July 4th Party Ideas

3 Things You Need For a Great Party
Go beyond fireworks and burgers for your best 4th of July ever. Our party ideas from Maxwell Ryan, Founder of Apartment Therapy, are as fresh and patriotic as they are easy and inexpensive. Complete with activities for kids and fun party favors, everything you need to celebrate July 4th in style is right here.

Plan Your Party Space

Whether you host in a barn or on your apartment balcony, think of the overall space (indoors and out) when decorating. This large outdoor area allowed Maxwell Ryan to set up seperate stations for eating, drinking, and socializing. If your party pad is small, use your kitchen as the buffet and your outdoor space as the social area.

Make July 4th Pinwheels

Bring the kids and adults together at your summer party with Maxwell Ryan's chic pinwheel craft. Colorful, patriotic papers dress up these cute party favors. Bonus: The pinwheels can double as party decorations.

Delight adults and kids alike with these easy and nostalgic paper pinwheels.

Summer-Perfect Craft: Party Pinwheels

Watch these nostalgic pinwheels come together. You won't believe how easy they are!

Play with Bubbles

What's inexpensive and guaranteed fun for kids? Bubbles! Give this cool kids' activity 4th of July style with DIY star-shape wands.

Snack on Fresh Vegetables

Keep guests satisfied with mini jars filled with hummus and fresh veggies. Disposable party cups work just as well.

Mix Up Your Reds, Whites, and Blues

The classic July 4th look is red, white, and blue, but you can use whatever shades you want. Rather than the traditional cobalt blue, we chose pastel hues of aqua and sky blue for a modern look.

Use Trays for Easy (and Adorable) Dining

Who knew a simple tray could be so cute? Line individual trays with gingham and paisley napkins (paper is OK!) for a polished but crazy-easy party look. The trays let guests dine anywhere -- no picnic table needed.

Light Up the Night with Flashlights for Kids

As day turns to night, kids can frolic like fireflies with mini flashlights. Attach a ribbon to the end of each flashlight to help kids hang on them.

Sip Homemade Iced Tea

Iced tea is our summer drink of choice, especially with fun additions like fresh fruit, mint leaves, and just a bit of booze. If you're hosting kids and adults, make a seperate, alcohol-free drink station for kids, complete with juice, plastic cups, and silly straws.

Set the 4th of July Table

Setting the table should be fun, not stressful. Here, we made a simple runner with paisley bandanas and topped it off with teensy white bouquets. Heirloom tomatoes can be sliced to top burgers, and they're also just plain gorgeous on your tabletop. Want corn bread, too? Get the recipe here.

Maxwell Ryan explains the three things you need to make a great party.

Three Things You Need for a Great Party

Get Maxwell Ryan's take on three party must-haves. Plus, peak behind the scenes of the photo shoot.

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