PARTY THEME: BACKYARD OLYMPICS PARTY

One of my favorite party themes for summer fun for the 4th of July or a get-together with the neighbors or cousins is a Backyard Olympics party. Easy to host; all you need is a big back yard and some creativity! Old school lawn games like the sack race, three-legged race, egg and spoon race, wheelbarrow races, hula-hoop contest, bubble blowing contest are just the ticket for summer fun. This is also one of the most affordable party ideas because most of the games require very little in the way of supplies.

All photos: Arden Ward, Arden Photography

Backyard Olympics Party games Martie Duncan
 Get the gang together for some old-fashioned fun by throwing a Backyard Olympics party this 4th of July.

Get the gang together for some old-fashioned fun by throwing a Backyard Olympics party this 4th of July.

 Hula-hoops and other backyard game supplies can be found at the dollar store or toy store.  Oriental Trading Company  has many backyard party games available online.

Hula-hoops and other backyard game supplies can be found at the dollar store or toy store. Oriental Trading Company has many backyard party games available online.

 Old fashioned games like the "wheelbarrow" race or the three-legged race make for lots of laughs and summer fun.

Old fashioned games like the "wheelbarrow" race or the three-legged race make for lots of laughs and summer fun.

FOOD & BEVERAGES

It is an All-American theme keep the menu classic with hot dogs and hamburgers or fried chicken. Whether you make the food yourself, get it at the store or your favorite restaurant, or asks guests to bring a dish, that's up to you.

Deviled eggs, potato salad, slaw, and pickles are traditional picnic side dishes that we can never seem to get enough of in the summertime. Apple pie topped with homemade (or store-bought) vanilla ice cream completes the All-American menu.

Dispensers of ice cold sweet tea, lemonade, and flavored water (orange is always a good choice) makes serving easy and keeps bartender duties to a minimum.

Set up a beverage station at the game course with a big tub of bottled water, sports drinks,  and other cold beverages on ice so the kids stay hydrated.

DECORATIONS

It is a Red, White, and Blue Patriotic theme for this party so use leftover 4th of July themed napkins, flags, ribbons, and other supplies to give an Olympic village feel to the table decorations. Hydrangea is a wonderful summer flower; use them in clusters and you'll only need a few stems.

Make quick lanterns using LED lights or glo-sticks and a piece of scrapbook paper. Easy, pretty, and functional, too.

ENTERTAINMENT

The games are the fun for this party. A frisbee toss, baggo, croquet, badminton, volleyball, bocce ball, and kickball are all great games if you have the equipment. There are so many fun yard games to play that require little or no equipment at all. Remember the wheelbarrow race, three legged race, egg toss, egg and spoon race, and