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13 Fun 4th of July Activities

Independence Day is the most popular summer holiday in America, and when you start looking at how we celebrate it, it’s easy to understand why! If you’re looking for something special to do on America’s birthday, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite fun 4th of July activities—difficulty levels range from requires planning to all you need to do is show up!

Set Off Fireworks

The coolest house on the block is the house with the fireworks. You know the one. They start setting off fireworks around 11 am, and then once it’s dark, it’s time for the good fireworks. Turn your driveway into an exhibition of all the fun new trick fireworks and the classics from your childhood, from setting up duels between the little exploding tanks to seeing who can connect the most growing ash snakes to make the longest snake, there’s something fun for everyone.

Watch a Fireworks Show

Maybe you’re on a budget, perhaps you want something bigger than the fireworks you can set off in the driveway, but you don’t have property out of town. Either way, there’s sure to be a fireworks display hosted by your city or town—or by a friend or family member who’s into pyrotechnics—that you can snag an invite to see.

Light Up Some Sparklers

Yes, they’re low effort, but they’re also lots of fun! Get a few packs of sparklers for the kids and the nostalgia. If you want to take it to the next level, have people stand next to each other and use their sparklers to draw letters or simple pictures in the air while you take pictures. See who can spell out the funniest message!

Go Camping

If you’d rather get away from it all—or if you want to keep your dogs from being traumatized by the sounds of hundreds of little explosions all day—spend your Independence Day in the woods, by the beach, or at a campground instead.

Backyard Barbeque

Our thoughts on the best way to host a backyard barbeque are well-documented. The only change needed to make it specifically 4th of July-themed is to add some patriotic decorations around the yard!

Hotdog Buffet

What are the best toppings to put on a hotdog? Whatever toppings you want! Surprise and delight your guests with a hotdog buffet! Offer plenty of bun options, condiments, fruit and veggie toppings (like jalapenos, pineapple, olives and pickles) and other garnishes (like pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, or caviar). Also, have multiple types of hotdogs on the grill, from the traditional foot-long style, cheddar brats, spicy sausage, and veggie options. The only downside is you’ll have to come up with something to outdo it next year.

Red, White and Blue Desserts

Can you even call it a 4th of July party if there are no patriotic-colored foods and/or drinks on the table somewhere? The traditional offering is a sheet cake covered in whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries arranged in the shape of an American flag, or you can try something more complex like homemade ice cream swirled with red and blue fruit topping and star-shaped sprinkles!

Spend Some Time in the Pool

The 4th of July is a great day to spend some time in your pool. It’s summer, it’s a holiday, there may or may not be a barbeque going on somewhere nearby… you can see where we’re going with this. (And we just have to ask: if you have a pool in your backyard—inground, above ground, inflatable—why aren’t you in the pool right now?)

Water Balloon Fight

Bring the pool to all the people who decided not to get in the pool! A water balloon fight is fun for all kids and adults alike, and it’s especially good for when the kids have stuffed themselves full of patriotic desserts and are so hyper they’re driving everyone crazy. Fill up more water balloons than you think you’ll possibly need, store them in a few spare laundry baskets, and surprise everyone by bringing out the laundry baskets full of water balloons and declaring war!

Cornhole

We don’t know about you, but we literally can’t imagine being at a celebration that didn’t include some Cornhole! There’s no way to go wrong here, whether it’s a full-on tournament, a casual round between friends, or teaching the kids how to play the game for the first time. It’s the perfect activity for any situation. 

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Beer Pong

Another classic party game that only gets better after dark with fireworks exploding in the distance! Swap out the usual red Solo cups for cups colored red, white and blue, and switch up the drinks for something a little fierier—try a mix of seltzer and cinnamon schnapps divided between the cups, then add hard cinnamon candies to each cup to make the drinks get spicier as the game goes on.

Dance Party!

You can plan a dance party or turn any party into a dance party by simply getting your hands on the aux cord, turning up your favorite dance music and shouting out the code phrase “Dance party!” to clue in the rest of the guests. We’re big fans of the spontaneous dance party because it’s a great way to restart the fun if you’re starting to feel things winding down after dark.

Karaoke

When you’re already drinking and dancing, you might as well be singing too, right? If you’re one of the rare and committed few who own a real karaoke machine, now is the time to bust it out! If not, you can find karaoke versions of songs (the song has no vocal track and has the lyrics printed at the bottom of the screen) available online to watch for free.

Do you have anything amazing planned for the holiday that will make us all jealous? What’s your favorite 4th of July activity, and why is it Cornhole? Let us know in the comments below!

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