Looking for some last-minute, family-friendly ideas for celebrating Independence Day?
Holidays have a tendency to sneak up on me. I always feel like I have plenty of time to plan some creative ways to celebrate and then BAM, it's here.
I have come to realize the best way to celebrate any holiday is to truly give your family your undivided attention for the day, the rest of the decorating, baking, and prepping is just frosting on the cake.
Here's to keeping things simple, friends...
10 EASY Last-Minute Ideas for Celebrating Independence Day
This is a busy mom's quick-guide to simple fun. Below are ten EASY ways to enjoy the holiday without going over the top.
1. Bring on the simple holiday snacks.
I admit I get overwhelmed with the crazy, complex, holiday party snacks out there on Pinterest. Keep it simple.
Find playful ways to make the day festive without going over the top. For example...
Place a square container of blueberries in the left-hand corner of a cookie sheet (cut off the plastic lid). Then create red and white stripes with rows of alternating strawberries and yogurt covered pretzels.
Simple. Healthy. Fun.
2. Get out the chalk.
Have the kids decorate the sidewalk, driveway, and walkways with stars. We love this free printable stencil from Inner Child Fun.
3. Dress for the occasion.
Scour the closets for anything red, white or blue. If you've got the time, make a quick run to Target or Old Navy. They always have cute and fairly inexpensive holiday gear for kids. Holidays are always more festive if you dress the part.
4. Decorate the bikes.
Join the local parade in showing your national pride *or* better yet... enlist the kids to participate in your own family parade. In other words, decorate the bikes and go for a ride around town.
I loved this festive perler beads idea from Willowday, but some simple dollar store flags or crate paper would be perfect, too!
5. Find a last-minute parade.
If you missed your local parade, go on a mini road trip. I can almost guarantee you'll find another parade later in the day somewhere nearby if you look online. Yes, yes, parades can be... boring, but sometimes it is just nice to be out of the house and celebrating this great country we live in with fellow Americans! Plus, the kids will love the free candy.
6. Get creative.
Check out this collection of eleven ideas from The Artful Parent. Many of these patriotic art projects use items you've likely got around the house already!
7. Make Independence Day slushies.
How cool is this holiday drink idea from Bitz & Giggles? I can imagine a few ways to make this adult-friendly, too!
8. Pick up some sparklers and pops.
If you're feeling creative, make these cardboard and duct tape star sparkler holders. If you're not, throw together a quick sparkler holder by punching a hole on the bottom of a plastic red Solo cup.
Your child sticks their hand in the cup and voilà, they're protected from stray sparks.
9. Make stove-top popcorn.
This is the one time of the year that we make popcorn on the stove-top. We fill an entire paper grocery bag full of fresh, overly-buttery popcorn to take with us to see the fireworks.
This is an old tradition from my own childhood that we've carried on. Here is the recipe for perfect popcorn. So good!
10. Find a way to enjoy fireworks.
This has meant a lot of different things to us over the years. One year it meant planting our lawn chairs in the front yard and watching the neighbor light fireworks.
Another year, it meant heading to the state park to quietly watch the fireworks from the top of the mountain.
This year, it means heading out to a local community event.
It can even mean something as simple as watching the movie The Sandlot and enjoying the Independence Day scene. Make it work for you.
Happy birthday America! Have fun celebrating friends.
PS: This post is dedicated to my good friend Tiffany over at Peanut Blossom, who always encourages me to embrace the holidays... even if it is last-minute.