I’m a little under the weather….have been since late last week. We won’t be doing anything fun to celebrate the 4th this year, so I’ll reminisce about all the fun we had last year! We had an awesome, low-key celebration at our house with friends.
We kept it healthy and simple which made it the best way to celebrate. If we were having a party this year, I’d add these fun cups that Martha Stewart demonstrated on the Today Show:
For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board with lots of red, white and blue inspiration:
We also try to hit our favorite New England beach town Rockport every year on the 4th (thankfully my husband is taking our girls there today while I rest). Check out a post from last year about a day trip to Rockport. But as you know, New England has so many amazing places to go for day trips. I write another post about Portsmouth, NH.
Being 35 weeks pregnant, we knew we’d be staying pretty local this 4th of July weekend. Staying local doesn’t have to mean staying home. Especially when you live in the Northeast and you have so many amazing options close by. Yesterday, we decided to journey up to Rockport, MA. It’s one of our favorite day trips and thinking back, we realized we went up there last year over the 4th weekend as well.
Early morning view from the beach
We arrived early at 8:30 am and got a meter spot right at the beach. I think we were at Front Beach…but don’t quote me on it. It’s right on Beach Street…very close to the shopping area and restaurants. It’s relatively small but has public restroom facilities that are very clean with changing tables in both the mens and women’s rooms. We set up our area and were set for a while. I’m pretty impressed that we only had one large canvas beach bag and a beach chair to carry…granted we had a bit more in the car!
Playing in the sand
My husband and daughter
We stayed at the beach for 2 1/2 hours. Westarted noticing our daughter was getting cranky which means she is hungry and tired, so we packed it up around 11, hit the restrooms, dropped our beach stuff off at the car, changed, pulled out the stroller and walked down toward all the food and shopping. Within 5 minutes, our little one was passed out! Perfect timing. My husband and I were able to grab some lunch and sit and relax on the water for a little while. I had an amazing lobster roll from Roy Moore’s, and my husband grabbed a hot dog from Top Dog, two of our favorite spots. I also grabbed an elephant ear from The Fudgery…it’s irresistable. Then we hit up some stores and walked around. After a quick nap, our daughter was up and ready for her lunch, followed by some ice cream. We were packed up and ready to hit the road by about 1:30.
It was an awesome day and an awesome day-trip for the 4th of July weekend. Here are some tips for making a day trip to Rockport fun with the family!
Pack everything you need the night before. Makes the morning much easier.
Leave early to beat the traffic – We were up at 6am (our 2-year-old daughter is our alarm clock). We were out the door at 7:15 and arrived by 8:30. We made it up there with no traffic, in great time, and we found awesome metered street parking when we arrived. We kept feeding the same meter all day…If you try it and get ticketed, sorry…but worked for us!
Some meters are 2 hours, others are 4 hours…so there are great options. Bring change…they take quarters, dimes and nickels.
Have a realistic plan. We know our daughter is great til 11am or so…then she needs lunch and nap. So we planned the day accordingly.
Again, being realistic, if you have a 2-year-old, don’t think you will be able to lounge in the sun for 6 hours…not happening.
If your car is nearby, bring only what you need onto the beach. It makes it a lot easier. Then swap stuff out if you head to shop or eat.
Pick clothes for you and your little one that are 1) easy on/off, 2) lightweight and dry easy if get wet, and 3) light-colored for summer.
Do your research ahead of time so you’re not driving/walking in circles trying to find the right spots. Luckily, we’ve been to Rockport about a dozen times so we know our way…but do a little research in advance.
There are some great dining options, but there are also some really tasty quick eating options. If you get food to go from your favorite spot, walk down the end of Bearskin Neck…there is a little cul-de-sac with some benches and rocks you can sit on. It’s the most beautiful and relaxing spot to enjoy your lunch.
I hope you find time to visit this great little New England gem. We enjoy ourselves every trip up there and can’t wait to go again soon!