The 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays as a child and my favorite part were the fireworks. They were exciting, beautiful, and romantic. But then I had kids. Now, all I can think about is ways to keep noise and light show outside my house from waking up my children. Call me a stick in the mud, but loud noises and small children usually don't mix. And so I can totally understand the need to find some alternative 4th of July activities for parents whose children hate fireworks (or even hate them themselves). Because, while I still love watching them, sometimes my 2-year-old isn't crazy so about them.

No matter the age, some children are genuinely scared of fireworks. And I don't blame them. Ear-shattering noises, bright lights, and huge crowds of people doesn't necessarily sound like the recipe for a great time to me either. Luckily for both you and your kids, there are tons of activities that you can do throughout the day, or save for the evening when the actual fireworks happen, that will distract and entertain your kid as much as the fireworks would. Minus all of the terror. Because ultimately, the 4th of July should be fun for everyone — even those of us who aren't crazy about fireworks.

1. Make Fireworks In A Bottle


For younger kids who love the pretty colors but not the loud noises, these fireworks in a bottle from No Twiddle Twaddle will be a hit.

2. Watch A Patriotic Movie


From The Sandlot to Captain America to An American Tail, there are plenty of great "All American" movies to watch with kids of all ages.

3. Go Camping


If you'd rather get away from the noise and craziness altogether, why not make it a trip and go camping (or glamping, if that's more your style) with the kids. The silence and family time will be refreshing.

4. Have A Craft Day/Night


Stock up on red, white, and blue paint and craft the day (or night) away.

5. Make Your Own *Quieter* Fireworks


Even if sparklers or firecrackers are too scary for your little, there are plenty of other ways to make your own "fireworks," like these confetti launchers from Piikea Street, that won't hurt their ears or eyes.

6. Bake Firework Cookies

Courtesy of Inside Bru Crew Life

There's nothing better than baking (and then eating) delicious cookies, like these fireworks cookies from Inside Bru Crew Life, with your kids. Spend the evening inside and they'll quickly forget about the noise outside.

7. Build A Fort


The night can still be special without spending it outside. Grab all of your blankets and build a giant fort for you all to camp out in for the night.

8. Go To The Movies


To escape the crowds and get out of the house, the movie theaters are probably a safe bet.

9. Have A Game Night


Whether they're 4th of July-inspired games or just your kid's favorite board games, it's a great way to spend the evening.