It's the Fourth of July. If you haven't got big plans yet, it's not too late to make some.
If you're still trying to decide exactly how to spend the holiday, don't sweat it because we've got you covered with a list of fun things to do on the Fourth of July guaranteed to please just about everyone in your crew.
From fitting in a little retail therapy to making star-spangled crafts with the kids, our list of July 4 activities will have everyone joining in to celebrate the good ol' U.S. of Yay this year.
Attend a festival
From coast to coast, cities across the country host all kinds of celebrations in honor of the Fourth of July, with some falling on the actual day and others are held the weekend before or after. Choose a festival near you and enjoy a day or two of events, music, food and good fun.
Shop 'til you drop
If you've got time to kill before the big fireworks display, why not take advantage of Fourth of July sales and deals? Many retailers are open for business on the holiday (though they may have modified hours, so always check first) and there's nothing like a little retail therapy to help get you in the spirit of the summer season.
Go to the movies
They don't call 'em "summer blockbusters" for nothing. Some of the year's best movies debut in theaters over the Fourth of July weekend, so grab a bucket of popcorn, your best pals and see a film on the big screen. If the weather's miserable, make it a matinee. But if the sun is shining, pack up the car and take the family to the drive-in.
Seeing as the Fourth of July is about celebrating stars and all, why not spend a night or two under 'em? Whether you set up a tent in the backyard or go to an official campground, take in the sights and sounds of our country in the great outdoors. Even if you're the sort who prefers a plush hotel bed to sleeping bags, you can still have a campfire, tell ghost stories and watch for shooting stars without even sleeping under the stars.
Use the holiday to give back. Find a volunteer opportunity online, at your church or in your community. Even if it's just lending a hand to your neighbor, helping out is always appreciated. Go it alone or ask friends and family to join you in volunteering time this year.
Make red, white and blue treats
A Fourth of July cookout isn't complete until the flag cake is served. Or the strawberry shortcake. Or the ice cream cake. Want to skip the slicing and serving altogether? Go with a less-mess Fourth of July dessert, like festive and fruity popsicles.
Host a hot dog eating contest
Give Joey Chestnut a run for his money this Fourth of July. Grill a bunch of hot dogs and see who can eat the most during a set time. A friendly reminder: You don't want anyone to spoil the fun, so tell them to take it easy.
If you're wondering if there are fireworks near you, there probably are! On the off chance that there aren't any, you can always watch some on TV or take matters into your hands by picking up fireworks at the store, depending depending on which state you live in. Even a pack of sparklers will help make your celebration feel more festive.
Try a new restaurant
Not all restaurants are open on July Fourth, but the ones that are will definitely appreciate your business. Do some homework and find somewhere you’ve never been before. It’s a fun Fourth of July activity, especially for anyone who would rather have someone else handle the cooking.
Go on picnic
You can’t go wrong with packing up a basket and going on a picnic. Make a few of your favorite finger foods beforehand, whip up an array of red, white and boozy cocktails, and find a scenic spot to enjoy 'em.
Visit a historical landmark
Even if you're far from the nation's capital, you can still find a local historical landmark to visit on July Fourth. While some landmarks may be closed for the holiday, plenty of others remain open and you might uncover some interesting history right in your own backyard.
Make a Fourth of July recipe
It doesn't get any better than a red, white and blueberry pie — especially on the Fourth of July. Try a new recipe (or two) and put together an on-theme feast. Right before you grab a bite, take a picture of your creation and post it on social media to show off your skills.
Attend a baseball game
What better way to spend July Fourth than at a baseball game? Load up the whole family and enjoy an afternoon at the ballpark. Bring on the hotdogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks!
Visit New York City
There’s nothing quite like watching fireworks light up the Statue of Liberty. Catch the display on TV or check it out in person. There are celebrations across the Big Apple throughout the long weekend, so you're bound to find something to do.
