Fourth of July Bucket List for Families

Families, it’s time to break out the barbeque and set your sights on the stars – the Fourth of July is here! Make this Independence Day one to remember with a family bucket list of activities and memories you can enjoy together. From backyard picnics to neighborhood parades, find your perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday!

Here are some ideas for your family bucket list:

  • Backyard picnic
  • Neighborhood parade
  • Fireworks show
  • Outdoor movie night
  • Family game night
  • Star-gazing


Are you looking for eternal family fun over the Fourth of July? Celebrate the start of summer in style with a Fourth of July bucket list! Make the most out of your patriotic festivities this summer by holding your own epic family activities and traditions. From small DIY projects that require little supplies to all-day expansive experiences, there’s something for every kind of family in this guide. Get ready to have some serious fun over the 4th, and make this your best summer yet! Let’s check out our fourth of July bucket list for families:

Ideas for Outdoor Activities

As you plan your Fourth of July outdoor activities, be sure to consider the ages of everyone in your family. If some members are quite young or have limitations from age or health issues, plan accordingly so that everyone can have a great time. Here are just a few ideas for outdoor activities to get you started:

  • Picnics are always a great way to enjoy the outdoors together as a family. Pack sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Bring along games such as badminton or horseshoes and you’ll have an afternoon filled with fun and laughter!
  • If you want to explore nature more deeply, go on a hike through the woods or in your local park – work together as a team and explore the sights around you. You can even bring along a bag full of treats such as trail mix and energy bars!
  • Take some time to relax out in nature by taking a leisurely kayak ride downriver or playing in the water with inflatable floats, little boats or toy sailboats. Being close to nature is one of the best benefits of outdoor activities; take advantage of it!
  • Head out into your backyard or local sports field for some ultimate Frisbee matches – get competitive with multiple games, inter-family contests and tournaments for ultimate bragging rights! You can even have teams each customized by different family members’ clothes and accessories – however much (or little!) you want.
  • Make it an enjoyable adventure with scavenger hunts – hide small items throughout your area such as coins, paper clips, erasers etc., provide clues for everyone involved so that everyone can join in while they look for them together. The winsome who finds all items first wins!

Ideas for Indoor Activities

If the weather isn’t cooperating or you’d like to break up a full day of outdoor activities, there are plenty of holiday-themed ideas for indoor activities. Whether it’s solving a Fourth of July-inspired puzzle, tuning in for a special storytime reading, or whipping up some festive treats in the kitchen, celebrate in style and make memories with your family.

Indoor Activities:

  • Fourth of July jigsaw puzzle: Get a jump on the holiday by piecing together an age-appropriate puzzle with your kids. If a jigsaw puzzle isn’t an option, try sorting through photos of family members enjoying past Independence Day celebrations.
  • Family movie night: Embrace the spirit of America’s birthday with classic films such as “Independence Day,” “1776,” or “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Alternatively, watch a politically themed documentary or show. Pop some popcorn and make it a marathon!
  • Audio book listening session: Snuggle up as you listen to stories about American history and war veterans read aloud. A variety of titles suitable for younger children and adults are available from libraries and eBooks retailers such as Amazon Kindle or
  • Summertime recipe bakeoff: Invite friends to join in on the fun by creating sweet confections (with adult supervision when necessary!). Incorporate red, white, and blue foods into recipes to add extra pizazz – think blueberry muffins with white chocolate chips topped off with strawberries!

Ideas for Fireworks Displays

For many families, the Fourth of July is a time to relax and enjoy some of the best that summer has to offer. A fireworks display is one of the most popular traditions associated with the holiday. No matter your budget or size of your family, there are plenty of options for at-home displays. Here are some ideas for creating a memorable sparkler show:

  • Small family displays
    • A common at-home choice with lots of sparkle and an impressive amount of light thanks to its small size. Small city ordinances will often limit the size and type fireworks you can buy, but this kind averages between 1 – 4 shells per package, making it a great option for intimate gatherings in many locations.
    • Roman candles
    • Fountains
    • Sparklers
    • Fire crackers
    • Bottle rockets
  • Medium family displays
    • Often referred to as “consumer grade” fireworks, these usually limit all activated pyrotechnics to lower total amounts (as much as 40% less in mass) than professional grade shells. These choices tend to be between 1 – 8 shells purchased in multiples packages that fit within an approved weight range from state or local fire codes. As always check local regulations when purchasing these mid range options:
    • Ore Rockets
    • Variety Packages
    • Mines and Shells
  • Large family displays
    • For large gatherings consider professional grade devices. With four gallons or more Shell weight, this kind is legal for consumer use in select areas (again be sure to comply with all laws). You should also use caution and never operate any pyrotechnic evidence without proper safety precautions such as protective eyewear and gloves – even if you’re just lighting up sparklers! Pro Grade Fireworks include:
    • Large Shells & Comets
    • Multi Break Shells/Cycles

