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4TH OF JULY TRADITIONS ENJOYING TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
With so many festivities going on around the D.C. metro area, there’s every reason to look forward to staying in town around the Fourth of July. For the last few years, we’ve had a tradition of heading to our local club and golf course on July 3 for a big pre-Fourth of July cookout, complete with food, games, and fun. There’s something for everyone. Jacob looks forward to the
a blast. The event takes place in an enclosed area with big tables, so we can all sit together while our kiddos run, jump, and dance around having a great time. It makes for a fun, safe way to enjoy the evening. Even more people come to see the fireworks later in the evening, and it brings the neighborhood together to see the bright, beautiful display. You can see it from most places in town.
Often on July 3 or 4, we start the day off by hanging out. If the weather’s good, Josh and Jacob will go play golf. We also look forward to spending as much time as we can at the pool this time of year. It’s the best place to be on a hot summer day. On the Fourth, we don’t have any big traditions. Sometimes we invite a few people over and just have a relaxed day following the big cookout. Sometimes we’ll go to someone else’s house. It’s been a nice combination the last few years to have the cookout to look forward to on July 3, and then have a chiller day on the Fourth. It’s definitely a tradition we look forward to.
bounce house, fireworks, and playing with his friends, while Josh and I look forward to the adult conversation, tasty food, and contentment that comes when our whole family is entertained. For the past few years, the second that tickets go on sale for the celebration, we’re on it. Josh and I coordinate ahead of time, confirming we want to do it and who will buy the tickets. It’s become a staple part of our summer, something we look forward to every year. Many of our friends also go to the cookout, so we enjoy getting to spend time with them and to just relax. We enjoy the chance to interact with other adults and their kids, and Jacob has so much fun with the other kids there. For our friends who are like us and have younger kids, it’s fun to have that fluidity between family and friend time. In addition to the bounce house, they have a lot of other activities for kids. The kids have a great time getting brush- on temporary tattoos, with colorful, cool designs they get to pick out themselves. The club usually brings in one or two professional dancers and a DJ who plays music you can’t help but tap your feet to. The kids get up and dance, and they all have
Have a happy Fourth of July!
–Meliha Perez Halp ern
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Festivities for Everyone CELEBRATING THE 4TH OF JULY
Across the country, people gather at this time of year to pay tribute to our country’s independence and the people who continue to maintain it. From big celebrations like Six Flags’ July 4 Fest to backyard barbecues, there’s something for everyone.
a concert and fireworks later in the evening. This event focuses on recognizing local heroes, our first responders.
Also on July 6, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra puts on a lively show aptly titled “Salute to Independence.” This free event takes place at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg and starts at 7:30 p.m., with fireworks later on when it gets dark. The website suggests you bring a blanket to sit on, water, and a flashlight for when it gets dark. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Because it draws a large crowd, there is usually heavy traffic following the event. You may be best off using alternative transportation to get there and back home. There are shuttle buses that bring you close to the event, but it is still a short walk to get inside. Buses run from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and a round-trip ticket from the designated parking area is $2
Celebrating from the comforts of home with a group of friends is a great option for families with young kids, especially if the little ones are a little nervous around all the loud noises. Sparklers can be a great way to let them experience some of the fun without the big bangs. Often, there’s a display not far if you decide you want a better view. On July 4, Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. There’s music and fireworks, and you can bring in your own food and drinks.
Two days later on July 6 and only 1 1/2 hours from Rockville, the city of Havre de Grace will put on their own legendary parade winding from Union Avenue to Tydings Park. It will be followed by
per person, with kids under 5 riding for free.
However you celebrate, stay safe and have fun!
Hiking With Your Kids WATCH THEIR WORLD EXPAND WITH EVERY STEP
Text Hiking has many benefits as a family activity, such as mental
Let your kids look at leaves, rocks, insects, or anything else you might come across on the trail. You can also bring binoculars to help them look at a bird that might be perched a little too high up. Another option is a bug holder to let your kids catch smaller insects, such as grasshoppers or pill bugs, and give them a close-up look. KEEP SAFETY IN MIND While you’re out on the trail, it’s essential to make sure that both you and your family are safe. Wear breathable, noncotton material and sturdy shoes that don’t expose your toes. It’s important to dress according to the weather. For example, if the day is sunny, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and apply plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks and water bottles for everyone to stay hydrated. It’s crucial that you also bring a fully stocked first-aid kit in case someone is injured on the hike. Starting with one of your local hiking trails can be a rewarding way to spend the day with your kids. You can watch their excitement as they expand their world with new discoveries.
health improvement, strengthening your relationships, and experiencing new sights and discoveries together. It’s also great exercise, and you get plenty of quality time, fresh air, and sunshine. Here are three guidelines to help you and your kids have fun on your next hike.
