The 4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the US. It is a day that not only brings together family members but also friends, coworkers, and people from all walks of life. It’s a day to honor the independence of United States while entertaining ourselves with great fun, food, and festive events. You can choose to celebrate it in style by inviting your family and friends over to your place for a barbeque party or you could plan a long vacation. Or you can do both! Whatever you decide to do on the 4th of July , there are some fun things you should consider for keeping yourself and your loved ones busy throughout the day.
It’s always a good idea to plan something the whole family will love, whether that means feasting on your favorite grilling recipes, spending the day at the beach, or breaking out the sparklers. If you need to cool down from the heat, try having a water balloon fight, or heading indoors for some creative 4th of July crafts. Of course, there are also tons of food-related activities like making s’mores, packing a picnic, or decorating a flag cake. Looking to turn your American Independence Day celebration into a full weekend? Plan a road trip to a historic landmark or spend the night camping under the stars. It’s a great way to reconnect with your loved ones and the land that you love. No matter how you celebrate, don’t forget to take fun photos of your 4th of July festivities and pair them with some clever 4th of July Instagram captions!
1. Go camping — even if it’s just in your backyard
There’s something about camping that always feels like it’s an adventure, even if it’s just in your backyard. Whether you’re in your backyard or at a campsite, use the 4th of July holiday to get outside and make s’mores, tell ghost stories around a fire, or wake up early for a sunrise hike. This could also be a great opportunity to visit some of America’s most prized possessions: its National Parks.
2. Have a Beach Cookout
Dining al fresco is a staple of so many July 4th gatherings. Head to the beach this year and watch the sun set over the water while telling classic bonfire stories, eating burgers, and singing some patriotic tunes.
3. Host a backyard competition.
Host a family soccer or badminton tournament to keep everyone entertained and outside all day long. You can even add in various prizes for the winners (and losers), and schedule fun 4th of July-themed crafts and meals for half-times and other breaks.
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4. Make a Patriotic Wreath
Decorating your home with a wreath might already be part of the Independence Day agenda, but give it a homemade twist with a DIY patriotic wreath! It’s a fun craft to do with the whole family want to keep it up all summer long.
5. Visit a Historical Landmark
You don’t need to live in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., to visit historical landmarks and buildings. So many cities and towns across the U.S. have their own landmarks! This photo from Galveston, Texas, shows the 1861 Customs and Court House building where Abraham Lincoln read the emancipation proclamation
6. 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.
7. Make homemade popsicles.
The 4th of July is typically a very hot holiday (but hey, that’s part of the fun!), so cool off by creating homemade popsicles. Try these yogurt swirl pops, or one of our other easy and delicious popsicle recipes.
8. Create a waterpark at home.
Between sprinklers and a fun hose extension, you can create a waterpark in your own backyard. The kids will be entertained for hours (and cooled off) by playing fun water games. And let’s face it, enjoying a cold beverage in a kiddie pool on a sweltering July day is fun no matter your age.
9. Go Fishing
Find some time to reflect on what Independence Day means to you while enjoying the quiet of nature. If you catch something good, grill it up at your evening barbecue!
10. Attend a Parade
Fourth of July parades are such a fun way to show off your patriotism. Who doesn’t love marching bands, decorative floats, and huge balloons? You can do a quick internet search to find the closest parade to you this holiday!
11. Read a Book About American History
If you’ve got a little one who doesn’t quite know what the 4th of July is about, use the holiday as a chance to teach them more about American history. There are so many great kids’ books about history and historical figures, like I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer and Two Friends by Dean Robbins.
12. Visit Philadelphia
Take a trip to the place where it all began! There are so many historic locations in the city, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, and more!
13. Have a Dress-Up Competition
How decked out do you get to show your American pride on the 4th of July? Host a competition to see who can come up with the most patriotic outfit! The results surely won’t disappoint.
14. Have a Hot Dog Eating Contest.
If there’s one food that represents the 4th of July, it’s hot dogs. If you’re feeling adventurous, recreate Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition, or if you want something a little more tame (and easier to stomach) try a hot dog taste test where you can try out various relishes and mustards.
15. Decorate Your Home
If you’re like Ree, then you love a good excuse to decorate. Well, there’s no better one than celebrating America’s birthday! There are tons of stunning DIY 4th of July decorations to choose from.
16. 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!
19. Rent a Boat
Hitting any body of water is the best way to beat the heat on the 4th. Adding a boat ride into the mix makes it all the more fun!
20. Go to the movies.
Not into red-white-and-blue themed activities on the 4th of July? No problem. It might be a good day to enjoy the ice cold air conditioning of a movie theater. Plus, there’s a very good chance it won’t be crowded since it’s a holiday.
