If there is one day when we all want to celebrate, it’s the 4th of July. Outdoor cookouts and fireworks are must-dos for any Fourth of July party.
John Adams said that American Independence would be celebrated by “pomp and parade…from one end of this continent to the other”, and boy did we deliver! Today, any family’s 4th of July traditions just aren’t complete without a proper party.
But, no matter how fun your 4th of July party may be, doing the same things year after year can get old. You can only eat so many hot-dogs and watch so many fireworks before they all start to blend after all.
We’ve got you covered with some great ideas for new traditions to incorporate into your 4th of July party and celebrations. You might be surprised at just how many different ways you can celebrate America’s independence.
Take a look, and maybe you’ll discover your new favorite 4th of July tradition!
Get everything you need for a perfect 4th of July celebration
Play a Game of Baseball
There’s Nothing quite as American as a game of baseball.
The connection between the 4th of July and baseball goes back longer than you might think. Baseball is as American as apple pie, with the sport being one of the first to capture the national consciousness truly.
Today, baseball is one of the only sports that you can enjoy on the 4th of July, and most leagues have a litany of traditions associated with the sport.
If you check your local team, you can keep up with how they are celebrating. Many will dress up in patriotic caps during their games, and some even turn their stadiums into vast party spaces during away games! For years, the Blue Wahoos have done exactly this and welcomed thousands of fans into their stadium for celebrations and fireworks.
But don’t worry if you would rather stay at home.
It’s simple to set up your own game of backyard baseball, and enjoy all the best parts of a night at the ball field!
Get everyone out of the house by setting up your own game in the yard. All you need for a basic game is a bat and a ball, although you can always get more creative. Host a BBQ at the same time (because after all, what’s the fourth without a proper cookout?) and serve the spectators hotdogs. You can even download some ball game music to really set the atmosphere.
A good game of ball will help everyone to bond, and maybe even get the kids to burn off a little bit of that holiday energy.
Hold a Board Game Tournament
If your family and friends aren’t the sporting types, why not try a competitive board game tournament?
Playing games together is always fun, and adding a tournament will make your 4th of July party stand out from other conventional cookouts.
Set up a leaderboard in the living room with the names of all the participants. Once you have the leaderboard set up (making sure that you have room to write in the points!), it’s time to pick the games!
Depending on the number of players, you can have multiple games running at once. Pick a variety of games that use different skills. That way, everyone can have fun together!
After each round of play ends, have the winners add a point to the leaderboard. In the end, you can declare the winner. A grand prize for the victor could be a Fourth of July themed Uncle Sam stovepipe hat – that they have to wear for the rest of the night!
Playing games is the perfect way to get everyone up and engaging with each other. It’s also great for a mixed-age party. After all, how many other Fourth of July traditions allow elderly grandparents to play with their favorite grandchildren?
Set up Camp
Why not take advantage of the great weather, and use your next Independence Day holiday to start a new 4th of July tradition?
Camping is a staple for many Americans on the Fourth and a great way to get the family to bond. Whether you set up camp in your backyard, or out in the wilderness, it’s a surefire way to make a great celebration!
Some campsites even set up special Fourth of July celebrations, so make sure to check what’s going on around you.
Camping is a great way to stake out a spot to watch your local fireworks and enjoy the patriotic vibes afterward. You can even enjoy a proper cookout with a BBQ in many locations.
If you would rather stay at home, don’t worry! Setting up camp in your backyard is just as fun, particularly for kids.
After a great cookout, and some patriotic games, snuggle down in sleeping bags to watch the stars. It’s a great chance to appreciate the beauty of the US, whether that be at home or slightly further afield.
Go to An Event
Depending on where you live, you might find an exciting event just waiting for you. Concerts, parades, and firework shows are just some of the things you might find in your area.
Most states have something going on to celebrate America’s birthday, but there are a few that really stand out from the crowd.
The Macy’s firework display in New York City is well worth a trip to enjoy the explosions of red, white, and blue above the iconic building. But let’s be honest, very little can compare to the spectacle of Washington D.C.’s celebrations.
