The 4th of July might be one of the easiest holidays to celebrate. All you really need to do is find a good hill and watch the fireworks burst in the sky. Of course, for those of you who like to go hard, we've created a special 4th of July itinerary.
9:00 a.m.Start your day off with some morning meditation at the Meditation Museum, then hit your favorite brunch spot. Most D.C. eateries will announce special holiday deals as the date gets closer -- keep your eye out for patriotic menus!
11:45 a.m.Next, you'll want to find yourself a good spot to watch the National Independence Day Parade. The parade leaves from the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, and marches down Constitution up to 17th Street. Whether you want to sing aloud or just watch and cheer, it's a 4th of July staple not to be missed. [caption id="attachment_2607" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Map of the parade route[/caption]
12:30 p.m.All this walking and patriotic cheering has probably made you hungry! This is a perfect time to head over to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Held on the National Mall, this annual event reaches its peak during the 4th of July. Learn about circus arts and the American folk arts between bits of your meat pie or fish 'n' chips. Full information about the festival is available here.
3:00 p.m.It's the United States' birthday, which means someone ought to be throwing a birthday party! The National Archives celebrates the 4th of July with special programming celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Sit on the Constitution Avenue steps and listen to historical re-enactors perform a dramatic reading of the Declaration. Afterwards, stick around for free music and family-friendly activities. [caption id="attachment_2608" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Fourth of July in D.C. -- Image courtesy of S. Pakhrin.[/caption]
6:00 p.m.Stop by the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument for some more free music. The U.S. Navy Band will play a selection of pop, rock, and patriotic music for your eager ears. Grab a corn dog off a street vendor and get ready for ...
8:00 p.m.Perhaps the hottest event of the summer, A Capitol Fourth is a 4th of July tradition in the nation's capital. The National Symphony Orchestra and some of the country's best pop artists come together for a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. This year's concert is hosted by John Stamos and features performances by The Beach Boys, The Blues Brothers, The Four Tops, and many more. It's totally open to the public, and no tickets are necessary. Doors open at 3 p.m., though, so you'll have to stake out a good spot if you want those prime sight lines.
9:00 p.m.Yes -- it's finally time for fireworks! The dazzling light display shoots off from the Reflecting Pool, lighting up the skies as clear as day. Get your cameras out and hold those loved ones close! It's America. And just like that, your 4th of July celebration comes to its climax. I'll see you at the bonus round: 10 p.m. 'til last call at The Codmother on U Street.
What are your 4th of July plans? Have you ever gotten in trouble for shooting off fireworks? Let us know in the comments below!