4th of July Party Ideas for a Fun Family Celebration

Want to celebrate the 4th of July with a bang?

Looking for some kid-friendly ways to amp up any Independence Day party?

Bring on the red, white and blue! The editors of My Kids’ Adventures have scoured the web to find the best ideas for having a blast with your family and friends this 4th of July.

In this article we’ll share our favorite festive foods and adorable ways to decorate and dress up for the Fourth.

We’ll even show you several ways to make fireworks of your own—no gunpowder required!

Want 4th of July party ideas to celebrate with kids? Bring on the red, white and blue! Find festive foods and adorable ways to decorate and dress up for the 4th.

Why Celebrate the 4th of July?

Nothing says summer like an outdoor party. And what better reason to celebrate with friends and family than the 4th of July?

Independence Day is a national holiday in the U.S., commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Each year, Americans celebrate July 4th with parades, picnics, barbecues, carnivals, concerts, fireworks and more.

How will your family spend the Fourth this year? Chances are, you’ll attend or host some sort of grand celebration. Show your national spirit and perk up your party with some fun and festive 4th of July party ideas below.

When it comes to the 4th of July, red, white and blue—the colors of Old Glory, the U.S. flag—are the colors of the day. They figure prominently into décor, festivities and even food.

Small towns and big cities throughout the U.S. have parades to celebrate 4th of July.

Whether you live in the United States and want to celebrate or are outside of the U.S. and want to explore traditions of another country, you have plenty of options.

Keep it small and party with your family or invite your neighbors and friends. Kids of all ages can chip in and create a celebration everyone will enjoy.

kids playing in red wagon

The 4th of July is a holiday for kids of all ages. Celebrate!

However your family decides to celebrate the holiday, you’re sure to have a red, white and “blue”tiful time!

#1: Decorate

Build up excitement for your 4th of July party. Make decorations to dress up your home for your 4th of July celebration. Make some of these decorations or all of them. Give everyone a task and work on these projects together.

Flag Wreath

Set the tone for your celebration with a flag wreath, like this one from Janel at A Mom’s Take.

flag wreath

A flag wreath will welcome guests to your 4th of July party.

Wreaths are a decorative addition to any holiday décor. Wrap red, white and blue burlap on a wire frame. Add star stencils and you’re good to go. Make it for the Fourth and use it for other patriotic holidays throughout the year, such as Flag Day, Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day.

Patriotic Rocks

Patriotic rocks, from Melissa at Green Owl Art are simple but festive décor. They make nice centerpieces, placecard holders or decorations around the yard.

decorated rocks

Add red, white and blue to your yard with patriotic rocks.

Patriotic rocks are a super-easy project. They’re great for all ages, because kids can make them as simple or elaborate as they like.

4th of July Luminaries

If you’re planning an evening barbecue or picnic, you’ll need some light. Make 4th of July Luminaries. Check out these from Amanda Formaro, Crafts by Amanda, which have a couple of variations.

colorful luminaries

Light up your yard with colorful luminaries.

All kids love painting projects, though the little ones will need some help with the stencils. Be careful of the glass. Use them as a centerpiece or to light your backyard.

Confetti Popper Rockets

Fourth of July Confetti Popper Rockets are just plain fun! These popper rockets from Brenda Ponnay on Alpha Mom require more effort than the other projects. But it’ll be worth it when you see the look on your guests’ and your kids’ faces

rocket poppers

Rocket poppers will add a fun and surprising element to your 4th of July celebration.

Little and big hands will be able to help put these rockets together. Plus there’s a science-project element. These rockets are designed to pop.

Lawn Stars

Better Homes and Gardens shared these wonderful lawn stars. If you have a yard, you must make lawn stars to celebrate the Fourth!

lawn stars

Decorate your lawn for the Fourth, too!

Make the stencils in advance. Then, on the 4th of July, take the stencils to your yard along with some water, flour and a flour sifter, and make your stars.

#2: Make 4th of July Food

Planning a backyard barbecue? We have some excellent grilling recipes on My Kids’ Adventures. Once you pick your favorite main course, add some red, white and blue to your foodie mix.