Start your visit to D.C. by taking in the incredible National Independence Day Parade. The floats, marching bands, and costumed dancers form a spectacle that one needs to see it to believe. It is one of the most famous Fourth of July traditions of them all, and for a good reason!
Afterward, make your way to the US Capitol and enjoy renowned musicians performing in the “A Capitol Fourth” concert. This annual concert has become a Fourth of July staple. The night then concludes with a stunning display of fireworks over the National Mall.
If you can’t make it over to Washington D.C. yourself, consider setting up a watch party with festive snacks. The PBS site has information about who will be performing, and even a list of Independence Day facts you can use as an icebreaker quiz for your guests!
Visiting historical sites that were involved in the fight for independence is also a perfect way of honoring those who fought for US independence. Many towns in New England hold special family-friendly events where you can learn about history, and celebrate American independence.
Going out to explore events (both close to home and further afield) on the Fourth is a great way to feel more connected to other Americans and really celebrate as a united country!
Light a Bonfire
Lighting a bonfire is one of the most historic Fourth of July traditions.
While most of us are familiar with fireworks, the lighting of a bonfire was one of the first ways in which Independence Day was celebrated. John Adams even mentioned it in his now-famous letter to his wife calling for future celebration!
A bonfire is a great way to spice up your backyard celebrations. Almost nothing beats sitting around the fire, toasting marshmallows, and reading stories. You could even have a patriotic facts quiz while sitting around the fire!
Bonfires can be a bit daunting, but with the right preparation, it is totally possible to have one in your backyard or at the beach.
How to make a safe and long-lasting 4th of July bonfire?
Before you get started, make sure to check local regulations. Some states may require a permit, or have restrictions about when bonfires are allowed. It can also be a good idea to contact the non-emergency line of your local fire department to ask for guidance.
You don’t need to build a permanent fire pit in your backyard to have a bonfire, but you do need to lay good foundations to enjoy a safe, long-lasting fire. Make a circle with stones or bricks, and in the middle, create a teepee shape with your tinder. You can then surround this with kindling logs in a larger triangular teepee shape. Lay some fuel logs parallel on the sides of the teepee and then repeat the process up to five times until you have a sturdy-looking structure.
All you then have to do is light it. Make sure the match reaches the central tinder layer, and it should catch – turning into an incredible blaze, just like the one on the first Independence Day!
Just make sure that you always keep water nearby, and the fire is fully extinguished before you turn in for the night.
Make Red White and Blue Crafts
On Independence Day, everything has to be red, white, and blue, and there’s just something about stars and stripes that makes everything look better!
Crafting with your kids (or even alone!) is a fun way to really embrace the spirit of Independence Day. It’s a great way to start the celebrations and talk to your family about the history of America’s journey towards independence before you kick off your Fourth of July Party.
Embrace your patriotic side and throw yourself into making your decorations and accessories. You can give almost anything a 4th of July spin, and your kids will love getting into the crafting action too.
4th of July Pinwheels, Banners and head peaces
Pinwheels are a great craft to make, and perfect for party favors. You can find pinwheel kits or patterns online and spice them up with red, white, and blue paper. Decorate it with stars or stripes to really amp up the Fourth of July spirit.
Simple banners are another fantastic craft idea. You can either use fabric or paper to make eye-catching decorations for your party. Cut your material into triangles or rectangles and decorate in red, white and blue. This is a great activity to get kids involved! Cut potatoes into star shapes and get them to stamp the material with poster paint, or fabric paint.
Another great idea is making a hair accessory to compliment your outfit. Dressing up in red white, and blue is a super fun way to show your American pride, and a matching accessory will only enhance your outfit. A stars and stripes bow is cute for adults and kids. Clip it on as a hair accessory, or even hook it into a shirt as a quirky bow tie.
If you want to go the extra mile, you could even try star braids!
So, what do you think? Are you planning on adding any of these new traditions to your Fourth of July party this year? Let us know what your favorite ways of celebrating are!