Happy 4th of July! This is one of my favorite family holidays celebrated with my husband’s side. His entire family gets together for an annual 4th of July block party. The party is always held the Saturday before the 4th down in Hollister, California. A true block party that celebrates the down-home American holiday.

The streets are blocked off and every family puts out their lawn chairs, pop-ups, and tables. The streets are filled with kids running around. Many of the men are grilling Deee-licious food!






Here’s 2 photos of grilled streak covered in crushed garlic and seasonings. The steak was my favorite!






Grilling chicken. We had 3 huge grills set out in the middle of the street to feed the 100+ people attending this block party.







Bouncy houses lined the streets, too, for all day entertainment.







The most popular bouncy house was a Slip-n-slide because it was HOT this past weekend.

We played games of all types, too. Play some of these games at your next party and you’ll be a hit!








  • Silly String War: get a can of silly string and connect 2 people with a rope. At the call of “Go” have each person spray one another! It’s fun and full of laughs!
  • Water Balloon Toss: when it’s hot, it’s almost a blessing to get wet if the balloon pops. Start close to one another and after each toss, take 1 step backwards.





  • Sack Race: get a sack and hop to the finish line. Prizes can be beads from the dollar store.
  • Hula-Hoop Spin: see who can hula hoop the longest. Everyone can win by getting to keep the hula hoop.






  • Cake Walk: have everyone donate a cake/dessert. In chalk, write down 12 numbers on the street. Play music and have people walk around. When the music stops, pick a # and they win a cake. I won a cake on my first walk! I picked Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. Scrumptious! I did share them with my family….only 1, though! Hahaha….seriously…they got more than that.
  • Tug-O-War: simply get a rope and have people split off in two teams. Whoever gets tugged over the line wins bragging rights.
  • Face Paint: a neighbor brought over face paints and set up a table & chair area. The kids had a blast getting cherries, zombies, and other designs on their faces and arms.



The day ended with a huge feast. Each family contributed a dish that could feed 10 people.

We brought my famous 5-Bean Baked Chili recipe. And my famous Cabbage Salad recipe.








Once the sun was down, we had our fireworks all lit up. So much fun lighting them!

What are your plans for the 4th of July!?! Next year, plan a block party and include these games. They are FUN, EASY, & Entertaining!

By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN