30 Tips for a Happy 4th of July

30 tips for a happy 4th of july blog thumbnail

Ready to have a fun and happy 4th of July? Keep reading!

Red, white, and blue! It is that time of the year when you let patriotism shine. From fireworks to family-time, explore the best tips to ensure a happy 4th of July this year and every year. Here are my tried and tested best tips for July 4th that are fun for family or friends. Let’s get started! 

Independence Day is one of the most popular holidays observed in the United States. This federal holiday marks the Declaration of Independence being accepted on July 4th, 1776. Over the decades, it has become an occasion to spend time with friends and family and 87% of Americans celebrate 4th of July. This is partially because it’s a US bank holiday, and many employers give the day off. It’s also partially because the 4th of July is just a fun holiday in general.  

Are you the kind of person that wants to create the best holiday experiences for your loved ones? I see you and I know that it is no easy feat to make sure that everyone has an amazing time. That’s why I have listed a selection of thirty ideas that will help you deliver a successful and happy 4th of July celebration.

How much do 4th of July celebrations cost?

Trust me, a happy 4th of July event doesn’t come cheap but there are ways to minimize costs and stick to budget options that are just as great. The celebration costs a whopping $9.5 billion, and I am flabbergasted!

4th of July statistic: The US is expected to spend $9.5 billion on 4th of July celebrations this year. Blue background bears Net Pay Advance logo and brand name in white at the bottom center. Text says: 4th of July celebrations hit a total expenditure of $9.5 billion.

That’s a lot of money for one day!  

There’s a lot of hype around the 4th of July. If you ever find that you end up short on funds when July 5th rolls around, know that Net Pay Advance can help cover you until your next payday.  

 In this list, I have 30 affordable fun 4th of July activities to make your celebration sparkle while keeping your wallet happy.

30 tips for a happy 4th of July

These are some of my tried and tested tips for a superb 4th of July celebration and I hope you’re able to pick a few and enjoy them as well.

1. Conduct a family treasure hunt this 4th of July

Paper treasure hunt map with a hand-drawn compass on the top-left corner. Other elements like a mermaid, island with palm tree, a ship, coins, an anchor, and an orca are hand-drawn on it. There’s a dotted line to where an X marks the spot.

Who doesn’t like to retrieve treasure? Even grumpy aunt Marge will want to get into detective mode and solve clues. This is one my most favorite 4th of July games and you can even make it a patriotic themed event. Make a treasure map, leave clues all over your home or yard, split up into teams, and start the hunt. The winner, or winning team, walks away with a special prize!

2. Make patriotic DIY decor

Festive 4th of July decor. A hand holding a wreath made up of red, white, and blue flowers.

Yes, you can buy patriotic decor for your home, but you can also have a wonderful time doing some DIY projects with your friends or family. I love freedom decor and it is one of my must-haves for a happy 4th of July party. Creating themed decor with friends and family is a terrific way to kick-start 4th of July activities.

3. Patriotic platter for the foodies

Ice-cream and popsicles in red, white, and blue hues. Two miniature American flags are added on the top of the ice cream.

Don’t you just love themed food? You can never go wrong with it. The internet is a massive resource when it comes to food ideas. From popsicles to desserts, there is so much to play around with. Did you know that 41% of Americans serve ice cream on 4th of July? A happy 4th of July celebration always has great food options and curating the perfect patriotic platter is among my top 4th of July activities.

4. Enjoy Fireworks

Brilliant 4th of July fireworks display against the night sky.

I can’t really make a 4th of July activities list without including fireworks. 65% Americans say that fireworks are at the top of their 4th of July activities list. When it comes to fireworks, you could see if there are large group events in your area, or you could consider setting off your own fireworks display at home.  

If you choose the latter, have fun enjoying fireworks while practicing safety. On average each year, there’s about 10,200 people that go to the ER for 4th of July firework-related injuries, and about 38% of them are burns.  Have a blast with fireworks but do it safely. Check out some of these tips to keep 4th of July safe.

