We’ll be spending the Fourth of July in New York this year, visiting relatives. Usually, we’re camping at the beach during this holiday and I enjoy coming up with new patriotic menus to celebrate. Last year, we topped off our barbeque with red, white, and blue parfaits. I layered whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries in clear glass parfait cups– fast, easy, healthy, and a huge hit with the kids. Ice cream sundaes with red and blue sprinkles, flag cakes, berry pies – there’s something about the appealing colors of summer fruits that make desserts that much more fun.
If you are planning a barbeque this weekend, whether it’s in a local park, a campground, or in the apartment complex grilling area, use your imagination to come up with some creative ways to celebrate the Fourth. If your event includes children, organize some outdoor games (water balloon tosses, sack races, badminton, kickball, or my kids’ favorite, bocce). If it’s an adults-only party, celebrate with colorful mixed drinks.
This is the perfect time for a weekend getaway to a historic location. Find one in your area and visit – for the long weekend or even just for the day. You don’t have to be near Colonial Williamsburg to explore the nation’s history. From Roosevelt’s Little White House to the hauntingly beautiful Mesa Verde, you can explore the nation’s history in parks and historic sites across the country.
No matter how you decide to celebrate, the Fourth of July always ends with a bang – literally. From sparklers to professional displays, fireworks will be everywhere. Be sure to use safety precautions no matter where you’ll be when the cracks and pops begin to light up the sky. And don’t forget about your pets – all the noise (vibrations, and even the scent) can be very frightening for them. Be sure they have up-to-date tags just in case they get loose and take off (more pets are lost during this time of year than any other). Be sure they have a quiet place to escape to, and keep the TV on to blanket the noise outside.
Stay safe and have a happy Fourth!