For every American, Independence Day is an important day to celebrate. It is a time to reflect on the blessings of freedom and remember the sacrifices made by the nation’s founders and the countless Americans who have fought and died for their country.
The Fourth is also a day where we gather with friends and family to watch fireworks, go on outdoor picnics, make crafts or even see baseball games. While all of these activities are traditions, there are plenty more fun things to do for the 4th of July to make it even more memorable. Color your day red, white and blue with our 4th of July Bucket List.
For more warm weather ideas, see our Summer Bucket List.
Fun 4th of July Activities and The Best Things to do for Independence Day
1. Watch a Parade
A Fourth of July celebration is not without its share of parades and other festivities across the country. From marching bands to dance performances to seeing Uncle Sam float about in the air, there are plenty of reasons watching a parade during Independence Day should be on your bucket list. Plus, it’s also a way of showing your support and nationalism along with other people.
2. Bake Some Patriotic Treats
Add a little twist to your usual treats by turning them into ‘patriotic’ goodies centered around the Fourth of July. Aside from being fun to make, it will also let you crank up your creative side since you’re working with a theme.
If you’re looking for some inspiration or some recipes to get you started, you can check out this article: 25+ Patriotic Treats by NoBiggie.net
3. Send a Care Package to a Soldier
Whether you have a loved one deployed overseas or would just like to show your support for our troops, sending them a care package is one of the best things to do on the Fourth of July. Not only is it a thoughtful gesture for our brave soldiers, but it will also surely make their day.
You can check out the USPS care package guide on the links below for more information:
4. Decorate Your Home in Red, White & Blue
Decorating your house in the colors of the American flag is not only a way to celebrate our freedom but also get the family together for a fun DIY activity..
Even though you’ll be working with a specific color scheme, it will also allow you to get creative on blending the three colors in your decorations. There are tons of DIY decorations online like this one that don’t require much and are easy to make.
5. Make a Festive Arts and Crafts
Making arts and crafts is a fun way to spend the day and is a great way to spend time with family, especially the kids. And since it is a special day for us Americans, we can make it more festive by adding a patriotic theme to it.
Below are some good ideas for your arts and crafts activities this coming Fourth of July.
- 31 Patriotic Crafts That Are Perfect for the 4th of July
- 47 Easy 4th of July Crafts to Get Into the Patriotic Spirit
6. Take a Camping Trip
Since we are in the summer season, going on a camping trip with family is one of the best Fourth of July activities you can do. Maybe you could also check off some things from our camping bucket list while you are there!
It’d be a bonus if there was a National Park nearby and you can make a checkmark off the US National Parks Bucket List: 61 Beauties to Visit in America. Just remember that Independence Day is one of the busiest camping days of the year, so be sure to plan ahead.
7. Shop the Fourth of July Sales
Whether you’re stocking up on camping supplies or items for your backyard barbecue celebration, it is also one of the best opportunities to get some of the best bargains and sales.
8. Go Berry Picking
If you’re looking for something new to do for your Independence Day celebration, why not go on a berry-picking trip to a pick-up/u-pick farm?
Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are just some of the ones in season during the Fourth of July, which is also a perfect ingredient for your patriotic desserts!
The Taste of Home website has a great list of the best pick-up farms across each state. You can also check if there is one near your area to save you some travel time.
9. Celebrate at the Beach
What better way to celebrate 4th of July than soaking up some vitamin D and celebrating at the beach with your family? Aside from the water sports, there may also be other beach activities, like a fireworks display at night.
10. Go for a Bike Ride
Going around on a bike is a fun way to get outside and see the things happening around your neighborhood. Most states also host bike parades during the Fourth of July, so be sure to check on your home state if you would love to join one with your family.
11. Take a Hike or Nature Walk
Some places can get a bit crowded during Independence Day, such as the beach or campsites, which is why a quiet hike or nature walk away from the crowd is a great way to spend the day.
For a more enriching experience, you can go on a hike to one of the US National Parks if there is one close by. Alternatively, you can also go on a sort of patriotic scavenger hunt where you’ll look for things you can associate with the Fourth of July, like looking for red, white or blue, flowers.
