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The 4th of July quickly approaches—are you ready for it? It can be difficult to decide just how you want to spend your precious day off as there are so many options. Whatever you decide to do, whether you're looking to host a barbecue, watch a beautiful firework display or spend a day at the beach, we're here to recommend the best products to have a fun and fulfilling Independence Day.
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What is the 4th of July?
Independence Day commemorates the United States' independence, establishing itself as an independent nation from Great Britain. The year was 1776, a year after America's Revolutionary War had begun. When fighting first broke out in 1775, not everyone was on board with the idea of breaking away from the prosperous nation across the Atlantic. Come July of the following year, however, hostility across the pond had grown and so did the desire to be free. On July 2, 1776, the vote for independence was unanimously cast and two days later (on July 4) the Declaration of Independence was adopted. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Shop the hottest deals this weekend
With the 4th of July comes many deals at your favorite retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Wayfair. Whether you’re in the market for tech or furniture, here are the best sales to shop right now:
Enjoy a parade with friends and family
Hosting a parade is a long-standing 4th of July tradition that many cities and towns participate in. When attending one, it's important to stay hydrated. While this is true during the best of times, it is even more so when you'll be in the blazing sun for a long time. We recommend bringing a quality water bottle with you such as the Brita BB11. It’s our favorite water bottle at Reviewed because of its filter that keeps odor at bay and insulation that keeps water cool for up to 24 hours.
Another thing you’ll want to have on you is a pair of sunglasses to keep the glare of the sun away. After all, there's no way to ruin a parade quite like being unable to actually see it. Unless you plan on standing throughout the parade, it's also a good idea to bring a portable chair with you to lounge in. The YETI Trailhead collapsible camp chair is a solid option for its durable design and support of up to 500 pounds. But don't get so caught up in the logistics of a parade that you forget to throw in a little fun. Miniature flags are a must to show your patriotism at a 4th of July parade.
Wear clothes with patriotic flair
What better way to show everyone your Independence Day flair than to flaunt your stars and stripes in the form of a patriotic-inspired outfit? Reviewed’s Celebration Editor, Brittany Romano, loves Kedera’s pearls-beaded denim jacket for a striking, yet simple way to show off your stars this Independence Day. Pair it with Torrid’s terrific baby blue biker shorts and you’re golden. Complete the look with a bold red lip, such as Jouer Cosmetics’ Shine balm.
Deck your house out in all things America
Okay, we lied. There is one better way to show everyone your Independence Day flair— decking out your home in decorations fit for the occasion. Nothing quite screams "America" like its literal flag, so let that red, white and blue fly high. For a more retro feel, consider picking up a flag modeled after the original, 13-colony incarnation. If you're looking to get your Christmas in July on, may we suggest getting string lights in a flag formation? You can even power them with solar energy.
Fire up the grill for a barbecue
Since your house is all gussied up for the holiday (you're welcome, by the way), why don't you put it to good use by throwing a 4th of July barbecue? If you're looking for a new grill to fire up, the best charcoal model is the Napoleon NK22K-LEG-2 thanks to its large cook space of 22-inches plus its even heat distribution. Don't want to deal with the fuss of charcoal? Go for the Weber Spirit II E-310. What you lose in cook space, you make up in heat distribution and picture-perfect searing. Whatever grill you choose, you'll need tongs and spatulas. And please, we beg you, make sure your grill is properly cleaned before using.
Watch an epic firework display
Like parades, another popular Independence Day tradition is the epic display of fireworks that can be seen over practically every town across the nation. You'll want to whip out your beach chair for this occasion, much like at a parade, or you can bring along a blanket to lay down on the grass. One of the best-reviewed outdoor blankets on Amazon is by PortableAnd. It’s loved due to its cool design, portability and size big enough for two adults. Though if it's big enough for two people, it's big enough for a whole lot of bugs that are just itching to crawl on you. To keep them away, you can use eucalyptus spray which is an eco-friendly way to ward off bugs due to its smell, which is pleasant to us but horrible to them.
