4th of July

4th of July: 7 Safer Alternatives to Fireworks

During summertime, the risks you think about most might be mosquito bites, sunburn, and running out of lemonade. But those probably aren’t the biggest summer dangers. Each year, thousands of people require medical attention from fireworks-related injuries. What’s more, fireworks spark thousands of fires. Even if you set the fireworks off safely and manage to avoid injuries and fires, the loud noises could prove problematic for individuals in your neighborhood with PTSD or sound sensitivity, and they could also be bad for local animals.

But with many public fireworks displays canceled as a result of COVID-19, families may be looking for ways to celebrate at home. These seven fireworks alternatives can be just as fun as the real thing!


If you love the idea of letting your kid wave around a sparkler, a wand can be a wonderful alternative. A wand with streamers or ribbons on the end may be particularly fun since children can experiment with how the ribbons move. Don’t have a proper wand lying around? No worries! This tutorial from Somewhat Simple is quick and easy.

LED Balloons

Want to light up the night? LED balloons can be just as dazzling as fireworks! With or without helium, they’d add some sparkle to any Fourth of July Party. If you use them outside, just be sure to keep them tethered to avoid littering. These LED balloons by Zodight come in a pack of 10, so you can spread them out around your space.

Light Shows

A light show might be just what you need to get the party started! That’s because party lights or light projectors can create a festive ambiance. While you’ll need to put a little money into buying a system, you can use it over and over again! Plus, this disco light by COIDEA is super affordable.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks can provide a very similar experience to sparklers. However, unlike sparklers, glow sticks usually last all night. Just be sure to monitor your children and discard broken glow sticks quickly since the liquid inside could cause irritation or chemical burns if it gets out of its casing. Need to replenish your glowstick stockpile? This pack of 400 (!) glow sticks from Glow Minds should last you a while!


If you just need to see something burst in the sky to feel like it’s the Fourth of July, blowing bubbles might be the solution. You and your kids can see how bit you can make them, try to catch them, or pop them with your fingers. This 12 pack of bubble wands from Joyin Toy might be fun for the whole family.

Silly String

Spraying silly string can be so much fun! If you want to make it especially festive for the holiday, you might try using exclusively red and blue. You can often find silly string at dollar stores or party stores. If you’re ordering online, Target has packs of two cans with red and blue string.

Science Experiments

Half of the fun of setting off fireworks is seeing what happens! You can accomplish the same thing by conducting science experiments with your children. There are even science experiments designed to look like fireworks. We think this glowing fireworks experiment from Growing A Jeweled Rose would be a memorable way to celebrate.

If you choose to set off fireworks anyway, don’t forget to read through the National Safety Council’s tips first. How are you planning on safely celebrating Independence Day this year? Tell us your plans in the comments section below!

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