12. Grill Hot Dogs and Burgers
Barbecues and grilling have been a part of our observance of America’s freedom since the early days. And whether it be hotdogs or burgers, you know what they say about good food: they bring people and families together.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to grill, you can also check out these yummy recipes below:
13. Hang the American Flag
Another way to celebrate our country’s independence is by hanging the American flag. Whether from a pole or in your front yard, it is a great way to show our patriotism.
Of course, we should follow proper etiquette when putting up the American flag, so be sure to check the guidelines first.
14. Have a Backyard Movie Night
Whether it be on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any other video streaming services, having a backyard movie night is a great way to add entertainment while having some barbecuing or grilling on the side.
With just a projector and a white sheet for displaying, you’re already set for a fun movie night with family in the comfort of your backyard.
15. Visit Philadelphia
Since we’re celebrating America’s Independence, it is only fitting to visit the city where all this started: Philadelphia!
From concerts to movies to fireworks displays (don’t miss out on this one!) and more, you’ll have plenty of fun things to do in Philadelphia on the Fourth of July. What’s more, the celebration starts as early as the 3rd week of June.
You can check out the Discover Philadelphia website for more information about the list of events.
16. Play Water Balloon Dodgeball
Playing water balloon dodgeball is not only a great way to have fun and cool off under the sun with the family, but it can also be a way to celebrate Independence Day. To keep with our theme, you can use red, white, and blue balloons for your water balloons.
17. Have a Backyard Picnic
You don’t have to go to the park or some scenic place to enjoy a picnic with your family and friends. While those places are ideal, sometimes all you’ve got to do is look in your own backyard.
Not only will you save money on gas, but it will also be easier to prepare the food and set things up for your picnic since you have everything you’ll need at home.
18. Get a Patriotic Manicure
In keeping with the theme, you can also paint your nails in the colors red, white and blue.. Not only is it stylish and Instagrammable, but it is also a fun and creative way of showing your love for your country. You can even level it up by adding different designs to it as well.
19. Catch a Baseball Game (Or Play in One)
Be it in your neighborhood or the big leagues, an exciting baseball game will surely bring the crowds together and is a fun way to spend the day. If you’re a player yourself, it can also be a chance to play in one.
20. Visit a Patriotic American Landmark
A visit to one of America’s patriotic landmarks is probably one of the best and most meaningful Fourth of July activities.
Whether it be a tour inside Independence Hall in Philadelphia or seeing America’s Founding Documents at the National Archives in Washington, you’ll get the chance to learn our history and appreciate our freedom even more.
You can also check out this site for a list of other patriotic landmarks to visit on Independence Day: America’s 15 Most Patriotic Landmarks
21. Host a Backyard Olympics
If you’re looking for a fun and patriotic way to celebrate America’s independence, consider hosting a Backyard Olympics. This is a great way to get your family involved in the celebration, and they are also an excellent exercise for your children.
22. Light Up Some Sparklers
Aside from fireworks, lighting up some sparklers is a fantastic way to end the day. Not only are they safe enough for kids to hold (you still need to watch them though), but just seeing the twinkling lights at the end of your sparkler is nothing short of magical.
23. Throw a Pool Party
There’s just something about swimming in a pool that makes summertime feel extra special. Whether you’re gathering family and friends around to swim laps or chill out under the sun, throwing a pool party is a fantastic way for everyone to celebrate, beat the heat, and have a blast.
24. Make a Homemade Popsicles
Making some homemade popsicles is easy and pretty straightforward, making it the perfect cold treat to have while celebrating America’s independence.
You can either do it with a popsicle mold (the Lebice popsicle mold is the one that I use for my sweet treats) or a disposable cup.
25. Make a Patriotic Playlist
Having a playlist of American patriotic songs is a great way to add music and ambiance to your backyard party or camping trip in celebration of the Fourth of July.
You can check out this site for a list of the best patriotic songs you can include on your playlist.
26. Concoct a Themed Cocktail
Put your cocktail mixing skills to the test by making a Fourth of July-inspired drink. It is a great way to celebrate America’s independence and enjoy a festive drink with your friends and family.
You can also check out our list of cocktails in our Cocktails Bucket List for ideas.
27. Read Up on American History
How well do you know our country’s history? Perhaps it is time to go back and trace our roots through reading and learning about it. It also serves as a reminder of why we are celebrating the Fourth of July in the first place.
