Written by Michele Wheat
Once school lets out and the weather warms, the countdown to the Fourth of July gets officially under way. Many families consider Independence Day to be the highlight of the summer, and this summer celebration is full of fun traditions. Going to see fireworks, having a family picnic, seeing a patriotic parade, and just hanging out in the sun are popular things to do on Independence Day.
- Go to the Fireworks: Fireworks have been a Fourth of July tradition since the beginning of the country, when the forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Lots of communities organize stunning fireworks displays that start at dusk. These displays might be on Independence Day, or they could be on a night before or after the holiday.
- Light Sparklers: Some people would rather avoid the big crowds at fireworks shows and have their own displays at home instead. Lighting sparklers and running around the yard is an exciting activity, especially if you wait until after dark. You can even make your own sparklers if you have time for a science project.
- Have a Bike Parade: Big parades with marching bands are a common way to celebrate Independence Day. Maybe you'd like to organize and be in a neighborhood parade instead. Get your neighborhood friends to decorate their bikes with streamers and flags, and then you can all parade around the block to celebrate the Fourth of July.
- Wear Red, White, and Blue: Nothing shows that you're in the patriotic spirit better than a shirt or entire outfit that's red, white, and blue. Lots of stores sell patriotic shirts around the Fourth of July. You could even buy a plain white shirt and decorate it with red and blue fabric paint to make your own patriotic shirt.
- See a Historical Landmark: The United States has many historical monuments and landmarks. Some landmarks commemorate historic events, and others are just special places that showcase the natural beauty of the country.
- Have a Picnic: A Fourth of July picnic might be the most common thing that families do to celebrate this holiday. Have the picnic in your backyard, or pack up everything and go to a nearby park for the day. Don't forget to show your patriotic spirit with an American flag picnic blanket or tablecloth, too.
- Paint the Lawn: Instead of just mowing and tidying up the yard for Independence Day, create a massive patriotic display on the grass. Construction marking paint is the perfect medium for this project because it won't hurt the grass. The display will stay until you mow your lawn again.
- Make a Patriotic Photo Booth: Set up a fun photo booth for family and friends to use. Create a backdrop for the photos with red, white, and blue colors. Don't forget to provide fun props for the photos, too, such as hats and big sunglasses.
- Volunteer in Your Community: Commitment to the community is the foundation of America, and the Fourth of July is a great time to show how much you care. Help your community set up for a local celebration, or volunteer to be on the cleanup committee. You could also volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
- Plan an American Menu: Lots of foods are traditional American summer favorites, and you can easily put these on the Fourth of July menu. Plan to have red, white, and blue ice pops, hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, watermelon, and ice cream for dessert.
- Go to a Concert: Try to find a local concert that features a playlist of old-fashioned patriotic tunes. These songs are often familiar to everyone, and the whole family can enjoy the show.
- Watch Television: Maybe you're staying in because the weather isn't great. If so, you can still catch the patriotic spirit by watching TV. Some of the major cities broadcast their fireworks displays nationwide, and many streaming services add special patriotic movies and shows to their lineups during this time of the year.
- Fly the Flag: Show your family's patriotic spirit by flying the flag from your house or in your yard. As the stars and stripes ripple in the breeze, you can feel proud to be an American.
- Build a Flag: Construct a flag out of wood and paint it red, white, and blue. A single wood pallet is a great head start to making a flag that's big enough to display in your yard.
Additional Resources for Patriotically Celebrating the Fourth of July