On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final version of the Declaration of Independence, which declared the United States a free and independent nation. To this day, Americans continue to celebrate our country’s freedom on July 4th with BBQs, parades, and fireworks.
Whether you want to celebrate with friends and family or spend your day giving back, there are limitless ways to celebrate America’s birthday! Here are 11 ways to show your love of our country and reflect on the sacrifices of military service members this July.
1. Display an American flag
This is one of the easiest ways to showcase your American pride. Make sure you follow the rules of etiquette for respectfully handling and displaying the American flag. If you don’t already have your own American flag, you can get one from FlagCo.
2. Support our troops
Remember the sacrifices made by the men and women in the U.S. military by supporting organizations that help give back to them. You can show your appreciation through places like Operation Gratitude and Project Giving Kids.
These organizations help connect children, parents, and individuals to the many different ways they can help support our troops. From donating and volunteering your time, to sending care packages and thank you notes to troops, you can support them in numerous ways. You can get military care package ideas here!
3. Watch a fireworks show
In 1776, John Adams declared that the Declaration of Independence should be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” Sounds good to us! You can find a fireworks show in your local area, or stream one online from home! This long-honored tradition is a great family-friendly way to celebrate your independence day.
4. Read Frederic Douglass’ July 5th speech
In 1852, when the country was locked in debate over the ethics of slavery, prominent activist, author, and public speaker, Frederick Douglass, was asked to speak at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
He told his audience, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” Take time to read Douglass’ now-famous speech about the meaning of July 4th and take it as an opportunity to view this holiday through the lens of a trailblazing Black American.
5. Throw a patriotic backyard bash
Celebrating with friends and family is an Independence Day tradition. Fire up the grill and cook something familiar like hamburgers and hot dogs. Or try making something trendy and unique like a watermelon cake! Add an extra patriotic touch to your backyard bash by having a group sing-along of the song, “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Hosting a party can get pricey, so it’s a good idea to start budgeting now to make sure you’re ready for July 4th. Budgeting apps make it easy to start setting aside the funds you need so you can party on a budget!
6. Visit a national park
This land is your land, and this land is my land. So, celebrate our beautiful country by visiting one of the United States’ fifty-eight national parks. Go for a hike, walk, picnic, or scenic drive. Check the National Park Service website for parks near you! Also, before you go, be sure to check the park website to determine its operating status.
7. Visit a historic landmark
Visit your local historical society’s website for ideas on hidden gems around you. Bring history to life by visiting sites of historic significance and honoring those who came before us.
Take a moment to read the plaques on old buildings or statues you pass around town every single day, too. This is a safe and fun way to celebrate America’s great history.
8. Make a festive craft
Crafts are a fun and inexpensive way to show your patriotism all from the comfort of your home. Use your crafts to express your creative side and add flair to your house. Or maybe just to distract your kids for a while! Grab some red, white, and blue art supplies at your local craft store and start creating T-shirts, flower pots, party decor, or whatever patriotic crafts you want to make!
9. Volunteer in your community
There’s no better way to embrace what makes America strong than by volunteering in your community. This caring commitment to help people in need is a great way to give back and make a difference, especially if you want to contribute while working to stop spending money. You can volunteer for soup kitchens, youth programs, or animal shelters. To find opportunities in your area, you can use VolunteerMatch.
10. Learn about the U.S. Constitution
Expand your knowledge of our great country and learn a bit more about how our nation established a government while protecting the rights of the people. Then, share your new patriotic knowledge with friends and family. To learn more, check out Constitution Facts!
11. Have a game night
Everyone loves a good game night! Get your family or a small group of friends together and play constitution trivia like We The People or American Trivia. A game night is a fun and budget-friendly way to spend time with your loved ones. Plus, you won’t have to worry about a huge after-party clean-up or large crowds.
Let the patriotic fun begin
We hope you have a wonderful Independence Day and get to spend time with people you love while honoring veterans. If you decide you want to throw a BBQ bash or put on a fireworks show at the last minute, we have you covered.
You can pick as many of these independence day activities as you want, or try to knock out the whole list! No matter what activity you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a great time and make this year a July 4th you’ll never forget. Here’s to freedom!