Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Popular in Holidays

Zany Halloween Party Planner

Follow this step-by-step guide to the spookiest bash ever.

If you'd like a creepy-crawly good time for your guests, then plan a party for your most fiendishly fun friends. We have all the ingredients needed to make such a successful Halloween party that no ghoul or goblin will ever forget.

It's a Party Countdown Planning is the secret to a successful party. Once everything is thought out, your party will not only run smoothly, but you'll have fewer pre-party jitters. To help guide you in your planning, follow this easy-to-use checklist.

One Month Ahead: Decide on the date, time, place, theme, and number of guests for your party. Plan on one guest for each year of your child's age. For a 7-year-old, invite no more than seven guests. Start by making your own invitations. They can be spellbinding or spooky -- it's all up to you. Plan the party length with your child's age in mind. Two hours is enough for your 1- to 3-year-old, and three hours is appropriate for a 10-year-old. If necessary, make arrangements for hiring entertainers, renting a party room, or planning mini-trips.

Peek-a-Boo Invitations

Two Weeks Ahead: Call your child's best friends to make sure they can make the party date before you invite the other guests. This gives you the opportunity to pick a different date so your child has his special friends at the party. Phone or mail the invitations, but if you're mailing them, be sure to ask for an R.S.V.P. so you'll know exactly how many kids will be coming. Instruct guests to wear their Halloween costumes to the party and to be ready to do a trick -- tell a joke, sing a song, or stump everyone with a riddle. Also make plans for the menu, activities, prizes, and decorations. Plan more games to play than you'll have time for. This allows you to go on to another game if your guests aren't having fun.

Decorations

One Week Ahead: Make or purchase the party favors, prizes, and decorations. If you've made any special arrangements, check on the final plans. The big night will be here before you can say "BOO" so don't forget to shop for the most important thing -- the FREAKY FOOD! See our recipes on the next page.

Two or Three Days Ahead: Double-check the final guest list and make a tentative schedule for what you'll be doing at the party.

The Party

  • Here's a fun idea: Take a Polaroid photo of each child as they arrive. Place a photo at each place setting. When you call them to the table, they'll sit down in front of their picture. The photo can go home as a party memento.
  • As kids arrive, keep them busy by having them make their own treat bag. They can color small paper bags, then staple on orange or black strips of construction paper for easy-carrying handles. If you have ever hosted a party, you know how important it is to keep your little guests busy.
  • Create a spooky sight by filling jack-o'-lanterns with dry ice and a little water -- vapor will float out of the jack-o'-lantern. Be sure that the room where you are using the dry ice is well ventilated, and protect your hands by wearing heavy gloves. Give the room an eerie glow by using a green lightbulb.
  • Parents need to remember to dress up, too. Make sure you are having fun and getting involved.
  • Use Party Wraps for prizes.

Party Wraps

Eat-'em-Up Ghosts

An all-time kids' favorite, these adorable chain rattlers have a cereal and marshmallow base and are coated with vanilla-flavored candy.

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Silly Popcorn Treats

The kids will love these treats! Just whip up a batch of popcorn balls, then add a few gummy worms, black licorice bits, candy corn, or other candies in Halloween colors.

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Haunted Pizza

A cookie pizza becomes a spooky cemetery when decorated with cookie tombstones, candy eyes, and jelly worms.

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Dracula's Eyes

Seeing is believing with this Halloween treat. Peanut butter candy is shaped and decorated to look like bloodshot eyes.

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Gumdrop Pumpkins

Use orange and green gumdrops to make candy pumpkins. Cut, press, cut, press, and you'll have these darling little pumpkins to help you celebrate at trick-or-treating time.

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Spooky Cheesecake

This mouthwatering cheesecake is topped with Halloween sprinkles and edged in orange-colored candy coating. All you need to do is decorate a frozen cheesecake for an easy dessert.

View Spooky Cheesecake recipe

Pumpkin Cookies

Decorate orange-colored spritz to look like pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

View Pumpkin Cookies recipe

Cocoa Cats

Decorate these chocolate-and-orange-flavored cutouts with bright orange icing. Decorate the cats pictured by piping the icing, or double the icing recipe and spread it on with a knife.

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Cheesy Goblin Head

The yummy cheese spreads easily on crackers for a quick snack.

View Cheesy Goblin Head recipe

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