July 4, 2012's Top 10 Things to Do to Celebrate

The Christian Post has compiled a list of the 10 best ways to celebrate Independence Day this year as Americans gear up for family gatherings, picnics, barbecues, fireworks, and fun in the sun. Here are the top 10 things to do to mark July 4, 2012.

1. Plan a backyard party.

Invite your friends and family to an outdoor picnic or barbecue during the day either in your own back yard or in a park. Often times, Fourth of July parties see American flag-inspired red white and blue foods and drinks as well as hotdogs, hamburgers, and watermelon.

2. Beach or Pool Party.

Stay cool in the sweltering heat of July by visiting a large body of water such as a pool or the beach. Boating, water skiing, swimming, and tubing are fun ways to spend July 4, and beaches, lakes, and rivers afford you the opportunity to see other fireworks displays in the distance.

3. Make Fourth of July cupcakes.

Red, white, and blue cupcakes will be the perfect addition to your Fourth of July party and they are tasty and patriotic.

By mixing food coloring into an icing recipe, you can alternate topping cupcakes with the colors of the American flag. Also, adding food coloring to cupcake batter can transform the treats into hues of red, white, and blue.

4. Light fireworks.

Fireworks are an essential element to every Fourth of July celebration and help ring in the celebration of our freedom with brilliant, bright displays.

By simply asking the people you invite to the party to bring their favorite fireworks, you and your guests can enjoy a variety of different colors as soon as the sun goes down.

5. Watch public fireworks.

Instead of buying your own fireworks, many public displays occur across the nation on the Fourth of July. For example, each year in Washington, D.C. fireworks are launched from the Reflecting Pool area along the National Mall. The 17-minute fireworks display in the nation's capital will begin at 9:10 p.m. EST.

6. Educate yourself on Independence Day.

The Fourth of July commemorates the U.S. Declaration of Independence. On July 4 this year take a trip to a special fort, park, museum or monument near you in order to learn more about the holiday. Additionally, read the Declaration of Independence, available online.

7. Attend a Fourth of July celebration in your town.

Many communities will gather to celebrate our independence with performances of patriotic music and special events. These will be advertised in your local paper and are often free of charge. Town events offer a great way to meet new people and even make new friends.

8. Visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia hosts some of the U.S.'s finest history including the Liberty Bell and would be a unique and meaningful way to celebrate July 4.

9. Visit New York City.

The 36th Annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks will occur off of the city's Hudson River on Wednesday. Deemed America's biggest fireworks display, the show will include over 40,000 fireworks in 15 colors and 30 shapes synchronized to a score of songs.

The 25-minute display will be launched from four barges along the river between 18th and 43rd streets, and starts at 9:20 p.m. EST.

10. Celebrate with family.

July 4 can be a family day that includes movies, walks, games, crafts, or anything that makes the day special. Happy Independence Day!