7 Patriotic Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July With Your Family

Family with flags on July 4th

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Pow. Boom. Sploosh. It’s time for the fireworks to fly! That’s right, the Fourth of July is just around the corner. From red, white, and blue clothing to educational outings, there are plenty of ways for you and your family to celebrate Independence Day. Here are some activities to inspire your festivities.

July Fourth marks the day the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson. Independence Day has been a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1870.

Dress the Part

Wearing red, white, and blue is one of the simplest ways to show your patriotism and celebrate this national holiday. Although you can probably find patriotic gear anywhere, Old Navy and Target's Fourth of July collections are excellent sources for matching outfits for the whole family.

If you're feeling crafty, it might also be fun to decorate your own T-shirts, hats, shoes, dresses, skirts, shorts, and face masks!

Get creative with red, white, and blue tie-dye or break out the fabric paints, markers, iron-on badges, glitter, pins, and appliques. And don't forget to listen to your favorite music while you create your own Fourth of July looks.

Have a Patriotic Picnic

Enjoy a meal on the grass beneath the setting summer sun. A patriotic picnic can be a stand-alone event or a peaceful break between the rest of the day's festivities.

Preparing the picnic is a family activity in and of itself. This red, white, and blue potato salad would be perfect alongside this decadent lobster macaroni salad. And, what kids wouldn't love these homemade pretzels? They can also have fun adding patriotic sprinkles to these show-stopping red, white, and blue truffles and these white chocolate-dipped strawberries.

When you get to the beach, the park, or the front lawn, lay your creations out on a giant star-spangled banner blanket or tablecloth and enjoy. (And be sure to keep your food fresh and well-chilled with ice and cooler packs.)

Paint Your Lawn

Get in touch with your creative side and up your family's lawn game this July Fourth! Using grass-friendly spray paint, the whole family can get artsy by doing some patriotic painting together.

Use red, white, and blue paints to decorate your front lawns with stars and stripes or positive words of celebration. Depending on your levels of artistry, consider using stencils to outline your designs. Remember to let the paint dry before walking across the lawn.

While the paint may be safe for the grass, be mindful of the fact that most spray paints are aerosols and may require extra precautions due to their fumes and flammability.

Create a Photo Booth

Friends and family are bound to take lots of photos when they gather to celebrate. Between the inevitable color coordination of red, white, and blue and the electric energy of everyone anticipating the fireworks, Independence Day is the perfect time for some photo booth fun.

To create your own photo station, start with a stars and stripes backdrop and some balloons. Then, gather some props like flags, hats, sunglasses, and signs for guests to pose with. Many ring-lights also double as smartphone stands, making it easy for anyone to snap a hands-free photo with flattering lighting.

Visit a Historic Landmark

Staying home to celebrate is one great way to spend Independence Day, but you might also consider visiting local monuments or trekking somewhere with historical significance to switch things up.

Landmarks across the country commemorate both monumental events and natural wonders. Combining a road trip with educational fun is a great way to spend quality time together as a family while learning about the country's history.

Check out a state-by-state listing of National Historic Landmarks to find a monument in your area or to help you plan a future road trip.

Plan a Bicycle Parade

Marching bands, vibrant floats, and classic cars are typical features of Independence Day parades and celebrations. But parades don't have to be extravagant to be fun.

Parades can be as simple as a bicycle parade in your neighborhood. Get the kids to design and print flyers with the date, time, and starting point of the event. Distribute them to your neighbors inviting them to decorate their bikes and scooters with patriotic red, white, and blue streamers, flags, and other festive decorations.

Encourage everyone to bring their own speakers for music (or recorders, horns, pots, and pans to make their own) and you'll be well on your way to making lasting neighborhood memories this July Fourth!

Read American History Books

A great tradition to start with your kids is to read some books about . Leading up to the holiday, make a trip to the local book store or library and ask the staff to help your kids make their selections.

July 4th, 1776, marked the beginning of America's freedom from the British. Commemorating this event by reading inclusive, age-appropriate books with your children is a great way to dive further into our country's history.

Celebrating the Fourth of July can be a fun time to celebrate our country's history. However, it is also important to acknowledge that Independence Day didn't mean independence for all. Juneteenth (June 19th) celebrates the perseverance and bravery of Black Americans throughout history and today. Consider also reading books about Juneteenth and Black independence in America.

A Word From Verywell

July Fourth is a great opportunity to spend time outdoors with family, friends, and neighbors. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, make sure it is a safe, enjoyable, and educational time for you and your kids.

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  1. Library of Congress. Today in history - July 4. 2021.