You can still have a fun celebration while social distancing!

By Emily VanSchmus
June 30, 2020
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Fourth of July celebrations will look a bit different this summer due to social distancing guidelines, but there are still plenty of fun ways to celebrate. While large neighborhood block parties and city-wide fireworks shows are likely a no-go this year, you can still have an Independence Day party with your immediate family members or the people you live with. Have a small Fourth of July barbecue in the back yard, decorate your home in red, white, and blue, and make all the patriotic foods and desserts your family can eat. 

Our fun (and free) bingo card is easy to download and print, and it’ll help you check off all these classic activities. Shoot for four in a row, or go all out for independence day and check off all 16 items on the list.

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1. Make a Red, White, and Blue Dessert 

If apple pie is the most American food you can make, these red, white, and blue desserts are a close second. Whip up a Fourth of July Cookie Pizza or try our classic Flag Cake, decorated in red raspberries and blueberries. Dress your desserts up even more with these red, white, and blue serving ideas.

2. Watch Fireworks 

Did you know that fireworks have been used to celebrate the holiday since 1777? They were used on the very first anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and they’ve been a staple ever since. This year, try streaming a virtual fireworks display at home. 

Credit: Blaine Moats

3. Make an Apple Pie

Apple pie is about as American as it gets (there’s a reason we use the phrase ‘as American as apple pie’), and our Easy Deep-Dish Apple Pie recipe is the perfect addition to any Independence Day celebration, no matter how small. If you’re feeling creative, take inspiration from these patriotic pie toppings for the ultimate dessert.

4. Have a Barbecue 

If you’re missing the annual neighborhood potluck, make it a family affair instead! Our favorite Fourth of July recipes will make cooking for two or four just as fun. Throw a few burgers on the grill and spend the afternoon playing fun backyard games with the family. 

Credit: Carson Downing

5. Grill Hot Dogs 

Nothing says ‘Happy Independence Day’ like a few hot dogs on the grill and a cold drink in hand. If you’re looking for ways to dress up your classic dogs, try one of these 21 delicious topping ideas. Don’t forget to buy buns before the celebration! 

6. Learn About American History

Of course, the Fourth of July is about celebrating America, but do you know the true history behind the holiday? Before you light the grill and dig in to your red, white, and blue desserts, read up on these facts about the Fourth of July.

7. Make a Fourth of July Craft

If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids busy on the big holiday, prepare a few fun Fourth of July crafts the day before. Make red, white, and blue pinwheels or set out our free Fourth of July coloring pages for a quick and easy activity for little ones. 

8. Display the American Flag

If putting up the American flag is part of your Independence Day decorating, make sure you’re displaying the flag properly. For example, the blue and white portion should always be closest to the flag staff, and if the flag is hung on the wall, the blue portion should be on the upper right side. 

Credit: Blaine Moats

9. Eat Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the most quintessential summer foods, so it’ll fit right in with your Fourth of July food spread. Of course, you can serve it in classic slices, but there are dozens of other ways to prepare it. Try our Watermelon Berry Lemonade, serve a Watermelon-Mint Salad, or mix up a Watermelon Sherbet Shake

10. Have a Picnic

While we don’t recommend large gatherings of family or friends, a picnic is a relatively safe way to enjoy time together outdoors. Follow these expert tips for having a safe picnic during the pandemic, like staying six feet apart and packing individually-wrapped meals.

Credit: Marty Baldwin

11. Eat Ice Cream

Making homemade ice cream is a classic summer tradition, which makes it a perfect addition to any Fourth of July celebration. Whip up these irresistible ice cream treats, or try your hand at a cold batch of fresh-churned homemade ice cream

12. Light Sparklers

If you don’t want to shoot off your own fireworks (or if they’re not legal in your neighborhood), grab a box of sparklers instead. They’re a fun way to celebrate without all the noise and explosions of the real deal. Of course, they should only be used with adult supervision, and you’ll want to be sure to have a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby. If you’re looking for something a bit more kid-friendly, try these safe firework alternatives instead. 

Credit: Matt Clark

13. Play Outdoor Games 

These fun and creative backyard games will make even the smallest of gatherings feel like a classic Independence Day celebration. Before the big day, put together a few easy DIY outdoor games, or consider making your own cornhole boards for the family to enjoy all summer long. 

14. Spend Time with Family

No matter what you do to celebrate, the Fourth of July is best spent with family. Gather your crew and do your favorite summer activities together: Go for a bike ride, play games in the backyard, and grill dinner together. 

Credit: Jason Donnelly

15. Decorate in Red, White, and Blue

Get in the holiday spirit by decorating your home in red, white, and blue. Make a DIY bandana wreath or paper planter rockets to dress up your front porch, or add painted stars to your back yard for an extra festive backyard grill-out.

16. Go on a Bike Ride

You might not be able to ride through the annual Fourth of July parade, but you can still decorate your bikes and ride through the neighborhood. Grab red, white, and blue streamers and pinwheels and set off on a fun family bike ride.

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