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Nothing says summer, celebration, and fun like the Fourth of July. From backyard barbecues to fireworks to plenty of red, white, and blue, nothing inspires patriotism and good, old-fashioned summer fun like our nation’s birthday. 

Of course, the anticipation for fireworks and fun does not end with childhood; seniors look forward to the special events and the time to celebrate the country they love, too. Not only that, but participating in holiday activities also helps seniors to strengthen bonds with their community, friends, and family.

However, between the crowds, the sun exposure, and the continuing social distancing measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult for seniors to find events that balance fun and safety. That’s why the team at Arbor Terrace Fairfax has rounded up several fun, senior-friendly Fourth of July events and activities to enjoy this summer. 

Have a Backyard Barbecue

Although there may not be big neighborhood or regional events to attend, your family and friends can still have their own barbecue. Whether it is inside or out, get everyone involved in making classic grilled foods like hot dogs, burgers, vegetables, and more. 

While you’re at it, seniors can help kids get ready for water balloon fights, help make themed drinks, hand out ice cream, or just enjoy the fun of catching up with family and friends. If you’re feeling extra adventurous — and patriotic — why not try your own firecracker tie-dyed T-shirt to wear to the event!

Visit Local Historical and Memorial Sites

Though some museums and facilities may be closed to visitors for the holiday or as a safety precaution, Virginia and Washington D.C.’s many parks and outdoor historic sites are open. Those that immediately come to mind are the sites that honor our military service members and historical battlefields, including Manassas National Battlefield Park, the World War II and Vietnam memorials in Washington, and of course, the Washington Monument.

These sites are well prepared to accommodate seniors, and visitors also have the option of enjoying guided or bus tours for those looking to avoid the heat.

Host a Patriotic Watch Party

We are lucky to live so close to Washington and its iconic Fourth of July events and fireworks, but this year, enjoying the festivities from home may make more sense. Use this as an opportunity to host your own event from home with a bunch of your family and friends and try some of these patriotic ideas:

  • Have a festive singalong to tracks like “America the Beautiful,” “This Land Is Your Land,” or “Yankee Doodle.”
  • Find holiday-themed snacks and drinks and watch parades and fireworks on TV.
  • Enjoy a classic summertime movie.
  • Bring out classic board games or some of your favorite card games.
  • Make crafts like paper flags or other red, white, and blue decorations to hang.

Join Mount Vernon’s ‘An American Celebration’ Events

Weather and other health conditions permitting, why not visit the home of George Washington and kick off your Independence Day celebrations with a bang? The weekend before July 4, on June 27, Mount Vernon will be hosting special tours, musical performances, and games on its famed estate. 

Of course, no visit would be complete without greeting Gen. Washington and Mrs. Washington impersonators, who will be on-site welcoming guests as well as colonial artists. There will also be a 9 p.m. fireworks show. You can learn more here and also confirm any changes resulting from health restrictions.

The Fourth of July is a great time to reconnect with family and friends of all ages. And though safety is always the No. 1 priority, choosing the right types of activities and events can make the nation’s birthday a great time to relax and create new memories. 

If you want to learn more about how Arbor Terrace Fairfax celebrates not only this special time of year, but also our residents, check out our blog and our event calendar.

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Kellyn May

About the Author: Kellyn May

"I’ve dedicated my career to senior care by providing comfort, education and support to families with aging relatives. I completed my Bachelors at Virginia Tech in Human Development and my Masters at George Mason University in Senior Housing Administration. I spend my time outside of the office with my husband, daughter and my dog, Truffles. I can talk all things DC sports and Beauty and the Beast."

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