The Fourth of July is a holiday typically spent with family and friends. But thanks to COVID-19, Independence Day is looking a little different this year. Many local firework displays are no longer happening, and it’s too soon for large groups to safely gather. But don’t let that ruin your holiday weekend, though. Here are some fun, easy ways to celebrate 4th of July at home.
To help you enjoy the holidays while safely social distancing, we have some crafting, entertainment, and recipe options for you. (And if you really can’t live without fireworks, we have a few events for you as well.)
4th of July Craft: Painting American Flag Shirts
I always love having matching red, white, and blue shirts for my family on the Fourth. This year, why not make your own? All you need are fabric paints and some t-shirts to have an activity that keeps the kids busy; and also provides a cute and comfy shirt for you and the kids to wear. This craft is simple and easy:
- Using a paintbrush, paint seven horizontal red stripes, leaving space in between each to represent the white stripes.
- Now comes the fun part: For the stars, you get to use your handprint! Press your hand into the blue paint and stamp it onto the t-shirt where the American flag’s stars would be.
If you have a child who doesn’t like getting messy, don’t worry; just cut an old sponge into a star shape and use that as your stamper.
Fourth of July Films: Independence Day & Hamilton
Of course, Independence Day with Will Smith is the first movie that comes to mind this time of year; but we say to save that for the older kids (given the film’s PG-13 rating). If you haven’t seen it, this classic Americans vs space aliens flick will have you chanting U-S-A by the end!
Something more appropriate (and full of historical references) for the whole family, however, is the original Broadway recording of Hamilton. It just so happens the mega-popular musical is coming to the Disney+ streaming service on July 3. As the name implies, this Lin-Manuel Miranda musical tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton.
Independence Day Fireworks Around NJ
Though most firework displays are skipping 2020, there are still some towns hosting events. However, since plans are always in flux because of COVID-19, we recommend checking the appropriate town website for updates.
At the Jersey Shore, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Toms River and Tuckerton currently plan to host fireworks. In addition, Middle Township will have fireworks and broadcast the show live on its Facebook page; which is a great option for those who want to stay home. Click here for our full list of Jersey Shore fireworks events.
Likewise, Cedar Grove will have fireworks at Panther Park, but spectators must remain in their cars for the show. Click here for our full list of North Jersey fireworks events.
Moreover, Independence Day parades are still on in Lavallette and Ocean Gate, with participants expected to practice social distancing. To find more fireworks events throughout NJ, click here for Central Jersey and click here for South Jersey.
4th of July Recipes
Are you ready for the best 4th of July meal you’ve ever made? If so, be sure to thank the amazing ladies at Five Sisters Food Co. for providing a trio of recipes. (Click here to visit their website.) They were gracious enough to cover all our bases with dinner, dessert, and a side. We also have a Cuban Nachos recipe courtesy of the Cubano X-Press food truck to serve before the meal. (Click here to check out their website and see the full menu.)
According to the Miller family (the team behind Five Sisters), these are their most popular items around 4th of July. Of course, if you’d rather leave the cooking to the experts, you can order these items online. The first and second recipes are available through their catering company, while the third is available from their food truck. (Note: you can click on the photos to enlarge them.)
1) Take cheese whiz and sofrito, put in microwave and mix together
2) Fry plantains
3) Grill chicken and cut in slices
4) Combine garnish into mix
5) Lay cooked plantains on oval plate
6) Take cheese mix and top plantains, then add chicken on top
7) Garnish with cilantro scallion and red pepper mix… & boom!
Heaven on Earth Trifle
Apple & Poppy Seed Coleslaw
Five Sisters Smoked Pulled Pork
As always, Best of NJ wishes you a happy and safe holiday! Whether you’re celebrating 4th of July at home or otherwise, we hope wish you the best.
Top (Hero) Photo: © Lindsay Podolak / Best of NJ
Other Photos (in Order):
T-shirt Craft: Lindsay Podolak / Best of NJ
Fireworks Photo: Adobe Stock
Recipe Slides: Five Sisters Food Co.