Independence Day is coming up soon and it's time to decide how you will celebrate. From teaching your kids about the meaning of the holiday to eating delicious foods and watching incredible fireworks displays, the ways to celebrate the Fourth of July are endless. Make some great memories with your kiddos by planning to do a few of these fun, family-friendly all-American activities.
Set Off Fireworks in a Jar
Can't set off fireworks where you live? Create a tiny fireworks display right in your own kitchen! This is a quick and easy Independence Day craft that is sure to entertain your little ones.
You will need:
- Jars of all shapes and sizes (must be transparent)
- Glitter and sequins (preferably red, white, blue, and perhaps some silver)
- Baby oil
- Gorilla Glue
Start by filling the bottom of your jar with glitter and/or sequins. Add as much or as little as you like, but be sure to leave a few inches at the top for the sparkly stuff to move around. Once you have finished adding glitter, fill your jar nearly to the top with baby oil, leaving about a half-inch at the top. Using the Gorilla Glue, glue the lid onto the jar and wait for it to dry. When the lid is stuck tight, turn your fireworks-in-a-jar upside down and watch the tiny, sparkly show inside the jar unfold.
Make a Flag Cake
Use some of the fruits given to us by our country to celebrate living in it. This is, after all, the land of the free, and that means you are free to indulge in a delicious American flag cake.
Begin by making a cake of any flavor in a regular, 9"x13" pan. After your cake has finished baking, let it cool. Using white frosting, frost the entire cake either in the pan or outside of it, depending on how you would like to present the final product. Add stripes using sliced strawberries, then stars using blueberries, and enjoy your amazing American flag cake!
This is a great project for kids of all ages, as there are plenty of age-appropriate steps involved. Kids love adding ingredients and mixing cake batter; older children can help cut up strawberries, and placing the berry decorations is easy enough for even the littlest helpers.
Read a Book
Celebrate our amazing country and learn about its history with one or two of these great picture books.
Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags by James Giblin — Perfect for children who want to know why we celebrate Independence Day the way we do, this book traces patriotic traditions and symbols back to their origins to shed some light on the "why" behind our customs.
Independence Day by Ann Heinrichs — This non-fiction children's book tells the story of how the USA gained independence from Great Britain in a kid-friendly manner that includes fun illustrations. The book also includes recipes and activities.
Fourth of July Sparkly Sky by Joan Holub — This colorfully illustrated book is filled with fun poetry about the Fourth of July. This is a great read for those with antsy children, as it can be read in short chunks.
America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates — A beautifully illustrated picture book featuring the lyrics from the familiar poem and song of the same name, this children's book truly brings all of the beauty of the U.S. to its pages with pictures and words.
Head Out to Point State Park
Why spend the whole holiday at home when there is plenty to be done around town? Our country's birthday is reason to celebrate, and the people of Pittsburgh have a variety of celebrations going on.
Of all the festivals, events, and performances, one of the biggest and best ones takes place at Point State Park. This exciting event includes live entertainment, delicious food, children's activities, and an enormous, awe-inspiring fireworks display at the end of the night.
Admission to this event is free, and the festivities begin at 1:00 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the morning at home. Fireworks will begin around 9:35 p.m., so make sure to stick around until then. This is one evening you will want to allow the kids to stay up late!