Fruit Kabobs

These fruit kabobs from Heidi at The Frugal Girls are wonderful for a few reasons. They’re healthy (well, mostly), easy and allow for creativity.

fruit kabobs

Fruit kabobs are a delicious and mostly healthy appetizer, snack or dessert.

Take your favorite red (strawberries, raspberries, red grapes), white (marshmallows) and blue (blueberries) foods. Put them on skewers in a variety of patterns, and turn them into a creative and delicious 4th of July treat.

Flag Cake

The flag cake from Glory at Glorious Treats looks so cool, it’ll be the talk of the party. If you like making cake puzzles, you have to try it!

flag cake

This cake with white icing has a surprise inside: a United States flag!

Use white cake mixes. Color some of the batter red and some of it blue. Bake the cakes separately, make the frosting, assemble and cool in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Full instructions with detailed explanation and lots of pictures are on the site.

More 4th of July Desserts

Jamielyn of I Heart Nap Time had three great 4th of July dessert ideas. It was too hard to choose a favorite, so we had to include them all.

Watermelon stars: Watermelon plus cookie cutter star equals a fun way to eat fruit for the holiday. What other cookie cutter shapes can you use? What other fruits?

blue chocolate dipped cherry

Chocolate-dipped cherries.

Chocolate-dipped banana splits and chocolate-dipped cherries: Melt blue chocolate in the microwave (parents, take the lead on this one). Dip fruit in the melted blue chocolate. Add star sprinkles. Place on waxed paper until set.

Cupcake Toppers

Whatever you make for your 4th of July celebration, turn it patriotic with one of these cupcake toppers from Carrie Harris, A Sweet Spot: Home.

cupcake toppers

Cupcake toppers turn any dessert patriotic.

Glue décor onto skewers for easy toppers. Use sparkly pipe cleaners for sparklers, stickers for stars and pom poms for, well, pom poms. Mix them up or keep all dessert types in the same theme.

#3: Dress Up

To get in the patriotic spirit, plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Wear a red and white t-shirt along with a pair of blue jeans, and you’re good to go. Or spice things up with some 4th of July accessories.

Remember to set up a photo booth to capture the special 4th of July looks.

Tie Dye T-Shirt

Make a 4th of July sharpie tie dye t-shirt like Charlene at My Frugal Adventures did with her child.

child in tie dyed t shirt

The sharpie version of a tie dye t-shirt is just as much fun, but a lot less messy.

Sharpies, rubbing alcohol, an eyedropper and clothing items are all you need to get a similar tie-dye look. Be sure to use an iron to set the color.

If you want to go traditional tie dye, this post from Sean Hill at eHow has detailed instructions.

While you’re at it, tie dye more clothes using the sharpie or traditional method. One option is messier than the other, but it’s all the same amount of fun.

Ribbon Flip Flops

Ribbon flip flops will add 4th of July flair to any outfit. Check out this fun footwear from Heather Schisler, Passion for Savings.

ribbon on flip flops

A little ribbon makes your flip flops festive.

This is another activity you can do for the Fourth, and then also make spares to wear throughout the summer. It’s inexpensive, fun and easy. Plus, all ages can make flip flops in their own style.

Firecracker Hat

This firecracker hat from Spoonful is a crack up. So is their firecracker crown.

kids in firecracker hats

The safest firecrackers are the ones made of paper that you wear on your heads.

The firecracker hat is made with posterboard and ribbon with a pipe cleaner/crepe paper fuse. The firecracker crown’s base is craft foam with blue tape, stars and pipe cleaners for embellishment.

Make either of these to the letter or take the basics and create your own design.

Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty Hats

The 4th of July hats from Amylee Adams, Sassy Scarlett, come in two varieties: Uncle Sam (the symbol for the United States) and Lady Liberty (as in the Statue of Liberty)!

paper hats

These paper hats, representing Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, are super-easy to make.

Another easy craft, these also make a nice accessory for anyone who takes part in an Independence Day parade.

#4: Celebrate With Fireworks and Sparklers

No 4th of July celebration would be complete without fireworks and sparklers. These fiery projects are the safest. There’s no fire involved, unless you count a fired-up spirit for the holiday.

