The 4th of July is a revered holiday in these parts. After all, much of the Delaware River Towns played some part in the Revolutionary War. But last year’s celebrations were swallowed in a tsunami of cancellations. Two of the most popular attractions, the Lambertville-New Hope fireworks and the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, are not returning. Thankfully, lots of other events will be back in some form.
July 3 and 4, Lahaska
Festivals are a weekly occurrence at Peddler’s Village, so you can trust that they know how to do family fun. Expect a steady stream of live music and kids’ activities throughout the weekend – a balloon toss, a watermelon-eating contest, and lots of old time-y games. If your young-uns are self-sufficient, seize the opportunity to dip into one of the many air-conditioned restaurants for a little alone time with your favorite cold cocktail.
July 3 and 4, Washington Crossing
Looking for a more authentic experience? Head over to Washington Crossing Historic Park – site of arguably one of the most pivotal moments in our country’s history – where you can watch historians demonstrate their crafts, tour the buildings in the historic village, and check out a military encampment from noon to 4 PM on the Fourth. There’s also going to be hourly readings of the Declaration of Independence between 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM.
On the 3rd, the park’s hosting a colonial field day. Round up your team and compete in some of the most popular games from the 18th century. Also that day, the park’s staging a classic car show that’ll feature only American, French, British, and German cars (the four countries involved in the Revolutionary War). It will run from 10 AM to 2 PM. Admission is free.
July 3, Yardley
UnWINEd is a weekly series at Shady Brook Farm, home of the region’s grandest holiday light show. Bring some lawn chairs or a blanket and settle in for an intimate, family-friendly concert. If the kids get antsy, there’s a bunch of games set up off to the side to keep them occupied. Coolers aren’t allowed, but you won’t miss yours. The bar serves different themed cocktails every weekend and a pleasing selection of local craft beers. Shady Brook’s own chefs also cook up themed dishes featuring whatever’s in season on the farm, along with just about anything you could ever want to nosh on during a summer evening under the stars, including burgers, funnel cake, and kettle corn. Fireworks are not a standard feature, but they will be part of the show on July 3 (and again on September 4). Capacity is limited, so it would be a smart move to buy your tickets online.
August 28, Erwinna
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the Riverside Symphonia’s wildly-popular Concert Under the Stars will return this summer. The bad news: It’s not going to happen until Aug. 28. Organizers say that COVID-19 safety guidelines changed too late for them to pull off the concert over the 4th of July weekend, when it’s usually held.
Other than the date, though, not much should change, and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t get any more American (or family-friendly) than spreading out a blanket in the middle of a big field for a picnic dinner and fireworks. And this is one of the few remaining opportunities to do it. It’s made even better by the live soundtrack courtesy the Riverside Symphonia. Of course, there’s more than one way to picnic, and you’ll see some pretty elaborate setups here—folding chairs and tables, china, catered dinners—but don’t let the candelabras or the orchestra fool you; this is a pretension-free affair.