sure to have plenty of cups and bottle openers on hand. You might also appreciate having a clearly marked garbage can for empties. This can really cut down on the cleanup time after the party.

flavored water

Tasty Hydration Station

All-day-drinking can lead to some wicked headaches and crazy moments. So in addition to a cocktail or two, make sure you and your guests are also staying hydrated. One good way to encourage drinking H20 is to make it feel like a treat. Enter the TASTY Hydration Station.

Outfit this station with infused waters which offer a delicious and refreshing way to beat the heat. Flavor combos can include:

  • Strawberry, Lemon and Mint
  • Apricot, Raspberry and Mint
  • Orange and Lime
  • Pineapple and Strawberry
  • Kiwi and Orange
  • Watermelon and Strawberry
  • Blueberry, Orange and Mint
  • Cucumber, Thyme and Lime

Making infused water is really easy. All you need is a large container. Add 1 – 2 cups of whichever flavor combination you like and a generous helping of ice. Then, fill up the container with purified water. Let sit for at least one hour before serving to allow the ingredients to infuse the water.

Bring the Fun

In addition to having great food and drinks at the ready, it’s also a good idea to have some activities and conversation starters.

cornhole

Backyard Games at the Ready

Get everyone up and moving with some fun outdoor games. This is particularly a good way to help guests who might not know one another all too well mix and mingle. Cornhole is a gun game. Kan Jam is another game that takes very little skill to play.

Discover more of our favorite backyard party games.

American flag

Hang Your Pride

No Fourth of July party is complete without Old Glory. If you plan to hang an official American flab, make sure you follow the Flag Code, which states the proper guidelines for displaying the American flag.

You might also consider hanging American flag themed banners or using American flag themed table cloths.

friends having fun

Bust Out the Tunes

Another good way to set the mood is to make sure you have some tunes playing. Set up an outdoor speaker with a pre-populated playlist so you can press go and not worry about it. Think of music everyone will love — such as oldies. Those are the types of tunes that appeal to those of all ages and are great for singing along to.

Thinking your backyard and not sure you have enough seating? Stop by our Bellevue or Seattle store to make sure you have the gear for a fabulous 4th of July patio shindig.