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4th July party ideas: Our top picks to celebrate Independence Day in style

4th July party
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Independence Day just around the corner, you're likely busy planning your 4th July party. Luckily for you, we've compiled a whole guide to help you throw the best celebration for your friends and family! 

The 4th of July is a great opportunity to gather your loved ones and have a special celebration. Whether you're planning a cookout, a pool party (opens in new tab), or just a chilled hangout in your backyard, we've got plenty of suggestions to make your 4th July party a night to remember. 

There's lots to consider if you're hosting a large number of guests: what you will cook and how much, how will you cater for everyone, what you will provide as entertainment, how you will decorate your outdoor space, how people will keep warm, etc. We've reviewed and compiled a selection of the best gas grills (opens in new tab), hot tubs, swim spas, patio heaters and outdoor solar lights so you can plan your bash with your mind at ease!

If none of the options in the guide below fit your criteria, do consult our buying guides, where you're sure to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

4th July party: Grilling

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a 4th July BBQ? Grilling will ensure you can produce large amounts of food efficiently while cooking outside to avoid firing up your oven indoors in the heat. 

Guests can also get involved in the grilling, and everyone loves a good BBQ! You can accommodate any dietary requirement easily by providing meat alternatives, grilled veggies, and gluten-free buns. 

In order to make your 4th July party as successful as possible, it's vital to invest in a good grill. Make sure to choose a grill that's large enough for your needs, and one that will best suit what you're planning on grilling! Below, we've rounded up the best gas and infrared grills we've reviewed to help you make the best choice. 

Monument Grills 77352 6 Burner Propane Gas Grill

(Image credit: Monument Grills)
This top-rated gas grill is great for catering a large 4th July party.

Specifications

Cooking space: 634 square inches
Burners: Six main, one side
BTU: 72000 (main grill), 12000 (side burner)
Ignition: Electronic

Reasons to buy

+
Integrated thermometer
+
Rotisserie included too
+
Side burner adds extra flexibility

Reasons to avoid

-
Gas bottle gets hot

The Monument Grills 77352 6 Burner Propane Gas Grill is a very large premium grill, perfect for hosting a large gathering. Six burners gives you plenty of space to cook for all your guests, and you can separate the different types of ingredients but grill them all at the same time. There's even a separate side burner so you can cook side dishes while your mains are grilling!

This grill has a range of high-tech features such as a lid-mounted thermometer and LED-lit controls. It also comes with a small rotisserie unit, so you can grill a whole chicken if you so wish. 

If you're worried about getting value for your money, this stainless steel grill is sturdily built and comes with an eight year warranty to put your mind at ease. It's on the expensive side, but for the size and quality you get, we think it's well worth it.

Lynx Professional 30-inch Gas Grill Review

(Image credit: Lynx)
This top-rated gas grill can handle a large 4th July BBQ with ease.

Specifications

Cooking space: 600 square inches
Burners: 4
BTU: 48,000
Ignition: Electronic

Reasons to buy

+
Never-rust ceramic burners
+
Truly even heat distribution
+
Infrared burner and rotisserie

Reasons to avoid

-
Very pricey

The Lynx L30TRF Professional is, as the name implied, a professional-grade appliance. It has a really premium look and feel to it, as well as some incredible features for the best grilling performance. The cooking area stretches to 600 square inches, so you won't be short on space, even if you're hosting a large party. 

The Lynx L30TRF Professional might be harder to acquire than other commercial grills - you might need to reach out to a specialist dealer if you're interested in purchasing it. It's also a very expensive piece of kit, but if you're committed to improving your grilling, it's worth the high price tag. 

That said, you can rest assured it is built to last. The ceramic burners are covered to ensure they'll never rust, and the grill comes with ceramic briquettes made to evenly distribute the heat while you're cooking. The smart ignition function and LED-lit controls make the grilling experience all the more smooth and luxe.

Image shows the Broilmaster R3B.

(Image credit: Amazon.)
The Broilmaster is a solid and well-built infrared grill for reliable cooking.

Specifications

Fuel type: Gas
Cooking area: 442 square inches

Reasons to buy

+
Empty List

Reasons to avoid

-
Empty List

If gas grills aren't the best option for you, you could opt for an infrared one. We'd recommend the Broilmaster R3B, a top of the range, reliable grill. It's got a right-hand ceramic burner specially-designed for searing meats before transferring them to the left-hand burner to cook them off slowly. 

