Your Ultimate Guide to Planning an Iconic 4th of July in DC With Kids!

As we opened the door to our hotel, my heart sank. Rain. Not just a little drizzle either. Steady, pouring, soak you to the core- rain. The forecasters promised only a 30% chance of storms, but clearly they were wrong. Still, it was an hour before the 4th of July parade and we didn’t come to DC for the 4th of July just to sit in our hotel. So, we pressed on. The rain continued until just before the parade was supposed to start, and sure enough, by the time the rain stopped we were completely soaked. And that was when something magical happened.

The pouring rain had the unintended effect of literally driving all the people away. Those of us who pressed on were able to snag the best seats in the house– right on the street across from the central area of the parade route. So, as the crowds gathered, Sweet Pea took to the street to jump in the very patriotic puddles. She giggled sweetly as she held her little American flag high and marched back and forth in front of the onlookers. It was adorable. Even though we were wet, I knew we had made the right decision and for the next 3 hours we were treated to one of the most iconic experiences in America– the best 4th of July parade ever.

The parade is just one of the many reasons you must spend the 4th of July in DC with your kids! I have written a pretty extensive series of posts on planning an iconic 4th of July in DC with kids. We had an amazing experience last year and for the most part did it without losing our minds. Ha!


dc 4th of july with kids

Click on the links or pictures below to see that part of the guide. I hope you have a phenomenal time!

How to Plan an Iconic 4th of July in DC Part One: The logistics

This post covers where to stay, where to park, when to arrive, ideas for food, and other activities you will want to consider if you want to truly embrace this once in a lifetime DC 4th of July experience.

Part One: The Logistics

iconic 4th of july in dc with kids

How to Plan an Iconic 4th of July in DC Part Two: The Parade

This post covers the parade: where to sit, when to get there, what to bring, and what to do if the weather stinks (because honestly, it is always a real possibility for DC in July).

Part Two: The Parade

dc 4th with kids

How to Plan an Iconic 4th of July in DC Part Three: The Fireworks

This post covers.. well, the fireworks. I spent a long time trying to game the system on where to see the fireworks. Here I give tips about all the best viewing spots and ways to minimize the chaos if you go to see the fireworks with young kids.

Part Three: The Fireworks

iconic dc 4th of july

I hope this guide is helpful to you as you plan. Have a fantastic Independence Day!


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