Tis the season for patriotism, so grab your flags and barbeque sauce and throw a party! But if you’re going to have a Fourth worth remembering, you’ll need to do some planning. The first tip is to not burn the burgers. Here are the rest of our ideas for an unforgettable backyard party.

Food and Drink

Obviously, you’ll want to create an awesome menu that appeals to all of your guests. Barbeques are extremely common on the Fourth of July, so think about what you’d like to grill. Hot dogs and hamburgers are classic Fourth of July fare: they’re small enough and cheap enough to be able to make a lot of them in a little bit of time. That’s great if you’re having a gigantic party, but if you’re having a small party and want to class it up, consider grilling marinated chicken breasts, lamb, or steak. Your guests will love it.

For beverages, if you want a red, white, and blue drink to serve your guests, here’s a clever recipe: put cranberry juice, Gatorade frost, and diet 7-up in a transparent party cooler. The drinks separate and you end up with a flag colored cooler. If that’s not to your taste, you could try watermelon lemonade. With blue cups and ice, you can have the same red, white, and blue effect! Finally, many barbecues feature alcohol. Keep your audience in mind and decide if that’s appropriate – and be sure if people are driving to your house that they can get an Uber back home!

When your guests do leave, why not give them a delicious goody bag? Take some blue M&Ms, some Hershey’s Cookies & Cream bars, and some Twizzlers, and arrange them in a transparent goody bag to look like the American flag (with only four ‘stripes’ and about 24 ‘stars’). You’ll leave your guests with a great taste in their mouth!

Decorations

Decorations will be the backdrop for the memories made during your party. If you throw a lot of parties in your backyard, the decorations will help differentiate this from every other event held there. Therefore, you should put forth decent effort in making the decorations fun and vibrant.

One quick decorative garland you can make involves buying some red, white, and blue plastic tablecloths. You can get these for cheap at any party store or grocery store. Cut the tablecloths into strips of 12 inches by 1.5 inches. Take these rectangles and tie them on one short edge to a string (or, if you’re particularly looking for fun, a string of lights!). You can hang these on your fence or deck bannister. It’ll look pretty and patriotic in the sunlight, and at night you can turn them on to show your decorations in a whole new light.

Banners are another great way to showcase America’s thrilling trio of colors. Take some red, white, and blue bandanas, then attach them to a clothes string. Alternate the three colors and then center the string over the party. It looks great, and is easy to make!

If you’d rather have a canopy than a banner, take some paper streamers (red, white, and blue, of course!) and tie them to your lightbulbs, awning, or from your roof gutter to your fence – anything over your head should work.

Backyard Games

Backyard games are a staple of any good Fourth of July party. If you have a thin yard, a bocce ball tournament or a game of Frisbee can be great fun. If you have a yard that’s large enough though, why don’t you try a more structured game?

For instance, you could put up a badminton net. All you need is a badminton kit to start playing doubles. This game is easy to learn and hard to master. It’s also fast-paced, and you can limit the games to five-point victories if you want to rotate more people into play. Or have everyone grab a partner and form a tournament bracket. Winner gets to light the first firework!

If you have a lot of people and space, you can even give volleyball a try. Backyard volleyball is just as fun as on the beach or in a gymnasium. Plus, everyone on the team will feel important because no one person can do everything. That’s especially true if you have kids playing with you. Playing volleyball is a great way to set yourself up for a memorable party.

With food, decorations, and games to play, you’re sure to have a Fourth of July worth talking about for a long time to come – at least until next year’s!