July 4th is almost here, which means it’s time to celebrate Independence Day! In honor of the original 13 states, we’ve put together a list of 14 ways you can celebrate with your family on this most patriotic holiday. From fireworks and rousing music to stuffing yourself with red, white and blue foods, there’s no end to the fun to be had on America’s birthday. Pick and choose your favorites, or tackle the whole list for an unforgettable day of summer fun!
1. See a Fireworks Show
This one is kind of a no-brainer. America has celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence by lighting off fireworks since its first anniversary in 1777. Nothing rouses our spirits like the explosion of red-white-and-blue rockets overhead, while patriotic music plays through the loudspeakers. Most communities host festivities of some sort on the 4th, so check out local websites to find out what’s available near you. Or, to celebrate with a real bang, check out this list of the 10 biggest fireworks displays in the country.
2. Make Sparklers at Home
If you’d rather avoid the crowds on the 4th, you can still add a traditional spark to your holiday celebrations with a firework display at home. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make your own sparklers. This is neither easier nor cheaper than buying boxed sparklers from the local fireworks stand, but it is a fun DIY project, and a chance to practice science with the kids.
3. Organize a Bike Parade
Parades with marching bands, festive floats and classic cars are a staple of community Independence Day celebrations. But if there’s anything more fun than watching a parade, it’s being in a parade yourself, and a neighborhood bike parade is great way to get everyone in on the act. Trick out cycles and wagons with streamers, pinwheels and flags, then join friends and family for a leisurely ride around the block.
4. Wear a Patriotic T-Shirt
Whether you’re going out to celebrate or spending the day at home, there’s no easier way to show your love for America than wearing red, white and blue. T-shirts with patriotic graphics are available just about everywhere, so finding one that suits your personal style is easier than apple pie. Or, if you’re feeling crafty, you can decorate a t-shirt yourself, using stars, stripes and other patriotic shapes as appliques or even stencils.
5. Visit a Historic Landmark
The 4th of July is the perfect day to honor the history of our great country by visiting a monument or landmark. Our nation’s monuments commemorate both historic events as well as natural wonders from sea to shining sea. Peruse a state-by-state listing of National Historic Landmarks to find one in your area, or plan a future road trip with historic significance!
6. Throw a Patriotic Picnic
Picnics go hand in hand with fireworks and parades on the 4th. Whether you’re heading to the park for your al fresco feast or sticking to the backyard, show your patriotic spirit from the ground up with an American flag picnic blanket you can paint yourself. A guaranteed family favorite activity!
7. Paint Your Lawn
Americans love our lawns, and it turns out they make a great canvas for a patriotic display! This outdoor decorating idea uses construction marking paint which is safe for grass and lasts until you cut your lawn.
8. Put up a Photo Booth
Whenever friends and family come together for a good time, photos are sure to happen. Be prepared to record the good times by setting up a photo booth with a festive stars and stripes backdrop. For extra fun, prep some silly props for your friends to pose with!
9. Volunteer in the Community
The 4th of July is a good time to embrace what makes America strong, and make a caring commitment to your neighbors and community. Whether it’s pitching in to set up for local celebrations or putting in hours at a shelter or soup kitchen, helping those in need is about as American as it gets! Check out VolunteerMatch.org for opportunities in your area.
10. Eat All American
A celebration without food is like a car without wheels. For the 4th, embrace the spirit of the holiday with a red, white and blue menu. You can get plenty of inspiration from Pinterest or your favorite lifestyle and recipe blogs, but our favorites include these red, white and blueberry popsicles, patriotic deviled eggs and (for the kid in all of us) some star-spangled ice cream cones
11. Attend a Concert
There’s no better day to enjoy a rousing performance of songs from the American songbook than on the 4th of July. The most prominent Independence Day concert of them all takes place on the Capitol’s West Lawn, but you can easily find local bands, orchestras and choirs putting their own spin on your favorite patriotic tunes. Outdoor concerts on the 4th of July usually end with a fireworks display, so consider this one a two-fer!
12. Watch TV
Are you determined to stay home this year? You can still get into the patriotic spirit without leaving your couch. The New York City fireworks show is broadcast nationwide, as is the Capitol Fourth concert from Washington D.C. Or check out your favorite streaming service for shows and movies of historic interest. The 4th of July is the perfect night to rewatch Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, get caught up on the latest episodes of AMC’s revolutionary war drama Turn or to look up a few documentaries about American history on Netflix.
13. Raise the Flag
However you choose to celebrate our nation’s independence, one of the best ways to show your patriotic pride is to display the American Flag. Since its adoption in 1777, Old Glory’s stars and stripes have served as a symbol of freedom around the world. So show your national spirit and raise a flag in honor of liberty. Learn more about the history of the flag along with tips for how to respectfully display Old Glory at home.
14. Build the Flag
Build your own flag with this DIY American Flag Wood Panel. Gather the family together and get those paintbrushes ready for a fun, July-themed activity in the backyard.