Welcome to July!
All the kids are out of school, and summer is heating up. With Independence Day just a few sleeps away, now is a great time to celebrate America, and summer!
Here are a few ideas to get your summer off to a spectacular start!
Red, White and Blue Sweet Treats
Everyone loves ice cream, and what better way to cool off than a sundae party!
Theme it to match the holiday with vanilla, strawberry, and blue raspberry ice cream or sherbet. Top it off with blue sprinkles, white whipped cream, and a red cherry on top.
No ice cream? Make it a healthy snack with berries in season! You can visit a farm or a farmers market for fresh berries. Pick blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries and top them all with whipped cream or a scoop of lemon sorbet.
With your bellies full of sweet treats, head over to a local fireworks show. Many communities put on a small (or large) display to show patriotism around July 4th. For your local event, check your area’s newspapers or community calendars.
If you are travelling, check out Washington DC, Boston, and New York for giant fireworks shows and concerts. Washington dedicates the whole day to music, picnics, and fireworks, with the best views from the National Mall. Boston has a concert along the Charles River, followed by fireworks over the harbor.
No matter where you watch, seeing the fireworks explode to the tune of the 1812 Overture is an experience!
Let’s Have a Parade!
Parades on Independence Day are as American as, well, apple pie! Like fireworks, most towns and cities host a parade. Big cities, like DC and Boston, host monster extravaganzas!
DC starts the day with a reading of the Declaration of Independence from the steps of the US Archives. Then the parade steps off with giant balloons, marching bands, and floats. If you are in the area, head into the city early to get a good spot and make a day of it.
Even small towns will have parade featuring local firetrucks, old cars, and veterans groups marching down main street. One small town that does a big parade is Bristol, RI, home to the oldest Fourth of July Parade in America!
Reflect on Our Freedoms
Freedom is not free. The brave men and women in our military defend our rights and privileges on a daily basis.
With your kids, think of some of the rights that Americans have that others might not. If you are stuck for ideas, check out the Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights. Not everyone has freedom of religion or speech! But we often take these things for granted.
Work with your kids to create a piece of art that reflects their gratitude for our country and our freedoms. Maybe cut pictures out of magazines or find patriotic pictures online. Then glue them into a collage or combine the pictures with original art.
How are you celebrating the Fourth of July?