I Ask: How Can I Make The Fourth Of July Memorable And Be In Bed Before The Fireworks?

I love fireworks. The noise, the colors, the crowds. It’s like a rock concert but without the moshing (do people still mosh?)

The last time I went, I looked like this:

And I haven’t been back since it turns out fireworks in the summer are two hours past my kid’s bedtime and if your kids slept like my kids, you’d never screw up bedtime on purpose.

So Fourth of July is going to be just another day.

And my patriotic self is not happy about that. The fireworks and cannons and music make it a day of triumph and excitement. THE BRITISH CAN SUCK IT. Or something like that.

But we just got back from vacation so I don’t really want to do anything intense.

I Ask: How can I make the Fourth of July memorable and be in bed before the fireworks?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

18 thoughts to “I Ask: How Can I Make The Fourth Of July Memorable And Be In Bed Before The Fireworks?”

  1. Of course you can make the Fourth of July memorable and still be in bed before the fireworks.

    But you’ll have to figure out a name for the baby again.

  2. Make a flag cake. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/flag-cake-recipe/index.html) Or you can just do like me, use a cake mix and top it with whipped cream and berries.

    Buy sparklers and use them before bed time.

    Stay up late and watch the fireworks on TV.

    Come to my house and you can see them from the bedroom window. Because the guys next door always shoot off fireworks. Every year. Even when it’s dry and they run the risk of setting the yard on fire (which they’ve done. Twice.)

  3. You can also sit in my yard and watch the fireworks. They’re the perfect distance away: close enough to see over the tree tops, far enough away to not wake the kids– although now my kids are old enough to stay up and then sleep in the next morning. And no fighting the crowd to get back home.

  4. There are lots of daytime activities like Lewis Ginter (free admission I think?) and Meadow Farms. For the fireworks, we usually put the kids to sleep normally and wake them up right before we head out — they go in PJs. Of course, we just have to cross the street to get to a good viewing place, but even a short drive would be fine. The next morning we keep it low key for recovery.

      1. I haven’t, mostly for the same reason. It’s probably better the earlier you go.

        The most we have done in previous years is have a barbecue with friends or neighbors, then head out for fireworks afterward. It’s low key and you can enjoy red white and blue foods if you like.

        Just as well if you don’t celebrate though, you could be turning your kids into Republicans if you do: http://m.jezebel.com/5817518/

        (insert political disclaimer here about how I am kidding, in case anyone gets their panties in a twist from reading my comment.)

    1. We went a few years ago and liked it but it was sooooo hot. I’m still traumatized.

      I kinda want to go to the Fort Lee celebration… If only Fort Lee was next door to me.

      1. Uh oh…..we’ll have to see tomorrow. I’m enticed by the pony rides! Fortunately I live less than 5 minutes away so it’s easy to go for a short time. Hope you enjoy it, no matter what you do!

  5. I refuse to miss the fireworks, i love them too much. We usually park and watch them from our car. That way, if the kids are awake they can see them but have a sound barrier from the “big bangs” and if they fall asleep in their seats, that’s ok too!

  6. Oooo, I was looking up Fourth of July events not including fireworks bc my little cousin is visiting and he’s two and a half and his mom said he might be afraid of fireworks. There is a cool event for kids going on tmw. during the day in Glen Allen (http://events.richmond.com/glen-allen-va/events/show/191410405-oldfashioned-fourth-of-july-celebration) – they have face painting, a petting zoo, and crafts and stuff for kids. Also, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is offering free admission to everyone tomorrow, and they are having kids crafts and parades in the Children’s Garden. Just a thought if you feel like being out and about, but before the suns sets. 🙂

      1. ok, wait, just one more suggestion- can you tell i’m procrastingating from laundry?! – it’s not close-close, but closer than Fort Lee, and you’d be out of the sun by the time it gets really hot- Ashland is having a patriotic parade for families, pets, etc. We used to do this in our neighborhood when we were kids- we’d make flags and other decorations and then deck out our bikes or ourselves. http://events.richmond.com/ashland-va/events/show/194671385-ashlands-fourth-of-july-parade I think some people picnic after it, though i’ve never been.

  7. we are throwing caution (and possibly our sanity) to the wind tomorrow and heading out on the boat to watch the fireworks. I am hoping being on the boat in his jammies puts Ed to sleep. Is that bad?

  8. I know I’m ultra late on this one – but there are plenty of day time events to go to. Wear your red, white, and blue; wave a flag around; etc. I’m with you though – haven’t seen fireworks in 2 years cuz of very early bedtime and it’s so sad!
    Maybe you could find a video (or show early on TV) of fireworks and watch that before the kids go to bed? It’s all gonna be lame unless it’s live in person.
    Oh well.

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