Since July 4th is less than a week away, here are some ideas to help you host a fabulous Fourth of July party!Décor for the party should obviously be red, white, and blue. There are several ways to incorporate these colors and create a beautiful event. One idea is to hang white paper lanterns with red, white, and blue ribbon taped around the middle.

Another easy decoration idea is to stick mini flag toothpicks into a Styrofoam wreath until it looks full. The wreath can then be hung on your front door or used as a centerpiece by placing it on a table with a glass-encased pillar candle in the middle.

One final DIY décor idea is to create a star-spangled banner. This is pretty simple to make: cut out stars from red, white, and blue tagboard, coat them with craft glue, sprinkle with glitter, let them dry, punch a hole in each, and then string from ribbon. This would also be a fun summer activity for your kids to do before the party! The garland can be strung anywhere in the party area, including across the dessert or drink tables.

Since the Fourth is in celebration of American Independence, you must have some of America’s favorite foods. Hot dogs are an all-American must-have at a Fourth of July party. However, while traditional hot dogs are good, a fun twist is to create a gourmet hot dog bar. Set up a table with the traditional toppings, but with gourmet flair. For example, instead of yellow mustard serve horseradish mustard or spice-up plain ketchup with a little jalapeno. Also, you can create unique hot dog recipes and then place the recipe cards on the table for guests to try. For example, a Southwest Dog is topped with Monterrey jack cheese, tomatillo salsa, and sautéed onions. The options are endless with this low-stress dinner and your guests will enjoy trying some new flavors.

For dessert, a delicious and decorative option is a cupcake flag cake. For this adorable creation, bake any flavor cupcakes, cover them with white icing, and then top some with coconut or white chocolate shavings, some with raspberries or strawberries, and some with blueberries or dewberries. Arrange the finished cupcakes on a platter so they look like a flag, as pictured below.

If you’re having kids at the party, you should have activities for them. One fun idea is “Bubble Wrap Hopscotch”. I have never seen this before, but I know I would have loved it when I was young! To set it up, find colorful bubble wrap (or paint the backside of clear wrap), use stencils and spray paint to add the numbers, and tape it down with double-sided tape. You might want to create replacement squares, so everyone can enjoy popping the wrap.

Another activity for the kids is to have them make Uncle Sam hats towards the beginning of the party that they can wear during the festivities. Older kids can help the younger ones so that children of all ages will be involved. There is a great template with directions at The finished product will look something like this:

These are just a few suggestions for a great Independence Day celebration. A little creativity can go a long way in making your event a success! Have a great Fourth of July!