Beyond parades and fireworks: five ways to celebrate Fourth of July in D.C.

Celebrating this Fourth of July away from home?

Sure, you can start your morning with a parade along the National Mall and then return at night to watch fireworks light up the monuments, but there’s plenty more to do in the District.

If your apartment balcony is too small for grilling, here are a few suggestions to fill your day with red, white and blue.

1. Visit the National Archives

Photo courtesy Wikimedia under the Creative Commons License
Photo used under the Creative Commons License

It can be easy to forget the Fourth isn’t all burgers and booze and there’s a sobering document in D.C. that can remind you what it’s all about. Stop by the National Archives to take a look at the Declaration of Independence – the original.

Early riser? At 10 a.m. you can attend a ceremony commemorating the founding document’s signing and hear the words read aloud.

2. Explore the Mansion on O Street

If you’re yearning for adventure in the same spirit that helped found the United States, there are countless treasures to discover at the Mansion on O Street. Full of secret passageways and an array of eclectic antiques, head to the Mansion for an Independence Day party. For just $10, you’re sure to stay entertained until the fireworks start.

3) Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem

Photo courtesy Wikimedia under the Creative Commons license.
Photo used under the Creative Commons license.

“U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” chants have taken D.C. bars by storm during the World Cup. Still, take a moment to remember the actual national anthem.

Stop by the National Museum of American History to take a look at the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” written in 1814. And until July 6, you can see the original manuscript of the lyrics.

4. Post-fireworks party at Rock & Roll Hotel

If you’re 21 or older and haven’t yet passed out on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Rock & Roll Hotel has the rest of your night planned for you.

The venue is hosting a USA Birthday Dance Party starting at 10 p.m., giving you time to head over after the fireworks show on the Mall.

5) Eat (and drink) at Town Tavern DC’s “Red, White, & Booze” party

Photo courtesy Wikimedia under the Creative Commons license
Photo used under the Creative Commons license

What Fourth of July would be complete without some good ole American food and drink?

Head to Town Tavern D.C., located on 18th Street NW, for food and happy hour specials to celebrate Independence Day.

All-American food like hamburgers, chili dogs and pretzels are $5 to $6 until 11 p.m., and the tavern has a $10 open bar from 9 to 10 p.m.

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