How do you celebrate Independence Day at home?
With COVID-19 and everything going on in the world, the 4th of July looks a lot different this year. Large social gatherings are a no-go, and the recent resurgence of Juneteenth celebrations driven by the Black Lives Matter movement have caused many to acknowledge 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 still do so from the comfort of your home. All it takes is some outdoor space, internet connection, and a little imagination. Need some inspiration? Here are eight ways you can still celebrate Independence Day at home:
1. Host a BBQ
Many states and counties are allowing small outdoor gatherings to take place still. If you're allowed, then host a private 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 guidelines, be sure to invite less than 10 people, continue to social distance, and wear masks where possible to ensure everyone's safety.
2. Learn about history virtually
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 in your backyard
Many states don't currently allow camping due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, set up tents and a fire pit in your own yard. Cook outside with your significant other or family 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, but limit the number of people to under 10. If people are interested, have a friendly contest with fun prizes. Remember to prioritize everyone's safety by sanitizing equipment after each use, wearing masks, and social distancing whenever possible.
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. Stock up on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and follow all CDC guidelines. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the patriotic holiday without having to leave your backyard.