One of the best times my family ever shared on the 4th of July was when we spent the holiday at Fair St. Louis, the days-long celebration held each year in St. Louis. With food, concerts, fireworks, an air show, great activities for kids, and much more, Fair St. Louis provided all the entertainment we could stand, right in the shadow of the Gateway Arch and along the shore of the mighty Mississippi River.
But you don’t have to be close to such a monumental celebration in order to have a fantastic time with your family this 4th of July. Honestly, the holiday is what you make of it, and if you want to have fun, there are lots of ways to make that happen. Here are a few ideas.
Partake in some delicious summer foods
Whether you decide to fire up the grill or hit the food trucks at a local festival, the 4th of July is a great time to enjoy delicious summer foods. These are some of my favorites: grilled burgers and steaks; sweet, golden corn on the cob; juicy, ripe tomatoes; homemade ice cream; ice-cold watermelon. The tastes of summer make the holiday so much more memorable.
Enjoy small-town festivities
Another of my favorite 4th of July memories took place not in a large city like St. Louis, but in a very small town. When our twins were very young, we took them to a small-town 4th of July celebration outside of Oklahoma City. There was a parade in the morning, inflatables for the kids, old-fashioned contests, a car show, and even a beauty pageant. In the evening, people gathered at the football field or on blankets and lawn chairs in front yards all around to watch the fireworks. It was a very relaxing and slower-paced alternative that was just right for our family at the time.
Get out on the water
Growing up in a river town, you couldn’t have paid me to get in a canoe on the 4th of July, but that’s because so many other people took advantage of the holiday to hit the water and float a few miles or spend the day on one of our area lakes. There is no time like summer to spend the day having fun on the water with your friends and family, so if you can find someplace that’s not too crowded, give it a go. And stick around until dark, because fireworks are especially pretty reflected on the water.
However you decide to celebrate the 4th of July this year, please remember to use caution and stay safe. Don’t consume alcohol and drive or operate a boat, raft, or canoe. And of course, always exercise caution when using fireworks to commemorate the holiday. Your family will be glad you put safety first when the celebrations are over.
More by Tavia:
Canoe Safety Tips
How We Save Money by Celebrating Summer Close to Home
Night Time Activities for Summer Fun