Fourth of July Ideas for Patriotic Fun

  • June 27, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

The Fourth of July can sneak up on us without much warning.  Just as all the school graduation ceremonies and Father’s day activities are winding down, another holiday weekend is here.  Because the 4th is at the beginning of the month, sometimes it’s easy to forget to make your plans ahead of time.  If you start now you can make your plans for a weekend that has great holiday potential.  The Fourth of July occurs on a Monday this year, which also means a 3-day weekend for most people.   Make sure your Fourth of July is filled with all sorts of good patriotic summer fun.  Here’s 6 great ideas to get your Fourth of July holiday started. 

Learn About Our Nation’s History:  A great way to engage your children in both learning about the history of the Fourth of July as well as to have some fun is to play a game of Fourth of July trivia.  Assemble an assortment of fun facts, history and trivia about Independence Day and quiz the kids or play a game that is focused around the information you have gathered.  Your kids will love learning the facts about the holiday and will get excited about why we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Dress Patriotically:  Whether you are attending a family or community Fourth of July event, you are bound to get into the spirit of the day all the more with an appropriate patriotic costume.  Colonial costumes are a fun choice or you can dress up as the traditional Uncle Sam.  Other unique costume choices for your Independence Day celebration are the Statue of Liberty, or any assortment of political figures, perhaps even George Washington.  Of course a very easy way to get into the spirit of the day is to just dress up in the colors red, white and blue from head to toe—use your imagination and be creative.  Don’t forget to wear your stars and stripes!

Create Neighborhood traditions:  Create a neighborhood tradition for your Fourth of July that everyone on your block is going to look forward to.  Have a neighborhood potluck or BBQ with all of the trimmings.  This is a great time to have a watermelon-eating contest or a chili cook off to get your neighborhood chefs motivated.   Have the kids decorate their bicycles in red, white and blue colors and have a bike parade.  Buy some inexpensive and small American Flags at a novelty store and attach them to everyone on your street’s mailbox.  This Fourth of July event is bound to become an event that your entire neighborhood looks forward to.

Uncle Sam Photo:  This is a fun tradition that the entire family can participate in.  Have everyone in the family make an Uncle Sam hat and take a traditional family portrait-Fourth of July style.  You can get very crafty with this if you like by adding spinners, glitter, etc. to the hats.  Start an album with your Fourth of July photographs including the pictures that you take during other fun activities that you do that day.  This family album will begin a fun tradition that you can keep adding to on a yearly basis.  Over time the photo album will become something your entire family will certainly cherish.

Take a Patriotic Vacation:  There are some very fun as well as traditional locations that you and your entire family can visit over the Fourth of July.  If you want to make the most of your family vacation and celebrate the holiday weekend in a patriotic fashion consider visiting one of our nations more historic locales.  New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia as well as Colonial Williamsburg, VA are some cities to consider visiting.  Immersing yourself in the local 4th of July festivities of one of these heritage rich cities is bound to be memorable for all your family members. 

The Big Finale:  No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without watching a fireworks display after dark.  Scout out your community’s local fireworks event or perhaps try a different venue out of town for a change.  Many beach communities have amazing fireworks displays that you can watch down on the pier.  Plan your holiday barbecue to coincide with your evening’s activities and get that perfect spot to watch the fireworks from after the sun goes down.  If you don’t live near the beach, many cities set off fireworks at local venues or community parks. 

No matter what you choose to do for your Fourth of July celebration, it’s a perfect opportunity to bond with your friends and family as well as to create memories that you will have for a lifetime.  Let your inner patriot fly free and make this Fourth of July be your best one yet! 

10 Summer Movies You'll Want To See

  • June 13, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

The first days of summer are nearly upon us.  You probably already have begun to conjure up some ideas in your mind of how you are going to keep your kids and your family busy and actively engaged over the long summer days.  An easy family outing that any family can participate in is a day at the movies.  A movie is a great way to escape the heat of a summer day and with all the exciting summer blockbusters to entice you, you can be assured of having some great entertainment as well. 

One of the challenges of going to the movies can be finding a film that all members of the family are equally excited about seeing.   Sometimes the movies that your kids are interested in aren’t necessarily the ones you would choose to see first.  Fortunately, this summer’s hot movie list has many choices that are bound to be hits with your entire family.  Here’s our list of upcoming summer movies that your kids are going to want to see that we think you are going to enjoy as well. 

Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides

Johnny Depp reprises the role of Jack Sparrow on another crazy action packed adventure bound to be entertaining for your entire family.  In this latest sequel, Jack sets out to find the Fountain of Youth and in the process reconnects with a woman from his past.  Has Jack found true love?  Or is he being duped by this woman (Penelope Cruz) as she beguiles him into her web of lies and forces him onto the vicious pirate Blackbeard’s ship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge.   On his quest to find the Fountain of Youth, now Jack our slightly cockamamy buccaneer finds himself in the middle of a zany adventure where he is unsure who to fear most, this woman from his past or Blackbeard himself. 