Make Fourth of July-inspired crafts
Get the whole family involved and make a patriotic craft to celebrate America’s birthday. It doesn’t need to be complicated — just pick up some iron-on decals at the craft store to make festive t-shirts or craft a star-studded wreath to hang on your front door.
Watch a Fourth of July movie or documentary
If the weather rains out your big Fourth of July plans, host an indoor movie marathon instead. Show a summer blockbuster like "Jaws" or “Independence Day." Or turn it into a teaching moment by playing a documentary about how the Founding Fathers ratified the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It's your call!
Go to the beach
While going to the beach for the Fourth of July is hardly an original suggestion, shake things up by finding a new spot to call your own for the holiday. Wherever you end up, a day of sun, sand and ice cream never gets old.
Visit Washington D.C.
Named after the OG Founding Father himself, Washington is the place to be to get all the patriotic feels on the Fourth of July. Plan a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon, the birthplace of George Washington, or stay in the city center and visit all of the monuments. Just make sure you stick around long enough to watch the epic fireworks show on the National Mall.
Play outdoor games
Got water balloons? Break ‘em out. Badminton? Set it up. Cornhole? You know the drill. It's summer, so soak up the sunshine and play some backyard games with your family and friends. Whether it’s a chill game of croquet or nine innings of backyard baseball, it’s your time to shine and show the rest of the family who’s boss.
Create a care package
Fourth of July is a celebratory occasion, but it's also a moment to show your thanks to the people who make your freedoms a reality. Turn your thoughts into actions by sending packages to active members of the military and their families. Organizations like Soldiers' Angels offer guidance on what to send, everything from non-perishable food to toiletries to symbols of the home that they miss.
Attend a concert
So many summer concerts, so little time! July Fourth is the height of the season and between music festivals, concerts and other organized outdoor events, you’d be remiss to not attend at least one. Instead of hanging out at home, throw a couple of lawn chairs in the trunk and enjoy the music.
Decorate your home
Show Uncle Sam some love by decorating your house — indoors and out — with festive lights, flags and other Fourth of July decorations. It should come as no surprise that a red, white and bleu makeover will get everybody in the spirit.
If you've got a pool, have a party. Period. If you don’t, call your friends with the aforementioned pool and invite yourself over (kindly, of course). Be those people and show up wear matching Fourth of July swimsuits. You won’t be sorry.
Jam out to a Fourth of July playlist
Set the soundtrack for your celebration by making a patriotic songs playlist, including favorites like Bruce Springsteen’s "Born in the U.S.A" and Katy Perry’s "Firework." Don’t forget to sprinkle in a few classics — "The Star-Spangled Banner," perhaps?
Get a patriotic mani-pedi
Although most nail salons will be closed on Independence Day, you can still treat yourself to a spa day in the days leading up to July Fourth. Whatever activities you’ve got planned for the holiday, make sure to put your nails on full display.
Host a cookout
OK, you don't need us to tell you to do this — but we'll do it anyway. Even though it's an obvious choice, you can't deny that everyone loves filling up on hamburgers, hotdogs and other cookout staples on a hot summer day. Even if you don't or own a grill, many parks and public spaces have them, so pack a cooler and enjoy this summer staple.
Plan a 1776 party
If you're feeling positively revolutionary this Fourth of July, then travel back in time and host a 1776-themed party. Invite everyone over, dress up in powdered wigs and fancy attire, and play a bunch of drum and fife tunes. Finish off the day with a singalong screening of "Hamilton."
Attend a Fourth of July parade
Marching bands, firetrucks and people tossing candy scream "America" — don't ya think? Good news: Just about every small town in America has a Fourth of July parade, so you shouldn't have any problems finding one nearby.
Play board games
Mother Nature has a mind of her own, which means you may have to pivot and spend the day inside hiding from the raining. Board games are a solid option when the weather isn't cooperating. It gives everyone a break from technology and might just start a new family tradition.