Watch a parade
Most communities have some sort of parade, 5K walk/run or special event happening for 4th of July. Check your city's event calendar to find out what's going on in your area. Many of these events require you to sign up in advance, so plan ahead. If there isn't a parade in your community, you can put together a mini parade in your own neighborhood. Dress up the kids in red, white and blue attire and give them flags to carry as they march around the block singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Kids can also decorate their scooters and bicycles and parade around the neighborhood.
Head to the park
Spend the day at the park, beach or lake with your kids on the 4th of July. Even though the fireworks don't happen until after dusk, there's plenty to do during the day. Pack a picnic, bring a Frisbee and just enjoy some time outdoors with your family. Public outdoor areas bring community members together, and on such an historical day it's a great way to celebrate with your fellow citizens.
Plan a patriotic getaway
Many people enjoy planning a family vacation around the 4th of July holiday week. Why not plan ahead and visit some historical places to celebrate America's founding? A trip to to the east coast might include visits to such historical landmarks as Arlington National Cemetery, The White House, Plymouth Rock or Colonial Williamsburg for starters. So much of our country's history begins on the east coast, and many never have the chance to see it firsthand. There are bound to be special events to commemorate the 4th of July, so plan ahead! You can tailor your visit depending on the ages of your children, to make sure that they get the most out of this historical area.
Brush up on your history
Teach your kids more about Independence Day. Considered America's birthday, Independence Day is the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress — July 4, 1776. Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. In 1941, Congress declared the 4th of July a legal public holiday. On the 4th of July talk about our country, freedom and liberty. Read Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech, as well as age-appropriate books, poems and quotes about the 4th of July. You may even learn a bit more about our country's history than you knew before.
Create 4th of July crafts
Get crafty on the 4th of July. Sit down with your kids and make American flag tissue paper wreaths, a DIY 4th of July banner and other creative and patriotic 4th of July crafts. Making crafts together is great for family bonding. Get the whole family in on the action, then use your crafty creations as party decorations.
Host a patriotic sing-along
Who doesn't love to belt out "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "You're a Grand Old Flag"? If you are hosting a gathering for the 4th of July, do your homework ahead of time. Find the lyrics for several patriotic songs and print enough copies to share. Sometime between the dessert and the fireworks, gather your group and share the tunes we all love. If you can't sing well, sing loudly!
Host a potluck barbecue
Host a backyard barbecue for family, friends and neighbors. You don't need to do all the cooking yourself. Make it a potluck. You can supply the meat and your guests can pitch in with side dishes, desserts and drinks. Check out these 4th of July recipes along with these cool outdoor games for kids.
Go to the amusement park
If you don't feel like cooking or hosting a party yourself, head to your local amusement park. Many amusement parks, baseball stadiums and other major tourist attractions hold fireworks shows, festivals and other events for 4th of July. Kids will love it — and you won't have to do any work.
More about 4th of July
4th of July party planning tips
4th of July safety tips
Teaching your kids about Independence Day