Thanks to my children, I can’t let a holiday go by without making a huge deal out of it. Decorations, parties, cake, you name it and we just have to have it. The Fourth of July is no different. It’s time for some red, white and blue, so they expect the red, white and blue. Luckily, it’s easy to make happen and it’s really fun, too.
How have we celebrated Independence Day in the past and how can you celebrate it this year (or any year, really)? Check it out:
Neighborhood bike parades are incredible. When we moved to our street, there was a tradition of every child (or grandchild) decorating his/her bike or scooter with streamers, flags, etc., dressing in their best red, white and blue gear, and parading down the sidewalk and back up again. We joined the tradition excitedly and it’s the one thing my kids look forward to the most each July. So, what do you need to make it happen? A group of kids, for one. Then streamers, flags, homemade signs and anything else you can think of to make the kids’ vehicles and attire super festive. Our block is the best and our neighbors sit outside on their porch steps to watch it, so the kids feel like it’s a really big deal, probably because it is.
Make red, white and blue popsicles. Buy popsicle molds virtually anywhere (grocery stores sometimes have them and big box stores definitely do). Start with strawberry lemonade, pour it into the mold and let freeze for an hour. The next layer can be either coconut water or 7Up. Again, let it freeze an hour. Finally, choose any number of blue-colored drinks for the final step: Gatorade, Hog Wash fruit drink, Kool-Aid, or blue food colored coconut water or white grape juice – anything works. This is a great treat to have after your bike parade.
Pack a picnic for a late dinner and stay to watch the fireworks. Whether or not your city does a big fireworks show doesn’t matter because you’re bound to see the sky light up once it gets dark. Choose a spot where trees aren’t blocking every view and if you’re able to look down over your town (on a hill, for example) that’s the best.
Many small communities host an “everyone’s invited” Fourth of July party or parade during the day. Make sure you pack a water bottle because it’s sure to get hot. If little ones might like to splash in a fountain or splash pad, pack a towel, too.
Finally, the old standby: barbecue with friends. You supply the grilling ingredients and have everyone bring a side dish to share. Water, lemonade, soda and beer are obvious things to have on hand but make sure you don’t overdo the drinking — it’s easy to have too much when you’re out in the sun having fun all day. If you’re passed out by 7 p.m. you’ll miss all the real excitement.