Gather your red, white, and blue accessories because the 4th of July is just around the corner! On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress, and the United States of America was born. This holiday is also known as Independence Day and is celebrated with fireworks, delicious food, and more. Keep reading for the best and easiest ways you can celebrate the Fourth of July this year.
Dressing in red, white, and blue is an easy way to celebrate. Dressing up is a simple and affordable way to participate on the 4th of July. Plus, you’ll look absolutely fabulous! Toss on a red, blue, or white shirt or even paint your nails festive colors.
- Going to a family or neighborhood event? Wear matching 4th of July shirts and maybe even paint stars on everyone’s cheeks.
Have a picnic.
Enjoy lunch at a local park for a relaxing Independence Day. Sometimes something as simple as having a picnic can make the most memories. Round up the family, pack the picnic basket, and head to your favorite park. Bring a ball or frisbee to play with after your meal for even more summertime fun.
- Many parks will host events on or around the 4th of July. Check your park’s social media pages or website to see what’s planned.
- Don’t live close to a park? Lay out the picnic blanket in your backyard or even your living room.
- Make your holiday picnic even more special by turning it into a family reunion. Invite all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to spend a day together at the park.
Host a backyard barbeque.
Gather friends and family for some tasty hot dogs and hamburgers. Who doesn’t like a good ole fashioned barbeque? With the 4th of July at the peak of summer, it’s the perfect time to plan a barbeque. Decorate the table with red, white, and blue decor, and ask everyone to bring a festive dessert. Here are some of our favorite cookout staples:
- Berry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream
- Red, white, and blue poke cake with whipped topping
- Sponge cake decorated like the flag
- Red, white, and blue rocket popsicles
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
- Fruit salad
Spend time outdoors with family and friends.
Get some fresh air this 4th of July and have fun. There’s nothing better than soaking in that amazing summer sun with friends and family by your side! Invite everyone on an outdoor adventure to celebrate the independence of this great nation. Here are some activities you can try:
Attend a parade in your town or city.
Kick off the day by watching the band and patriotic floats march by. Many communities and cities host parades on the 4th of July that are usually free to attend. Simply jump in the car and head down to the parade street to get a prime seat. This activity is sure to please family members of all ages.
Watch a local fireworks show.
See if your city puts on a 4th of July fireworks display. Fireworks are a classic Independence Day activity and are great for the whole family. Check your town’s social media sites or ask neighbors to see where the festivities take place.
- Can’t attend a local show? National firework displays from big cities like New York City and Washington D.C. are often televised.
Light sparklers in your backyard.
Put on a small fireworks show to celebrate. Are you unable to travel into the city for a fireworks show? Well, you’re in luck because firework stands pop up all over town around this holiday. Just make sure to check your area’s fireworks regulations before lighting anything, as many states have specific laws that must be followed.
- Be safe when shooting off fireworks yourself.
- The American Pyrotechnics Association has an online directory you can reference for consumer fireworks regulations by state.
- Sparklers are a great, fun, and relatively safe firework for kids and adults.
Roast marshmallows with loved ones to celebrate Independence Day. Nothing screams “summer” more than a toasted pillow of marshmallow and a melted chunk of chocolate between two graham crackers. This is a downright delicious way to spend time together as a family and reflect on America’s history.
- Don’t have a fit pit? Make s’mores in the microwave rain or shine!
Do a patriotic craft.
Keep the little ones occupied with festive coloring, painting, or beading. Arts and crafts are the perfect side activity for beginner events. They are fun, and the kiddos will have a souvenir to keep or hang up! Check out these fun 4th of July crafts:
- Cut red, white, and blue crepe paper into strips and tape them to the inside of a construction paper cylinder to make a paper windsock.
- Finger paint with red, white, and blue to create an abstract flag or landscape.
- Use red, white, and blue pony beads to fashion a patriotic pony bead bracelet.
Have a movie night.
Watch historical documentaries or your favorite movies on the 4th of July. Sometimes you and the family just need to take things slow. Soak in the holiday’s history by watching a documentary on the Declaration of Independence or the founding fathers. If documentaries aren’t your jam, cozy up with the family to watch a movie with a touch of history. Here are some to add to the marathon list:
- National Treasure
- Top Gun
- Independence Day
- Born on the Fourth of July
Visit a historical landmark.
Go on a family vacation to a national monument this 4th of July. Taking time out of your day, weekend, or week to learn about America’s history is an educational and fun way to celebrate Independence Day. Head to Washington D.C., the nation’s capital, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to fully immerse yourself in the 4th of July’s history.
Check out a historical reenactment.
Relive the historical moments that helped free the country this 4th of July. Did you know that you can be a part of history? Historical reenactments are a great way to learn about past events and have fun. Simply search “historical reenactment near me” to find opportunities in your area.
- If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can visit Independence Hall to watch actors reenact the moment the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Visit a museum.
Learn about America’s history on Independence Day. A local or national museum trip can be enriching for all ages. It doesn’t matter what part of American history you learn about, as long as you’re learning! Focus on an exhibit or specific museum that interests the whole family.
- Plan your day around visiting a museum further away to turn the trip into a day vacation.
- Find museums near you by searching “museums near me” online.
- Double-check that the museum is open on the 4th of July, as some museums close for the holiday.
Attend a baseball game.
Celebrate America’s independence with America’s favorite pastime. There’s nothing that says summer more than a day at the ballpark. Hot dogs, sun, and that oh-so-familiar baseball tune, what’s not to love? Take the family to a local game or drive to the nearest major league stadium to see your favorite team.
- Couldn’t grab tickets? Pick up a mitt, ball, and bat and gather the whole neighborhood for a friendly game.
Volunteer in your community.
Give back to the community on this special holiday. The 4th of July is all about freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many people in this country need help, and sparing just a few hours of your time can make someone’s day that much better. So, pass on the patriotic spirit by devoting some of your day to volunteering in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or veteran’s hospital.
- Get the whole family involved to grow stronger together and spread compassion.
- Go to VolunteerMatch.org to find volunteering opportunities near you.
Send a letter or package to a veteran or troop.
Honor those who protect our freedom to say “Thank you.” America’s founding fathers put a lot of work into the nation’s freedom, and thanking the soldiers who have and are continuing to fight can make a huge difference. Veterans and troops sacrifice everything for us, so why not take a small moment of your day to send them a care package or write them a letter?
- Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels can help your family connect with soldiers overseas.
- Talk to your local community center or library to see if there are any opportunities to help local veterans.
Read the Declaration of Independence.
Recite the words that sparked America’s independence. Reading the Declaration of Independence is extremely educational and eye-opening. Gather your family and friends around and take turns reading the words of our founding fathers.
- If you have little ones, read the Declaration to them or, better yet, introduce them to the Declaration’s history with Schoolhouse Rock’s “The Declaration.”