Skip To Main Content


Healthy Living
7 Ways To Have A Blast This Fourth Of July Kayaking

The Fourth of July by far one of my favorite holidays. It epitomizes summer, tradition, family, barbecues, and fireworks – there is nothing wrong about the Fourth of July (as long as you don’t think about mosquitoes or sweat)! I wasn’t home last summer to celebrate the holiday with my family, so I wanted to make this year special. My favorite part of Independence Day is being active and spending time outside. So after hours of research, I found all of this information and I wanted to share my findings. So here are seven ways to have a blast this Fourth of July!

1. Join a Sports Tournament

Although Recreation Services may be closed to honor the Fourth of July. You don’t have to stop your recreational activities! Slater is hosting a volleyball tournament, Urbandale has 3-on-3 basketball, and there are so many more options all around! Check out the bottom of this page for links to all the 4th celebrations close to you!

2. 5k on the 4th

Start your Fourth off right by getting active with a 5k. There are many 5k’s happening all around story county this holiday week. Check out the list of events for Ames, Des Moines, and Urbandale for more information on how to participate and get involved!

3. 4th of July Parade

“I am voting that we make parades something to cheer about all over again.”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been to a parade in a good while. Not since I “retired” from my marching band career! However, I am voting that we make parades something to cheer about all over again. The Ames parade starts at 11:00 am on Main Street. They can be a ton of fun for people of all ages: your baby cousins, your grandparents, and even your dog! So come snag some free candy, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

4. Stay Active By Walking to Free Events

There are a ton of holiday events to be found all around the Ames area. Ames, Slater (Check out page 8), Nevada, and even Urbandale. Check out the list before to links to all the local event pages. So park your car somewhere close to the festivities and enjoy walking, listening, and seeing the wonders of the Fourth!

5. Rent Some Great Stuff from Outdoor Rec

Maybe people, parties, and fireworks aren’t really your scene. Well, you are in luck! Outdoor Rec has all sorts of great camping, kayaking, and outdoor equipment available to rent. They even have disc golf sets and a giant tug-o-war rope. So whether you are looking for an overnight trip or just a fantastic day, look no further than Outdoor Rec!

6. Go Hiking

Don’t have the time to go camping this holiday? Well, hiking is the next best thing. There are hiking trails and paths all around the city. Whether you are into hilly, wooded hikes or paved, scenic walks are more your style; Ames has got you covered. Check out their website for a complete list of all the parks in and around the area.

7. Have fun being with the people you love

“Once the big day starts, remember to enjoy your friends, family, food, and fireworks.”

In the midst of making all these fun plans, it’s easy to lose sight of what actually matters on the Fourth of July, and every holiday for that matter. Once the big day starts, remember to enjoy your friends, family, food, and fireworks. With that in mind, this holiday will be a blast for sure!



Slater (Check out page 8)



Des Moines