Holidays: Creating 4th of July Memories

Last Fourth of July, my husband and I decided to introduce our baby boy to a local tradition. As a family we took part in the famous Sonoma parade.

Being new to Sonoma, we were told that it was tradition for newcomers to walk in the local parade. So, my husband and I along with our 10-month-old son donned spandex in the form of superheroes and walked the streets. Our little guy absolutely relished all of the activity, people and festive energy. The crowd would cheer him on and he would answer by cheering back and waiving his little American flag. It was definitely a Fourth to remember.

Last year's Fourth of July paradeLast year’s Fourth of July parade

Holidays are an amazing time to introduce kids to special traditions. Whether those traditions have been passed from generation to generation like a recipe for cherry pie, or whether they are new, it’s a way to put your personal family mark on a holiday and create a special memory.

In trying to figure out what traditions to adopt in my home (aside from parading around as super heroes), I started asking my fellow moms about their favorite family traditions for this special holiday. There are so many fun activities out there. From fireworks to ice cream making contests, local Sonomans bring in Independence Day with a bang.

If looking to start a new tradition, consider these:

• Set the stage with festive decorations and napkins

• Start off your fourth with red, white and blue pancakes or waffles (waffles with fresh whipped cream, raspberries/strawberries and blueberries)

• Warm up those feet by running in the Fourth of July Kenwood Footrace. Let those young ones burn some energy in the shorter 3K

• Check out the local parade – Sonoma’s parade is not to be missed. From racecars to superheroes, you never know what you will see next

• Educate children about the reason for the holiday by talking about it. Books from the library can help tell the story. Or, create or paint paper colonial flags. Making a flag provides a great opportunity to discuss the meaning of the flag and how each star represents a former colony

• Surround yourself with friends and family. Have everyone pick a favorite food and turn it into a cooking contest. For example, one local family has themed this around ice cream. Every year they create ice cream flavors and present them to their own panel of judges

• Finish the day with some tasty treats. From cherry pie to cakes, there are so many options. I know a Sonoma mom who highly recommends the Barefoot Contessa’s Flag Cake. Interested? Check out the recipe here.

• Close the day while enjoying fireworks. Whether setting them off or watching them from afar, nothing brings a family together like fireworks

There are so many fun things to do. At the end of the day anything you do will provide memories for years to come. Feel free to weigh in and provide your favorite Fourth of July tradition in the comments section below. I wish you and yours a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!

Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas with me and to the input from the Sonoma Valley Mothers’ Club.


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