With a three-day weekend smack dab in the middle of summer, the Fourth of July is a holiday that’s ripe for backyard barbecues, parades, and fireworks. But there are many other ways to celebrate the holiday in a meaningful and memorable way. Here are a few of our favorites.
Honor the Sacrifices of Fallen Soldiers
Remember the men and women who have served our country by visiting a war memorial like Gettysburg or a national monument like the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor. These monuments are powerful and important reminder of the sacrifices that have been made in the name of freedom and liberty. Support the work of memorial associations by purchasing mementos made from the actual teak deck of the USS Missouri.
This is also a good time to talk with your children about the sacrifices that have been made in the past so that they don’t forget those who have given everything for our country.
Celebrate American History
Visit the locations where America’s revolution was born or learn more about our nation’s rich history by taking a trip to a historic site or museum. Many states and cities host tours, reenactments, and other events in celebration of the holiday. Boston, for example, holds a week-long event called “Boston Harborfest” that honors its colonial roots and role in the revolutionary war with reenactments, tours, and other fun activities.
Watch a Fireworks Show
There’s nothing more patriotic than watching fireworks light up the sky over your home city. Find out what local parks are holding a display and bring blankets, chairs, and snacks so that everyone can have a seat to enjoy the show. Alternatively, you can even set up your own at home with sparklers (just make sure that they’re legal in your area before lighting them up!).
Attend a Concert
Listen to music and other performances by your favorite artists at an outdoor concert. Many cities have free concerts in the summer, and they’re a perfect opportunity to relax with family and friends and enjoy some entertainment. New York City has a series called “Central Park SummerStage” that features live performances and movies in the park. Other cities hold similar events throughout the year.
There are plenty of family-friendly games to play for the holiday, including classics like sack races and water balloon tosses. You can also try your hand at making a scavenger hunt or a relay race. You can even put on your own home play with your kids, honoring local American heroes or any other historical figure you choose.
A day at the beach is another wonderful way to celebrate the Fourth of July and soak up the summer sun. The ocean water is refreshing, and it can help the kids burn off some energy after a long day of festivities. It’s also a great place to take in the beautiful scenery and watch the fireworks at night.