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How to Celebrate the 4th of July with Young Kids and Babies

Do you have little kids or a new baby and aren't sure how to include them in 4th of July celebrations? This mom has great kid-friendly ideas for Independence Day. My kids will love these, especially the outdoor ideas! Holidays can get complicated after little ones come along!  The 4th of July is a particularly hard one because not only are we very patriotic in our household, but the 4th of July also happens to be our wedding anniversary.  We want it to be extra special!

The problem is the 4th of July is usually celebrated with loud booms and bangs and fireworks that might not be appropriate for our favorite little people.

Luckily, there are tons of kid-friendly ways to celebrate the 4th of July!  You just have to be a little creative and maybe think outside the box.


One kid-friendly thing to do is go to a parade.  Parades are synonymous with the 4th of July in the US.  There are TONS of them on the 4th of July or on the days leading up to it.  Last year, we went to an amazing parade in Southport, North Carolina and had an absolute blast with Nugget who was only 6 months old at the time.


A word to the wise – bring an extra outfit just in case a blowout happens.  Otherwise you’ll be spending an extravagant amount of money on a onesie that says “July 4, 2015, Southport, NC” that will never get worn again.  Yep, learned that one the hard way.

Also prepare for the heat and sun!  Don’t feel like you have to stay for the entire parade.  Our goal is always to get to our destination, make some fun memories, and get out of there before meltdowns threaten to ruin the day.

Parades are very distracting and exciting!  You will probably get more time out of your little one than you might expect!

Get Messy

Part of the fun of the 4th of July is that the weather is almost always beautiful and it’s a great opportunity to get outside.  Getting outside with kids means a great chance to get messy and make some awesome memories!

  • Silly string! Pick up some silly string at your local Dollar Tree or Walmart and let your kids go crazy.  We’re planning on doing this with our 17 month old and just watching extra closely to make sure the silly string doesn’t end up being his afternoon snack!
  • Paint! Pick up some non-toxic paint and big sheets of paper or poster board.  Finger paints are also a great option!
  • Sidewalk Chalk! Sidewalk chalk is always fun if you have somewhere for your kids to use it.  We don’t at our house, but I’m going to pick some up and keep it in the car with us.  At some point over the 3-day weekend, I’m sure we’ll find somewhere for our son to color with sidewalk chalk.
  • Bubbles are an amazing time for kids, so pick some up and let them get creative! Put red and blue food coloring in the bubbles to make it a patriotic event.
  • Water tables – If you have toddlers, a water table is a great option.  Water is always a hit with kids and it’s parent friendly too since it’s easy clean-up!  If you can’t get to a pool with your little ones this holiday weekend, consider setting up a homemade water table for them if you don’t own one.
  • Water Balloons – If your kids are a little older, water balloons and squirt guns are an awesome idea and they are cheap! Our local dollar store sells them.  There’s nothing like good, clean, CHEAP fun!


The 4th of July is well known for picnics and cookouts.  If you have little ones, now is your chance to make some traditions with them that they’ll always remember.  An annual picnic is a great place to start!


Make your favorite picnic foods, have a barbecue, or make star and striped themed foods.  With Pinterest at your disposal, the possibilities are endless!


The thought of taking your littlest ones to see fireworks might make you a little uncomfortable, but with a little research, it can be done!  When our son was 6 months old, we made a day of walking around a festival in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina and watched the fireworks over the USS North Carolina.  We were so far from where the fireworks were actually being set off that the noise wasn’t too much for his little ears.

If you don’t have many options for fireworks in your area, you can always watch them on TV.  With a brand new baby or a toddler with a strict bedtime schedule, this might be your best bet.

If you do want to get out to see fireworks in person and are worried about the loud noises startling your little one, pick up a pair of these.  We have these for our oldest son and he loves them.  They protect little ears from loud sounds and can allow your baby to take in the sights while minimizing the scary noises.


The most important part about the 4th of July or any holiday is to remember to have fun and make memories!  I read a scary truth a few days ago that you have just 936 Saturdays from the time your baby is born to the time they graduate high school.  That’s it.  My son is already almost 18 months old, so 72 of those Saturdays are already gone.  Kind of motivates you to make great memories with your kids, doesn’t it?

What do you do on the 4th of July with your little ones?  Do you have any kid-friendly ideas that I didn’t list here?  Let me know in the comments!