Non-Traditional 4th of July Celebrations Everyone Will Love

by Erika Robertson
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The Fourth of July isn’t just a time to celebrate the birth of a nation. It’s also time to celebrate your loved ones and enjoy sweet moments at the barbecue and under the fireworks that will last forever in their minds.

And you’re certainly not alone. Research shows that 84% of Americans planned to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2022, and about the same can be expected this year. Many individuals engage in Independence Day festivities to celebrate freedom while enjoying traditional summer activities ranging from parades to baseball games and historical reenactments.

Your Independence Day this year doesn’t have to be like all the others, though. You can make your festivities with family and friends stand out from all the rest, making this July 4 a day to remember for all the right reasons. Let’s explore some not-so-traditional Fourth of July celebration that everyone in your party will love.

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1. Stargazing Soiree

Fireworks have long been synonymous with the Fourth of July, but switch things up this summer by replacing the fireworks show with a stargazing party. Pick a quiet space away from bright city lights, spread out comfy blankets on the grass, and take in the star-studded nighttime sky. You can even set up a “camping trip” to your own backyard. Use the stargazing activity to identify shooting stars, planets, and constellations.

Encourage your partygoers to wear the latest Fourth of July fashion, such as American flags or “Made in America” trucker hats, to infuse the event with patriotism. Serve hard seltzers or sparkling grape juice in American flag–themed tumbler cups, and bring starfruit and moon pies to give the soiree even more of a Fourth of July and celestial vibe.

2. Blast from the Past

“To the war, to the revolution!” Turn back the hands of time by surprising your loved ones with a Revolutionary War costume party this Fourth of July. Encourage your guests to dress up like Britsh soldiers and/or American Revolution historical figures — from Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington — to bring the past to life while adding your favorite Hamilton (2020) songs to the mix to add a modern twist.

Turn up the fun and host a costume contest! Make it known that you’re giving away a fun and unique gift basket prize full of American favorites and even some British store goods to the best dressed, funniest, and most thoughtful costume winners.

3. Bonfire Blast

Replace the fireworks and sparklers with a bonfire for a not-so-traditional commemoration of the Fourth of July. A yard bonfire is the perfect opportunity to share memories over roasted marshmallows and tell stories. Bonus points for introducing not-your-usual s’mores by replacing the traditional graham crackers, whole marshmallows, and milk chocolate with chocolate chip cookies, marshmallow fluff, and dark chocolate for a sweet surprise.

4. Liberty-Themed Art Party

Brushes up! Make your Independence Day one to remember by inviting family, friends, and neighbors to a freedom art party. Establish an art station featuring brushes, paints, and canvases. Encourage all of your attendees to produce pieces of art inspired by liberty and what July 4th means to them. They can hang these pieces in their offices, bedrooms, or living rooms to keep the spirit of freedom and patriotism alive and front and center all year long.

5. Movie Mayhem

Grab the popcorn, lawn chairs, classic American movies, and a screen and projector for your first Independence Day movie night. The best movies to display beneath the stars celebrate resilience and freedom. Nostalgic films like 1996’s Independence Day, 2004’s National Treasure, and 2016’s Hidden Figures perfectly capture the Fourth of July Spirit. Independence Day is ideal for July 4th since it combines patriotism and action, and National Treasure is a must-see since it dives into America’s founding fathers and history. Hidden Figures is another excellent July 4th option since it pays homage to Black women’s contributions to the NASA space program.

pin on pinterst_ non traditional 4th of july celebrations

6. History Scavenger Hunt

Turn your Independence Day activity this year into a game that will keep your loved ones moving — and have fun doing it! Host a scavenger hunt where participants can explore your community for American history landmarks. Develop clues that will lead them to important sites like monuments, battlefields, and colonial houses. Share information about these special sites with those who successfully find them by leaving QR codes at the landmarks for them to scan. The codes can take them to websites offering details about the historical landmarks. This can be an excellent way to make history come alive and instill in your “hunters” a greater appreciation for the historical sites located right where they live.

7. Singing Sensation

Okie dokie, it’s time for karaoke! Make patriotic karaoke an exciting new tradition by surprising your loved ones with a karaoke station featuring blue, white, and red decorations like balloons, string lights, and streamers. Encourage your guests to sing classic tunes, anthems, and songs related to unity and freedom. Unforgettable American-themed tunes include Francis Scott Key’s The Star-Spangled Banner, Don McLean’s American Pie, and Miley Cyrus’s Party in the U.S.A. Award the best performer with a golden microphone trophy to end the event with a bang.

Add a Twist to the Fourth of July This Year

The Fourth of July is an excellent time to commemorate America’s birth and enjoy relaxation and fun with family and friends, but your Independence Day celebration this year doesn’t have to be conventional. Surprise your loved ones with an American-themed stargazing event, Revolutionary War costume party, art party, movie time, and more. Consider all the above-listed not-so-traditional Fourth of July surprises to honor the day in a unique way that loved ones will talk about for years to come.

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