Festive Family Ideas For The Fourth Of July

Independence Day is often the peak of summer celebrations—there are tons of happenings around Houston to enjoy—from fireworks to food and parades to performances.


Here are a few safe and entertaining ways to enjoy the holiday as a family—whether you stay home or are looking for a fun way to spend the day before heading to the fireworks.


Gather for games

Switch things up with a mix of indoor and outdoor games—from your family’s favorite board games to creative diversions, including:

  • Fourth of July Bingo and more creative challenges from Reader’s Digest

  • Water Snake and other games from Real Simple

  • Group games (PDF)  kids enjoy in YMCA summer programs and camps—try these at home or in the car if you’ll be travelling


Get crafty

Get into the spirit with kid-friendly craft projects. Heidi Brasher, district executive director of Youth Development for the Y suggests making a summer journal to celebrate the Fourth of July. “It’s a fun and creative way to engage kids.”


Heidi says you can make your own book by sewing paper together, and then filling with summer memories and ideas. “Use more pictures for younger kids—either photos you snap, or images from a magazine. Older kids can add in written ideas, too,” she says.


Try other handmade ideas like:


Whip up nutritious nosh

Have the kids help you prepare some healthy treats that the whole family can enjoy. Search for nutritious recipes in the online cookbook, @TheTable. Or, try:


Give back

Spend time together doing something that feels great—volunteering. Learn more about volunteering at the Y, or find a local charity like the Houston Food Bank to donate your time to helping others.


Skip the dangers of fire

Rather than risk injury putting on a private fireworks display , you can have fun putting together and then partying with handmade goodies, such as:


Have a blast at the Y

Most local Ys are open on July 4, but will close early to celebrate the holiday. Check your local Y schedule for hours to cool off in the pool, take a family-friendly group exercise class, or bring kids to Child Watch for age-appropriate arts and crafts entertainment while you squeeze in a workout.


No matter how you spend the holiday, Heidi suggests that families try to build in moments of play, encourage learning and just be together to enjoy the day. Happy Fourth of July!