Tips for Having a Happy 4th of July

Tips for Having a Happy 4th of July

Photo by Monkey Business Images

Like so many things this year, Independence Day celebrations are going to look much different. If they happen at all, that is. With social distancing still pretty much in full effect all across the country, the public fireworks and parades you and your family have enjoyed in years past may be cancelled in your area. And any large parties at your friends’ or neighbors’ house are probably out, too. 

Fortunately, you have plenty of other options to celebrate the 4th safely while still having fun. Where can you start? 

Overdo Things at Home

If you don’t have the option of attending public events, you could plan on making up for it by going all out at home. Make this 4th of July one to remember with over-the-top decorations, food, games, and evening fireworks:


Fill up your backyard and other main celebration spaces with flags, banners, and table settings in red, white, and blue. And of course, encourage everyone to join in with the theme with appropriately festive outfits. Provide additional accessories like paper hats, mini flags, and beaded necklaces to encourage dress-up. 

When it starts to get dark out, be sure to have string lights and/or lanterns set up to keep your outdoor dining and party area well-lit. 


Consider planning a menu that can also coordinate with your patriotic d├ęcor. A table full of red watermelon, white cupcakes and blue cocktails, for example, can be decorative as well as appetizing. 

Of course, not everything you prepare has to fall into a particular color category. Just plan on having a lot of it, both for the main course and for snacking throughout the day: barbecued chicken, hot dogs or veggie kabobs, potato and fruit salads, chips, dips, cookies, etc., etc. (Ah, the leftovers…) And have plenty of cold drinks (kid-friendly and adult-friendly) on hand in cooler or ice buckets. 


To keep your kids entertained (and yourself!) in-between eating and fireworks, plan out some games or other activities. In most places, the 4th of July can be a hot one, so a pool or sprinkler set-up is a great option for play as well as keeping cool. 

Break out the badminton set, cornhole, or horseshoes. Plan a backyard scavenger hunt. Or print out 4th of July pages for the kids to color.


While public fireworks may be cancelled, you could still bring some of that magic home with your own fireworks display in the street (or wherever your local ordinances may dictate). In addition to finishing your evening off with a literal bang, you may also get to enjoy all the other displays that your neighbors are putting on. It can be a great way to socialize…from a safe distance, of course.

So, yes, it will be different this year. But different doesn’t have to mean bad. By getting a little more creative with your at-home festivities, you can make this Independence Day one of the best ever.

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