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John Adams

Taking the Kids -- and celebrating July 4 kid-style

Taking the Kids -- and celebrating July 4 kid-style

Skip the fireworks!

No, I'm not crazy. I know fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations with cities trying to outdo each other with bigger and better displays, but, especially if you have young kids, they may be frightened by the noise, the dark and the crowds. I remember more than one July 4th where we made an early exit because my youngest was bawling.

That said, there are plenty of ways to celebrate, starting with your local parade. When my kids were small and we lived in Evanston, Illinois, that parade was a highlight of the summer -- decorating their bikes, staking out a seat the day before, watching them proudly march with their scout troops, Little...

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