How to Celebrate the Fourth of July in TexasJuly 1, 2017
Because there is more than one way to celebrate our nation’s independence.
It is pretty easy to find that perfect spot to view your local Fourth of July fireworks display. In fact, if you have lived in Texas more than a year, you probably found and claimed your family’s annual domain already—whether it is a tucked away corner of your local park, a central plot in the middle of a crowded lawn or your own backyard. Your pre-fireworks plans, however, are probably less established. Maybe in the past a friends-and-family barbecue has eclipsed your afternoon, but this year you want to move the family or your best buds out of their comfort zone and hit the streets for an exciting and unique Independence Day experience.
But with the size and diversity of Texas’ major metros, finding the perfect 4th of July party for your gang can be a little overwhelming. So we have rounded up the coolest alternative activities in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas to help you make the most of your July 4th in Texas!
Sure, you are pretty much guaranteed to catch the July 4th classic Independence Day on any channel throughout Independence Day weekend. But why sit in your same old living room half-watching this holiday classic when you could be enjoying it the quintessential American way: at the drive-in?
Living up to Austin’s quirky side, Blue Starlight Mini Urban Drive-In is hosting a viewing of Independence Day on Independence Day, complete with a blacklight party and digital fireworks following the show. You have the option to take the car or walk in with your blanket or folding chair, so kick back with some snacks and enjoy watching this film in an All-American viewing experience.
If the weather is nice, try checking out the Dallas Arboretum during the Red, White, and Blues event. Living up to its name, the event will feature a variety of blues bands as well as other classic Americana like hot dogs and root beer floats. That is, if you are not planning your own Texan-style picnic. And since the event only runs from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., there will be plenty of time for other excursions.
Looking to avoid a crowded city center? Then look just outside the city limits to Fort Worth’s Fourth. Once you get over that mouthful of an event title, you will love the free admission that grants you access to a Jimmy Buffett cover band, food, jet ski and windsurfing shows and a chance to float on the Trinity River. While innertubes are provided without charge, they are offered on a first-come, first- served basis. There will be plenty for the children, too, with water slides, pony rides, mini-golf and more.
It is rare that snow appears in Houston, much less in the middle of summer, but Memorial City’s Fourth of July Snow and Ice Celebration will have 20,000 pounds of it! Kids can make snow angels and snowmen on The Square, and attractions include live music, face painting, ice sculptures, frozen treats and other food items, and more. It is definitely an unconventional opportunity to beat the heat.
Elsewhere, classical music aficionados may wish to check out the Houston Symphony’s rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture during Summer Symphony Nights: A Star-Spangled Salute. If you are worried about missing your fireworks display, there is no reason for concern, as fireworks are included as part of the music’s explosive climax.
San Antonio is a special city to celebrate the Fourth in Texas, as the iconic Alamo serves as the landmark of Texas independence. Independence Day at the Alamo offers an incredible historical experience for families, including a Living History Encampment, musket/long rifle demonstrations and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
But the cultural center of San Antonio—Market Square-El Mercado—offers a celebration that is a testament to Texas’s Mexican-American history and population. Considered the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico, Market Square’s Freedom Fest offers live music, vendors and food that celebrates historical Mexican culture in the U.S. It is July 4th for the 21st century!