While fireworks are great fun for some, they can prove to be extremely nerve-wracking for others due to PTSD or general anxiety. One way to mitigate the loud sounds of fireworks is by using noise-canceling headphones. Additionally, man's best friend tends to not like the booming of fireworks and there are several ways to help them cope, such as using a sound machine. Ask your veterinarian how to best calm your furry friend and simply avoid exposing a nervous pet to fireworks if you don’t have to.
Plan a weekend getaway
Traveling this weekend? Buckle up: it’s expected to be a very busy travel weekend. Whether you're visiting distant relatives or sightseeing the beautiful locales our country has to offer, we’ve got some advice to make the most out of your trip.
Thanks to technology, you can keep tabs on what's happening at your home while you're away for peace of mind. Consider a smart doorbell like the Google Nest. It’s weather-proof, easy to install and provides high-quality video and audio surveillance to watch your home and packages.
Traveling can be exhausting and oftentimes all you want to do is get some shuteye. For more comfortable travels, you'll want a travel pillow like Cabeau Evolution's Classic Travel pillow. We tested it and found it to be one of the best thanks to its plush memory foam, durability and compact size. To take your comfort to the next level, block out the world and ward off any travelers eager to chat your ear off with a sleep mask and noise-canceling headphones. We prefer the Mzoo Sleep Mask as it blocks out light perfectly and is comfortable to wear. For noise-canceling headphones, though pricey, we love Sony’s WH-1000XM5. They offer incredible noise cancellation, comfort and long battery life (up to 30 hours!).
Now that you’ve got everything you need for a comfortable ride, you’ll want a way to pass the time until you reach your destination. Audible is a great service with which you’ll be able to listen to countless audiobooks to keep entertained. If your eyes are free, then you can bring along a tablet to watch all your favorite shows or read. The iPad Air is a perfect travel companion for its snappy, responsive performance and powerful battery. These entertainment options are suitable for adults and children alike. No one likes being bored, but especially not children. Another pro tip for traveling: don’t let the kids (or yourself) get hangry. Pack snacks for the day using reusable lunch bags. Lunchskins reusable bags are a standout choice from our testing thanks to their cool designs and temperature protection.
Spend your day off relaxing
Parades, barbecues and fireworks are all great fun, but sometimes you just want to have some alone time. Consider upgrading your sleep in the form of a new mattress. Few can match up to the Leesa Hybrid, in our opinion. It's soft, sturdy and contours to your shape making it your perfect fit. To make sure you don't wake up drenched in sweat from the heat, we recommend using the Utopia blanket. Thanks to its breathable cotton, it will keep you nice and cool as you snooze.
Lay back and stream countless shows and movies on your day off. For the best streaming device, we recommend the Roku Ultra. It supports a wide array of streaming platforms, has easily programmable buttons for your convenience and has a headphone jack. With the Roku Ultra, you'll be able to watch Independence Day, which isn't technically about the 4th of July, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Enjoy a dip in the water
It's been pretty hot these past few weeks, to say the least. So hot that perhaps you've fantasized about jumping into the nearest body of water. We’ve rounded up the best places to buy swimwear online to help you do just that.
If you want a pool in your backyard, but don't want the hassle of having one installed, then an inflatable pool is the way to go. The OEVES Pool is no ocean, but it's one of the biggest inflatable pools around, big enough for four adults to lounge in.
Going to the beach? Make sure to pack and beach towel and beach chair to keep the sand in its place. There are fewer better beach towels than PackTowl’s Personal Towel which dries both you and itself in a pinch while easily shaking off the sand. For a beach chair, we found the Tommy Bahama 5-Position Beach Chair to be a cult favorite—and we can see why. It’s comfortable, has convenient storage and backpack-like shoulder straps for easy carrying. Love the beach but need more protection from the sun? A beach tent might be the way to go. We like the lightweight Sun Ninja tent because it’s lightweight, offers ultimate sun protection and is easy to set up.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 4th of July 2022: What you need to travel, barbecue, shop, celebrate