9 Fun Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July

twenty five affortable things to do on the 4th of july

You can’t put a price on patriotism, but staying under budget is always a smart move

It is that time of the year again! Oh, how we love the quintessential red, white, and blue! With expenses being the way they are, some of us might be wondering what to do on 4th of July that’s affordable. Explore these cost-effective ideas on making this 4th of July a spectacular one. 

Like most people, we absolutely love the 4th of July! Independence Day is always a significant event in a country’s history and we’re no exception! It is a great time to meet friends and family over a weekend of fun-filled activities and delicious food.  

We believe that you can enjoy pretty much any holiday without breaking the bank. After all, it’s the experience that counts. Granted that working with a generous budget offers endless possibilities, but you’re not alone if you feel the need to cut back a little. We’ve previously done an article on the best holiday sales to shop the first week in July. But if you’re looking for even more savings, we’ve got 25 family-friendly recommendations.  

At Net Pay Advance, we are all about making smart financial decisions. Let us assure you that “affordable” doesn’t automatically dampen an event. In fact, working with a budget often stimulates creativity and leads to incredible results. In fact, here’s a sneak peak at our list. But keep reading to see our full list of equally-great family-fun ideas you have to try!  

Collage of things to do on the 4th of July, Play yard games, go backyard camping, enjoy smores, patriotic trivia, red white and blue food arrangements

Let’s navigate down our suggestions on what to do on 4th of July when on a budget. 

25 Things to Do on 4th of July 

Independence Day deserves a special mention when we talk about the most popular American holidays. It is one day of the year when people put aside their differences and come together as Americans. If you’re low on funds and are worried about what to do on 4th of July, you’ve come to the right source. Keep reading… 

1. DIY patriotic decorations with kids

Keep little ones occupied with making festive decorations. You can purchase supplies to craft items and create memories. This can be a great bonding experience for everyone. Who doesn’t like a patriotic wreath on their door when it’s 4th of July! Get creative and get to work! 

Patriotic USA crafts

2. Indulge in red, white, and blue food arrangements 

We know this might say “been there, done that” but most people do love themed food. There are plenty of easy-to-make dishes using food coloring or simply foods in those three colors. In America, food goes hand-in-hand with holidays. There’s a reason consumers spend about $7.7 billion (with a B) on food each 4th.  

Get the family involved, and get cooking! Need inspiration? See some fun ideas here.  

Cupcake with sparkler and American flag wrapper

3. Play yard games

Invite your friends or neighbors and spend the 4th of July weekend playing yard games. You can rely on the popular yard games like cornhole, croquet, bocce, Mölkky etc. or seek inspiration from here

Adults playing cornhole in grassy yard celebrating

4. Enjoy campfire s’mores 

Sometimes all you need are friends/family and s’mores to make memories. Besides, s’mores are delicious! Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate together form the ultimate gastronomical trifecta! 

Multiple people roasting marshmallows over a grille

5. Get competitive with patriotic trivia 

Let’s not forget the real meaning behind the 4th of July. Ask your friends and family to brush up on American history and challenge them to trivia. Winners take home patriotic gear and of course, bragging rights. This will cause everyone to learn a thing or two. 

Young adults enjoying drinks and food on a patio with USA themed decorations

6. Go backyard camping 

Not everyone owns a camper, tent, and other camping essentials. Renting equipment and camping paraphernalia can cost a pretty penny. Let’s simplify things and camp in your backyard! This could be a fun and inexpensive alternative to actual camping. 

young adults toasting while camping

7. Organize a dress-up contest 

Who says fun costumes are just for Halloween? Have fun with your loved ones by organizing a costume contest where everyone shows up in patriotic get-up. Lady Liberty, is that you? 

Blonde woman in American flag onesie holding the American flag

8. Tie-dye T-shirts in patriotic colors

This is a fun activity for the whole family! If you enjoy crafts, here’s a terrific idea for the 4th of July. All you need are a few white T-shirts and a tie-dye kit with the patriotic colors. 

Tied t-shirt being dyed on messy wooden table

9. Arrange a picnic date 

Pack a homemade lunch for two and enjoy a picnic date. You won’t be alone. Infact, 59% of Americans are expected to attend a picnic over the holiday weekend. You can choose an area depending on where you live. Spend quality time with each other and enjoy a great meal without having to pay a lot. 

For more affordable date ideas, click here

Red gingham picnic blanket with American flag paper plates

10. Set up a pie-baking contest

They say, “as American as apple pie”! Pies aren’t exclusive to Thanksgiving! This 4th of July, organize a bake-off with your loved ones where you battle it out with your culinary skills. The rewards have never been sweeter! 

Patriotic pie crust

11. Host a neighborhood potluck or barbeque

Nothing says its 4th of July louder than the food! About 74 million Americans grill during this holiday. Hotdogs and burgers are among the prime food items. Did you know that 150 million hotdogs are consumed every year on 4th of July?  

Need ideas?  