A large educational 4th of July Firework Safety sheet. Several do’s and don’t when lighting fireworks. Some include do confirming what types of are legal in your area, having a bucket of water or garden hose nearby, not allowing children to play with fireworks, not lighting off more than one firework at a time, and more. There’s a few statistics, including that 10,2000 people go to the ER for 4th of July firework injuries, and that 38% of the injuries are burns. There’s a pictograph showing the common places on the body people are injured by fireworks, with percentages for each. This is just above a reminder that sparklers are often an unknown danger because they burn about 2,000°F and cause about 1,100 ER visits. At the bottom, there’s pet tips to keep your pet safe for 4th of July. The graphic is red, white, and blue, with plenty of firework imagery. The Net Pay Advance logo is in the bottom left corner.

5. Indulge in pool or lake 4th of July activities

Six people having fun in a pool with several floatable tubes, smiling and waving at the camera.

I have a lot of fun at the lake with my family on most sunny days. If you have access to a pool, you can make a day out of it. There are plenty of water-based 4th of July games for all different ages and abilities. My family always loves a good pool floatie race!

6. Hold a pie-eating contest

Kids participating in a pie-eating contest on the 4th of July. Young child eats pie off of a plate without using his hands while two other children look up from their pies and at the first kid.

Add pie-eating contest to your 4th of July games list. Get a bunch of mini pies and watch your loved ones attack them with gusto! The winner wins a prize and of course, bragging rights!

7. Dress up for the occasion

A grey cat prances wearing a patriotic tank top and tutu on the 4th of July. He runs against a blurry background of American flags.

Go all out and dress up in your best patriotic outfit. Involve your kids and pets too! The best dressed person or pup wins a treat.

8. Challenge your friends to freedom trivia 4th of July games

Group of people raising their arms jubilantly around a table that holds drinks, chips, and a smartphone. Trivia is an excellent 4th of July game. They’re playing a game of freedom trivia.

Brush up on your knowledge about our great country and have a trivia event with your loved ones. When looking for competitive 4th of July games or 4th of July activities, freedom trivia is an easy pick.

9. Bake with the littles

An adult pours a liquid into a bowl containing flour as a young child mixes it and a second child looks at it. They’re baking 4th of July treats together.

For me, a happy 4th of July involves the littles in my family. That’s why I encourage you to do the same when planning 4th of July activities. If you have young kids or teens, this might be a great bonding experience. You could even do it with other adults. Spend quality time creating magic out of your oven!

10. Make tie-and-dye freedom shirts

A white shirt with red and blue tie-dye lies on a table that holds several cans of dye and painting tools.

I love a good tie-dye project! It is always a fun activity to do with friends or family. Include it on your 4th of July activities itinerary and create some patriotic freedom shirts!

11. Have a cookout or barbecue

A youth attempting to rearrange food on a grill using tongs while a second person offers direction.

I love cookouts where you get to have your family and friends over. It sure involves some planning but overall, it is so worthwhile putting in the effort. People across America indulge in great food as part of their 4th of July traditions with 66% serving burgers, 64% serving hotdogs, and 50% serving corn on the cob. Some of my best memories are from joyful and happy 4th of July family gatherings that include good food!  Why waste a perfect opportunity to have some?  

Did you know that 47% of families serve chicken, 42% serve ribs, 32 serve kebabs, and 31% serve sausage or bratwurst on 4th of July? If you’re among the 70% of Americans who own a grill or smoker, this is your time to shine!

A large educational 4th of July Grill Out Safety and Statistic sheet. Several statistics including 68% of Americans prefer to have a grill out, barbecue, or picnic on the 4th of July, 70% of Americans own a grill or a smoker, consumers spend about $7.7 billion on food for 4th of July etc. There are safety pointers including never using propane or charcoal grill indoors, ensure your grill isn‘t close to your home or other flammable items, clean your grill regularly, and don‘t leave the grill unattended. The graphic is red, white, and blue, with some firework imagery along with grill, beer, and spatula imagery. The Net Pay Advance logo and brand name is at the top.

12. Plan a picnic or weekend getaway

Two adults and two young children having a picnic outdoors.

Did you know that 68% of Americans prefer 4th of July activities to include a grill out, barbeque, or picnic? Plan a picnic with your loved ones or take off for the weekend depending on what works best for you. If you’re looking for food ideas for a picnic, remember that 28% of Americans serve potato salad, 28% serve grilled pizza, 27% serve coleslaw, 26% serve grilled vegetables, and 15% serve seafood on 4th of July.

