Bring friends and neighbors together for the most time-honored cookout tradition of the year: the Fourth of July. On the menu? Easy sweet and smoky barbecued ribs paired with simple sides you can prepare ahead of time. Fireworks or not, our showstopping flag cake will end the meal with a bang.
Keep the patriotic party going with a few Independence Day activities that are good for all ages.
Set the Tone with Red, White and Blue
A few colorful touches will set a patriotic tone:
- Arrange dime-store flags in the ground around the perimeter of the yard.
- Place mason jars filled with red, white and blue wildflowers on the tables.
- Hang brightly hued kerosene lanterns to lighten things up after dusk.
- Set up your outdoor sound system with a classic summer-inspired playlist, like "Born in the USA" and music by the Beach Boys.
Celebrate the Old Red, White and Blue
Patriotic Party Games
- Play Capture the Flag (the American flag, that is!).
- Set out red, white and blue streamers, balloons and ribbons and let the kids decorate their bikes and wagons before staging a parade around the property.
- If fireworks aren’t an option, hang a festive candy-filled piñata from a tree instead and have guests take turns trying to whack it open.
- After dark, gather everyone around a bonfire, hand out sparklers and make s'mores.
A few minutes before your guests arrive, put out beers and a pitcher of margaritas and fire up the grill.