Independence Day is a special time to celebrate our country’s heritage, freedom and independence. It is also a wonderful reason to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

From picnics to parades to baseball games, there are an endless number of fun activities to enjoy on the Fourth of July! Besides the most obvious Fourth of July activity (fireworks!), here are our favorite ways to spend time with family and friends on Independence Day!

Get Outside
Since most of us have the day off from work on the Fourth of July, this is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy the natural world God made for us!

From hiking and biking to horseback riding and birdwatching, there’s something for everyone when it comes to enjoying a little sunshine! If you’re not eager about traveling too far from home, but still want to get outside, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in your own backyard! Think about your favorite lawn games and consider playing a round of horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball or just tossing a Frisbee around with your friends!

Water Activities
For the aqua lovers out there, we’ve got several ways to enjoy your Fourth of July beyond just heading to your local pool, lake, beach or river for some easy swimming merriment. Amp up the fun this year by breaking out a canoe or kayak for some slow, but soothing entertainment.

If you like things a little wilder, try waterskiing, parasailing or whitewater rafting. Of course you can also just put together a beach volleyball game, giving you and your friends the option to enjoy the water, or not.

Discover Your Community
These activities need a little planning and research first, but are totally worth it! First host a patriotic walking tour for your friends by researching the most important historical events from your area. (You can find this information at a historical society or museum.)

Second, host a “cupcake crawl” where you and a few fellow dessert lovers walk from bakery to café to ice cream parlor, tasting the sweets that make your city special! Finally, ask your friends, family and co-workers to vote for their top three favorite sights in your community and then plan to visit each site throughout the day by planning a Frisbee game at the first locale, a picnic at the second and a hike at the third.

Just Stay In
Who says you even need to go outside to enjoy your friends and family? If you’ve been working hard and want to enjoy a quiet day at home on Independence Day, stay inside and cook up a special patriotic meal! Or, test your loved one with a trivia game made up completely of questions about America’s history.

Finally, why not watch an Independence Day-themed movie like Born on the Fourth of July, National Treasure or Independence Day.

Read the Declaration of Independence
Discover the true reason for celebrating the Fourth of July by reading the Declaration of Independence. Gather your friends, family, and children and take turns reading aloud from this 236-year old document. Discuss what it meant for Americans in 1776, what it means to Americans today and what it means to you personally. This activity is sure to give you an Independence Day you will never forget!

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