These crafts can be used as decorations. Or put supplies together and “create fireworks” during your 4th of July festivities.

Handprint Fireworks

Handprints form the shape of bursting fireworks when they’re positioned just so. Make handprint fireworks like these from Allison McDonald, No Time for Flash Cards.

handprint fireworks

A simple yet fun craft for the kids!

Make paint handprints (like with finger paints) and cut them out. Then glue them on dark paper and add embellishments. See how many handprint fireworks you can place on one sheet of paper.

Dish Brush and Fork Fireworks

Michelle McKinley, Sassy Dealz, has two ways to make firework prints out of household items: dish brush and fork fireworks.

dish brush

Create fireworks using red and blue paint and a household item, like a dish brush.

Red and blue paint, white paper and either a dish brush or fork are all you need. Well, that and creativity!

Paper Sparklers

You need to be so careful with traditional sparklers. But paper sparklers, like these from Liz Stanley, Momtastic, are just plain fun!

paper sparklers

Paper sparklers are lots of fun, and safe too!

Little ones may need a little help to cut the paper into thin strips. But they’ll have no trouble playing with them!

Spirit Wands

These spirit wands from Chelsey, Buggy and Buddy, look more intricate, but are almost as easy to make.

wands with ribbons

Spirit wands help show American pride!

Prepare a bunch of dowel rods ahead of time. Just hook a screw eye to the top. Then have a basket full of different red, white and blue ribbons, and let everyone create their own.

Spirit wands and paper sparklers are also great to take to a 4th of July parade.

Through all of your 4th of July adventures, play music to get in the spirit. “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” should be in your music mix.

Some Final Thoughts

These are just a few things you can do to celebrate the 4th of July. Talk about the holiday as a family, plan your party and do all the prep together. Do more research to find out why the holiday is so important and look at other things people do to celebrate.

When you have a celebration, no matter what the holiday, it’s an opportunity to bond with your family. Whether you make food, decorations, costumes or “fireworks,” the idea is to make the prep as fun as the party. An event lasts one night. Memories last forever.

What do you think? How do you celebrate July 4th? Do you have a party? What decorations do you make? What food? What creative accessories do you wear? Share your party ideas and photos in the comments.

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About the Author, Debra Eckerling

Debra Eckerling is an editor at My Kids Adventures. The creator of Write On Online, a website and community for writers, Debra helps individuals define, plan and achieve their goals. Other posts by »


  1. Crystal Foth says:

    Great ideas to celebrate the holiday! I love the cherries – they’re so cute and festive!

  2. Thanks, Debra! We made the Sharpie tie dye shirts for our Cub Scout pack to wear in the 4th of July parade. They turned out great and were so easy (and less messy) compared to regular tie dye. Great idea. Perfect timing. Thanks!

  3. Irene O'Leary says:

    Debra, these are great ideas–we’re making sparklers for our 4th of July celebration. Thanks!

  4. KJ Ammerman says:

    Thanks, Deb! Of course, the fruit-kabobs caught my son’s attention right away. (Yay, he likes something simple to make :)

  5. Thanks for your comment , Crystal. I love them too – blue chocolate with sprinkles. Who knew?

  6. Some of my early memories are dressing up for the local 4th of July parade. Wish I knew about the sharpies then. Working on this article sure brought back memories.

  7. Fun! Take pictures, Irene. We’d love to see them!

  8. Awesome, KJ! Kabobs are great to make with kids, ’cause they get to be creative when they arrange them! I personally loved decorating appetizer platters when I was a kid (still do, actually).

  9. EmilyQuestions says:

    Cute ideas! I love the fruit kabobs with marshmallows, Deb!

  10. Me too! I think I need to get some marshmallows to mix with fruit. Hmmm. Perhaps there should be s’mores in my future too!

  11. Such cute and easy ideas! I love that these are ones I’d actually do with my 3 year-old. Thanks, Debra! ~ Beth Anne

  12. You’re welcome, Beth Anne. Thanks for your comment! Have fun and Happy 4th!

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