Independence Day is just around the corner, and we can practically smell the hamburgers and hot dogs. With the 4th of July being one of the most important summer holidays, it’s no surprise that there’s no cap on celebrations.
From barbecues, to pool days, to sparklers, and everything in between, there are endless ways to ring in America’s independence—and we here at Outlines have plenty of ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration.
Don’t have any 4th of July plans? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. (And if your 4th of July itinerary is already filled with sun-soaked boat rides and coolers packed with Loverboys and White Claws, you probably have no interest in adding anything to your already perfect schedule.)
But for those of us who don’t have a boat (guilty), or a friend with a boat (guilty again), we’ve put together a list of festive ways to have fun, relax, and honor all that the United States has to offer us this Independence Day.
Nothing says “4th of July” like sipping on a tall glass of something cool, refreshing, and festive. This year, we’re levelling up our ice-cold glasses with sparkling red, white, and blue sangria. Yep, you read that right. Sangria is simple to make and is full of bold and refreshing flavors that’ll definitely have you pouring a second (and probably third) drink.
No, seriously. The United States is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. The rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, the desert lands in Arizona, the stretch of Rocky Mountains, the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest, and the endless miles of the Appalachian Trail are only the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural wonders of the U.S.
With—*counts fingers*—423 national park sites spanning across each and every state, (and extending into the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa), there are acres and acres of landscapes and historical narratives to visit that honor and interpret our nation’s past. Actually—there are 84 million acres of these parks, to be exact.
So throw on your favorite activewear and leggings, lace up your hiking boots, and hit the road—we’ve got some ground to cover!
Step aside, all other fruits—it’s time for blueberries and strawberries to shine. Start your summer shindig off right with the most patriotic of flag-themed appetizers. From fruit salad pizzas to strawberry-striped sheet cakes, you can’t go wrong with whatever sweet treat you bring to the barbecue.
Personally, we love a little sweet & savory moment—so our go-to is a 4th of July brie wheel. Honestly, what’s more American than a cheese flag?
Preheat your oven to 350°F and cook your brie wheel for about 5-7 minutes—or until it’s as ooey and gooey as you like. Adorn your brie with stars (blueberries) and stripes (sliced strawberries) for an appetizer that’s just as Instagram-worthy as it is delectable.
Whether you’re watching from your rooftop, your bedroom window, or from your local mall’s parking lot, 4th of July fireworks will always be a staple—and for good reason. There’s just something about sitting back and enjoying the grandeur of the colorful sparks with their bangs and fizzes that makes us feel jubilant and excited. After this past year, we’ll take as much of that as we can get. Who doesn’t love a grand finale? Watch ‘em while wearing something patriotic, like this American flag bikini.
Not feeling up for large crowds these days? We totally get it. Sometimes staying in with your family and close friends ends up being more fun than anything else would have been—especially when it’s too hot to go anywhere, and sitting by the AC all day is the only option.
Grab some popcorn and your favorite candy, throw on your go-to snuggly loungewear, and get cozy—’cause we’ll take any excuse to watch the one-of-a-kind explanation of our country’s history that is Hamilton (for the millionth time). Or Independence Day featuring Will Smith.
There’s never a bad time to learn more about American history, and one of the best ways to celebrate our country’s stories is to learn about them. Here’s a couple of our favorite books that help to tell the story of how the United States got to where they are today. Don’t know where to start? We have a few recs below—perfect for cozying up in your favorite corner while wearing your favorite comfy PJs.
Talk about a great piece of untold history. Book of Ages is the story of Jane Franklin—Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister—who, unlike any of her female peers, was a talented reader and gifted writer.
Her witty personality and astute political opinions (along with the many hardships she endured throughout poverty and womanhood in the 18th century) are captured in a series of letters written to her older brother, the Founding Father who taught her how to read and write in the first place. Cue the tears.
If you’re looking to learn more about early America—like, before the time of European explorers—then this is the book for you. 1491 is the perfect mix of history and science that answers all your questions about pre-Pilgrim North America. Trust us, this is not the stuff they taught in your 5th grade Social Studies class.