The Fourth of July is a festive holiday set aside to celebrate the birth of America after it gained its independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1876 and one year later on that day, the first fireworks were ignited and enjoyed.
It’s estimated that 150 million hot dogs are consumed every Fourth of July. If you’re looking for some other fun things to do, here are five fantastic ways to celebrate aside from (or along with) the common BBQ and fireworks:

1. Outside Movie Night. Whether you have a family, adult friends, or even a hot date, an outside movie night is a spectacular way to keep entertained on the evening of Independence Day. Simply take your big screen outside, hook it up, and bring out some comfy lawn chairs. Or, if kids are involved, you can get kiddie wading pools for next to nothing. Toss and blanket and pillow in each one and you’ve got a cool lounging pad for them to watch from. Don’t forget the popcorn, hot dogs, and cold drinks for your matinee.

2. Water Days. Since July 4th falls curing the dreadfully hot dog days of summer, why not just go with it? Find a lake or pool or better yet, bring the water fun to your own backyard. You can rent a water slide and usually, they’ll deliver and set it up. You can even rent a bounce house and stick a water hose in it. There’s no end to the wet and wild fun you can dream up to celebrate summer and the 4th of July with.

3. Dress up Desserts. You can make an ordinary day festively fun by sprucing up some snacks and desserts. You’ll find tons of dynamite recipes online using red, white, and blue fruit like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and watermelons. Make a fruit tray or kabobs or dip them in white chocolate and add patriotic sprinkles. To add even more fun, grab a 4th of July plastic table cover, paper plates, and napkins at a dollar store and arrange your spread in style.

4. Honor the Troops. Independence Day is a great time to remember our forefathers and those who have served our country. Take a trip to an American memorial or historical marker. Pull up information online about American greats. If you have family who served or are presently serving, send a card, letter, or email or make them a care package. Giving back and remembering those who have made our (or who are making) freedom and independence possible is good for the soul.

5. Take a Night Drive. Taking a night drive on the 4th is fun because you can usually see fireworks from different areas. What better way to end Independence Day than to light up the night? And who knows, if you see a really great fireworks show, you may want to pull over and join the festivities in person.

The 4th of July is a celebration of all America is about. Embrace it and those you love by doing one of the five activities above or one of your own.