What are some ideas for celebrating Independence Day?
As more and more people are becoming vaccinated against COVID-19, this year's 4th of July looks different than last year's. Most cities across the U.S. have reopened, which means social gatherings without masks and social distancing for vaccinated folks is now permitted according to CDC guidelines. Recent Juneteeth celebrations also serve as a reminder that the 4th of July is not America's true independence day, given many people were not actually free during that time.
But if you are planning on celebrating the 4th of July this year—whether it's a more traditional celebration or a more inclusive BLM-focused one that nods to Juneteenth—you can do so. Need some inspiration? Here are eight ways you can still celebrate Independence Day:
1. Host a BBQ
Fully vaccinated people can get together without masks and social distancing, which means you can host a BBQ with some family and friends right in your own backyard. You can even host a bake-off and invite your family to make their favorite recipe in a specified category and then vote on a winner. As per CDC guidance, unvaccinated people should still wear masks indoors when it's not possible to social distance to ensure their own safety.
2. Learn about history virtually
Visit a local museum or take a virtual tour of some of the Nation's most impressive collections and locations, such as the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, The Museum of Flight, National Women's History Museum, NASA, and The American Battlefield Trust Virtual Battlefield Tours. Streaming service Disney+ is also featuring a performance of the hit Broadway show Hamilton with the original cast!
3. Enjoy the alone time
If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed this summer, use the 4th of July as a time to unwind and relax. Instead of partaking in the usual traditions, have a special date night or family night to spend time with the people you love.
4. Go camping
It's now safe to camp in most states. Celebrate the 4th of July by going camping with friends and family at one of your favorite spots. Set up tents and a fire pit, cook outside and enjoy a night under the stars.
5. Play some sports
Nothing is more American than some friendly competition. Set up a volleyball and badminton net for friends and family to play. If people are interested, have a friendly contest with fun prizes.
6. Give back
Don't want to spend Independence Day outside in the heat? This is an excellent opportunity to reach out to local charities to find out what they need. Sew masks, knit blankets, or put together bags of toiletries for shelters. Whatever it is, find a volunteer opportunity that's meaningful to you.
7. Watch a movie outside
Once you're done celebrating the 4th of July with all your traditions, after the sun goes down, get a projector and outdoor screen to watch a movie with friends and family. Pop some popcorn and make some s'mores.
8. Make festive crafts
Deck out your pad in red, white, and blue by planning a holiday-themed DIY project, such as painting flower pots, creating fabric-wrapped wreaths and balloon flags.
Celebrate the 4th Of July safely
No matter how you decide to celebrate Independence Day, be sure to do it safely, especially if certain friends and family aren't yet vaccinated. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the patriotic holiday with others this year.