Hosting Tips

Here’s How to Throw a Tropical-Inspired Fourth of July Party

Beach front property not required.

By Chanel Dror

Who ever said the Fourth of July had to be a big group affair? Sure, cramming the entire neighborhood into your backyard might sound like a fun idea, but if this time of year is as busy for you as it is for me, there’s no rule that says Independence Day can’t be intimate and relaxing. Which brings us to today’s summer party inspiration: a Fourth of July dinner party that’s low on guest count, but elevated in style. We stuck to a palette of red, white and blue (of course), but turned to tons of greenery and global influences to create a super tropical feel. The result is patriotic, unexpected, and most important of all, laid back.

Click through for the flavorful menu, decor and entertaining must-haves, plus a few bonus summer entertaining tips!

*photography by Ashleigh Amoroso

We set the scene with a tropical take on a patriotic invitation.

I’ll admit that using a hula table skirt felt cliché at first, but as soon as I attached it to the edge of our round patio table, it instantly gave the entire scene the tropical look we were going for.

Since no one knows plants quite like the ladies of The Jungalow, we turned to them for some suggestions about how best to bring our bohemian vision to life:

“For decor that will last beyond the party, use potted plants rather than just cut greens and flowers to add a lush botanical vibe. You can send the plants home with guests as favors, or add them to your own plant collection to enjoy year round! Try wrapping the pots in fabrics that coordinate with your decor to tie it all together even more.”

To truly take our table to the tropics, we surrounded it with any and all the house plants we could find. Potted  fiddle leaf fig trees were instrumental in filling the space with tons of green, while mix-and-match pillows in unexpected earthy prints were the perfect pop of color (and comfort!)

And for what is probably the easiest, most colorful centerpiece ever: we piled tons of tropical fruit high in a low wooden bowl.

We took a tip from our friends at The Jungalow (a.k.a. the ultimate color and pattern gurus) when choosing our textiles:

“To find the balance between matchy-matchy and clashing, choose an overarching color palette that includes dominant and accent colors—or color families. Then, when you choose patterns, just make sure that they fit loosely within your color story.”

Sure, store-bought pre-cut pineapple is the easy route for serving this delicious fruit. But if you ask me, cutting it yourself is way more cost-effective, tastes a whole lot sweeter, and by using tropical cookie cutters, you can serve it in all sorts of fun shapes.

We paired ours with watermelon, kiwi and grapes for a colorful and satisfying fruit salad side dish.

If the combination of sweet and savory flavors is up your alley, look no further than these BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders for your summer dinner party menu. To make them, just top mini-buns with BBQ chicken, a slice of pineapple and fresh cilantro, then keep it all in place with a festive American Flag pick.

You don’t need more than three balanced dishes to pull off this dinner, and serving them all family style makes prep easy as can be. Plantain chips with salsa made for the perfect snackable side.

… but not before saving room for dessert! We coated frozen bananas with chocolate, nuts, coconut flakes and sprinkles for a summery sweet treat.

Click here to get the recipe for our Chocolate-Covered Banana Popsicles!