How to Navigate a Fireworks Show with Kids

Planning on taking your little fireworks to see a fireworks show this holiday weekend? Well, don’t leave the house without reading this guide about how to navigate a fireworks show with kids.

Go shopping. So, as with most parenting tasks, preparation is key when going to a fireworks show. And preparation starts with shopping. Your best friend this summer should undoubtedly be your local Dollar Store. Why? Because they have a cheap version of just about every expensive thing that your kids will ooh and aah over at your local fireworks show. If you plan ahead and purchase light up sticks and trinkets from the discount store, you will not only make your kids happy, but also make your wallet happy. That is, until you go on a summer shopping spree. But I digress…

Light it up. Those same light up sticks that your kids will wear and twirl around will also come in handy in keeping everyone safe (including the drunk person a few blankets over) if you plan to bring a stroller or wagon to the fireworks. Why? Fireworks shows begin at dusk (duh) and it gets dark. Combine darkness, crowds, and drinking…not so awesome. So to avoid trips and falls, light up your stroller or wagon if you choose to use one by attaching light up sticks, flashlights, etc. My kids absolutely love decorating their wagon, and it is a great way to keep them busy waiting for darkness to fall.

Game plan. Talk with your partner and/or the other adults you are going to the fireworks with to formulate a game plan. Why? Because in parenting, I feel like you should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Since we didn’t know how our little one was going to react the first time we took him to a fireworks show, we had an escape route mapped out in which one of us would take the kiddo and head to the nearest exit while the other would pack up blankets, snacks, etc. That way we weren’t flustered and fighting about what to do if a tantrum or problem occurred….and thankfully we didn’t even need our escape plan!

Get some sleep. If your child is staying up for a fireworks show, it is obviously going to be a late night for them. Most kids are a bit off schedule in the summer, and when you combine a day filled with sugary treats and lots of stimulation it can be a bit challenging. That’s why we start to modify our kids’ sleep schedules a bit leading up to the 4th of July to ease them into the transition. You can either have kids nap a little bit later during the day or put them to bed earlier and wake them right when you head out for the fireworks show. Oh, and make your life easier and dress your kids in pajamas—no one cares if they aren’t in Instagram worthy patriotic clothes. Trust me.

Be flexible. Finally, make sure your child actually WANTS to see the fireworks live and in person. For some, it can be really scary and intimidating. A great way to prepare them is to watch some YouTube clips of fireworks shows. You can also pick up some noise cancelling headphones if you think noise will be an issue. And if they don’t want to go, don’t drag them to it. Stay home and curl up with the dog (who will undoubtedly also be afraid of the fireworks) and roast marshmallows. I’m sure you will hear or see some type of fireworks in your neighborhood since every grown man seems to think he has pyrotechnic skills (I’m looking at you, hubby!).

Happy 4th of July….and happy birthday to my adorable little firework!


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  1. Terri Beavers says

    These are great tips and I’ll use them on Monday when we go see the fireworks on the river. They used to be scared of them but are starting to love watching them now that they are older.

  2. lisa says

    My kids and I have loved fireworks shows as long as I can remember. They don’t happen often so we make the most of them!

  3. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    These are all great tips. My children are all grown up now so it would be planning for the grandchildren’s fireworks-watching this year. I am as excited as the little ones. We’re going to have a great time!

  4. kendall says

    These are really great tips! Firework safety is really important – I love that you’ve found a list of things that really is helpful in keeping the kiddos safe but still letting them have a good time! Great post!

    • Amanda says

      Safety is so key for our family on the fourth….there is no point in losing a limb just to see a big flash of light. That’s just dumb.

  5. maggie branch says

    Game planning is imperative for this! I have a 10 month old and am very worried about the firework show this year. Being prepared makes me feel better though.

    • Amanda says

      As long as you prepare for the worst you should be good. Hope your little one enjoyed his/her first fourth of July!

  6. Jennifer says

    Such great tips for the upcoming holiday! I love the idea to adjust your kids’ sleep schedule during the summer leading up to the holiday! 🙂

    • Amanda says

      And now that I didn’t take my own sleep advice, my little guy is now sick. I’m kicking myself for not taking my own advice!!!

    • Amanda says

      It can be so scary to be in huge crowds with kids, especially in the dark. Thankfully we are in a big group with tons of watchful adults and only a few kids.

  7. Lori Felix says

    When my daughter was little we use to host the Fourth of July party that way she could take a late nap, we could start the fireworks once it got dark and then she was able to go to bed while we enjoyed the party.

    • Amanda says

      Such a smart idea. Thankfully my mom lives within two blocks of the local fireworks show so we can let our boys relax at her house and get some rest before the show.

  8. Ann Bacciaglia says

    We always brought eat protection for the kids. Fireworks were always to loud for my kids without them. These are great tips.

  9. krystal says

    This was the first year my son was able to handle fireworks. We have had to leave Disney early from the noise and flashing lights in years past! We hit a major milestone. These tips were helpful!

  10. Heather says

    This is really smart and will use it next year. We just went to our first Sox game and he ended up hating it because the Sox kept getting home runs and lighting fireworks!
    Since we live in the city, we will have days of constant fireworks so I’ll definitely show him YouTube clips to hopefully make it easier on all of us.

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