WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 02, 2015
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5 Unique Things to Do Over the 4th of July Weekend

Independence Day is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. There’s truly something for everyone on this holiday. Sparklers for the kids, bottle rockets for teens, and the joy of blowing stuff up for all the "Bravehearts" out there. Of course, there’s also the fun that comes with watching fireworks, not to mention trying to outdo all your co-workers with finding the most interesting things to do – especially when it falls on a weekend.

See Also: Top 10 Celebrations Around the World

1. The Freedom Festival

4th of July festival
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The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival in Iowa is an event with nonstop things to do, and it has actually began in June. But the best is yet to come with their 4th of July bash that includes activities such as a pancake breakfast, bands, a car and bike show, theater, a farmers market, swimming and much more. There seems to be something for everyone, dawn to dusk, at this amazingly huge multi-week festival.

2. Cooperstown and National Baseball Hall of Fame

If you’re into all things baseball from the past, present and into the future, then the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York may be an adventure that you want to consider over the 4th of July weekend. After all, it doesn’t get much more patriotic than baseball, right? Located in Cooperstown, New York, this amazing piece of American history is sure to appeal to any generation and the fans of any team with baseball greats such as Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, and Hank Aaron to name just a few of the giants. A few other interesting things that Cooperstown has to offer include the Fenimore Art Museum, the Farmer’s MuseumgolfGlimmerglass Festival (musical theater and opera festival), and many other possibilities.

3. 4th of July Dinner and Fireworks River Cruise

If you like the idea of lounging lazily on the deck of a Riverboat while watching beautiful scenery drift by, consider cruising the Mississippi River. There are all sorts of options here depending on where you are located or how far you need to drive to board the ship. Savannah Riverboat Cruises offers a cruise on the 4th that specifically includes dinner and fireworks. If you don’t want to drive to Savannah, GA, there are also other options, but the fireworks are not included. A multi-state tour that includes history and sightseeing is one option, as is a short afternoon sightseeing cruise on Ohio’s Betty Blake Riverboats, returning you back to port in plenty of time to still see the fireworks later. A river cruise might be best for young adults or the young-at-heart who don’t need to figure out how to keep the kids entertained while relaxing and enjoying a slower pace of life for a while.

4. The Appalachian Trail

If you’re the type who can’t stand sitting still and would rather grab a good challenge by the neck and participate in the scenery drifting by, rather than just watching it, the Appalachian Trail might be an ideal option. This well-known wilderness excursion is likely on every true hiker’s bucket list of places to enjoy. Since it goes through multiple states, there are multiple places where a person can get on or exit and little towns that can be visited along the way, making it a fun holiday adventure that will likely raise eyebrows at the office when you start talking about how you hiked it over the 4th of July weekend. You can hike till you drop or just enjoy a short trek through the wilderness, so with the right planning, this can even make for a memorable 4th of July family adventure where you can also catch the firework displays that all the little towns along the trail will be hosting.

5. Branson, Missouri

Here is a place that has something for pretty much anyone who enjoys good entertainment. Branson is probably best known for its music shows and Silver Dollar City Theme Park, but there are a few other interesting items, too. Sight and Sound Theater offers live theater productions that are family friendly and even faith- based in nature. These productions that could give Broadway a run for its money, are complete with live animals, and, depending on the show, a bit of pyrotechnics occasionally thrown in. A few other interesting things to do include caving, horseback riding, golfing, shopping, and of course, fireworks, to name just a few.

With the 4th of July being on a weekend this year, there is great potential for getting together with friends and family and being a bit more creative than in the past. Besides, these adventures are likely to make great material for embarrassing the kids, or siblings or good friends at cookouts and picnics for years to come.

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