I love Independence Day. I always have. It is definitely one of my favorite, if not THE favorite holiday of the year. I love all the fun that surrounds the day. I love the big brass band music, the thrill that leaps in my heart as they play the Star-Spangled Banner. I love hanging out with my family on a big huge blanket, filled with treats and snacks and just laying down, getting ready for the show to begin. And, most of all, I LOVE the boom of the fireworks, when the ground shakes and skies fill with color. I LOVE it.
So, today I thought I'd share just a few ideas to help make your holiday great. Most of all, I hope you'll share your ideas because in my mind, there's never too much celebrating on the 4th!
- Start the day with a red, white and blue meal. We love to make waffles topped with whip cream, strawberries, and blueberries. Elizabeth took it a step further and really put patriotism on her plate!
2. Decorate your bikes and either join a community bike ride or do one of your own. Use streamers and glitter strands and get as creative as you can!
3. Host a BBQ! There's nothing like grilling on the fourth.
4. I love to get all dressed up in our red, white and blue. My kids all don their American Flags and wave them endlessly during the parades and fireworks show. There's something about dressing patriotic that makes the day fun! Make it even more special with a little face paint!
5. Do you research and pick the fireworks you like the best. I know you may think this is over the top and if you love your neighborhood fireworks then great! But, too often I've been disappointed by the local show. Last year, I got on all the surrounding community websites and found out what each community had scheduled. I found the one that had fireworks set to music, bands playing all evening, free bounce houses, bubble machines, and fair-like booths for the kids. It was perfect for our family. Like something a little less kid-oriented and more "quiet"? You'll find the community just right for you.
6. Now, the most important thing: Glow sticks. With 5 kids, this can get pricey at the fireworks. The salesman walk around as the kids drool and beg for their own glow stick necklaces and bracelets. Win your kids' heart, get in the spirit of things, but don't break the bank by running to the dollar store ahead of time and grabbing a bunch for the special event.
7. Now's where I need your help. This year I'm struggling to come up with dinner. We usually get to the fireworks location in time to have fun before settling down on our blankets for dinner. Any great ideas for dinner on the go? Something that we can eat cold or even have hot and insulated in a cooler? I'm not sure why I'm stumped, but I can't seem to solve this dilemma. So, write in and let me know if you have any great meal or snack traditions at the fireworks!
8. For great fourth of July tips, check out familyfun.com. There are great crafts, recipes and activities for the fourth! Whatever you do, love it and Happy Independence Day! A special thank you to all those who have defended our freedom through the years. You are what make this holiday so special.