The Fourth of July on Nantucket may look a little different this year, but it’s certainly not going to be any less fun! Check out our guide for ways to celebrate America’s birthday in a big way while staying safe amidst COVID-19.
Pack a picnic for the beach
Beach picnics are a summer staple on Nantucket — just add some colorful napkins and your favorite festive sweater, and you’ve got yourself the perfect Fourth of July celebration! Fill your Yeti cooler (available to purchase at the Haulover) with sandwiches and cookies from Something Natural or ready-to-grill hot dogs and hamburgers from Nantucket Meat & Fish. Don’t forget a four-pack of Nantucket Cran and Blue vodka sodas from Cisco Brewery! No Fourth of July celebration is complete without a night-sky spectacle: although COVID-19 might have canceled Nantucket’s grand plans for fireworks, there’s no better place to catch some shooting stars than 30 miles out to sea.
Replicate traditional town activities
With ample outdoor space, an arsenal of water guns and hoses, and a couple of eager kiddos, you can reproduce Nantucket’s Fourth of July fun in your own backyard. Fill up a few super soakers (available to grab from local shops like the Sunken Ship), and get ready for battle. Don’t forget your “war paint”, available for purchase at Island Pharmacy or Create Art Supply Store. After everyone’s dried off, organize a few kid-friendly contests — a three-legged hop, potato sack race, and watermelon eating contest, all in traditional Nantucket fashion.
Charter a boat
There’s no better way to beat the heat than to cool off with a dip in the ocean. If busy beaches aren’t your ideal scene, switch things up by chartering a boat! Whether you’re looking to get the kids out of the house for a day of swimming and sun, or to enjoy your dinner with the sunset just over your deck, chartering a boat is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the miles of ocean surrounding the island! Naples Nantucket Yacht Group offers a variety of options to set sail, from smaller motorboats to staffed yachts that can sleep up to ten. If you’re looking to catch your dinner while you’re at it, charter a fishing boat! Capt. Tom’s Charters offers a variety of options allowing you to find the right fishing option, whether you want to catch the first morning light or take the family along for a evening picnic.
Festive frozen daiquiri recipe
All holiday cookouts call for a fun, festive drink to wash the afternoon down, and this sweet slushie is sure to do the trick this weekend. Combine 4 oz. light rum, ½ cup of fresh strawberries, 10 oz. frozen strawberries, and the juice of one lime in a blender to make two servings. Of course, the alcohol is optional — for a kid-friendly version, simply forget the rum! Pour into your favorite Nantucket-themed glass (like the Nantucket Looms Glass Tumbler, available to purchase here, or the Cisco Brewers Yeti 10 oz. Wine Tumbler) and garnish with a lime or sliced strawberry!
Driving on the beach
Looking to bring the party to the beach, but don’t want to trek with all of your supplies? Nantucket’s beaches are accessible by car as long as you follow a few simple steps! First, make sure to apply for a beach permit for your car here (and good news-the usual late fee is suspended for the 2020 season). Before setting off, make sure to read Nantucket’s official rules and regulations for beach driving, including a map of available beach locations. Remember to set your tires to a lower pressure around 12 to 15 psi to prevent getting stuck in the sand (click here for a quick how-to on letting air out of your tires). For more tips on how to avoid getting stuck in sand, or what to do if you find yourself in a sticky situation, click here.
There’s no better way to take advantage of Nantucket’s summer breezes and beautiful foliage than a bike ride! Take a visit to Young’s Bicycle Shop, where each bike rental comes with a free helmet and lock (more information available here). If you’re looking to hit the more than 35 miles of trails on the island, grab a combo All-Terrain/Mountain bike to explore and get some killer calves! If you’re looking to take the kids along for the ride, simply add on a tandem or child’s seat and venture out to Madaket! You’ll find your perfect post-ride reward at Millie’s Market, from milkshakes for the little ones, to drink kits of their famous mixes (including the Millie’s Margarita and the Madaket Mystery) that will be perfect for a post-bedtime Fourth of July cocktail hour!
Stream patriotic movies at home or head to the Drive-In
The Nantucket Dreamland drive-in theater has finally made its debut, and it’s the best way to enjoy the weather and a fun night out! You can purchase tickets here, but just in case the showing you want is sold-out, you can still bring the magic of Hollywood to your home screen with a series of films fitting for a Fourth of July celebration. Stream American classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Amazon), The Sandlot (available on most streaming platforms), or Jaws (also available on most streaming platforms). Of course, the Fourth of July — as well as every day of the year — is a reminder of the current political and social work we have to create a more perfect union; don’t forget to continue to educate yourself and family members about the Black Lives Matter movement through films such as 13th (Netflix and most streaming platforms), Just Mercy (Amazon), or Selma (Amazon). If you want to reaelly take your home viewing to the next level, grab a projector, hang up a sheet in your backyard, and create your own at-home drive-in theater!