Your 2020 Fourth of July celebrations may have to look a little bit different from years past. Between the ongoing pandemic and the call for true freedom of all, it can feel a bit daunting to navigate the coming weekend. We’ve come up with a few ideas of how to celebrate, from safe places to watch the fireworks away from the crowds to virtual programming.
Spots to Watch Fireworks
The idea of watching fireworks in large crowds full of mask-less strangers seems almost archaic at this point. In the age of coronavirus, social distancing is a must. But, you can still watch the fireworks with your friends and family away from the crowds in some key areas while wearing a mask and staying six feet away from others. Remember, if these spots are crowded, you should relocate to an uncrowded area.
Meridian Hill Park
This park sits on 12 acres, giving you plenty of space to keep your distance from others.16th and W Streets in NW, DC.
Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge
Standing over the Potomac between Rosslyn and Georgetown, the Key Bridge will give you beautiful views of the fireworks over the water.
This waterfront neighborhood development has plenty of great bars and restaurants to grab some to go bites and drinks from to enjoy on the pier. 1100 Maine Ave. SW, DC.
Gravelly Point Park
This large, open area will give you the perfect view of the firework going off over D.C. George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington, VA.
Oronoco Bay Park
This quiet park, located near the Mount Vernon Trail, sits on the Potomac just across from the MGM National Harbor. 100 Madison St. Alexandria, VA.
Jones Point Park
Housing a historic lighthouse and located just off the 495, you might just make this your spot to watch the fireworks every year. Jones Point Drive in Alexandria, VA.
If you live in or around the city in an apartment with a balcony or roof access, consider watching from the comfort of your own home!
If fireworks aren’t really your thing, or you want to use this holiday to educate yourself, consider tuning into some virtual programming. (Spoiler: You might have to steal your neighbor’s Disney+ account).
- The annual Capitol Hill Community Parade cannot commence this year, but the organizers are hosting their first-ever virtual parade in its place. Short videos from organizations which usually march in the parade as well as people like you will be compiled to make a new kind of celebration.
- Take a virtual tour of our nation’s capitol with Architect’s Virtual Capitol.
- The National Archives has put together its first-ever virtual celebration for the Fourth, promising plenty of educational opportunities for all.
- Tune into PBS’s Independence Day celebration A Capitol Fourth.
- Read Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” on the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s website.
- Read this Smithsonian Magazine article on the history of the holiday and what it means to Native Americans.
- Watch the hit Broadway musical Hamilton on Disney+.
Other Fun Activities
If you’re tired of virtual programming, and don’t feel like risking the crowds for some fireworks, here are some other fun ways to celebrate this year.
- Host a socially distant backyard cookout, or try your hand at an oyster roast.
- Make your own outdoor movie night with a handy phone projector.
- Go hiking or camping at any of the nearby waterfalls.
- Support your favorite local bars or restaurants by sitting al fresco or ordering to go.
- Play outside and set up a game of corn hole or ladder ball.
- Take a road trip to a Revolutionary War battle ground at Yorktown, Virginia.
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