6 ways to spend Independence Day, California style

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Pull out everything in your closet resembling the American flag to celebrate — you guessed it — Independence Day! If you have yet to come up with an itinerary for tomorrow’s red-white-and-blue extravaganza, allow the Clog to assist you. We’ve compiled a list of events to check out and things to do both in the Bay Area and around Los Angeles (to smooth out the long-standing tensions between them), guaranteeing some patriotic fun for everyone.

Hella Nor Cal:

1. Party at Berkeley Marina. If you’re up north or still on campus this long weekend, head over to the marina for live bands, crafts, food, rides and even activities for the kiddies if you’ve got younger siblings whom your parents are forcing you to babysit (or whom you actually like spending time with). Catch the bus, and get there any time between noon and 10 p.m. Stay for a few hours, or spend the whole day there. They’ll have fireworks if you don’t feel like heading to another location for a show.

2. The ExploratoriumThis will be a good break from all the patriotic red, white and blue shennanigans  — plus it’s free! Go to San Francisco’s Pier 15 to explore your innovative side and get creative. Take some time out from burgers and fireworks to get in touch with your inner scientist and get a view of the city at the same time. And did we mention it’s free?

3. Alameda’s Fourth of July parade. Not too far from Berkeley, you can head over to watch parade floats and dancers strut down the streets in all their American glory. Afterward, there’s also a Jubilee (whatever that is?) with music and games. There’s an entrance fee for that, but if you just want to stick around for the parade, that’s free.

And … SoCal (Totally gnarly SoCal? We’re not aware of any stereotypes that made it past the ’90s.)

4. Aquarium of the Pacific barbecue. If you’re close to Long Beach for the summer and want to stay near the water, check out the aquarium for a buffet and fireworks afterward. Grab some food, feel smart by looking at colorful fish and enjoy the sky. Hopefully, they’ll avoid serving you any of the fish you get to look at alongside your meal. (Note: You’d be close enough to swing by the Queen Mary‘s Independence Day events too — more fun by the water but this time on a boat.)

5. Disneyland! Need we say more? If you’re not willing to spend the day in the park itself, you could at least walk around Downtown Disney right outside the park. Check out the shops, get something to eat and settle in somewhere to watch the fireworks. You can see them from a lot of spots. Just be sure to avoid pesky trees that might block your view. And tall people, of course.

6. Grand Park Block PartyYet another free event to thank us for (you’re welcome), the Los Angeles Civic Center will have live entertainment, food trucks and a light show at the end of the night. They’re not fireworks but still sound like they’ll be pretty cool. You’ll probably have to pay for parking somewhere, but it’s L.A. That should be obvious. And at least the rest of it is open to all.

If you feel like staying in, stick to the classics. Head to your nearest grocery store for barbecue supplies, cook up some burgers and corn in the backyard and look up where to camp out for a free fireworks show. The Clog also has a list to help you out with that! Whatever you choose to do, we wish you all a slightly early happy Independence Day!

Image source: Jim, the Photographer under Creative Commons. 

Contact Erum Khan at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @erumjkhan.