The large, 442 square inches cooking area means you can grill a lot of food at once, and the two separate burners enable you to separate between ingredients that don't cook at the same temperatures. If one of your dishes is ready before the rest, you can keep it on the warming rack so you can serve everything at once. 

The Broilmaster R3B is entirely made in America and has a solid, reliable build, delivering a consistent heat and cooking performance.

In order for your BBQ to run smoothly, you might also want to invest in a few grilling accessories to make your job easier. For example, if you're hosting a pizza party, a pizza grilling stone to use on your grill is a must! A pair of gloves, tongs, and an apron are also very handy if you want to avoid spoiling your party attire - and make sure your fingers are safe at all times!

4th July party: Patio heaters and fire pits

If you're planning on taking your 4th July party late into the night, or you're susceptible to the evening chill, you might want to invest in a patio heater. For cooler summer nights, a patio heater can warm up your outdoor space and create a great ambiance. 

Alternatively, a fire pit could be a great way of ensuring you and your guests stay warm and cozy. It also doubles up as a smores maker, the perfect way to end your 4th July party! 

Below we're rounded up what we think are the very best patio heaters (opens in new tab) and fire pits (opens in new tab). If you want to see more choices, you can read our full buying guides.

best patio heater

(Image credit: Amazon)
The Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater is a powerful, sturdy and reliable patio heater.

Specifications

Heat source: Propane
Heat output: 46,000 BTU
Heating range: 225 square feet
Size: 89 x 33 x 18 inches
Weight: 43 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Electric ignition system
+
Pilotless burner system
+
Various finishes to choose from

Reasons to avoid

-
Uses lots of fuel at max power

If you're looking for a commercial-grade patio heater, look no further than the Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater. Its sturdy freestanding structure made from commercial-grade steel means it can withstand really bad weather. 

The Fire Sense Commercial packs a strong performance too, heating up to 225 square feet of outdoor space with its 20-pound propane tank and 46,000 BTU of heat. Its Piezo electric ignition system makes lighting it a breeze, and you can rely on the "pilotless" burner system to reduce fuel wastage. 

This patio heater is available in a range of different finishes to suit any space, including Aqua Blue, Matte Black and Hammered Mocha/Bronze. 

Avenlur Outdoor Patio Propane Space heater: image of heater

(Image credit: Amazon)
The Avenlur 42000 BTU Pyramid is the perfect addition to classy evenings on the patio.

Specifications

Heat source: Propane
Heat output: Around 42,000 BTU
Heating range: 10 sq. ft.
Size: 29 x 29 x 89 inches
Weight: 65 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Looks magnificent 
+
Visible flame offers brilliant ambiance

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to assemble
-
Can be demanding on fuel

The Avenlur 42000 BTU Pyramid Patio Heater has a distinct pyramid shape, and the visible flame in the glass tube will brighten any outdoor space. The drawback of the exposed flame though is that it consumes a huge amount of gas, so you should consider keeping extra bottles around.

Overall, it's a sturdy, reliable, and high-performing patio heater, capable of heating up to 10 square feet of space. However, it's one of the more complex models to assemble. 

Tiki Brand Fire Pit review

(Image credit: Tiki Brand)
This is a great fire pit for parties and entertaining.

Specifications

Type: Wood burning
Dimensions: 24.75 x 18.75 inches
Weight: 45 lbs
Material: Stainless steel

Reasons to buy

+
Great, convenient design
+
Perfect to gather around

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite heavy
-
No spark shield

The Tiki Brand Fire Pit is a perfect mix of practicality and beautiful design. It is sleek and minimal, so it's guaranteed to fit into any outdoor space! With this handy outdoor appliance, you can choose to burn pellets or logs for a bigger fire, as you prefer. The Tiki Brand Fire Pit's airflow system is really effective at cutting down smoke, too, so your guests can gather round the fire comfortably. 

The convenience doesn't stop there: this fire pit is easily cleanable with a slide-out ash tray, and the assembly takes just a few minutes. While it's pricier than some of its competitors, we think the Tiki Brand Fire Pit is a great choice for outdoor gatherings.

4th July party: Hot tubs and paddling pools

Perhaps instead of warmth, what you need is a way of keeping your guests cool in the July heat - if that's the case, you might want to consider investing in a hot tub or paddling pool. Luckily, there are choices out there to suit all different needs, yard sizes, and budgets. 

A hot tub, pool, or swim spa can be the best entertainment for a 4th July party. Kids and adults alike will love the opportunity to take a break from the heat and relax in the water. Many tubs also have options like jets, LED lights, or even built-in speakers to liven the party. If you don't want to permanently install something in your garden, you can go for the inflatable option.

