12 of the Best 4th of July Traditions that are Simple & Fun!

4th of July weekend is approaching and that means outdoor BBQs, wearing your patriotic colors, and watching fireworks! Looking for fun ideas or new traditions? Check out these 4th of July traditions the whole family will enjoy.

Many families have long-standing traditions they look forward to every year as a way to honor the birth of our nation. Whether they are activities that you’ve enjoyed for decades or simply exploring ways to celebrate this special day, we can all appreciate how wonderful it is to get together with friends and family to commemorate our independence.

12 4th of July traditions

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History and Origin of the 4th of July

The 4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. Its history and origin can be traced back to a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776, declaring America’s independence from Great Britain. The document is known as the Declaration of Independence, and was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson. It listed grievances against King George III and declared that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states.”

On July 4th, John Adams wrote a letter predicting festivities such as fireworks displays for future generations celebrating our nation’s founding: “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade.. bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other…” This prediction would come true more than 20 years later when George Washington issued a proclamation recommending people celebrate with “Pomp & parade… music… games… sports… bells ringing”. Celebrations were even held in France during their revolution because they had supported our own!

In 1941 Congress made it an official holiday lasting all day within all fifty states that have become our beloved union since then. Nowadays it is celebrated as a national holiday often accompanied by barbecues, parades & firework displays along with patriotic ceremonies & events across America; remembering freedom isn’t free but instead hard won through courage & determination in battles fought for what we know now today as Independence Day!

Fun Independence Day Activities

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate America’s independence. Many people have their own traditions that they enjoy on this special day. Others might be looking for some fresh new ideas to have fun with their family and friends.

Each city has their own unique offerings for Independence Day. Take these ideas and also explore your local options to find the perfect way to celebrate!

12 Awesome 4th Of July Traditions

1) Wear your Red, White & Blue!

This is a great way to show your patriotic spirit on the 4th of July. There are tons of patriotic clothes and accessories to choose from. You can always find great deals at Old Navy and Amazon. These were three of my favorite shirts I came across, as well as, a fun pair of earrings! All of the shirts come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Blue Flag TankGray Heart TankGray Heart TeeEarrings

There are also so many cute 4th of July outfits on Etsy! I highly recommend taking a look if you want something more unique.

2) Fly the American Flag

Flying the American flag is a great way to show your pride on the 4th of July. Make sure to put your flag up in a safe and visible location. This would also be a great time to talk to your kids about why we celebrate Independence Day. You could even read the Declaration of Independence if you have older children.

3) Visit a Historical Site

This is also a great way to learn about America’s past. Many towns and cities have their own unique sites to explore. Check your local listings to find out what is available in your area.

4) Have a Cookout

4th of July usually means some type of get-together with lots of yummy things to eat. From burgers and hot dogs to pulled pork and chicken wings, it’s a great time to chow down on delicious food.

Sides and desserts will vary, so here are a few options if you want to try something new. You can choose to go festive by making your dish into a flag shape, or you can nix the looks and base it purely on deliciousness!

4th of july appetizers

This Pepperoni Dip is the absolute best dip ever! It’s so easy to make and everyone will be asking you for the recipe. Here are a few more Side Items for your 4th of July menu:

fruit pizza dessert for 4th of july

I always love a good fruit pizza for the 4th of July (or really any time!) It’ super easy to make and a huge hit! Click the recipe below or check out a few other festive Desserts:

4th of july drinks

A fun cocktail is always nice to have at a summer cookout, but so is a fun Kids Drink! I found this recipe and plan on it making it for the kids at our party this year. Hoping it turns out as cute as the one on this blog! If you are looking for a fun Adult Drink, here are a couple ideas:

5) Watch Patriotic Movies

Watching patriotic movies is a great way to celebrate America’s birthday. There are many great films that showcase the country’s history and values. Pop some popcorn and settle in for a fun-filled movie night.

Some movie choices include: “The Patriot,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Independence Day,” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

6) Attend a Parade

There is sure to be a parade in your area- just check online for local listings! We are heading to my in-laws to watch their annual golf cart parade.

Grab your lawn chairs, snacks, and get some fresh air while enjoying time outside with loved ones. Who knows- they may even throw out some candy!

4th of July parade

7) Play Outdoor Games

Playing yard games is always a good time. Check out these games below and you’re sure to have fun!

Ladder TossKan JamFlying Disc GameYardzee

I also love making up new games that fit with a holiday or theme. I went searching online and came across these two games that look like so much fun! The 4th of July Flag Balloon Dart Game would be great for all ages! You fill the balloons with candy, money, toys, etc. and then try to pop them by throwing darts. Click on the link for a step-by-step tutorial from the blog, Giggles Galore.

july 4th games

8) 4th of July Crafts

My girls are obsessed with tearing off the end of straw wrappers and then blowing them at us, so we will definitely be making some Straw Rockets! Click on the link to find out how to decorate and make your own 4th of July rockets 🙂

9) Watch Fireworks

One of the most popular 4th of July traditions! Fireworks are loved by many and a great symbol for our country’s freedom. Grab the family and head to a show close to you for a spectacular light show.

If your kids are sensitive to the loud noise, I recommend these Noise Canceling Headphones. They work great!

10) Have a Pool Party

Not everyone will be at the pool for 4th of July, but I know a lot of us are, so I am sharing a few of my favorite essentials for the pool, the lake, or the beach!

We just got this Water Gun Plane Ride-on Floats and they are a huge hit! We have had the See Me Sit Kids Floats for a few years and they have really held up for the price!

The TYR Goggles came recommended by our swim lesson instructor and the kids have been very happy with them. Blue Lizard Sunscreen is a favorite of mine- it rubs in very easily and actually works!

11) Head to the Beach

Celebrate the 4th of July while splashing around in the ocean. The beach is the perfect getaway for a long weekend and will be sure to have festivities for Independence Day.

If you decide to take a trip, make sure to take a look at my Family Beach Packing List for lots of good ideas.

And check out my top Space Saving Travel Hacks too!

12) Take a Family Photo

Capture all the fun memories with a family photo. Relax, have fun, and celebrate your freedom 🙂

4th of july family photo

More Family Traditions For The Holidays

Do you look forward to family traditions around the holidays? A lot of families celebrate with their own unique traditions, whether it’s baking cookies or gathered around a Christmas tree and exchanging presents. In many cases, these long-standing activities have been in place for generations.

For some of us, maintaining traditions is an important part of our holiday celebration – it’s always fun to get creative!

One of my favorite traditions at Valentine’s Day is creating Cute & Easy Door Hearts. My kids absolutely love when I write them encouraging messages throughout the month.

My kids also love getting a visit from The Messy Leprechaun. He always stirs up trouble and a big ole mess!

4th of july traditions

The 4th of July is a day for our nation to come together and celebrate all that makes us great. There are many ways to embrace some of the traditions associated with Independence Day — fly an American flag, light up fireworks, wear red, white and blue clothing and maybe even host an online cookout! Even more than that, take time today to reflect on our freedoms as Americans.

Celebrate how far we’ve come but also encourage hope that in times ahead, we will continue to realize the truths encapsulated within America: justice needs defending; equality should be upheld; freedom won’t be contained. Let us honor those beginning years by taking appreciation for what it means to be American and taking vigilant steps toward a brighter future for tomorrow.

I hope you find this post helpful as you plan new 4th of July traditions for you and your family. I am so excited to spend time with my family and our friends. I hope you all stay safe and have a fun holiday!

Related posts:

Family Travel On A Budget

Pool Day Essentials

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