things to do on the 4th of july

11 Things to Do on the 4th of July

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When I was a child, my extended family gathered every Independence Day. We always built a float together for the local parade. I’ll never forget pouring out sweat while wearing a British soldier outfit and wig in 95-degree heat. While I was miserable during that parade, the memories we created every July 4th were wonderful. Independence Day is a great opportunity to spend time creating memories as a family.

Though this year, Independence Day may look a little different than it has before. While our cities begin to open back up as shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders lift, we still need to practice social distancing. So here are 11 things to do on the 4th of July, even if from 6 feet apart.

1. Have a water balloon fight.

Fill up a bucket of red, white, and blue water balloons in the back yard and have a blast.

2. Go for a bike ride.

Take your kids on a ride around the neighborhood and see who can spot the most American flags.

3. Make homemade ice cream.

Have the kids meet you on the back porch for some delicious homemade ice cream, with red and blue sprinkles.

4. Build a fort.

Gather up as many quilts and sheets as you can find and then build two grand, opposing forts. Once each team is secured in its home base, surprise attack each other with pillows. You can also play laser tag in and around your forts.

5. Bob for apples.

Get as many buckets as you have kids, fill the buckets with water, and set the same amount of apples in each bucket. Blindfold the kids and see who can collect the most apples in a minute. (To add a patriotic twist, put 13 apples in each bucket—one to represent each colony).

6. Go on a scavenger hunt.

Make a list of red, white, and blue items around your house (a red blanket, a white notebook, a blue lunchbox, etc.) and have the kids check off the items as they find them.

7. Have your own pool competition.

Set up a game among all your family members with different swim races, such as “Crossing the Delaware,” a cannonball jump contest, and Marco Polo (but instead, one person yells “The British!” and the others respond with “Are coming!”).

8. Have a ketchup competition.

Grab a bottle of ketchup, paper plates, and LOTS of napkins. Then, have each person take turns drawing their best patriotic image (flag, eagle, U.S.A.) on a plate using the ketchup bottle.

9. Go for a picnic.

Pack some sandwiches, fruit, and cookies before laying it all out on a Battle Blanket. Bring some 4th of July trivia questions to ask or jokes while you eat. Then bring a ball or Frisbee to toss.

10. Have a Wiffle Ball home run derby.

There’s nothing quite as American as baseball. Set up a home run wall in your back yard and have a home run contest. If you have a large back yard, you can use tennis balls or just use masking tape over the Wiffle Ball holes.

11. Bake an American cake.

Take turns completing steps of the cake recipe, stick it in the oven, and then cover it with white frosting, red strawberries, and blueberries.

Sound off: What are some other fun ideas for the 4th of July?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite thing about Independence Day?”