What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with hosting a kickass BBQ? BBQ parties don’t require much planning, but having a general outline before you begin purchasing your supplies makes you look organized and, well, pretty kickass. Here, I’ve gathered everything you need to pull off a quick and easy party with this list of 10 ideas to throw a memorable 4th of July weekend BBQ.

1. Theme
It’s easier to plan a party when you have a theme in mind before you begin buying your food and party supplies. With the 4th of July, patriotism is a common theme. You can find cheap patriotic party supplies, such as plates, cups, and napkins at your dollar or party store. In a hurry? Spend $0 on these patriotic party printables to really liven up your backyard gathering.

Erin Patriotic Printables







Love these printables? So do I. Here is a list of more printable party decorations:
FREE America Banner Printable
FREE Patriotic Printables
FREE Patriotic Flair Collection Printables
FREE Patriotic Party Printables

2. Meat
What do you BBQ? Meat of course! And food is probably the most important aspect of planning a BBQ. Therefore, take time to think about what meat you’re barbecuing. Even if you’re hosting a potluck style affair, plan a good meat for the barbie. We love this idea for a burger or hotdog bar. If you choose to serve ribs, steak, chicken, or fish instead, you can still create a nice food arrangement using cheap reusable bowls and platters from your local dollar store.

Erin Memorial Day Meat








3. Fruit
Creative fruit displays are a sure-fire way to make your 4th of July BBQ stand out. Continue your patriotic theme with these red, white, and blue fruit kabobs.

Erin Flag Fruit









4. Side Dishes
If you like the idea of easy grab-and-go appetizers and sides, create single serve seven layer dip cups, or perhaps individual containers filled with carrot and celery sticks. Wanting more variety? Skewer some asparagus or bacon wrapped scallops to throw on the grill for a mouthwatering side dish.

Erin Appetizers







5. Drinks
Get creative with your drink recipe or display. Try serving a summery watermelon lemonade or blue long island ice tea. If you have a kiddie pool on hand, dump some soft drinks, waters, and beer in a ‘pool’ of ice, and you got your backyard BBQ drinks easily accessible in a fun and creative way.

Erin Drink Buffet




6. Utensils
Dress up your utensils for an ultra-special attention to detail. I love this casual yet easy-to-assemble brown bag holder from The Garnish. You can find all of these supplies at your local bargain store.

Erin Utensils













7. Music

Create the right mood with the right music. Many people have their own portable music player or sound system for use outdoors. Make sure you provide music that’s tailored to your audience to set the right party atmosphere.

Erin Music
8. Games
Providing activities is always a win when entertaining guests for a BBQ. It allows your friends to really enjoy themselves and the day. Some all-time favorite outdoor games include corn hole, horseshoes, beer pong, darts, and volleyball. For the calmer crowd, offer cards, shuffleboard, or golf toss.

If you don’t have any of those games lying around the house for your last minute party, you can either make your own or ask your guests to bring them from home. For example, shuffleboard boards can be made in the grass with spray paint or on concrete with duct tape. Plus, most people are excited to bring anything they can to help.

Erin Games







9. Desserts
Give them an excuse to save room for dessert with this Berries on a Cloud recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. For the health conscience, try offering Healthy Light Berry Dessert Pizza by Undressed Skeleton.

Erin Desserts










10. Kid Zone
Kids need a lot of stimulation and activities to keep a party going strong well into the evening. I love the idea of providing kid friendly outdoor games, a kid’s table full of activities, or a backyard movie under the stars to ensure that everyone has a good time.

Erin Kids Table







If you’re planning a last minute 4th of July BBQ and need a short list of ideas for throwing a party that looks like it took weeks to plan, look no further than this list of 10 Quick Ideas for a Kick-ass 4th of July BBQ.

Need an extra dose of quick inspiration? Check out my Pinterest Page that includes more party foods, games, music ideas, and printables.



Erin Bettis

Erin Bettis

Erin Bettis Logo



Thank you to Erin Bettis from Patricia’s Daughter for these fabulous 4th of July BBQ ideas!

I am Patricia’s Daughter. When I rest my hat as military wife and mother to daughters Whitney and Kennedy, I spend my down-time reading, writing, and laughing hysterically at my goofy husband. – See more at:

* Image source: Cover: Stock Photo 1.) The Celebration Shoppe, A Little Crafting 2.) Celebrate Every Day With Me 3.) Party City 4.) Recipe Girl 5.) Ebay, Collections-Etc 6.) Think Garnish 7.) Flickr 8.) Corn Hole Toss Outlet 9.) Mel’s Kitchen Café, Undressed Skeleton 10.) Make It Cozee