The American Revolution didn’t just give us liberty, it gave us a 3-day weekend. When the Fourth of July rolls around I always have to ask myself the very important question: To barbecue or not? Hamburgers, hotdogs, shishkabob–I invite family and friends over for an afternoon of good eats and for the local fireworks that blaze in the night air sent up by the city from the highschool parking lot that is right behind my house. Beside mosquitoes, the chance of rain, and a possible run on charcoal at the supermarket, you really can’t beat it.
These are some other ideas on how to spend your Fourth of July weekend.
1. Take a camping trip with family or friends. It’s a great way to relax, fish, and get back to nature. Check the National Park Service’s website at www.nps.gov for information about parks and camping grounds in your area. Just make sure to bring along mosquito repellent and a cell phone. If you have a family and a camping trip is too much effort, try a backyard campout. Sit around and roast marshmallows, make smores, tell scary stories, wield flashlights like Jedi knights, and then kick back for the fireworks.
2. Go to the shore. If you live anywhere within driving distance to a beach, it’s a great place to spend a long holiday weekend. Walk the boardwalk, go on amusement rides, and just lay all your cares away on the sand. And you’ll get to enjoy the fireworks at night, which come alive near the ocean. You’ll need flipflops and lots of sunblock.
3. Spend a romantic 3-day weekend together with your significant other. Book a nice hotel, maybe even with a spa (can you feel the full body mud-wrap). Shop at the local shops, hold hands, dine fancy, and watch the sunset go down.
4. Go to a Fourth of July baseball game. There’s something electric about celebrating Independence Day among thousands of other people. I’m lucky because I live close to Philadelphia, and the Fourth of July at a Phillies game is like a slice of heaven. Even if the Phillies lose, the fireworks are sure to burst brightly and dazzlingly in the night sky. Check the Major League Baseball website for times and schedules at www.mlb.com. If you don’t have a Major League team in the area, maybe there’s a Minor League team, whose fans tend to be just as enthusiastic (check at www.minorleaguebaseball.com)
5. If you have kids, a 3-day weekend of fun and games would be just the ticket. Try paintball, go-karts, and the arcades, or go all out and visit a waterpark or adventure/theme park. You can even go for a little bit of culture and learning at a museum that’s fun for kids (the Franklin Institute is a great choice if you live near Philadelphia). Aquariums and petting zoos can also be quite the learning experience.
6. Finally, if you are within driving distance to Washington, D.C., think about a trip to our nation’s capitol, especially if you haven’t been there yet. You can visit the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence. It is an awesome sight to see in person, the very document that laid the groundwork for American Democracy. And heck, while you are there, visit the rest of the monuments dedicated to our freedom.
To barbecue or not? No matter what you choose do this holiday weekend, the Fourth of July is a chance for you to have fun, relax, and get reacquainted with your family, all while celebrating the Independence of this great country of ours.