Parades not your thing? Me either. And I’m not really up for sitting in lines of traffic just to have my kids cry because the fireworks are too loud. We like to keep things low key on the Fourth of July, but the kids still want to celebrate big time.

Besides the traditional backyard BBQ, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate Independence Day without leaving our home.

1. Mini-Parade

The kids will love marching around the house, inside or out, in their own celebratory parade. They can get dressed up in red, white, and blue, and carry their own flags or musical instruments. This is a great opportunity for some adorable pictures – and a great way to tucker the kids out.

2. Arts and Crafts

Set up a craft table full of fun and festive items. Think red, white, and blue ribbons, glitter, paper, straws, and items from your recycling bin. Provide plenty of glue, glue sticks, tape, crayons, and markers.

3. Dessert Bar

Yum. Who wouldn’t like to celebrate like this? Brownies, cookies, festive sprinkles, fruit, ice cream (in a cooler if you can), and whipped cream are all perfect items for a dessert bar. Whatever your family loves the most, put it out there. Even ice cream sandwiches can be improved by dipping them in some red, white, and blue sprinkles. Or how about a build-your-own cookie ice cream sandwich? The possibilities are deliciously endless.

4. Beach Party

Even if you don’t have a pool, you can set up a beach party in your backyard. The sprinkler, the kiddie pool, and the old slip and slide are all fun ways to cool off. Games with water balloons are always fun. Or you could take it to the extreme and make your own backyard water park.

5. Sidewalk Chalk Games

Giant tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, toy car races, bike races, and hangman can all be played right on your patio or driveway. These all keep the kids busy and some of the grown-ups too.

Keep it just your family or invite friends and make it a party. Either way, a Fourth of July celebration at home is more than just doable, it might just become your favorite day.