21. Make This Red, White, and Blue Trifle
Your sweet tooth will love this dessert! Bringing in all the colors of the American flag, this treat will please the whole crowd.
22. Go Check Out The Neighborhood Decor.
One of the most fun parts of Christmas is driving around and looking at all the decorations (hot chocolate optional). Why not do the same for the 4th of July? Grab an ice cold lemonade and load up the car with family and snacks, rating the best decorated houses as you go.
23. Hang an American Flag
Now’s the perfect time to proudly display an American flag, whether it’s on a flagpole or waving over your porch.
24. Belt Out Some Tunes
Bust out the drums (a.k.a. pots and pans) and other makeshift instruments, then encourage your kids to sing along to American classics like “The Star Spangled Banner” and “This Land Is Your Land.”
25. Host a Cookout.
Speaking of food, why not impress your family and friends with a summer cookout? Make some of our easy grilling recipes that’ll feed a crowd.
26. Plan a Patriotic Road Trip
Hit the road and visit a state you’ve never been to before. Be sure to stop by one of America’s many landmarks. You’ll learn a thing or two about American history and have a weekend you’ll never forget.
27. Learn to Tie Dye
This is a craft that both kids and adults will love. Create a cool tie-dyed bag or shirt in red, white, and blue colors, then show off your skills by wearing it on the 4th of July.
28. Host a Block Party
It might not be as big as Ree’s town-wide event hosted by The Mercantile but gathering with friends and neighbors for your own block party will be just as fun. Celebrate with drinks, music, and good food — ask everyone to bring their favorite potluck dish.
29. Eat Outside
If it’s been a while since you’ve eaten outside, the 4th of the July is the perfect time to make it happen. Have a mini picnic on your stoop or move your entire kitchen table outside if you have to. It’s more fun than you probably think.
30. Watch the Fireworks
Of course, no 4th of July is complete without a firework viewing to close out the night. Whether you light them yourself, watch your town’s display, or turn on your TV to see them explode across the nation, it’s not Independence Day without fireworks lighting up the sky. Ladd’s pyrotechnic show is an annual event that can’t be missed!
31. Screen a Movie Outside.
Skip the movie theater and set up a film screening in your backyard with a portable home projector. Watch patriotic classics like Yankee Doodle Dandy or Independence Day.
32. Have a Water Balloon Fight
A water balloon fight is a great solution to a scorching hot day. Make it a kids-versus-adults battle for extra fun!
33. Spend the Day at the Lake
If there’s a secluded lake nearby, pack a picnic basket, towels, and inflatable floats for a fun, relaxing day.
34. Dress Up Your Pooch
Let man’s best friend get in on the fun too! Tie a bandana around your dog’s neck or affix a bow to their collar for a party-ready look. How would Ree’s Basset Hounds look in this get-up?
35. Go for a Family Bike Ride
Get active this Independence Day by taking a family bike ride. Pack a picnic basket and find a sunny spot for a pre-barbecue snack.
36. Go Kayaking
Anyone who loves the outdoors will enjoy spending the day kayaking. Take in the sights as you paddle down the river and work up an appetite for some tasty picnic food afterward. Kayaking is a great core workout!
37. Head to The Ballpark.
Given that most baseball stadiums are outdoors, this could be a particularly fun summer activity on a day with gorgeous, mild weather. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a cold soda and hot dog during the summer?
38. Do Arts and Crafts
Print out coloring pages for your kids or come up with creative crafts to do as a family if you want to beat the heat indoors. Bonus: It’ll keep them busy while you’re making ice cream!
39. Have a Volleyball Tournament
Partake in some friendly competition with a volleyball tournament either on the beach or in your backyard. Winners get bragging rights until next year’s tournament!
40.Host a Potluck
If you prefer to spend the 4th at home, you can still make things feel like a party by inviting over a few friends or neighbors and having each person contribute, just like an old school potluck. Prepare potluck dishes, plan games for the kids, and end the night with sparklers to light up the street.
41. Lounge in the Pool
Sometimes with holiday plans, less is more. Make delicious summer drinks, play a few patriotic tunes, and kick back, relax, and soak up some sun. Sometimes the simplest plans are the best.
42. Set Up an Ice Cream Bar
Learn how to set up an ice cream bar to treat your Independence Day guests to a DIY dessert. They’ll love covering their scoops with classic toppings. Don’t forget to have plenty of whipped cream on hand! By Bridget at Bake at 350.
Enjoy the 4th fireworks, festivals, and shows in your area. Play some games with family to get some friendly competition going. Share the love for America with other people. The 4th of July holiday is all about having fun!