Independence Day is one of the most important holidays of the year, commemorating the declaration of what would one day become the greatest country in the world. At such a time, it’s important to remember the values that this republic was founded on: freedom, equality, the pursuit of happiness, and — above all! — family.
The Declaration of Independence sparked the creation of what would become the modern world we know and love, and form its values and traditions like no other nation before it. On such a momentous occasion, it’s only fitting that family, friends, and loved ones gather together to celebrate properly.
While Fourth of July activities may seem limited to cookouts and fireworks, there are all sorts of things you can do with the entire family to celebrate the birth of the country. From decorations to karaoke parties, there’s no limit to how you can show your patriotism and American spirit — just as long as you’re willing to use a little bit of creativity. Here are seven super fun activities you can do this year to celebrate the birth of America!
Bake Some Themed Desserts Together
One of the best ways to get the family involved in the Fourth of July spirit is to get the kids together and make some delicious baked goods in honor of the good ol’ US of A! Baking makes for a fantastic group activity, as there are so many different steps that you can assign to helpers of different ages and skill levels.
For instance, younger children can help beat the batter or put on sprinkles, while older kids and adults can help measure out ingredients, bake the treats in the oven, and decorate with frosting. Baking together is a fantastic way for family members to bond, with the final product relying equally on the efforts of every individual contributor.
There are also all sorts of ways to commemorate Independence Day in the decorations for your baked goods. You could fold red, white, and blue-dyed chocolate chips into cookies, for example. Or if you like, you can use red, white, and blue frosting for your cupcakes, or even turn the surface of a sheet cake or batch of brownies into a likeness of the American flag!
Nothing says patriotic like making Uncle Sam some incredible treats. You can share them with neighbors or invite other friends and family over to spread the patriotic cheer, or simply enjoy the fruits of your labor together.
Make Decorations Together
Another fantastic way to celebrate this Independence Day is by gathering the family to make some patriotic arts and crafts! From string banners to little ornaments, there’s no limit to what kinds of decorations your family can make to celebrate America. Be sure to use American star-spangled red, white, and blue to commemorate the day. You can even add silver or gold sparkles for an extra all-American touch!
Making decorations is another child-friendly activity, especially since children are usually more practiced with making arts and crafts than adults. Just be sure to be careful and purchase appropriate safety scissors and skin-safe glue if young children are participating in the decoration-making fun.
Host a Backyard Barbeque
What’s more American than apple pie? Why, a backyard barbeque, of course! A good old-fashioned cookout is a quintessential Fourth of July tradition. What better way to celebrate America than with a big rack of ribs, stacks of burgers, and a cooler of cold beer?
Even better, just because barbecuing might not be the most child-friendly activity, it doesn’t mean the whole family can’t help out. You can have the children prepare the ingredients beforehand (remember, they’re never too young to learn how to make a good meat rub!) or put down tablecloths and set the tables.
Even if you don’t trust the rest of your family not to mess up your secret barbeque recipes, a barbeque is still a fantastic way to celebrate together with friends and family. Good food, good company, good times, and the freedom to have a 40-oz ribeye steak all to yourself. If that isn’t what America’s all about, we don’t know what is.
Have a Karaoke Party
Singing patriotic songs is one of the oldest American pastimes, dating back to the dawn of the country and growing even bigger during the American Civil War. Celebrating the country with an old-fashioned sing-off is a fantastic experience. Singing together invokes a special sense of unity, a bond between participants that’s unlike anything else in the world.
In fact, American war heroes sang together even during the darkest of times, and it brought them the camaraderie and strength they needed to guarantee our freedoms and the rights and liberties of the Republic. Because of them, you get to sing in the comfort of your own home. And thanks to the luxuries of 21st-century technology, you don’t even need to look up the lyrics!
A karaoke party is a great way to put a modern twist on an old American tradition. Karaoke is also a fantastic way to encourage your children to get over their shyness and sing a tune on the big mic. Since usually the song or melody is played through speakers and the lyrics and rhythm are guided on-screen, your child might feel more comfortable with joining in.
Not sure what type of music to sing? Independence Day karaoke parties can feature modern classics like Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA and Katy Perry’s Firework, as well as oldies-but-goodies like American Pie and, of course, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Enjoy a Big Family Dinner
Another classic American tradition, across the country, millions of families sit down to a grand family feast to honor the birth of the country we love. While roasted turkeys and hams serve as traditional dinner menu items during the winter months, don’t let that staunch your creativity and excitement. You can include some less conventional — but wholly American dishes — to serve to the family this Fourth of July.
Buffalo wings, Cajun shrimp, and Louisiana crab cakes might not have a place on the Christmas dinner table, but they represent a celebration of the diverse culinary tradition in the United States as a country of immigrants. As an added bonus, these dishes also tend to be a favorite of children! Once again, the whole family can get involved with preparing dinner, adding a flare of teamwork and bonding to the event.
Make a Care Package for the Troops
The United States military is charged with the protection of American interests and freedoms at home and abroad. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of brave individuals work tirelessly to guarantee America remains secure and safe. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by putting together a care package in honor of our troops?
Create a lovely package filled with some necessities like toiletry and personal care products (soldiers have to stay clean too, you know!), some fun American snacks, and even some extra fun things like books and games. You can have the whole family prepare the package together, and even take suggestions from the kids for what they’d like to send our troops overseas.
Watch the Fireworks Together
Finally, watching the fireworks at night is probably the most classic and looked-forward-to Fourth of July tradition there is. It’s hard to describe the sense of wonder and awe as you lie down on a big blanket with friends and family on a breezy July evening in a park somewhere, and stare at the vast dark sky as dazzling blasts of red, blue, and white sparkles light up the sky.
Just be sure to bring snacks and drinks, and do your research beforehand to see where fireworks are happening in your area. Arrive early to get the best spot for the view, and don’t forget to thank an active duty service member or veteran if you see one!