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What To Do On July 4th If It's Too Hot To Go Outside

A Fourth of July cookout is wonderful in theory, but sometimes the reality of sunburns, sweat, and insects can ruin a good time. When the summer sun is in full swing, it’s perfectly acceptable if you would rather hang out indoors, especially in the late afternoon. So what should you do on July 4th if it’s too hot to go outside? There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones — in the comfort of air conditioning.

The high temperatures are not only annoying, but also a potential health hazard — especially when kids are in tow. Thankfully, all of the things that you like about the holiday, from the food to the socializing, can be enjoyed inside. (Well, except for the fireworks. Those should probably stay outside.)

Who knows? Perhaps a trip to the local museum or a patriotic dessert party could become your family’s next tradition. Whether you’re enjoying a low-key affair or an all-out bash, there are loads of options for cooling entertainment this 4th of July. Your friends and family can celebrate the stars and stripes safe from the wrath of mosquitos and pop-up thunderstorms. After all, your time together will probably be more pleasant if you aren’t in danger of heat exhaustion.

1. Take In A Movie

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Has your kid seen Independence Day or 1776?  Summer is usually filled with family-friendly flicks, and most theaters have some of the chilliest air conditioning around. And if you don't feel like schlepping down to the cineplex, there's always streaming services.

2. Host An Indoor Picnic

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For whatever reason, July 4th recipes just taste better in picnic form. If it's way too hot to light up the grill, then spread a blanket on the floor and have a fun picnic inside. Kids will love it, and it's sure to make for some great photo opportunities.

3. Host A Game Board Tournament

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Adults could host their own bar trivia — American history round, anyone? You can also bust out all the classic board games for kids to enjoy. And if you're an adult who wants to crush it at Hungry Hungry Hippos, then that's cool, too. It's a free country.

4. Whip Up Some Red, White & Blue Sweets

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You and your kids can whip up some patriotic desserts for the whole family to enjoy. Even your littlest kitchen buddy can help assemble blueberries and strawberries (or at least eat them by the fistful).

5. Craft Something Patriotic

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There are tons of July 4th crafts suited to any age and skill set. Or you and your kids can just grab some red, white, and blue colors and design your own version of the stars and stripes.

6. Dance Around

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Hey, being inside doesn't mean you can't stay active. Although it may be kind of weird to get down to the Boston Pops, you and your crew can find something that fits your groove. The Hamilton soundtrack might be a good fit, right?

7. Take A Trip To The Museum

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Any museum with a focus in American history would be ideal, but there are probably some quirky little local museums you could check out, too. Who knows? You just might discover you new favorite artist.

8. Enjoy Story Time

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If you have kids, then reading The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh or Judy Moody Declares Independence by Megan McDonald could be fun and educational. More grown-up history buffs may enjoy Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling.  

9. Sparkle At A Fireworks Show

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Hey, the Fourth of July has to include some version of fireworks. Even if you just watch it on TV or drive out to your local display (and stay in the cool car), be sure to include some sparks in your celebration.