How to plan a last-minute 4th of July House Party

Whether it’s your first time hosting a 4th of July party, or you host one every year and it just slipped your mind until now, we’ve got you covered! It may be too late to custom order a new sectional to fit all your friends, but there are still plenty of ways you can prep for an unforgettable Independence Day house party. Here are some of the must-haves you’ll need:

Eco-friendly paper products

San Francisco is often called one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world—let's not lose that reputation on our country’s birthday! We completely understand using disposable plates, cups, and other serving ware at your party, but even these disposable products can be environmentally friendly. Opt for paper plates and cups instead of plastic, and if you absolutely must have straws, order some paper ones. (Besides, the paper straws come in cute red, white, and blue stripes with plastic straws just can’t match!) Instead of buying plastic cutlery (forks, knives, and spoons), consider ordering wooden sets, which are compostable. When choosing a tablecloth, stay away from the plastic coverings from the dollar store and go with a reusable cloth which can be machine washed.

A buffet which accommodates all diets

The Bay Area is known for having a high population of vegetarians, vegans, and other nontraditional dieters… Plus, some people have food allergies which can’t be helped. Make sure every guest can enjoy your food by including healthy, stripped-down options. Many party dishes can even include a fun red, white, and blue color scheme. For example:

  • Patriotic parfaits, with layered greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
  • Homemade popsicles using lemonade and frozen, layered berries
  • This red, white, and blueberry coleslaw from Food Network

And these have nothing to do with dietary restrictions, but you'll obviously need some patriotic drinks to accompany all that delicious food. Try out these daiquiris from Food Network or Fourth of July cocktail from Guy Fieri.

Lots of seating and places to put things

Although some guests will be totally fine standing over the sink to chow down at your party, there will probably be many people who will need seating. If possible, move unnecessarily large furniture, such as giant coffee tables or your pool table, out of the way so you can fit in some smaller chairs around the perimeter of your living room or deck. Your guests won’t feel so crammed if the room feels open and spacious, and these big furniture pieces fill up the space quickly.

On the other hand, your guests will also need plenty of places they can safely set down their drinks, plates, and phones while they hang out. Make room on your kitchen counters, entertainment center, and bookshelves by putting away any normal clutter which you may leave out on regular, non-partying days. Make sure plenty of coasters are available so no one will damage your furniture.

One great tool you can use as either seating or a tabletop is a new pouf or two. We especially love this Anchor Bay striped pouf and Bodega natural fiber pouf to add some red to the room, and the Framework contemporary pouf and Dip Dyed pouf to balance with some blue.

Engaging entertainment

Every city has its own regulations regarding fireworks, but many areas in the Bay Area (such as San Jose) don't allow any type of fireworks use in residential areas. Not to worry—there are plenty of other ways you can keep guests entertained as you wait for the city’s fireworks display to get started! Here are some yard games you can either make or purchase for your upcoming gathering:

  • Giant Jenga — We love Jenga because everyone already knows how to play, and you can make the game yourself by going to your local hardware store and having them cut up some pieces of two-by-fours for you. Plus, it’s easy to make this game patriotic! You can either use spray paint directly on the wood, or wrap each block with colored gift paper so you can reuse the wood blocks again for future parties.
  • Giant Dice — Dice games are great because you can use the same dice for multiple games, such as bunco or Yahtzee. You can purchase these online, or go to a craft store and buy some cube-shaped foam or wood pieces to paint your own. Add some Independence Day flair by using blue and red spray paint to make the dots.
  • Giant Ring Toss — Use glow-in-the-dark spray paint to color some yard stakes, and buy red and blue hula hoops to make a big adult-sized ring toss!
  • Corn Hole — If you don’t feel confident in making your own corn hole boards out of used pallets, you can buy corn hole online or at a store like Walmart or Target. Then you can make your own bean bags out of patriotic textiles, or just buy plain red and blue bean bags from the store.
  • Tic Tac Toe — This is by far the easiest game to make! Find some square wood pieces at the local craft store, or if you’re really in a time crunch, just use nine paper plates. Spray paint the game pieces red and blue, and then spray paint a board on your lawn. If you don’t have a lawn, you can use painter’s tape on a tabletop in your home to make the game board.
  • Hop Scotch — Somehow, this game seems way harder as an adult than it was when we were in grade school! Spray paint a patriotic hop scotch pattern on your lawn, and let the madness ensue.

Have a great 4th of July!