While COVID-19 has slowed down the way we live and made our celebrations smaller, the 4th of July is still one of the highlights of our national calendar. Deciding how to celebrate it while observing the social distancing guidelines can be challenging. Here we have some tips to ensure a great celebration and safe socializing as well.
4th of July Party Ideas Invitations
Who to Invite?
Who to invite and how many may be the biggest decision in trying to host a compliant celebration. Start by understanding your state’s guidelines on gathering size. That may vary depending on whether the celebration is inside or outside. Choosing to hold your fourth of July party outside may give you more flexibility in how many people you can safely celebrate with.
Virtual invites can be the best way to invite people to come to a celebration during COVID-19. Sites like evite.com have free invitations you can create and send. If you want to put in more effort to create your own, you can use Canva and design it from a template to inspire even more fourth of July party ideas.
4th of July Party Ideas: Decors
Balloons* (find more ideas here) are always an easy and affordable way to decorate. You can even use them without helium which will save you some money. Group together red, white, and blue balloons tied with a string or ribbon. Attach them to something so they don’t blow away and you can enjoy the pop of color while you watch them float in the breeze.
Bunting* is a traditional patriotic decoration. It can be strung across a deck or fencing to display patriotism.
Flags are a sure way to show how much you love your country! Smaller handheld flags* can be inserted into the ground in your yard or waved by your guests.
4th of July Party Ideas: Favors
4. Confetti Poppers
Confetti Poppers are a great way to show your patriotic spirit with colorful confetti flying around. Handing these party favors out to a few, even many people, and counting to three will have the room filled with joy.
5. Photo Booth Printables
All parties have photo opportunities but these you can carry around! Turn into some of the most iconic Independence Day characters and take some pictures.
6. Patriotic Popsicle Stick Crafts
Grabbing some colored popsicle sticks as well as some star stickers to craft some American flags to carry around while you celebrate.
4th of July Party Ideas: Celebration Logistics
7. Social Distancing
Duct tape in patriotic colors or designs would make a great way to mark off the areas.
Rather than investing in one large tent, look at setting up a few pop-up canopies to keep your guests out of the sun and help them observe social distancing protocols.
By putting each guest under their own shelter, visiting can occur while following the guidelines. If you don’t want to set up multiple canopies, perhaps put up 1-2 for your most at-risk guests so that they can have visitors who clearly know where the boundaries are.
4th of July Party Ideas: Food and Drinks
While traditional celebrations center around either food provided by the host or a potluck-style buffet, COVID-19 may require thinking out of the box. One way to do this would be to host a BYO-Everything celebration! Let your guests know that while the entertainment and location are on you, food and drinks are on them! While this is not the typical way to celebrate, it may help to slow the spread of the coronavirus to your guests.
If you do decide to go with a buffet or potluck-style meal to keep the tradition of having 4th of July party food or even create a holiday 4th of July picnic, a few tips can help keep everyone safe.
- Be sure to social distance your line. Keep your guests from going up to the food table all at the same time to ensure you slow the spread
- No communal utensils. Make sure each guest uses clean single-use utensils* to dish out their food. Be sure there are enough for guests to use fresh utensils to dish up their food on every trip to the food table.
- Single-serve beverages. While a 2-liter of pop may save money, switching to cans or bottles will make spreading the virus more difficult. Be sure to include hand sanitizer or wipes* nearby so guests can have clean hands after they visit the table and before they eat.
11. Hot Dog Station
Hot dog stations are a great way to add a display to your party. With labeled squeeze bottles for sauces as well as scooping containers for toppings adds an easy and designed way for your guests to build their hotdog the way that they want.
12. Parmesan Tater Tots and Dipping Sauces
Tater tots are great party food that just anyone can grab. With pre-separated cones filled to the top with fresh tater tots, anyone can just walk up and grab a cone with a side of desired sauce.
13. Strawberry-Lemonade Punch
Hot summer days can be annoying but to cool yourself off with a lemonade can make the day all that much enjoyable. Adding colorful berries can add a patriotic feel as well as adding a cookie-cutter star-shaped watermelon to the rim of the glass!
14. Soda Float Bar
Soda floats bring together any occasion, but the star at the 4th of July party. With various kinds of ice cream and sodas, there are endless opportunities for creations and that sounds exciting and will have your guests coming back for more. For an added look be sure to place your tater tots and dipping sauces close by as well as having coolers with your soda types places to give a fuller look to the table.
15. S’more Holders
Have you ever wanted to make s’mores in a group and it turns out to get all messy and disorganized? These S’more holders will take enough ingredients for two smores and hold them separately for people to just pick up and start making some delicious treats.
4th of July Party Ideas: Entertainments
What are the 4th of July activities without music? Put together a playlist of your favorite tunes, some great dance songs, and the best patriotic music available. Streaming services like Spotify let you put together a list ahead of time and take the music hassle off your hands so you can visit.
Look for socially distanced versions of some of your favorite 4th of July games.
- Patriotic Bingo – Provide Bingo cards* to your guests and either play the traditional version with numbers or fill the card with different patriotic words/phrases. Every time a guest hears someone else say those words or phrases they can mark their card. The first to get Bingo wins a prize!
- Dance-off – Set up a stage and have your guests show off their best moves while social distancing. Prizes can be awarded for best dance, funniest grove, and other categories.
- Karaoke – Pull out the microphone and the karaoke machine* and let the guests show off their skills. Make sure your machine has the best patriotic music available for those wanting to show their patriotic spirit!. Keep germs to a minimum by having plastic bags available to cover the mic. These dog bags are the perfect size and leftovers are great for when you are walking Fido later!
- Charades – Have each group of guests be a team and play a team version of socially distanced charades.
18. Fireworks and Sparklers
If it’s legal where you live, provide your guests with sparklers and a fireworks show. Be sure to check local guidelines before taking on a fireworks show, and be sure to do it safely and keep children away during the process.
While COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of our favorite celebrations in a slightly different way. If you are feeling up to hosting an Independence Day celebration, use these tips to do it safely and maybe even start a few new traditions!
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Written by Dawn Reese and Marianne Vanderbeke