13. Attend a 4th of July parade

A happy 4th of July parade. Two horses with red, white, and blue accents on their hooves and coat are being rode on a street by two people wearing flag-print shirts while carrying an American flag each. There are spectators at the side of the road.

I am a sucker for parades. From St. Patty’s Day to Thanksgiving, I have them all mapped out. Find out if there’s one close to you or within a reasonable distance. I promise you’ll love it as you have a happy 4th of July.

14. Check out local 4th of July events

Man carries child on his shoulders against a background of crowd and tents.

Depending on where you live, you can have a super fun and happy 4th of July experience at a local event. It is always great to see the community come together to celebrate a holiday.

15. Create thoughtful patriotic party favors

Platter of 4th of July soaps tied with blue and white string. The soap is red, white and blue and makes for a fun 4th of July party favor.

If you’re having friends and family over, it might be a good idea to send them home with a little something. I’m into handmade soaps and candles. You can try other things such as patriotic baked goods or potpourri. Dress up your favors in the freedom colors to make them themed.

16. Organize a 4th of July game championship in the yard

Group of people playing 4th of July games, such as cornhole. They’re playing on a terrace yard which also holds patio furniture. Inside, there’s a ping-pong table.

Like to spend time outdoors? Set up yard games and challenge your friends and family to compete in a happy 4th of July games contest. A cornhole competition is an easy game to consider.

17. Thank a veteran

Group of men in decorated in military uniforms.

Remember to express your gratitude to the brave people who spent their lives protecting us and defending our rights. Write a card to a veteran or thank them in person.

18. Do a good deed

Two hands holding a white badge that says volunteer in black text.

Fun and frolic aside, the 4th of July could be an opportunity to give back to your community. Donate to your nearest shelter or food bank. Volunteer at an animal shelter. There are always scores of areas that need help.

19. Go on a hike or bike ride

Back view of four people looking at mountains from a cliff.

This one is for those who love to combine their love for fitness with their love for the outdoors. Go on a hike or bike ride with your friends or family and be one with nature. Use the day to discover the beauty of America.

20. Come together for a 4th of July block party

Several adults and children playing outdoors with bubbles of various sizes and shapes for a 4th of July party.

Band together with your borough’s best and throw an epic block party. It is a great way to get to know the people you live by and have a fun day with food, conversations, 4th of July games – all the hallmarks of a happy 4th of July celebration.

21. Go camping

Collection of camping tents in the scenic outdoors.

My outdoorsy friends tell me that camping with their loved ones is how they make the best memories. If you’re going to add camping to your 4th of July activities, be prepared with food, supplies, a first-aid kit, bug spray, all of it. I haven’t tried out the great outdoors, but I’ve heard it’s great…depending on who you ask!

A large educational 4th of July Safety and Heat Risks sheet. Common head-related risks are listed out as heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and sunburn. More at-risk from heat populations are identified as older adults, young children, overweight people, people that don’t perspire naturally, people with medical conditions, and people on certain medications. Bottom half of the graphic offers tips for surviving the heat with imagery supporting each of them. They are listed as drink plenty of water throughout the day, avoid alcohol or caffeine or sugary drinks, wear loose and lightweight clothing in light colors, wearing UVA and UVB protective sunglasses, wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, avoid strenuous activity between 11am and 4pm, try to stay in the shade, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and accessorize with a brimmed hat. The Net Pay Advance logo and brand name is at the top.

22. Fly the American flag

An American flag set up on a porch.

What could be more patriotic than our star-spangled banner! Fly the American flag with pride and have a happy 4th of July.

23. Support small businesses

One hand giving away a fruit while another hand grabs to receive it. The fruit stand is in the middle of a farmers' market for local and small business.

If you’re going to be shopping, why not shop local? I try and buy from small businesses, especially for holidays. Quality products and great service always! If I want to have a happy 4th of July, I’d want my local business owners to have the same.

24. Host a 4th of July game night

Game pieces red on a table along with cards as a person sits across. Friends and family enjoy playing 4th of July games to celebrate the holiday.

As a board games enthusiast, I can’t recommend this enough. Take this weekend to host the ultimate happy 4th of July games championship with your family and friends.

25. Watch a movie

Outdoor screen and seating.

