The COVID-19 pandemic saw many homebuyers prioritizing square footage and outdoor space like never before. Some folks left the tight confines of the city for wide-open floor plans, while others refused to even look at a house that didn’t have an expansive backyard.
More space means more room to entertain, and if you’re a new homebuyer who’s spent months (or a year) dreaming about hosting a July Fourth shindig, now’s your time to shine. With the number of vaccinated people steadily rising and the number of reported cases decreasing, you can finally put that outdoor space to use and celebrate the red, white, and blue with family and friends. Cheers to that!
“Fourth of July is a great opportunity to celebrate a new home with new neighbors and old friends,” says Jenny Reimold, HomeGoods style expert. “Make it a block party where you can utilize outdoor spaces, create summer memories, and maybe even start a new annual tradition.”
Worried you’re not prepared to throw a Fourth of July bash at your new place? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips for Fourth of July entertaining.
Invest in outdoor dinnerware
If you’ve never had an outdoor area for serving food and drinks, you likely don’t have essential, shatter-proof dinnerware. But you should!
“This is the time to invest in some really nice melamine plates and restaurant-quality plastic glassware,” says Joanna Buchanan, a home accessories designer and expert on entertaining. “I promise you will use them over and over again.”
“I love melamine dishware for entertaining, because there are so many unique, durable, and easy-to-clean options available,” says Reimold. “If you’re in a crunch for time, check out the party aisle at HomeGoods. It’s a gold mine for adorable and affordable patriotic supplies like festive summer napkins, paper plates, reusable plastic or bamboo utensils, and straws.”
Set up different stations
An outdoor bar is essential, but this Fourth of July, go all out with other serving stations.
“Now that you have some more space to entertain in, create different stations and really have fun with them,” says Buchanan.
For example, you can create a charcuterie area with an impressive meat and cheese spread or a dessert station featuring red, white, and blue sweets. Serve it up on this acacia wood outdoor serving cart (Amazon.com, $129.99).
“I use a teak wood and metal bar cart as a station for food, utensils, and party supplies. Impress your guests by creating a s’mores bar that you can easily serve up outside by a bonfire,” says Reimold.
Reusable cocktail picks ($88, joannabuchanan.com)—whether they’re being used for martini olives or chocolate-dipped fruit—will also come in handy.
“Having different stations helps people move around and mingle,” says Buchanan.
Hang paper garlands, twinkle lights, or an American flag bow on that huge oak tree you now have in your beautiful new backyard.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money and can find festive decorations at the local dollar store.
If you prefer making your own decorations, consider this roundup of 100 Cheap and Easy DIY 4th of July Decorations from Stephanie Lynn, who runs the blog Prudent Penny Pincher.
“They’re easy to make and easy on the wallet,” she says.
Bring out the games
Now that you have a bigger space—and maybe even a lawn—consider some backyard favorites like scavenger hunts, water balloon fights, ladder toss, and croquet ($40.99, Amazon).
“Whether you’re hosting just adults or inviting all of the neighborhood families, backyard games are a fun way to get everyone involved,” says Reimold. “I also like to grab an oversized wicker basket to store the games in for guests to easily grab and enjoy throughout the party.”
Fire pit fun
A fire feature may not have been allowed in your last place, but you’re a homeowner now! Consider bringing in a fire pit ($99, Home Depot) to make s’mores and enjoy the glow when the sun goes down.
As a courtesy, be sure to check the rules about open flames with your city or homeowners association before investing in a fire feature.