We recommend checking out these 4th of July recipes to whip up a delightful spread on this holiday.  

Picnic table of hamburgers with American flag toothpicks

12. Attend a fireworks display

A major attraction of 4th of July is the spectacular fireworks display. Find out if your neighborhood or the city is hosting one and then make plans to attend. Kids and adults often enjoy these displays. 

Fireworks display in night sky

13. Check out local events

Chances are that your town or city has a few events lined up for the 4th of July that are open to the public. A simple internet search could point you in the right direction. Don’t forget about Facebook events! Often there are events for children, and this could be a great opportunity for your little ones to have fun with their peers. 

USA flag in crowd of people at a community event

14. Challenge friends and family to friendly football

Who doesn’t love football! Another activity that won’t cost you a lot is playing football with your loved ones. It promotes team spirit and encourages healthy competition while everyone gets a good dose of the great outdoors. 

American football on American flag

15. Go fishing

Some people simply love fishing. If you happen to be one of them, spend this holiday on your favorite pastime. You can invite a few friends or family members over to have a friendly contest to see who catches the most. 

Grandfather fishing with two children on old dock

16. Visit a lake for water activities 

If you live close to a public lake, it is highly recommended that you spend the day or part of it there. Indulge in fun water activities like kayaking or jet-skiing if you have the means. You can also just swim or splash around in the water in addition to playing games like chicken fight or Marco Polo. 

Young adults having fun in water around small boat

17. Bike with the entire family 

Dominate the bike trail with your decked-out bikes! Yes, we suggest decorating your bikes in red, white, and blue. It is a fun activity for the whole family and costs next to nothing! 

Parents biking with young child

18. Patriotic movie marathon

There have been several patriotic movies over the years that struck a chord with audiences. Watching them on the 4th of July is a fun and budget-friendly idea. Organize a viewing party with your circle of friends or family. Serve popcorn and other snacks and beverages to make the event fun.  

Young adults watching movie outdoors on projector

19. Create patriotic costumes for pets

Why should we humans have all the fun? Include your furry friends in the festivities by dressing them up in patriotic costumes. Involve your family in creating pet costumes and watch your pets turn into little fashionistas! 

Jack terrier with USA flag glasses and bowite

20. Spend time at the pool

If you have easy access to a pool, consider spending time there. You can choose to spend the day relaxing or invite your friends and family over for some fun. People of all ages can enjoy pool activities. 

Children jumping in swimming pool

21. Tour historical sites 

If you live in close proximity to a place of historical significance, we strongly suggest taking a tour. It could be fascinating to learn something new and enjoy sightseeing. What better way to commemorate freedom than visiting a local heritage site on the 4th of July? 

Historical park in Boston

22. Go on a road trip

Believe it or not, road trips are way more fun than one might think. You get to experience different sights and explore new cuisine and culture. The best part is of course the company of your co-travelers. 

two young women in convertible car

23. Attend a parade 

If your city or town is hosting a 4th of July parade, we suggest you be in attendance. It isn’t every day that one gets an opportunity to see live action in the form of a parade. It could be a fun outing for the whole family. 

Marching band in parade

24. Rent a cabin in the woods 

Want to get away from all the noise? Escape to a cabin in the woods with your friends or family. Tranquility could be just what you need at times and the woods can offer that. Don’t forget to carry a first-aid kit for emergencies along with bug and insect repellent sprays and other supplies. 

Cabin in wooded area

25. Go to the beach

If you live close to a beach, it could be the best get-away for 4th of July. Just remember to pack a hat, a towel, and some sunscreen. Make this a fun family affair by adding beach games or even a cookout to the mix. 

American flag totebag on beach


4th of July or Independence Day is undoubtedly one of the most important events every year. It is reported that 84% of people in the United States celebrate 4th of July. Do you? Join our discussion online and let us know what your favorite way to celebrate July 4th is.  

"What's your favorite thing to do on the 4th of july"

More and more people partake in the festivities every year. Not everyone can or wants to spend a hefty sum of money when it comes to holidays. That’s why we came up with some cost-efficient ideas that are fun for the entire family. 

We hope the above list has given you plenty of ideas when trying to decide what to do on 4th of July. The best part is that you don’t have to spend beyond your means to execute any of these. However, if you find yourself strapped for cash, just know that we’re here to help. For short-term loans, apply here

<strong><a href="https://www.netpayadvance.com/authors/anna-thakur/">Anna Thakur</a></strong>
Anna Thakur

As someone that spent a lot of time reading as a kid, I was deeply intrigued by the written word from an early age. My first full-time job post college was writing content for high-end fashion websites. Following my graduation from the MBA program at Pittsburg State University, I found employment in Marketing. For the last couple of years, I have been creating content on several platforms. I am a proud dog-mom to my black labs – Sky & Harry Potter (took fangirling to a whole new level there!), a connoisseur of Indian cuisine, a mediocre artist, and a reality TV addict.

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