Originally published on Inquirer.net
By Camille Conopio
You could be traveling to another state, coming home to your hometown, eating out, or simply staying in for some peace and quiet while embracing the freedom and liberation you enjoy today. Here’s how you can liven up this holiday with family and friends:
Tumbling streams and rivers, towering waterfalls, sounds of nature, and lush forests will definitely make you feel grounded and blessed. Being surrounded by the magnificent natural wonders is beyond rewarding, but nothing beats embracing the feel of freedom when you reach the peak of your climb. Check out 4th of July hike trails and tour packages, or come up with something your friends can enjoy as a group.
How about a patriotic picnic with family and friends? Hit the beach, drive to a nearby town (maybe to one of your relatives’ or friends’), join a community fundraising activity, or simply kick back in a beloved park in town with your homemade meals that everyone will love.
If you prefer an exciting way of being in the outdoors, go on a food trip, attend parades, or join in some events held outdoors. Not only will this be a great opportunity for everyone to socialize and have new experiences, but you’ll also get to enjoy a fun day under the summer sun.
There’s nothing as magical as a 4th of July fireworks display. Pyrotechnic shows only get better every year and many revelers look forward to a night of surprise and appreciation as the dark skies light up! Top that with some feel-good music, bonfires, and some good food too. Maybe you’ve been coming down to the public square or a usual spot every year where you can view this exciting display, but how about giving it a fresh twist: take the train, a bus, drive, or fly for a quick 4th of July trip and look forward to a new fireworks show in a different state. Prior to booking a hotel for a staycation, check out if they have a roof deck for parties so you get as close to the action as you can; go on a dinner or sunset cruise and take in the views for a new perspective.
There is definitely no place like home! Invite family or friends over for some backyard barbecuing and drinks. It could be like a picnic too except everyone gets to enjoy it within the comforts of an outdoor setting. To make it even more fun, prepare your house specialty as the host while encouraging each of your guests to contribute their own home-cooked meals — this potluck party is a wonderful opportunity to share cooking secrets and tips with each other while enjoying conversations over your small feast.
While a big screen, state-of-the-art sound system, and la-Z-y boy seats may indeed sound irresistible, watching patriotic movies on Independence Day from your own living room, with friends, with the privilege of grabbing cold drinks from the fridge, having your favorite pizzas delivered, and freshly made popcorn made is even better! You don’t have to worry about driving home late at night because, let’s face it, everyone loves post-party stayovers without having to worry about the drive home. What’s one night to indulge in some good ol’ get-togethers with loved ones, right?
Whichever way you wish to celebrate this year’s 4th of July, it’s all about reliving the history and beauty of the today’s freedoms. Who says you can’t respect the actions of your historic ancestors without mixing in some safe and responsible fun?