ENCOURAGE THEIR CURIOSITY One of the best ways to have your children learn about the world is letting them explore it. Being there for your children and encouraging them to ask questions about flowers, bugs, or animals you see on the trail will help them expand their vocabulary and learn how things work. When they learn they can explore independently and ask about the world around them, they’re gaining the confidence to teach themselves. BRING ALONG SOME TOOLS OF DISCOVERY Getting your children to engage in nature while you’re out hiking can be as simple as bringing a magnifying glass along with you.
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STAYING SAFE DURING AND AFTER FIREWORKS
The Fourth of July is a festive time that brings people out and about to celebrate. With more people on the road after these events, there is also an increased risk of collisions. While you’re out having fun with family and friends, it’s important to be safe and make good choices. If you’ve been drinking, it’s always safer to opt not to drive, and the same is true of whoever drove you to an event. There are many options to choose from for getting home safely at the end of the night. You’re probably familiar with Uber and Lyft, two of the most common services for requesting a ride. They are available in most areas now, so there are no excuses not to use them! All it takes is downloading the app, and your ride is a couple clicks away. Someone who commits to staying sober and serving as a designated driver is another good option for getting home at the end of the night. Ask if a friend or family member who isn’t going to the event would be willing to pick you up at the end of the night and offer to return the favor next time. TURN TO BETTER ALTERNATIVES
SoberRide is a national ride service that offers resources for alternative modes of transportation and, on many holidays, free rides in metropolitan areas. Check out SoberRide.com for upcoming free-ride dates in D.C. and more information. Here’s the bottom line: While there is so much fun going on, don’t forget about making good decisions. Please be safe this season. If you are in doubt about you or a friend’s ability to drive, use an alternative method. Cab fare is cheaper than the cost of a DUI — or someone’s life.
Mango Vanilla Cream Shaved Ice
Inspired by thelatinkitchen.com
Ingredients • 1 lb. ripe mangoes, peeled with pits removed • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract • 8 cups shaved ice
Directions 1. In a blender, purée mango, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla until smooth. 2. Divide the shaved ice between 4 tall glasses and pour mango syrup mixture over each glass.
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D.C. Metro Area Independence Day Celebrations PAGE 2
Hiking With Your Kids PAGE 2
Staying Safe During and After Fireworks PAGE 3
Mango Vanilla Cream Shaved Ice PAGE 3 Are All Green Foods the Same? PAGE 4
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You need to eat more green foods.
vitamin E from their diet tend to have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It’s all the more reason to enjoy that avocado toast!
No, this doesn’t mean green Skittles. Green vegetables comprise one of the most important food groups, and most people aren’t eating enough of them. But if you do decide to get more nutrients from green veggies, remember that not all greens are created equal. Dark leafy spinach is basically a superfood, offering protein, iron, vitamin A, and tons of minerals. Meanwhile, iceberg lettuce or celery may fill your stomach up, but they offer little to no nutritional value. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for these top-rated green vegetables that are both delicious and nutritious.
EDAMAME Looking for a filling mid-afternoon snack? Skip the potato chips and help yourself to some edamame. These Japanese soybeans are a familiar sight on sushi menus, but they’re also readily available in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Edamame is delicious and a great source of protein, making it the perfect snack. WATERCRESS Step aside, kale; here’s the real queen of green. With more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more vitamin C than an orange, watercress is one of the best greens you’re not eating. With all of these extra vitamins, watercress has been shown to improve heart health, bone health, and even act as an antidepressant. Next time you need a pick-me-up, consider a watercress salad. Your whole body will thank you! Bad childhood encounters with canned spinach or steamed Brussels sprouts are why many people avoid green veggies. But the produce section is full of tasty, healthy options waiting to appear on your dinner plate and improve your well-being.
AVOCADO They’re tasty, they’re trendy, and they’re great for your eyes.
Avocados are a great source of an antioxidant called lutein, which improves eye health. They’re also rich in vitamin E. Researchers have recently noted that people who get most of their
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