July is right around the corner, which means I need to start thinking about plenty of warm-weather, family-friendly ideas, including entertaining 4th of July pursuits for my terrific trio. Grilling, roasting s’mores, waving sparklers, camping nights out in the backyard; Independence Day fun, here we come.
I will admit that many of the Independence Day celebration ideas I have are the same we did as a family during my childhood. So, they are like traditions, a generation old. But some are beginning to seem like our very own family rituals, and the feeling that gives is pretty special.
A very prominent family concept I am trying to imbibe in my children is one of sustainability.
With the reality of climate change looming over us, and its effects evident, as a parent, I cannot continue to be mindless about the harm we do to the earth, especially during festivities. Use this Independence Day to discuss with your kids how we can ease our impact on the planet and why it is so important.
Sustainably, we plan to go all out with our family-friendly fun 4th of July activities, and so should you!
4th of July Family-Friendly Activities
Make a Water Park at Home
Add to the garden hose an inflatable water slide and pool, and watch your kids forget their mom for a good hour or two. You can also design a simple obstacle course, and the whole set-up is bound to be a hit!
Go Berry Picking
Go on the lookout for the most delicate berries from these U-pick farms in Texas. These farms also make the perfect picnic location with plenty of fresh air and nature to take in. Plus, you come back home with a bounty of ripe fruit.
Put those U-Pick berries to Good Use
Post berry picking farm, turn the fruits of your labor into some fruity desserts. And you can’t beat the awesome feeling of brain freeze fruity popsicles give you in the summer; check out some super cool ideas here. Head outside to enjoy the frozen sweet treats under the sunny sky.
Camp Like Never Before – In Your Backyard
Can’t make it to an actual campsite? Backyard tent camping doesn’t get better than on the 4th of July. Once your cookout dies down, watch fireworks from cozy sleeping bags and cap off the night with some good old storytelling before sleeping under the stars.
Take a Family Bike Parade
Your family can have their very own Independence Day parade by decking bikes with reusable flags, upcycled streamers, and recycled ribbons you find around the house. Set off with your kiddos for a few casual laps around the block. This will encourage everyone to work up an appetite before the commemorative barbecue!
Catch the Local Events
Many cities across the country will reintroduce traditional Fourth of July activities, like parades and firework displays, in 2021. Check your city’s website for details on those. And if the show is on, Make it there early to get the best viewing spots.
Host a Backyard Barbecue
As restrictions ease, it may be safe to host that small get-together you’ve been waiting over a year to have. While it is still good to exercise caution, fully vaccinated individuals have much less to worry about. You can go for traditional burgers and dogs or try something different by hosting a clambake or shrimp boil.
Make a fishing trip out of it
If you are a fishing family, you may want to move the fun to the onboard. This family activity is all about bonding, teamwork, and an adventurous spirit. Consider heading to a local water body and renting a boat. Click here to know more about fishing in Texas.
Go on a Nature Walk
Pack your hiking gear and hit a local trail for a bit of birdwatching, plant identifying, and bug investigating. Pack magnifying glasses, nets, and mason jars, so the kids can store their finds and maybe even bring home a collection of rocks and leaves.
Have a Water Balloon Fight
One fun activity the entire family can dive right into is a water balloon fight on a hot summer day. To make refills easier, be sure to stock up on self-sealing water balloons.
Play Neighborhood Baseball
Incorporate one of America’s most beloved games into a celebration. Set up a tournament with all the neighborhood families. Who knows, you may give rise to a new block party tradition.
Don’t Forget the Sparklers
Even if you plan to catch local fireworks show, you can also create a little pyrotechnic magic in your backyard with some eco-friendly handheld sparklers. If clicking pictures is your jam, try capturing some cool sparkler photos using a tripod and a slow shutter speed.
Watch a Patriotic Movie Outside
If weather permits, set up an outdoor cinema and cozy seating on your lawn, and relax with some classic patriotic movies. Set up so that if it rains, you can quickly move the festivities, snacks, and all into the family room.
Host a Sing-Along
Singing around the campfire is an Independence Day tradition spanning generations. Host a family sing-along of golden patriotic melodies like “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” around the campfire.
Dine Al Fresco
It’s America’s birthday, which calls for lots of snacking and indulging. A healthy way to make sure your kids don’t OD on sugary treats is to make your own grazing board. Here is how you can make a stunning centerpiece for your Independence Day nibbling!
4th July Inspired Healthy Snacks
Show your patriotic spirit by whipping up some yummy Independence themed foods such as these.
Recite from the Declaration of Independence
In between cooking and pool fun, discuss with kids why we observe the 4th of July. Read aloud from the Declaration of Independence. With older children, you may even turn it into a bit of a family performance with everyone memorizing couple lines and then enacting a dramatic, post-dessert skit.
Discuss the history of slavery in the context of the current times
The Fourth of July is also an appropriate time to talk to children about the dreadful institution of slavery during the founding era and the systemic racism and discrimination that continues today.
Visit an outdoor historic site to help Revolutionary War history come alive
Many revolutionary war sites and monuments are outdoors and, fortunately, open this summer. Pick your choice and head on for a lesson in history!
Most of All, Stay Safe!
The 4th of July is one of the most entertaining American holidays. Families get together with friends, eat their favorite foods, take time off work, and enjoy fireworks. But with that laissez-faire spirit can come plenty of instances of getting hurt, especially when there are kids involved. And water. And grills. And alcohol. Make sure to read up on these quick resources to ensure a safe and healthy Independence Day!