4 Fun Fourth of July Traditions That Won’t Leave You Totally Drained


4 Fun Fourth of July Traditions That Won't Leave You Totally DrainedThe Fourth of July is just around the corner! Usually, around this time of year, I do a good ol’ search on the Facebook “Events” tab to see what parades and festivals are going on or where the best fireworks show is happening. This year, however, my goal is to add some fun traditions with my kiddos that are a little more cozy (and truthfully more introvert-friendly!).

We have been embracing the cozy this year and slowing down, so hopefully these traditions will help you take a much-needed break from the wonderful craziness of summer!

1. Have an outdoor adventure

One of our favorite things about living near the Smokies is the easy access to nature and one of the best national parks in the US! Nothing is more patriotic than admiring and appreciating the gorgeous landscape we have in East Tennessee!

Some kiddo-friendly ways to do just that include:

  • Grab a picnic and head to the Wye.
  • Pack into the car for a scenic drive to Sugarlands Visitor Center and hike the easy 0.7 mile round-trip to Cataract Falls (I was here a few days ago and the falls are stunning right now!)
  • Grab some snacks and enjoy a sunset at the Foothills Parkway
  • Do some kayaking, paddle boarding or tubing at the Cove or Meads Quarry
  • Grab some books and set some hammocks up at your local park (or even your backyard)
  • Don’t forget to pack it in, pack it out, and leave no trace!

Whether it’s a hike, a day at the river, or even a day at the splash pad, getting outside always leaves us refreshed and reconnected.

2. Start an annual camping trip

We have become much more outdoorsy this year and went backyard camping with friends last month and let me tell you, it revived our family’s love of camping! My husband and I used to backcountry camp, but that was five years and two kiddos ago, so I was nervous to say the least! We have two kiddos under four and I was so anxious about how they would do without screens or toys or a mattress, but watching them reminded me that they are so much more adaptable than we give them credit for. There was something so sweet about watching our babies sit around a campfire, fall asleep to the sound of frogs and crickets, and wake to sweet morning mist. Even if it’s too late to book a spot at your favorite campsite, set up your tent in the backyard, roast hotdogs and marshmallows over a fire, and enjoy the stars before bedtime. This tradition is sure to create sweet memories!

3. Enjoy some fireworks away from the crowds

Our first Fourth of July as parents was not very traditional. While both my husband and I grew up spending the Fourth of July at festivals in the Midwest, once we had kiddos we were a little more hesitant to take our babies to all-day events in the sun with crowds and loud noises. We have one kiddo who is sensitive to loud sounds so we have always been mindful of that and have unintentionally started the tradition of watching fireworks from afar. My favorite so far has been heading up to the Foothills Parkway. You get a view of all of the little fireworks shows in Maryville or Townsend (depending on where you set up) without the loud noise or overstimulating crowds. You can also do this by watching fireworks from home or even picking up little sparklers to set off in the backyard.

4. Have a potluck

Being from the Midwest, every gathering was a potluck! Instead of hosting a BBQ where you might end up being in charge of all of the grocery shopping, prep, cooking, and set up, a potluck allows you to pick your favorite dish to prepare and then sit back and relax while your friends and family pile in with their favorite drinks and dishes! This is a great way to enjoy the company of loved ones without burning out. Set up a sprinkler, splash pad, or pool, and let your kiddos roam the backyard with their buddies while you enjoy some much-deserved relaxation with good company!

I hope this post inspires you to slow down and make some sweet memories with your family this year! Celebrating doesn’t have to be expensive, draining, or complicated. Keep it simple and take it slow mama — you’re doing great!


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