Fourth of July Fun Facts & Family Fun Ideas

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READING TIME: 3 min.

When we talk about favorite holidays, the Fourth of July is in the top three for me: Christmas, Thanksgiving, and then the Fourth. Festivals, food, family and fireworks—what’s not to love? And as with all holidays, we celebrate with lots of family fun. Here is a quick list of our family’s must-dos for the Fourth mixed with some fun facts to engage the kids as you dash about town.

Take in a fireworks spectacular.

Did you know that Americans have been setting off fireworks since the very first Fourth of July celebration in 1777? Fireworks are the foundation to any Fourth experience. Our family loves heading to Addison to watch Kaboom Town. As members of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, you can even purchase tickets for a front seat view on the tarmac!

Go to a local parade.

Americans all across the country have been celebrating the Fourth with parades since thelate 1700s. And while our neighborhood parade may be much smaller than some, my kids can’t wait to go every year. Kids decorate their bikes, the Scouts have a float, the fire department does a drive by, and the free candy is abundant!

Gather for a cookout.

Cookouts and the Fourth are synonymous. What Fourth of July is complete without hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, and a red-white-and-blue dessert? And while I may not be one of the 150 million Americans who consume a hot dog on the Fourth, I will undoubtedly be one who eats my favorite treat: Strawberry Pie.

Remember why we celebrate.

The Fourth of July is about far more than fireworks…it’s about celebrating the birth of our nation. In a hot courthouse nearly 250 years ago, a group of men gathered to commit high treason by formally declaring independence from British rule.

My big kids are seven and four, and they love fun facts. So do I. Why? Because they grab your attention, cause you to think, and encourage you to learn more. They also happen to be the perfect bits of information to engage kids and help drown out the endless slew of “are we there yet?” on road trips.

Fourth of July Fun Facts

  1. We may celebrate the birth of America on the Fourth, but actually, the colonies declared independence on July 2.
  2. While the founders finalized the language of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, the document itself was not signed until August 2.
  3. Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence, but George Washington was not one of them.
  4. The phrase “Founding Fathers” is used all the time, but there is no official list of who the Founding Fathers were.
  5. Despite the images of old men in wigs, most of the founders were in their thirties and forties.
  6. Women played a prominent role in our nation’s birth. Be it through their public writings, advanced spy craft, and even taking up of arms—women were at the forefront of the American Revolution.
  7. Philadelphia served as the nation’s first capital until 1800, when the government formally moved to Washington D.C.
  8. The Fourth of July was not designated a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after that fated day in Philadelphia.

If you are still trying to decide the best way to spend your upcoming three-day weekend, check out our guide to Independence Day events around town!

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