Fireworks are a popular part of celebrating the Fourth of July, but not only can they be expensive and dangerous, but because of drought conditions, many cities have bans or restrictions on how and where fireworks can be used. Fortunately, there are many fun ways to enjoy July 4th without fireworks.
1. Water Balloon Fight
Cool off on a hot Fourth with a water balloon fight. Create teams with family members and friends, and use red, white, and blue balloons for a patriotic touch. Set up safe zones or boundaries, and may the driest team win!
2. Water Obstacle Course
For more aquatic, athletic fun, create a water obstacle course. Use sprinklers, hoses, kiddie pools, and slip-and-slide surfaces to create a range of obstacles, and time each participant’s run through the course to find the winner.
3. Play Ball
Baseball is the great American pastime, and a baseball game can be a great Fourth of July event. There may be a local professional game you can attend, or organize a casual family or neighborhood game with red and blue teams instead.
4. Patriotic Movie Marathon
Keep cool indoors with a movie marathon on July 4th, complete with plenty of popcorn and other movie treats. Opt for your favorite movie series – Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. – or select patriotic films, such as Born on the Fourth of July, The Patriot, Independence Day, and Glory.
5. Red, White, and Blue Feast
Picnics are popular on July 4th, and you can add a patriotic touch with red, white, and blue foods. Fresh summer fruits – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon – are popular, as are cool pasta salads (add bacon bits for a red touch), and patriotic desserts.
6. Firepit Cookout
If you can’t use fireworks, you may be able to use a campfire or firepit for a bit of July 4th pyrotechnics. Create a great summer cookout with hot dogs, toasted marshmallows, and other campout treats, and enjoy nature’s fireworks as the stars come out.
7. Be a History Buff
Celebrate July 4th by learning more about our nation’s history at a local museum or plan a trip to important historical sites, such as Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington DC. Alternatively, plan a U.S. history trivia contest or make a contest to memorize the Declaration of Independence.
8. Investigate Local Events
Even if you can’t use personal fireworks, many cities put on fireworks displays for the Fourth of July. In addition to those nighttime shows, look for celebrations such as parades, concerts, and carnivals to enjoy. And note any holiday discounts for military personnel and veterans at local attractions such as zoos, water parks, and theme parks!
Even without fireworks, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a fun, exciting Fourth of July, from casual backyard games and challenges to local and regional events and attractions. Just remember, July 4th is about celebrating freedom, so feel free to celebrate in whatever way you want!