Americans have long celebrated the Fourth of July by gathering with friends and family for a day full of parades, barbecues, and fireworks. However, Independence Day traditions are looking a bit different this year due to social distancing in the time of COVID-19. Before you throw in the towel on having a fun weekend with people, try these socially distant Fourth of July activities that will still create a sense of togetherness!
Stage a Socially Distant Cookout in Your Neighborhood
You might not be able to invite all of your usual guests over for an Independence Day barbecue due to COVID-19, but just because you can’t host everybody in your backyard doesn’t mean you have to cancel the festivities. Have your neighbors prepare and plate their own food in their own homes, and then gather from a safe distance in front yards, a nearby park, or cul-de-sac to eat. The big backyard spectacle will be missed, but it can always return next year. Until then, make the most of your main meal with a socially distant cookout.
Take Advantage of Technology When You Can’t Travel
If you normally travel to visit friends or family for the Fourth of July (or vice versa), turn to technology if the trip isn’t possible this year. You can always use, Facebook Messenger, Duo, Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime, or Skype to talk and catch up. If you want a more interactive call, play Scattegories, charades, or Pictionary over video.
Learn Something New from U.S. History
Over multiple centuries, so many events have happened and countless men and women have made lasting impacts on our nation. There are a number of ways you can learn about these people, places, and defining moments. Pick out a President you know nothing about and do a little reading. Find a documentary about a war you’re unfamiliar with. Study up on landmark Supreme Court cases. Make a commitment to learn something new. In the words of David McCullough, “history is who we are and why we are the way we are.” It’s important to know our history so we can learn from it and make the future brighter for everyone.
See Some Fireworks
After the grilling, swimming, and time spent together, you can’t end Independence Day without taking in fireworks. While many big cities have canceled their large festivals, concerts, and celebrations, some smaller communities and suburbs are continuing the festivities with extra precautions. Be sure to run a search to see the status of your city’s firework displays. If you live somewhere where the show has been canceled, search and find virtual shows you can watch instead. While it’s not quite the same, the explosions of color are still a sight to behold on a nice TV! If you have young children, you can buy sparklers and small fireworks to have your own show. Just make sure to follow all the included safety instructions.