As another holiday weekend approaches, kicking-off a series of summer festivities enjoyed by travelers near and far, my family and I are planning in two ways: either staying close to home and celebrating in our small New Jersey suburb or by traveling to smaller towns with less crowds but big festivities as well.
Over the years, and I can’t blame my kids for this because it started to happen before they came along, I have lost an interest in traveling to be among the crowd just to watch the fireworks, or the parades, or the ball drop at the beginning of the year. And as our family grew larger, I find myself with almost a zero interest to even try.
That’s not at all to say that we don’t enjoy the festivals and parades and all the fun that the holidays bring. It’s just that we really like to keep it simple and stress-free (as much as possible), and even affordable.
Now, if you have never, ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop at the mark of the New Year and its on your bucket list, or if you have never been to the country’s capital city of Washington, DC to watch the 4th of July fireworks on Independence Mall, or if you have never been to the Rose Parade in California or the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, well, I can’t in my right mind tell you to never try.
But, if traveling to busy, crowded, popular events in major cities with your large family isn’t your thing, don’t feel bad. Going small can be fun too.
Some things we have tried have been:
Hosting BBQs or parties around the holidays while the televised festivities play themselves out in the living room are our favorite ways of celebrating because we get to do so we people we love. Some would think that it’s a party full of kids and parents – and there’s definitely some of that. But, we also have a nice mix of people who might not have kids, or are married, but who like the chill vibe of backyard parties too.
We’re heading to Colorado to celebrate our 4th of July. The festivities in Steamboat promise to be spectacular and well-attended by residents and visitors a like. But, after many years of looking for the perfect spot and waiting around for the fireworks in New York City, I know that what awaits us all is a lot less hassle and crowds and a more laid back atmosphere.
We’re heading to celebrate…where it’s a bit less crowded.
Escape the noise
One of my favorite memories in holiday travel, was venturing to Yellowstone National Park and camping out. There were no fireworks or parades, no large crowds or bands playing. Just my family and nature. It was quiet, beautiful, and I didn’t feel for a second like I was missing a thing. Instead, we created new traditions.
So, next time that big holiday comes your way and your celebratory spirit is feeling like maybe it could tone it down a bit, consider any three of the suggestions above. In the end, what makes a day special are the people you share them with and the special places that give you a reason to smile and help you relax.
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