We have a client who hosts an annual 4th of July party at their beautiful home on Lake Austin. It always involves their own private fireworks show that rivals the city's show. Over the years, we have come across some tricks; some by accident and some we planned out. We wanted to share them with you here in case you're looking for something to make your 4th of July sparkle a little more.
1. THE OLD SCHOOL SLIP N' SLIDE
You can use a DIY approach with heavy gauge plastic sheets with heavy logs to hold down the sides if you're feeling ambitious. We also like the Wow Watersports 18-2200 Mega Slide. Our favorite secret weapon though is adding Dawn dish soap to the slide. Just add water to a partially full bottle so the soap can come out easily, and it will turn the slide onto turbo speed. Other tips: 1. buy or make a slide 25' or longer 2. have side bumpers so kids don't slide off too early 3. if you want to be a hero, put it on a slight incline.
2. ICE COLD WATERMELON
This was one of the ideas we came up with by accident. In Austin, Texas, 4th of July is known to be a hot one...easily 100 degrees outside. We put the watermelons outside earlier in the afternoon and they were warm by party time. We had a giant galvanized trough filled with ice and water for drinks, so we threw the watermelons in the trough. They ended up looking fun and bright, so we loved the look. Plus the watermelon was ice cold when we cut them open. That's what we call a happy accident.
3. INTERACTIVE DRINK STATION FOR KIDS
Kids drinks are hard to get creative with because there's not the endless recipe opportunities that adult cocktails have. This SODABAR by FUNBOX gives you everything you need for an interactive drink station for kids. The kids make their own blend of sprinkles and flavors to put on the rim of their DIY soda that they create using Italian flavored syrups and soda (we like Rambler Sparkling Water). You can add whipped cream and cherries to make it even more delicious.
4. ADULT PICNIC BASKETS
We filled these Pottery Barn picnic baskets with rolled silverware with 4th of July inspired ribbon, Faust wine with glasses and some snacks. We put them out on Yakima Camp Blankets from Pendleton blankets on the lawn. The PB baskets are no longer available but we found these cute ones with a red & white Gingham lid that would look awesome. With the "rosé all day" trend, you could add a bottle of rosé to the basket with a Vacu Vin Active Wine Cooler and keep it cold for hours.
5. LAWN GAMES
Again, the old school approach never fails in this category. Croquet is always a home run. We saw a game over the weekend called KUBB (a Swedish game aka Viking Chess) that takes a little more attention to rules but the concept is basic enough that anyone could learn it and compete while making friends. We love this simple wood Bean Bag Toss (aka Corn Hole) game because we can add decals and change them out to fit any event. We also love this Viva Sol Ladder Golf. The simple rules and set-up of these games make them easy for anyone at almost any age to play. Plus you can socialize and still stay in the game.