Below, we've rounded some of our favorite hot tubs and paddling pools to help you choose the next addition to your back yard.

Coleman SaluSpa Tahiti AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub

(Image credit: Coleman)

Coleman SaluSpa

The best inflatable hot tub brand.

Specifications

Capacity: 6 people
Maximum temperature: 104 degrees
Jets: 114

Reasons to buy

+
Super affordable
+
Easy to set up
+
Sturdy and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Six would be a tight fit

The Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub is an affordable and quality hot tub that can hold up to 242 gallons of water. 4 to 6 adults comfortably fit inside it at one time, so it's perfect if you're planning on entertaining a larger group. The brand is well-loved and produces reliable products, backed by quality customer service. 

This inflatable hot tub is propped up by vertical beams when it is inflated, so it doesn't lose its shape over time. The ground is cushioned to protect your feet and the bottom of the tub from debris on the ground. It also helps retain heat from the water to keep it warmer for longer. The one drawback of this tub is it takes a while to heat up, so you'll have to plan in advance if you want to use it. 

If you don't find your happiness in our best hot tubs (opens in new tab) or best inflatable hot tubs (opens in new tab) buying guides, perhaps a smaller paddling pool would be a better option for you. These can be deflated and folded away when not in use, and they're also generally more affordable than a hot tub or swim spa (opens in new tab). Paddling pools are also an ideal solution to keep kids and pets cool in the summer months. 

4th July party: Outdoor lighting

Now you've sorted your food and the entertainment for your party, it's time to think about decorating. Solar lights (opens in new tab) are a great way of adding a cozy ambiance to your gathering as it lasts into the night, and they're more environmentally friendly than classic fairy lights. Outdoor solar lights are also purpose-built to resist harsh weather, as most models are waterproof and shatterproof. 

If you're stuck on ideas, we've compiled a whole article of backyard lighting ideas (opens in new tab) to make your garden as beautiful as it can be. 

Best solar lights 2020: All the best outdoor solar lights from Brightright and Wilson & Fisher

(Image credit: Wallmart)

Brightech Ambience Pro solar lights

The Brightech Ambience Pro solar lights are every bit as pretty as they are functional, providing up to six hours of lighting once fully charged.

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive design  
+
Three-year warranty  
+
Different length choices 
+
On/ Off switch  

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very bright 
-
You can’t attach multiple strings together 

These extra-sturdy lightbulbs can withstand rain, snow and winds of up to 50mph thanks to their weatherproof and shatterproof construction. The Brightech Ambience Pro solar lights come in two different sizes, and can be neatly attached to a gazebo or structure thanks to the hooks they come with.

This set of lights isn't the brightest out there, but they're reliable and provide a soft, ambient atmosphere in your garden. It also comes with a three-year warranty, so you can have peace of mind that these will last you a while.

Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights

(Image credit: Signature Garden)

Signature Garden 6 Pack Solar Garden Lights

The best solar lights for outdoor use come rain or shine.

Reasons to buy

+
All weather resistant
+
Attractive design
+
Lasts for eight hours

Reasons to avoid

-
Not super bright

The Signature Garden 6-pack of solar garden lights is the perfect option if you're looking for something to light your garden path. Each light comes with a sharp end so you can push each one into the ground easily. 

These LED lights are powered by solar rechargeable batteries, so they recharge during the day when they're in the sun and can stay lit for up to eight hours throughout the night. Best of all, the Signature Garden solar garden lights come with a lifetime guarantee, which the brand says is "no questions asked" - while they're pricier than some of their competitors, you can ask to be sent a free replacement set at any time, which should help your peace of mind. 

Hopefully this guide has given you plenty of ideas to help you host the best 4th July party for your guests. If you need any additional purchasing advice, do check out our full buying guides, which contain a host of options for many outdoor living and cooking categories. 

Independence Day is a truly special occasion and a great opportunity to have a get-together with your loved ones. Kitting yourself out with the best equipment will mean you too can enjoy the party instead of just hosting it! 

Now, all there is left to do is to break out the grill, put your burgers and veggies on, fill the hot tub, turn on some lights and wait for your guests to arrive! 

Mina Frost
Mina Frost

Mina is the Deputy Editor at Top Ten Reviews. She works with section editors to create accurate, detailed and in-depth reviews to populate our buying guides. She has degrees in Linguistics and Investigative Reporting, and is also a freelance writer and editor. When she's not testing kit and agonizing over commas, Mina can be found reading, running, eating good food and drinking wine.