Independence Day is almost here, and that means it’s time to celebrate with your favorite foods, movies and activities. We know this year will look somewhat different from years past, as we continue to maintain a safe, social distance due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, there is still fun to be had with the ones you love.

While crowded cookouts, beach parties and fireworks displays have all been canceled, that doesn’t mean your patriotic spirit has to be. This year, call on your creative spirit to find new ways to celebrate your freedom. If the way to your patriotic heart begins in your stomach, spend time grilling and baking up your favorite fourth recipes. Gather up the family for a sunny bike ride, hit the trails and bask in the freedom to explore nature or cozy up with your loved ones for a July 4th movie marathon.

There are so many ways to express your patriotism and to do so safely. Here are simple, fun ways to celebrate July 4th during Covid 19.

Bake Patriotic Desserts
Kid-friendly, fun and easy to do, preparing patriotic desserts will allow you to flex your creativity and express your patriotic spirit this July 4th. Bake your favorite red, white and blue brownies, cookies and cakes and get the kids and family involved in decorating with icing, sprinkles and more. While you work together, take time to talk about what Independence Day means to you, and give your kids a chance to express their own patriotic feelings. It’ll be a feel good and taste good, July 4th-we promise!

Grill Traditional July 4th Foods
Leave the crowded barbeques behind this year, but not the grilling out and preparing your favorite cookout foods. Just because large crowds and close gatherings are not advised, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of our community grilling stations to whip up your favorite burgers, hot dogs or grilled corn, kabobs and more. Feeling patriotic is all about tapping into your inspiration, and for many of us, that is found directly through our stomachs.

Watch Your Favorite Patriotic Movies
Avoiding crowded beaches and public spaces is the safest way to socially distance this holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your patriotic spirit and traditions. Pop up some popcorn and curl up on the couch with your favorite patriotic movies, like Captain America, Miracle, GI Jane, Gettysburg or Lincoln. When you’re movie marathon is over, cue up Youtube and watch fireworks displays from all over the world, in the comfort of your own home.

Decorate Your Bikes and Go For a Ride
We know parades and block parties are cancelled, but that doesn’t mean your patriotic spirit has to be. Get crafty with kids, your loved ones or even just yourself, and decorate your bikes in your personalized red, white and blue designs. Head out for a bike ride through the neighborhood together, or off on a nearby trail, and spread some patriotic cheer while you’re at it.

Take a Hike in Nature
We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our independence than by heading outdoors and exploring nature. This July 4th, take advantage of the many hiking trails and state parks open nearby, and take time to walk, run, hike or bike surrounded by our region’s natural beauty.