When you think of celebrating America’s birthday you probably think of fireworks, cookouts, diving into a pool on a hot Summer day and time with family and friends. But this year, as America turns 238, maybe you are looking for something a little more unique to do to celebrate the Birthday of the red, white and blue. Here are some suggestions from around the U.S.A.!
Dozens of venues around the city will have activities and events to celebrate the holiday, including:
- What better way to commemorate Independence Day than by seeing firsthand the document that was signed to give America its independence from Great Britain? Check out the Declaration of Independence, signed on this day over 200 years ago, and see what the Founding Fathers looked like as you interact with actors at the National Archives. From there, you can head over to the National Museum of American History to see the flag that inspired our national anthem. This museum is free to enter!”
- A beloved tradition filled with music, balloons, and enthusiastic volunteer marchers, the National Independence Day Parade will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. And in the evening, you can head on over to the Capitol Lawn for music and fireworks as part of the annual televised program A Capitol Fourth!
- Have you ever seen a professional eater in action? Men and women gather in Coney Island, New York each year for the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Competition on July 4 to compete for the “mustard belt” and $10k prize. Last year’s winner ate 74 hot dogs. Of course, you could watch this from the comfort of your own home on ESPN (women at 10:30 am EST and men at noon EST), but if you’re in New York you can also watch it in person on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island. Expect big crowds, and even bigger appetites from the contest participants!
- Visit two of the most iconic symbols of America’s freedom – the Statue of Liberty (the largest public sculpture in New York harbor, a gift from the people of France to the United States as a symbol of international friendship forged during the American Revolution) and Ellis Island – and learn about our country’s early years.
- Take part in the 4th of July BeerBQ Battle at City Tap. Three Breweries (3 Stars Brewing Company, RAR Brewing & Port City Brewing Company) will face off against City Tap to see who will win the title of the “Best in BBQ” and there will also be a corn hole tournament from 12-4pm. If a beer garden is more your style, visit Night Shift’s Owl’s Nest on the Esplanade (open from 4-8pm) or Trillium’s beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway (open from 11am-10pm).
- Looking for something a little more patriotic? At 9am the city has its official Independence Day Commemoration with a flag raising on City Hall Plaza, followed by a parade from the Granary Burial Ground (where wreaths are laid) to the Old State House. At 10am at the Old State House the Declaration of Independence will also be read, as it was on July 18, 1776.
- Miami Beach’s “Fire on the Fourth” Festival held from noon to 10pm on July 4 at the North Shore Bandshell Park (Collins and 73rd St) is a beachfront event with food trucks, live entertainment, DJs, a kid zone, a hot dog contest and fireworks at 9pm. The National Anthem Performance and hot dog contest take place at 2pm. The free event also features free trolleys every 10-15 minutes across four routes: the North Beach Loop, Collins Link, Middle Beach Loop and Alton/West Loop.
- Art on theMART is a 25-story-tall video installation that takes over the side of the historic Merchandise Mart building with moving images. On July 4 at 8:45pm, they will be showcasing Patriotic projections that are best viewed from Wacker Drive or the Riverwalk. Celebrate America on this 1.25-mile-long path along the Main Branch of the Chicago River.
- Attend the Independence Day Salute on the Great Lawn’s Pritzker Pavilion to hear the Grant Park Orchestra play Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and much more, and sing along to Patriotic tunes. After the concert, the Navy Pier fireworks can be enjoyed as well!
- What better place to celebrate America’s birthday than in America’s birthplace? Take a tour of Independence Hall, where the Founding Father’s debated and signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Then, head to the National Constitution Center where interactive displays and special exhibits helps visitors understand the tenants of the Constitution (which formed the structure for the U.S. government). You can also visit the home of Betsy Ross, who stitched the first American flag and touch the Liberty Bell, first rang in 1776 after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
- 22 museums are offering free or pay-what-you-wish admission during the six day Wawa Welcome America fest running through July 4. On July 4, the free museum day is taking place at the National Museum of American Jewish History in the Independence Mall where guests can enjoy Fourth of July themed crafts and more.
We hope you enjoy your 4th of July no matter where you are celebrating from Sea to Shining Sea.
And, if you want to travel to destinations across the U.S. (or Canada) with your class and join the tens of thousands of teachers who entrust creating an unforgettable educational experience to ACIS, download our USA/Canada brochure to learn what makes ACIS unique, where our journeys can take you and what a day on one of our tours looks like.
If you’d like to chat with one of our program coordinators about program options, pricing and customization, email Ariana at firstname.lastname@example.org.