28. Run Through the Sprinklers
Running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day is one of the simplest joys we can experience in our lives. Add to that the feeling of freedom that comes with being a child (or a child at heart).
29. Watch Some Epic Fireworks
An Independence Day celebration is never complete without an iconic display of fireworks lighting up the night sky.
Some of the best and brightest fireworks celebrations include Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York, Wawa Welcome America in Philadelphia, and the National Mall fireworks in Washington.
30. Host a Backyard Party
When it comes to Independence Day, everyone loves to be festive. Some people love to go out on the town and celebrate, while others prefer to stay in and celebrate at home. If you’re part of the latter, this opens up the opportunity to host a party in your backyard.
31. Have a Game Night
We might have spent the whole day having fun and celebrating, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a family-focused bonding time once the evening comes.
When planning for your game night, be sure to select games that everyone can join in. It can be as simple as charades, board games, and so much more. Of course, you can level it up by playing a holiday-themed version of them.
Not sure which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play
32. Have a Movie Marathon
Aside from games, this can also be a chance to catch up on movies with the family by going on a movie marathon. You can find plenty of Independence Day-inspired films on Netflix or other video streaming platforms. Of course, you can also pick ones outside the theme or even a mix of both. In the end, what matters is everyone is having a great time.
33. Make a Red, White & Blue Tie Dye T-Shirt
Shirts are not just something we wear for everyday use. From graphic tees to statement shirts and more, shirts can also be a way of sending a message.
To help spread patriotism, why not dye and make your shirt in the colors of the American flag? Aside from stimulating your creativity, it can also be a fun bonding moment with the family.
34. Have an Independence Day Costume Contest
Independence Day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate than by having a costume contest? Whether you’re going for that Uncle Sam look or just want to show off your creative side, there are plenty of costumes you can choose online or in your local store.
35. See Hamilton
Hamilton is a musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda telling the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of America.
As of this writing, you can watch Hamilton on Disney+. However, if you prefer to watch a live performance, you can search for tickets online or if there are any shows in your state.
36. Play Cornhole
Cornhole is an awesome throwing game in which players alternate tossing a small bean bag into an inclined board. What’s great about this is it is easy to set up, and everyone can play.
The goal of each player is to reach exactly 21 points. Scoring depends on where the bean bag falls, whether it is on the board or into the hole at the upper part.
GoSports sells a Classic Cornhole set that comes with 8 bean bags and a travel bag!
37. Take Patriotic Photos
Whether it be a patriotic landmark you’ve visited, the fireworks lighting up the night sky, or a colorful Independence Day parade, taking photos of them is a great way of capturing the moment.
If you’re looking to get creative with your shots, try planning a schedule for your photo shoots. For example, you can go out early and use the sunrise to capture a more dramatic photo of the Lincoln Memorial.
38. Make Some S’mores
Much like how the Fourth of July is never complete without fireworks, barbecues, and parades, a camping trip feels incomplete without making some good ol’ s’mores. I mean, who could resist not making this delicious staple campfire treat?
If you’re looking to bring your s’mores up a notch, you can also check out and make one of these 12 Creative S’mores.
39. Rent a Boat
While it can be a bit pricey, renting a boat is one of the unique things to do on the Fourth of July. Imagine seeing the fireworks display with a backdrop of buildings while you’re on the deck of your boat or having a barbecue with friends and family as you cruise the water.
40. Have a Neighborhood Bike Parade
A neighborhood bike parade is a great way to celebrate our nation’s birthday and to build a sense of community in the neighborhood.
Participants can decorate their bikes any way they like and ride them down the street (or sidewalk), displaying patriotic colors and messages.
While fireworks displays are one of the stars of the Fourth of July, getting to observe actual stars/constellations (like the Summer Triangle) in the night sky is one of the most magical things you can experience.
You will need to plan ahead for this one, like going to a stargazing site, as the fireworks’ lights in your area might make it difficult to see the stars. Don’t forget to bring your telescope/binoculars and your star chart!
We hope we’ve made this festive holiday more exciting with this bucket list of the best activities and things to do for the 4th of July.
Whether you’re having a picnic with family and friends or doing crafts, remember to enjoy yourself and be grateful for all the new memories this special day will be bringing. Have a Happy Independence Day!
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