Enjoy a festive menu, patriotic decorations, sparklers, and games all while being safe.
summer outdoor table with buckets in patriotic colors
Credit: Kate Sears

Fourth of July celebrations are on their way. Most of us have always looked forward to a weekend spent with friends and family at barbecues, along Main Street parades, and in trips to the beach—this year, however, things look different while we navigate a worldwide pandemic. So, how can you celebrate the Fourth of July at home with your family? "Though you might not be able to get the entire gang back together, hosting Fourth of July for your nearest and dearest can be just as epic," says Liz Curtis, founder of Table + Teaspoon. "Ample seating, table space, temperature control, and activities should be top of mind."

Shelter-in-place orders are still in effect for many people, and it is not a good idea to have large, crowded gatherings at this time. Still, that doesn't preclude you from taking part in the biggest holiday of the summer. "The beauty of celebrating our nation's independence solely with your fellow household members is that you have the luxury of forgoing face masks and the six-foot social distancing barrier," Curtis says. Guests could join the fun through video chats that you can set up with a large T.V. and phone hookup, or a well-placed tablet that captures the spirit of the party.

If you're feeling inspired, plan for an epic party and incorporate these ideas into your own backyard celebration.

Decorate in a Patriotic Scheme

Even if your only guests are your live-in family, you can get everyone into the spirit for a Fourth of July celebration. "Think bright red Adirondack chairs, crisp navy and white striped linens, and fire pits that pair perfectly with s'mores!" Curtis suggests. Embellish a length of blue linen to make a table runner and use pieces of red, blue, and white striped ribbon to hold eating utensils together on top of the napkin until it's ready to use. Add beeswax star candles to the picnic spread and grosgrain ribbon chandeliers overhead. Buckets—in a patriotic color scheme—make for perfect holiday table decorations, too.

Dress Up the Outside of Your Home

A nod to our country's colors begins at home. On the outside of your house, you can be festive with patriotic embellishments like flags, brass stars, and window swag. You can also decorate your porch with flower arrangements in red, white, and blue for a subtle homage to American Independence Day. Add a festive touch to your front door with a handmade patriotic door medallion that makes a stately impression. Then, deck out your white picket fence with flag-patterned fence swag made from bunting and stitched into a pleated patriotic streamer.

Serve Red, White, and Blue Treats

As for a patriotic menu? In addition to the traditional barbecue favorites, you can serve a patriotic tower of cupcakes that salute our nation's independence with a flag cake stand monument. Snacks like beet and blue-potato chips look festive in downloadable clip-art paper cones (available in blue and red designs). Then, set out some strawberries and blueberries with your favorite fruit dip for a simple and healthy sweet treat.

Enjoy Fun and Games

It isn't a party without some fun and games. "Make sure that your loved ones have games to keep them engaged and having fun," Curtis says. "Bocce ball, croquet, and ping pong are all crowd-pleasers that provide enough space for social distancing." For household-only family gatherings, you can offer crafts for the kids and obstacle courses for the grown-ups. When the sun goes down, keep the party going outside. Even in the absence of fireworks, it's the perfect time for a bonfire and fun with sparklers.


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