To many people, fireworks are a staple of the summer, especially around the Fourth of July. But it’s not always the best option for everyone. Some of us have children with sensitive ears who have no fun during firework shows, or pets that get way too anxious from the explosions. Some people live in areas with super dry, windy climates (*cough* Utah *cough*) and probably shouldn’t be setting off fireworks in their neighborhoods. Despite this, no one wants to feel left out. Luckily, there are many alternatives out there that may not have the same pop but are still a lot of fun.
If you’ve never done any party poppers, well, where have you been? These are little plastic or paper containers that are filled with confetti. When you give the string attached to them a good tug, they pop open and the confetti comes flying out. They are fun, cheap, just the right amount of messy, and make noise without it being too much on little ears (though it may make your dog go running out of the room if they’re jumpy, so maybe do them outside if possible).
Who doesn’t love bubbles? What about bubbles that look like something that came right out of a neon sign? If you mix these bubbles and spend the evening blowing them up and chasing them around with a blacklight flashlight, you are bound to forget all about fireworks.
You can check out a recipe to make your own glow-in-the-dark bubbles here. It’s super simple and looks very cool.
This may seem like an overly simple alternative, but you can have all kinds of creative fun with glow-sticks. After all, all kids love having glow-stick necklaces and bracelets. You can get yourself a horseshoe pole, bend the sticks into rings and play glow ring toss. Or you can put the glow-sticks into water bottles, paint a ball with some glow-in-the-dark paint and play glow bowling.
This site has all kinds of fun ideas of things to do with glow-sticks other than making the coolest jewelry around.
This one is especially cool if you have older kids who can help you put it together. Elephant toothpaste is a chemical reaction that makes what appears to be an ever-growing foam. If you mix it up with some food coloring, you’ve got yourself a fluffy color show!
There is a recipe for it here.
Diet Coke and Mentos
A classic and for good reason. All you need is a bottle of cola (diet is suggested so that things are less sticky) and a pack of Mentos. Just drop a couple of the Mentos into the cola and watch as a geyser of sugary, teeth-rotting goodness erupts from the bottles. If you want, you can experiment and create a show that could put the Bellagio fountains to shame.
Water balloon fights can be a lot of fun, but they lack a certain color. Specifically, all colors, they just are not colorful enough. Which is why we think that you should check out this recipe for chalk bombs. With these you can have all kinds of messy fun everyone can enjoy (and will leave any other water balloon fight in the dust).
As you can tell, these are all things that you are going to want to do outside, where you can hose things (and, potentially, your children) down. This list, along with some of the others linked below, should give you some good ideas to make sure that your family has just as much fun, without the need for fireworks.