GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-West Michigan! It’s time to sport your red, white and blue! Fourth of July is coming up quickly, and this year, our nation is celebrating 245 years of independence! 

Here are some creative activities to spend the holiday with family and friends…

Have a backyard BBQ

Dedicated man turning vegetables and meat on a stick to grill on other side as well while rest of the family is scattered around the house yard.

Nothing screams Fourth of July like a good ole backyard barbecue! Heat up the grill and enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones. 

If traditional barbecue isn’t your thing, but you’re still looking to fire up the grill, then check out this cool list of 5 Unusual things you didn’t know you could grill.

Try a new recipe 

Male And Female Adult Students Looking At Recipe In Cookery Class In Kitchen

Fourth of July or any other day this summer is the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe. What’s better than enjoying the sunshine and a tasty meal at the same time? 

Put your MasterChef skills to the test by trying 10 yummy passing dishes for those 4th of July cookouts.

Take a scenic walk with the family 


Summer months mean gorgeous weather! If you want to step outdoors and bask in the sun with your family, then why not take a walk? There are plenty of walking paths and hiking trails in West Michigan to explore.

Belt out those patriotic tunes 

Child daughter and mom cooking and having fun in the kitchen at home. Family holiday and togetherness.

Are you a “The Star-Spangled Banner” song enthusiast? Is “God Bless the USA” your jam? No matter the patriotic song, Fourth of July is the most fitting time to sing these tunes to the top of your lungs!

If you want to take your jam session up a notch, host a karaoke battle with your family. 

Just search any patriotic song of your choice into YouTube’s search bar followed by “the karaoke version” and you’re good to go! 

Camp out and indulge in delicious s’mores 

Assembled Smore on Brown Paper in front of fire

Summer is the perfect season to go camping, but it wouldn’t be right to go camping without making the irresistible, yummy and super sweet treat known as s’mores! If you’re looking to upgrade the simple and traditional recipe, then check out this list of 8 reinvented s’mores recipes.

Host a safe fireworks show in your backyard 

Hands with sparkles Bengal fire  that bokeh cities background. standing in home. chelter in place. end of a quarantine. home holiday

It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without fireworks! Whether you plan on attending a fireworks show across West Michigan, or lighting a few (safely) in your neighborhood, there’s nothing like ending the holiday with a bang!

Here’s a look at firework shows to check out across town.

–Or ditch the outdoor fireworks and watch virtually

Smiling african american family relaxing on couch and watching TV at home, man switching channels

Outdoor fireworks aren’t for everyone. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy them right from home. Tune into virtual firework shows hosted by Macy’s, PBS, National Harbor and the National Archives Foundation.

Have a patriotic costume contest 

Funny little girl playing power super hero over blue sky background. Superhero concept.

Have some family fun by hosting a friendly costume competition! Wear your best Fourth of July costume or red, white and blue attire and designate a few relatives to be the judge!

Make some patriotic popsicles 

Homemade red-white-and-blue popsicles on an outdoor table.

Whipping up a batch of these frozen treats for the Fourth of July is not only a great way to stay on theme, but they’ll keep you cool in the summer heat. Learn how to make these Patriotic Popsicles using Preppy Kitchen’s recipe.

Grab some ice cream with the family

Happy retired senior couple in love enjoying bio icecream cup - Joyful elderly lifestyle concept - Wife feeding husband and having fun at bar cafe restaurant during evergreen vacation - Retro filter

If you don’t have time to prep any desserts, but still want to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings, then grab some ice cream with your family! There are plenty of ice cream shops around West Michigan that you can visit.

We recommend calling these local business to confirm store hours during the holiday.

Redesign your sidewalk using chalk


Grab some chalk and unleash your inner artist! Decorate your side walk by drawing pictures of the American Flag, stars, fireworks, and phrases.

Show off your patriotism to the neighborhood

Red, white and blue balloons on a fourth of July parade float in a small American town, with people in the background.

Upgrade your curb appeal by decorating the front yard in Fourth of July decorations! This is a great way to kill time before hosting a BBQ or attending a holiday event, and is a great way to get the kids involved!

Honor the heroes of our nation 

thank you note with smiley face and white flowers in background sitting on wooden table

Although Fourth of July is a time to enjoy delicious food, have fun with our loved ones, and watch fireworks, don’t forget to commemorate those who have made great sacrifices for our country. Take sometime to honor a soldier or veteran by making a social media post, flying a flag, calling a family member or a friend who is military personnel, writing thank you notes, or even stopping by your local cemetery to drop off/donate flowers to fallen heroes. 

Have a patriotic movie night 

Family Enjoying Movie Night At Home Together

Sit back, relax and enjoy a few movies with your loved ones this weekend. There are many patriotic themed movies that you can stream at home such as “Captain America”, “Independence Day”, and “Lincoln” to name a few.