Kung Fu Panda

The saga of Po the Panda (voice of Jack Black) continues as he and his cohorts, known as the Furious Five encounter a new and evil villain.  The maniacal scoundrel, Lord Shen (voice of Gary Oldman) has a secret and unstoppable weapon and is set on the destruction of China and the martial arts.  Po and his furious friends are on a mission to seek out the enemy and overpower it. 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) hasn’t always been the nicest guy.   Little did he know however that in his quest to have an arctic adventure he would become suddenly housemates with 6 adorable and very energetic live penguins.  Jim Carrey adds his own quirky and hilarious dimension to this 1938 children’s book character.  This movie is bound to delight you and your children as Mr. Popper adjusts to the shenanigans and hilarity that living with a bunch of penguins has created.   You will roll with laughter while the iciness of Mr. Poppers persona is melted down by his new arctic friends.

The Green Lantern

Based on the DC Comics strip of the same name, the Green Lantern Corps are a brotherhood of warriors that are sworn to protect intergalactic order and perpetuate peace and justice in the universe.  This powerful force has existed for many centuries but a vicious enemy called the Parallax threatens the balance of power in the Universe.  The fate of the Earth lies in the power of the Green Lantern and in the hands of their newest member, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).  Hal is talented and smart but very arrogant.  The Green Lantern members are dubious about humans and a human has never fully adapted to the powers of the ring that gives each of them super powers.  Watch and see if Hal can overcome his struggles and overcome the powers of the evil Parallax.

Cars 2

Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and his tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) are back in action racing in the first ever World Grand Prix.   Of course there are a few bumps in the road including Mater getting involved in some international espionage!  Mater the tow truck is caught between helping Lightning race against the world’s fastest cars and getting involved in a clandestine spy mission of his own.

X-Men: First Class

The Marvel Comics heroes are recreated from the beginning of their saga back from the very beginning.  Before the identities of Professor X and Magneto even existed there were two young men just discovering their powers for the first time.  Before they declared themselves enemies they were actually very good friends and cohorts.  Together with other mutants they were going to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known.  Over time, a disagreement ensued which began the legendary war between Magneto’s brotherhood and Professor X’s X men.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II

This is all she wrote, folks.  This Harry Potter film is the final installment of one of the greatest movie franchises of all time.  Harry will finally try to bring an end to his archenemy Lord Voldemort as he and his friends search for Horcruxes that hold pieces of Voldemort’s soul.  This movie will tie up all the loose ends and bring the infamous series to a close.  Don’t miss it. 

Captain America: The First Avenger

Born a sickly and frail child during the deep depression, Steve Rogers wanted nothing more than to serve his country in the armed services.  Even after being rejected because of his weakness, he still desired to serve his country.  Steve’s pleas to join the army are overheard by General Chester Phillips who then enlists him in a special experiment called: Operation Rebirth.  After being administered the Super Soldier Serum and being bombarded by “vita-rays” Steve Rogers emerges as a super power laden body as perfect as perfect can be and still be considered human.  After a rigorous training program he is given his first assignment as—Captain America.  Captain America continues his battle to protect the world against evil forces and retain liberty and freedom.

Spy Kids: All The Time in the World

Retired Spy Marissa (Jessica Alba) is about to be called back into action.  She’s a housewife, a mother and a television reporter.  Marissa’s bickering step -children Rebecca and Cecil (who clearly don’t want much to do with their step mom) are surprised to discover that their step mom is a former spy.  All familial differences must be set aside in order to deal with the fast approaching Armageddon, which possibly could be the impetus to bringing their dysfunctional family together as well.

Winnie The Pooh

Disney’s most beloved bear is back with his entire gang of characters for this latest Disney animated film that will surely become a classic.  Tigger, Eeyore, Roo, Kanga, Piglet and Christopher Robin are all back to have a wild and hare-brained adventure that is set in the 100-acre woods. 

Show Off Your Wiener

  • June 09, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell

Wiener or Weiner? Regardless of how you spell it, there’s no escaping it. It certainly seems that you can’t go online, open a newspaper or watch TV without hearing about wieners. Suddenly hot dogs, sausages, Bratwursts and yes, wieners--- are virtually everywhere—and some of them are apparently behaving rather badly. Quite a bit has been said in the media in regards to the posting of “wiener” pictures and other “wiener-related” adventures online. We have a few thoughts of our own on this slightly doggy topic. Since obviously the media’s attention appears to be upon everything “wiener”—the good, the bad and the ugly, we are here to suggest that perhaps there is a kinder, gentler, (not to mention more appropriate) way to show off your inner hot dog. Before you go public with yours and do something truly regrettable, consider this wiener costume instead. It’s the perfect choice for your next 4th of July wienie roast or barbecue. You could also consider donning this outfit as a humorous alternative to wear for your online profile picture—although it’s possible that someone already may have beaten you to the punch. This hilarious get up could also be the perfect choice if you are considering dressing up as a Congressman for Halloween. This slightly irreverent, giant frankfurter costume is going to get you the attention you crave without any scandal whatsoever attached to it.

Being our wiener isn’t going to make you into front-page news or set the Internet on fire. You can however, go all out while hot-dogging it up with this appetizing, better than a foot-long rendition of one the best picnic foods of all time. Bun and condiments are included. This costume is a definite WIE-NER!