American Flag

James G. Blaine once remarked, “The United States is the only country with a known birthday.” Indeed, each July 4th Americans celebrate the day the country’s founders declared independence from Great Britain. It is a day marked with patriotism; honoring the red, white and blue flag that waves as a symbol of the hard fought rights for the people of the United States.

While the usual fireworks are almost always a blast, this year why not try one of these 5 new ways to celebrate the 4th of July?

Game On

What could be more fun than a friendly game of America’s favorite past time? Plan a mini baseball or softball game with family, friends, and neighbors. Find a backyard or park to be the field and ask everyone to wear or bring a specific color t-shirt. Be sure to divide teams equally, with all ages involved. It’s a great opportunity for connecting as players swap tips and stories from their own sports memories. Don’t forget the National Anthem to kick things off!

Personal Parade

Maybe getting downtown for the parade is too much in the July heat. Go ahead and organize your own parade through the neighborhood earlier in the day.  Get the word out for kids to decorate bikes, strollers, or even themselves and plan a short march down the street. The youngest can help by coloring the sidewalk and street with chalk to help mark the path. Check stores like Kmart for smart deals on supplies such as flags, candy, streamers, and other fun accessories.

Creative Care Package

This holiday is the perfect time to remember the men and women who continue to serve our country. Not personally connected to a deployed member? Ask at work, church, or your neighbors for some names and addresses. Taking the time to send a special box of goodies goes a long way for the recipient. Check here for a list of supplies, tips and suggestions on how to send an extra special care package. Make this a social event and invite others to join you in your effort. Even a simple thank you letter will work!

National Park

Another way to celebrate America is to get out and see some of it. While Mount Rushmore may not be feasible, national parks are all over the country. Find a national park and plan a visit, maybe even an overnight stay depending on the park. Getting out in nature will allow you to appreciate the beautiful landscape and clear your mind. Check out the parks closest to you and what they offer here. 

Patriotic Potluck

Invite people over for a potluck with a twist – have everyone bring an item that’s either red, white or blue. While this sounds limiting, it can be really fun as people get creative in thinking outside the box. And it’s a break from the standard hotdog and potato chip fare usually found on this holiday. For a few inspirations, check out these possibilities. Added bonus: ask everyone to wear only red, white and blue too!

Whether the event is a family reunion, a firework display,  or one of these 5 new ways to celebrate the 4th of July, the main theme is still the same: it’s a day to remember the history of America and to be thankful for the freedom still found in it. And, just for fun, here are 20 Fun Facts about the 4th!