Fire up the grill. Dust off your camp chair. Dig out the bocce set and let’s get ready to celebrate!
The Fourth of July is one of our real fun family’s favorite holidays. We’ve gone beyond the usual potlucks and firework shows when we fete our Independence and we’ve added a bit of our own spin to the day as well. What started as a fluke has become tradition in our house that includes good food and making memories that last all year long.
It doesn’t matter what continent you live on you can make the most of your country’s independence day as a family.
When our kids were little we had to arrange our days around naps and feeding schedules and all that jazz. So, I decided early on to make the most of our holiday by making a big to-do about 4th of July breakfast. The first year, when we still indulged in gluten, I made donuts from scratch.
They were a huge hit. So now, every year I make donuts on 4th of July morning. We eat a big brunch together with egg casserole, fresh baked donuts, juice and fresh berry salad. Yum.
It’s taken me a few years to find just the right donut recipe now that we are gluten and dairy free but hey, that’s what Pinterest is for right?
We’ve found our favorite recipe with these snickerdoodle donuts. They are devoured every time I make them so they are here to stay.
Once upon a time we lived in a town with an Independence Day parade but now we don’t so, we eat and relax and play games or take a drive.
One of our newest traditions is to participate in a service project. If the holiday falls on a weekday we serve that day. If it falls on a long weekend we take a shift during that time and serve as a family. Our favorite service activity is the I-5 coffee ministry our church puts on.
We take a two to four our shift at the local interstate rest stop where we serve coffee, tea, lemonade, and cookies to weary travelers. We’ve met people from all over the world doing this and it’s always a fun experience because we’re giving goodies away for free. No strings attached.
Our kids love making coffee and tea and handing out the cookies and we all love being together and meeting new people.
At some point during the actual day we get spruced up and take a family photo. When I was pregnant with Peanut The Maestro and I took a photo together and the tradition stuck. Now, we take our annual photo sitting on our chairlift swing that we have set up at whatever house we happen to be in.
If I plan ahead we all get shirts for the year. Old Navy and Walmart are excellent resources for matching attire I’ve found. We try to keep it festive and in the red, white, and blue theme. (Except for that one year when Big Dad decided to wear green. But we won’t talk about that.)
It’s been fun to see our family grow and change over time. I used to use the photo as our Christmas card each year. But after reading Kathi Lipp’s book “Get Yourself Organized For Christmas” I decided to forego the yuletide cards and now I send a summer update using our July 4th photo. The best part of this is that I don’t have to stress out about doing it in November or December. I’ve got it ready by July. Bing. Bang. Boom!
I also keep a photo album just for these photos. The kids love looking at it to see how they’ve grown.
In the evening we get together with friends, bbq, and eat really great food. One of our favorites is Quinoa Confetti Salad. I make a mixture of this recipe and this one. It’s the perfect blend of veggies, dressing, and cold quinoa. You can add and take away a lot of the ingredients so you can really make it your own.
As far as fireworks are concerned we can take them or leave them. We try to get to a spot where we can see the city show and some years we buy our own and some years we don’t. The day is about being together so that’s what we do.
We’ve truly made this holiday a family day when we can relax, hang out, and enjoy all that summer has to offer.
Independence Day as a family
If you want to make your Independence Day special try some of these suggestions:
- Make a special breakfast
- Make donuts
- Get matching shirts
- Go for a hike
- Take a family photo
- Play a rousing game of badminton or bocce or croquet
- Go play disc/frisbee golf at your local course
- Find a swimming hole
- Watch a parade
- Serve your community
- Measure the kids (this is a perfect time to take measurements to see who’s sprouting and how much!)
- Fly a flag or 10
- Watch a fireworks show
- Bake a special dessert
- Look at your New Year’s resolutions and see how you’re doing
- Have a block party or invite the neighbors over for a bbq
- Have a contest to see who can put the Presidents in order (FREE PRINTABLE HERE)
- Challenge everyone to name all the states and capitols
- Take a quiz to see who knows their American (or home country) history the best
- Decide as a family on a new tradition just for this holiday
There are a lot of ways to make the most of Independence Day as a family. What are you going to add to this fun holiday to make it special for your family?
Got a fun idea? Share your #RealFunFamily ideas in the comments.
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