Mention the Fourth of July, and your mind may immediately fill with thoughts of grills packed with food, patriotic desserts, cold drinks, and plenty of loud fireworks. Though our nation’s birthday is always a time to enjoy relaxing with friends and family no matter what age you are, finding holiday events for seniors can take a bit more planning and effort than which red, white, and blue clothes to wear.
Under normal conditions, the crowds, sun exposure, and heat can make things difficult for seniors, but the social distancing recommendations and risks of COVID-19 in northern Virginia have further reduced the number of options that balance fun and safety this year.
However, that doesn’t mean that your family and your senior loved ones have to stay in this July Fourth. There are still many great ways to have fun, be safe, and celebrate the nation’s birthday. Here are just a few of the many great options that the team at Arbor Terrace of Herndon have rounded up.
Host a Fireworks Watch Party
Unfortunately, the Town of Herndon isn’t holding its annual parade, fireworks show, and Fourth of July celebration because of social distancing concerns, but doesn’t mean you can’t still get your fair share of oohs and ahhs with your closest friends and family.
Instead, use this as an opportunity to host your own event with your family and friends, including some of these patriotic ideas while you wait for the national fireworks show:
- Have a festive singalong with 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 movies
- 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.
Visit Local Historical and Memorial Sites
We are lucky to live close to the nation’s capital, home to amazing history and memorials. Though some of these museums and memorials may be closed in honor of the holiday or as a safety precaution to protect visitors’ health, many of Virginia and Washington, D.C.'s parks and outdoor historic sites are beginning to open for visitors in limited capacities as the region moves to Phase 2 of its coronavirus response.
Given the holiday, sites that honor our military members, iconic memorials, and historical battlefields, including Manassas National Battlefield Park, the World War II, and Vietnam memorials in Washington, and of course, the Washington Monument immediately come to mind.
Even better, many of these sites accommodate seniors and visitors. As weather and health considerations allow, select one of your favorites and enjoy a guided tour.
Enjoy Mount Vernon’s Independence Fireworks
What better way to celebrate July Fourth than at the home of George Washington? Historic Mount Vernon is still tentatively planning to hold its “Independence Fireworks” event the weekend before July 4, on June 27, which will include special tours, musical performances, games on the famed estate, and a chance to meet Gen. Washington and Mrs. Washington impersonators. Pieces by colonial artists will also be on display ahead of the 9 p.m. fireworks show. You can learn more here and also confirm any changes because of health restrictions.
Holidays are always a great time to reconnect with family and friends, but there’s just something about the excitement of the Fourth of July that brings out the kid in all of us. Though many events have been affected by COVID-19, we hope this list demonstrates that there are still plenty of fun and creative ways to celebrate the nation’s birthday, create new memories, and stay safe.