Fireworks, parades, and … clam boils? Why not? July 4th is a time for familiar activities, but it can also be a time for recognizing that greatest of American traditions—change! These seven new traditions could make your Independence Day even more fun.
All You Can Eat
Every July 4th, Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island hosts a hot dog eating contest. We don’t recommend partaking in this, but what about a watermelon eating contest? Line up willing participants at a picnic table with plates of watermelon quarters, tell them to keep their hands behind their backs, and set a timer for two minutes. Even your vegan friends can get involved. Winner takes home a prize of your choice. One of which will not be indigestion.
Flag Fashion Show
Themed pet parties never cease to entertain. If your home is pet friendly, encourage your friends to bring their dogs—dressed up in patriotic costumes this July 4th!
All you need is a four-gallon pot with a fitted strainer (or three-gallon pot without a strainer). Add a few pounds of clams, chicken sausage (minimally processed, nitrite free), fresh corn, potatoes, onions, and Old Bay. You’ll have steaming cup of tradition to pass around in 20 minutes. Throw veggies in a pot of five quarts of water and three cups of clam juice for 10 minutes, then add clean clams, sausage, and shrimp for another eight minutes. Voila! A tradition of the Northeast birthplace of our constitutional rights is ready to be consumed.
Budget-Friendly Ring Toss
Got athletic friends? Gather 10 inflatable rings and set up an old broomstick in the yard. Every time someone misses a ring toss, they must perform five burpees, 10 push-ups, or 20 bicycles to get back in the game. Tossing the rings from small groups will give everyone a chance to cheer and sweat. Once a few winners have been narrowed, they can go head-to-head.
Note: This can also be done with official ring toss gear, Mr. Fancy Pants.
July 4th Community Scavenger Hunt
Invite your neighbors to join you in a little community scavenger hunt. Create prizes and clues ahead of time that will lead the teams from one yard to the next or, if you live in a city, to different neighborhood hot spots. Winner gets an Uncle Sam hat!
Vogue Like Lady Liberty
What do foam fingers, colonial mustaches, flags, bandanas, and top hats have in common? Predictablity? Nope. They’re props for your home photobooth! For $55, Spark Booth photo software is totally hands-free and self-sufficient. Set it up, walk away, and encourage your friends to get silly!
There’s the sparkly ones, the star-spangled ones, and then the big loud finale. Don’t forget about the screaming children and barely enough space to take a deep breath. This year, take a break from the July 4th fireworks madness and host a projection movie in your backyard. Jaws (set over July 4th), The Patriot, and Independence Day are natural choices.
What are your favorite July 4th traditions? Leave a comment and let us know.