Ideas for Festive Foods

The Fourth of July is a fantastic excuse to gather around the table and enjoy a festive feast with your loved ones. Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or holding a large backyard barbecue, there are plenty of options to tantalize everyone’s taste buds. Here are some fun, family-friendly ideas for Fourth of July food:

  • Classic dishes: Celebrate the day with classic American dishes like cheeseburgers and hot dogs, or anything you would typically find at a summer cookout. Potato salad and coleslaw also make perfect accompaniments for grilled meats and seafood.
  • Fourth of July themed foods: Show off your creative side with festive Fourth of July themed food. Consider adding star shaped confetti sprinkles to cake balls, using berries to make an American flag shaped fruit platter, and making red, white, and blue popsicles that are sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike.
  • Summer favorites: Take advantage of the seasonal flavors by bringing in light summer favorites like grilled vegetables like zucchini, asparagus and peppers. A refreshing fruit salad is always welcome too! Another option is grilling fruits such as pineapples and peaches for dessert-worthy fare that’s sure to please everyone’s palate. Ice cream sandwiches are always an easy way to end the meal on a delectable note.
  • Have Fun!: Above all else remember that whatever you choose should be fun will add special memories to your celebration! With these suggestions as inspiration there’s no limit to the delicious possibilities for enjoying time together around the table this holiday!

Ideas for Patriotic Decorations

Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity for family bonding, filled with games, barbeques and good memories. To make this holiday even more special, consider bringing in decorations that will help you and your family appreciate your country even more. Below are just some ideas for how you can bring patriotic decorations into your home:

  • Colored streamers: Red, white and blue is always a popular combination when it comes to Fourth of July celebrations, so why not bring that color theme inside? Look for red, white and blue streamers so everyone in the community can admire your festive abode.
  • Patriotic flags: Whether made out of fabric or paper, these flags are a fun way to spruce up any spot. Try placing them on windows or walls around the house!
  • Balloons: White balloons with red and blue accents look great when placed outside around porches and patios. You can also place colorful stars with red letters spelling out America inside each balloon!
  • Homemade signs: Make use of wood veneers or card stock paper to create signs such as “Happy 4th,” or “Freedom’s Talkin’.” These decorations are easy enough to make whether by yourself or with your loved ones – also making sure they last through multiple holidays.

Ideas for Family Games

When planning a Fourth of July celebration with kids, an array of fun activities can help keep everybody entertained throughout the day. Whether in the backyard or at a nearby park or beach, your family can have a blast playing all kinds of classic games that are easy to set up and all ages can enjoy!

Outdoor Games

  • Disc Golf: This game is just like traditional golf except it uses frisbees instead of golf balls. It’s especially fun in an outdoor environment, where you can create interesting paths and obstacles with natural objects around you.
  • Cornhole: This game is similar to horseshoes but much simpler to play. Just set up two boards on either end of the lawn (or wherever) and try to land bean bags into holes that are cut out from the boards.
  • 4 Square: A playground favorite for decades, this game requires 4 square boxes created by 4 players. If playing without equipment, mark out the boxes with sidewalk chalk instead!
  • Water Balloon Toss: Classic water balloon toss is the perfect party activity for hot July days! Teams divide up and stand back far enough apart so that as one partner lets go of their water balloon half way, their teammate has time to catch it before it hits the ground!

Indoor Games

  • Guess Who?: This beloved guessing game takes a classic spin on charades and helps play with logic – ultimately trying find the person your opponent has selected.
  • Charades: This guess who is speaking classic works great when split into teams—ideally with adults vs children! (You might make teams before hand so that everyone involved gets some family time)!
  • Pictionary: Divide into teams or draw by turns while teammates think up hilariously creative ideas in order to describe what is being drawn on a card. Play until every card has been covered or until someone declares victory!
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide items secretly around your house for guests to race off and collect following clues – this classic childhood party quencher offers hours of entertainment if done right!

Closing Thoughts

This Fourth of July, take some time to enjoy the company of family and friends with activities that are sure to create lasting memories. Explore the outdoors, fire up the grill, watch a parade, or just sit around a campfire and catch up on conversations you don’t get to have any other time of the year.

Don’t forget to join in with your local festivals or town parades and check out what kind of events are happening in your area—there may be fireworks shows or music concerts that make fun additions to the traditional holiday fun! After all is said and done, give thanks for our independence and remember all those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

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