Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fun Up Your 4th! | Party Ideas

We are less than a week away from the 4th of July (one of my favorite holidays) and I know that for a lot of us that means friends, backyard barbeques, swimming, trips to the lake or beach, parades, and watching fireworks!

Our typical 4th of July involves most of those things as well so today I wanted to share a few fun things that we either love already or would make a great addition to your celebration.

To liven up any backyard BBQ or hangout, you need games!  Games are a great icebreaker, they get the energy up and the fun started!

Here are a few of our favorite yard games.

If you've never played cornhole, then you are missing out!  It's a great game for kids and adults because it isn't complicated (toss your bean bag into the hole or as close to it as possible), it's easy to set up and you can play with 2 or 4 players.  If you've got a big group, set up a little bracket and get a tournament going!  Prizes for the winners could be anything from gift cards to their favorite drink to a trophy from the Dollar Store.  ;)

Here are some great options, in a range of prices, that I found with quick shipping.

This one is very similar to the cornhole set we have.

What we love about it?  It comes with the beanbags and the set is weather-proof so it can get wet with no worries.  I also love that when you're ready to clean up, the boards velcro together and you can drop the bean bags inside and carry it away with the handles.  So easy!

Find this set HERE.

If you'd prefer to rep your favorite team (because these are also great for those tailgate parties!), check out these.

This set has all the same great things about it as the previous one but you can get it with your favorite team's logo!  #gopackgo

These ship within 3 to 5 days, according to the listing, so order NOW for a chance to have them by the 4th.  But even if you don't get them by then, they are just perfect for the upcoming tailgating season!

Find them HERE.

And if you're looking for something more portable that you can fold up and bring with you to the park or beach, this one may be for you!  It all folds up into a little bag that you can just throw over your shoulder.

I think we may get a set for our beach trip in August.  Actually, I think we'll definitely be getting a set for our beach trip in August.  I love nothing more than sitting under my umbrella on the beach with my book but my kids get bored easily.  So this will help!  #decisionmade

Find this set HERE.

Other fun yard games we love...

Horseshoes!!  Craig's family has had a "Holiday Horseshoe Happening" tradition for years and years.  Whenever they have a big group of family together, they hold a horseshoes tournament.  There is even a plaque with gold plates on it that get engraved with the winners' names each time.  It's pretty awesome.  We love horseshoes!

Thanksgiving 2011.  3 Time Horseshoe Champs.  ;)

And Bocce Ball is also a favorite.  We play this on the beach as well!

If you aren't familiar with Bocce Ball, it's very similar to cornhole and horseshoes.  Throw the little white ball out into the yard and then take turns trying to get your ball closer to the white ball than the other team.  Easy. Fun. And great for kids and adults!

Find Bocce Ball HERE.

When we aren't all playing games, we are in and around the pool.  Like I mentioned yesterday, my kids love water balloons.  Kids go NUTS when you bring out water balloons under any circumstance.  The other day I walked into the garage to get something out of one of our deep freezers and found a bucket of fresh water balloons.  Because putting water balloons in the freezer and then having a water balloon fight sounds like a super smart idea.  ;)

I found this pack of 265 for just $14.99.  Do y'all remember filling water balloons old school style back in the day?  It was painstaking.  We'd have to pull one balloon at a time onto the faucet (or water hose), turn on the water slowly and then tie it off.  It took forever to get a whole bucket.  Now you can make 100 balloons in 60 seconds!  Where were these quick fill and instant seal ones when I was a kid!? I feel cheated.

We love these!
Quick and free shipping and it looks like they are on sale right now so grab them at this price!

Water Balloons HERE
(UPDATE!  A sweet reader said she bought these same ones from this listing and when they came in they were an off-brand and didn't work.  Boo.  But you can find the same ones HERE from Target instead or in-store!)

And now onto pool floats.  Because those things are on point lately!  I picked some of my favorite floats and water toys and put them in this little widget so you can scroll/click to the right to see all of them.

This one is perfect for my crew.  Although I find it funny that they advertised it with a hot girl relaxing on it like she doesn't have a care in the world.  Our advertisement would look something like two boys trying to push each other off.

Baseball pool float HERE.

And the giant animal inflatables are so popular and for good reason.  They are so fun!

Giant Duck HERE.

Ride-On Unicorn HERE. (Oh my gosh, I want one of those.)

Peacock HERE.  So pretty!

My kids favorite floats this summer have been these though.  They are awesome and actually lasted through a pool party with 20+ boys!  They were a great find!  If you've got kids, they will flip over these.

UFO Water Gun Floats HERE.

And then no party is complete without delicious food!  This is not a food blog and I'm not a masterchef so I'm going to present you with ideas from people who know what they are doing.  ;)

All of the following were plucked off of Pinterest because that's where I shop for food ideas.  The source (and recipes) are in the links below each picture.

These mini strawberry shortcake cups are ADORABLE!  And they look delicious and easy so win/win.

Source:  Amanda's Cookin'

Another easy (and festive) dessert is this dessert pizza.  I've had this before but never made it.  It looks so simple!  Even I can't screw this up.  Maybe?  ;)

And then I hit the Holy Grail of 4th of July party food.  Prudent Penny Pincher compiled a giant list of recipes in one blog post so if I were you, I'd head there for food ideas!

What are your go-to food and fun ideas for the 4th?  What are your traditions?

We're always up for new ideas around here so I'd love to hear about them!

(PS:  This post is serving as my Friday Favorites post as well because #summerlife took over yesterday.  Follow me in the Facebook group for more favorites today though!)



  1. Love those portable PVC cornhole sets! So practical. This year for the 4th we are headed on vacation to Daytona Beach! I'm excited for some time at the beach. Have a great 4th of July!! As far as summer recipes go, my S'mores Pie is a fav for summer BBQ's!

    1. I’ve always wanted to be at the beach for the 4th! And S’mores Pie sounds amazing!! Going to check it out now!

  2. Just a heads up...I bought those water balloons a few weeks ago from that exact listing on Amazon and when they arrived, they were not actually the Bunch of Balloons brand... and they didn't really work. :/ The seller did refund my money, but my kids were bummed! I guess I'll stick to buying them in the store!

    1. Ugh, I hate when that happens! So frustrating. Thank you for the heads up!! I'll link to an alternate instead! But yes, we usually grab ours at Walmart or Target on impulse!

  3. We love cornhole and just bought a new bocce ball set!

  4. Our cornhole game is a Packers set. :) I plan on pulling it out for the 4th.

  5. We just bought that fold up corn hole set for our boy. It's really great and the travel bag is such a plus!!!

  6. Anonymous10:13 AM

    Hey! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent

  7. So much fun and happening ideas for the 4th. I am taking inspiration.


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