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14 Ways to Safely Celebrate the 4th of July This Year

By: Susan Finch
July 1, 2020

It's almost time for one of our favorite, quintessential summer holidays: the 4th of July! However, due to COVID-19, many of our go-to parades and standard festivities are canceled across the country.

Instead of feeling down in the dumps, embrace what you can do to celebrate the 4th of July safely this year. Here are 16 ideas to get started.

1. Decorate Your Apartment with Red, White, and Blue Decor

Get festive without ever leaving your apartment with some red, white, and blue decor. Buy fresh flowers and add decorations. You can also drape your table with an American flag-themed tablecloth.

2. Bake Red, White, and Blue-Themed Treats

Large cookouts may be off the table. However, red, white, and blue-themed treats are still worth baking.

Try strawberry shortcake with a sprinkle of blueberries. You could also cover brownies with novelty, colorful candies.

If you’re feeling ambitious, try a cake covered in white icing and strawberries and blueberries. Fashion the fruit into an American Flag.

But don’t worry if you're not much of a baker. You can take an ice cream sandwich and cover the sides in red, white, and blue sprinkles. That makes for a delicious treat.

3. Host a Virtual (or Socially-Distanced) BBQ with Family & Friends

Fourth of July festivals and community bashes are canceled for 2020. The good news is, you can still host a virtual or socially distanced cookout with a small group of friends. Meet up at a park and chat at a distance while cooking or play cornhole at a distance.

If you're hosting a virtual cookout, share a recipe for patriotic-themed cocktails or shots. A game of history-inspired trivia can also keep the Zoom party going.

4. Attend a Local Fireworks Show (while Social Distancing)

Check your city for a local fireworks show or research smaller towns nearby. Grab a blanket and beverage of choice with your cozy "quaranteam" and enjoy the show.

5. Tour National Landmarks Virtually

There's never been a better time to tour the national landmarks virtually. From D.C. monuments to online exhibits, here's where to get started on your virtual landmark tour:

6. Watch a Historic Film About Our Country's Founding

Grab some popcorn and binge on historical films about our country's founding. Get started with favorites like John Adams, 1776, or The Patriot. Or, spice things up and watch Hamilton Live.

7. Read a Book About Our Country's Founding

Brush up on your country's founding history with a diverse range of perspectives. Get started with Our Sacred Honor.

This book features speeches, letters, poems, and articles. It includes those from George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

8. Host Your Own 5k

Gather together with friends near and far, and host your own 5k. Record video on your phone to record all the fun. You could also take the opportunity to raise money for your favorite cause. Nowadays you can even make it a virtual 5k!

9. Head to the Drive-Ins

If movie theaters aren't open in your area, head to the drive-in. There, you can take in a flick outdoors.

But it's not just about films. More symphonies, concerts, and other performances are taking place outdoors. That way, people can watch from their cars.

10. Go on a Camping Trip

Your travel plans may have gotten interrupted this year. However, you can still enjoy the great outdoors with a hike and camping.

Pick your favorite trails and sleep under the stars. You might even see a fireworks display from a nearby town.

11. Watch a Virtual Fireworks Display

Some fireworks will go virtual this year for all to enjoy. Macy's will live stream a recap of their weeklong firework spectacular in New York City on July 4 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

You can also search for reruns of your favorite firework displays. Then, you can enjoy them for the first time all over again.

12. Trace Your Ancestry

Now’s the time to trace your ancestry through our country's history. Sign up with a site like Ancestry.com.

You can also call up your relatives to get more information on who's who in your family. Who knows? You might find out you're related to the founding fathers.

13. Make Some Big Changes

Take a few moments to research your favorite cause and exercise your freedom of speech. Whether it's a new law, a complaint, or just a suggestion, you can email your Congressperson or local officials to raise your voice.

14. Enjoy Your Day Off!

Sometimes, the best way to celebrate the Fourth of July is to relax at home and enjoy the day for yourself. Sleep in or enjoy a bike ride. Soak up the freedom of the whole day to yourself.

Staying home and staying safe doesn't mean you can't still have fun on the Fourth. Pick and choose your favorite socially-distanced activities and make it a day to remember!

Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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