When it comes to patriotic holidays, the Delaware River Towns like to party. American history is, after all, kind of in our wheelhouse. You won’t have any trouble finding something to do over the long 4th of July weekend, especially if ooo-ing and ahhh-ing at fireworks is your thing, but you do run the risk of missing out if you don’t do some modest planning beforehand. Or, you could just keep reading. That counts, too.
June 29, Erwinna
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.
July 4, Lahaska
If you don’t have easy access to a body of water, Peddler’s Village is the next best place to spend your Fourth. It can get crowded, but it’s manageable. And there’s a steady stream of live music and kids activities throughout the afternoon—a balloon toss, a watermelon eating contest, and lots of old time-y games—which means you can find a shady spot, or even do some shopping, while they wear themselves down.
July 4-6, Washington Crossing
Looking for a more authentic experience for your 4th of July? Head over to Washington Crossing Historic Park, along the banks of the Delaware, 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. The next day, 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. Events start at 10 AM. There’s free guided tours, too, from 10 AM until 4 PM. And on July 6, 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).
July 5, New Hope and Lambertville
Any reason is a good excuse to stroll the sidewalks of New Hope and Lambertville in the summertime, and fireworks only sweeten the idea. The trick, of course, is finding a prime viewing spot before the sidewalks fill in. A stool or seat at any one of the al fresco bars or restaurants is your best option. But you’ll need to grab it by happy hour and then pace yourself.