5 ways to make your July 4th not suck (even without fireworks)

Independence Day is upon us! While this time of year is typically filled with planning out when and where your family will watch the "bombs bursting in air", good ole COVID-19 has most cities canceling fireworks displays. That sucks, for sure, and you can agree or disagree on the reasoning behind it all you want but the reality is that most of us will be spending a Fourth of July without the pyrotechnics that make you go "ooooh" and "aaaah". Fear not, because we're all about positivity! Here's 5 ways you can make your July 4th not suck:

#1 Man the grill

Theres just something about manning the grill on a summer holiday, and Independence Day is no exception. You've got options (we can debate later): Charcoal, gas, pellet, wood chips... whatever your preferred grilling method is, don't give up on it just because you can't see fireworks. In fact, embrace the grill as the centerpiece of your day with family and friends. Maybe get creative and throw some kebobs on there. Maybe smoke a brisket or grill some chicken wings. Or, keep it simple and grill the best damn burgers and dogs you can. You'll probably look so good in a Dad's natural habitat that your guests will forget all about the lack of fireworks.

#2 Play with your kids

Admittedly, this sounds condescending. Think about it, though... After everyone eats, you sit down for a bit and maybe grab a beer. Well deserved after feeding the tribe! But before you know it, it's time to head to wherever you're posting up to get the best view possible of your town's fireworks display. This year is different. No grand finale to prepare for means you have a lot of extra time (and way less packing of blankets and chairs and snacks and bug spray and blah blah blah). Take that time and PLAY with your kids. Not supervise, not allow them to do whatever they want. PLAY. Get a football game going, run around and play tag, or have a catch with your kids. The possibilities are endless! Get everyone involved and make some memories!

#3 Get all the sparklers

No fireworks doesn't have to mean NO fireworks. Look, if you're anything like us, you were probably going to get your kids some sparklers anyways. Get more. There is just something magical about seeing kid's eyes light up with they hold fire. Its primal and innocent and for a Dad, seeing his son or daughter get that excitement over a 30-cent burning stick is priceless. It takes you back to your own childhood when the stress and pressure of life was non-existent. So get the sparklers. Please, be safe about it, and pay attention to your kids. A quick google search for a stock photo will tell you about all the dangers of kids and sparklers. Have fun and keep everyone safe.

#4 Get the water toys out

Again, less time packing and unpacking all of the chairs and blankets and coolers you own means more time for FUN. At least where we're at, it's supposed to be hot and sunny. Cool down with all of the water fun. Get that water slide inflatable out that is a pain in the ass to put away and clean. Bust out the slip n slide. Make use of that baby pool you bought during lock down. Fill up all the water balloons. Your kids will love you for it and you can spend your Sunday cleaning up broken balloon pieces before you mow.

#5 Crack a good bottle of bourbon

A Talking Dads list without bourbon is no list at all. But hey, this one is easy to justify. Bourbon is well known to be "America's Native Spirit" being that it is the only alcohol that must be entirely produced in the United States. Plus, to put it poetically, its freaking awesome. Seriously though, at the end of the night, when the kids have been worn out and you're missing the incredible displays of fireworks booming, open a bottle of bourbon and enjoy it. Sip it neat or throw an ice cube in... Crack that expensive bottle you've been saving for a special occasion or reach for an old faithful. It doesn't matter. If you can, share a pour with family, friends, and neighbors and pray to God that your kids aren't awoken by all of the fireworks your neighborhood ends up setting off till 3am!

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