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Great Alternatives to 4th of July Fireworks

5 minutes read Jun 21,2022
image of a plastic american flag decoration

Our country's patriotic celebrations have included fireworks since they lit up the night sky during the first 4th of July in 1776. They bring us wonder and inspiration…and are enjoyed best when left in the capable hands of professional pyrotechnicians.

Luckily, there are plenty of fun alternatives to fireworks that bring a different kind of spark to your 4th of July festivities. And since fireworks are not allowed at our resorts, these are great options that can take your campsite experience at Sun Outdoors to the next level. 

4th of July Kids Crafts That Make a Bang 

Get into the Team USA spirit with these easy and patriotic DIY crafts. You'll probably find most of the materials needed already packed away in your outdoor vacation supplies. 

Bombastic Bubbles

Glow-in-the-dark bubbles make for an entertaining evening. Add the contents of a glow stick or the inside felt pad of a highlighter to your favorite bubble solution. The more you add, the better the glow. Start the show when it gets dark. 

You can also make a homemade bubble solution using a combination of water, dish soap, and light corn syrup. 

All-American Bubble Art

Don't put the bubble blowing solution away just yet. This inexpensive activity is a fun sensory experience the creates a frame-worthy piece of art.  

  1. Place white paper or poster board on the ground or on a protected tabletop. 
  2. Add red and blue food coloring or poster paint to separate bowls of bubble solution. Other colors can be used too. 
  3. Mix until your desired shade. 
  4. Use a straw or bubble wand to blow bubbles over the paper. 
  5. When they pop, they'll leave colored splatter. 
  6. Experiment from different heights and color concentrations.

Let your masterpiece dry and voila – authentic American artwork ready to hang on a wall or refrigerator!

Balloon Poppers

Make some noise and have some fun with an easy-to-assemble balloon popper.  All you need are some balloons, empty toilet paper tubes, and environmentally friendly camping confetti, like fallen leaves, dried flowers or even popcorn. 

  1. Tie a knot in the balloon. 
  2. Cut across the balloon a bit above the knot. 
  3. Slip the knotted part over one end of a toilet paper roll. 
  4. Decorate the roll with red, white, and blue embellishments.
  5. Fill with camping confetti
  6. Pull the balloon knot down and let it launch. 


Safe Sparkler Substitutes

Sparklers are responsible for hundreds of serious burns every year. We've got a few different ways to sparkle that don't include holding a burning hot metal wire shooting off potentially scalding embers.  

Sticks That Glow 

Inexpensive glow sticks really cast a cool light on fun around the resort. 

When activated, the non-toxic mix within the sticks sets off a glow that can last for hours. There are many color variations you can choose from that are very flexible.

Get All Wand-Up

LED sparklers and fiber optic wands are becoming popular fire-free options for traditional sparklers. To achieve a more festive, big-bang look, you can repurpose decorative solar garden lights in a starburst pattern. 

Phone Displays

Harness the power of the internet with animated sparkers! Search for sparkler images and videos on your smartphone, or download a sparkler app and shine your light, safely, throughout the resort!

Quiet Fireworks Make Big Noise 

Towns and cities across the country put on their own explosive displays near many of our resorts. Or you can watch national fireworks displays that are broadcast live on television. 

Some communities are also beginning to use "quiet fireworks" for their holiday celebrations. Known as "silent fireworks," these pyrotechnics provide bright colors and flashes without the excessively loud booms and are often choreographed to patriotic music.  

While no firework is technically silent, these low-noise fireworks are appreciated by those with noise-sensitivity issues including people suffering from PTSD, as well as young children and pets.


We hope these ideas have introduced you to some good alternatives to help you and your family celebrate the holiday safely without using fireworks. Do you have some favorite activities to celebrate the 4th of July? We'd love to hear about them!