Popcorn, drinks, a patriotic movie, and awesome company. That’s all you need to turn a mundane evening into an epic movie night.

26. Send a care package to active-duty personnel

Person closing a care package with tape. They’ll send the package to active-duty military personnel.

Did you know that UPS offers free kits that you can send to service members at no additional cost? Seize this opportunity to send a loved one a package that reminds them of home.

27. Create freedom themes cocktails

Glass holding a drink with red, white, and blue hues, a black straw and a lemon slice on the edge. It’s a freedom themed cocktail perfect for 4th of July.

Why not make special drinks for the occasion? Think grenadine for red and curacao for blue. These patriotic drinks are bound to be a hit and make it a happy 4th of July special! Also, the 4th of July is the top beer-drinking holiday and about $3.9 billion is being spent on that day alone.  

As always, I strongly recommend practicing safe drinking practices because 39% of 4th of July road accidents are caused due to driving under influence. Ensuring friends and family get home safe will ensure you have the opportunity for happy 4th of July events for years to come.

28. Play a competitive 4th of July game of football

Several footballs covered held within a mesh net.

What says family more than a friendly (or not so friendly) game of flag football! Break into teams and may the best one win!

29. Visit historic places

Historic red brick building and clock tower.

If you’re able to take a trip to visit a place of historical significance, this might be the best weekend to do so. Make plans in advance and be sure to enquire about holiday hours and availability.

30. Shop clearances for next year

A shop with sales and a clearance section. Piles of clothing with large signs displaying 50% and 30% discounts.

Every smart shopper knows that seasonal items end up in clearance with massive discounts. That’s why shopping after a holiday is always an excellent way to prepare for the next year. From decor and party supplies to grilling kits, you’ll be amazed how much you can stock up on and save. Try stores in your area and look online for the best clearance selections.

Honorary 4th of July activities

Fly a kite!

Red, white, and blue flag flying against a cloudless sky.

This is more of an honorable mention, but I love flying kites when the weather permits. July is usually a great time for this and that’s why kite-flying could sneak into your list of 4th of July activities. Get yourself some kites and have a blast! Bonus points if you kites are patriotic like mine.

Host a karaoke night with patriotic songs

Black and white photo of two women enthusiastically singing patriotic karaoke songs. They are laughing and having a fun time.

This is another honorable mention, but who can resist singing along with songs like John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”? I recognize the night will likely devolve into singing along with Disney and Broadway classics, but you can start the night off right with several patriotic songs such as:

  • “Born in the USA”  
  • “Mr. Red White and Blue” 
  • “American Soldier” 
  • “Color Me America” 
  • “All-American Girl” 
  • “Made in America” 
  • “American Kids”  
  • “American Honey”  
  • “Party In the USA” 

Let freedom reign!

There you go! You have my fail-proof list of to-dos for a happy 4th of July celebration. This list has come in handy in the last several years and I hope you have similar experiences with it.  

Want more family-friendly summer content? Check out our latest video on the top 10 best summer activities for kids!

Youtube video thumbnail says "10 best summer activities for kids" A woman in a suit is on the left side of the text. Infront of the thumbnail is the YouTube red play button icon.

And as always, if you find you need some extra cash to cover an unexpected expense this holiday, or afterwards, Net Pay Advance online loans can help.  

I wish you a happy 4th of July!

Anna Reeve Net Pay Advance author headshot
Anna Reeve

As someone that spent a lot of time reading as a kid, I was deeply intrigued by the written word from an early age. My first full-time job post college was writing content for high-end fashion websites. Following my graduation from the MBA program at Pittsburg State University, I found employment in Marketing. For the last couple of years, I have been creating content on several platforms. I am a proud dog-mom to my black labs – Sky & Harry Potter (took fangirling to a whole new level there!), a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, a mediocre artist, and a reality TV addict.

Net Pay Advance is a licensed loan provider, locally owned and operated in Wichita, Kansas. Our No. 1 priority is helping you, the customer, by providing access to the cash you need and helping support financial independence goals with valuable, informational, and entertaining content. Stay up-to-date on our posts by following the Net Pay Advance Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Our organization is committed to transparency; learn more about our authors and editorial policy. The information provided within this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice. Please contact us if you have any questions.