With the start of July (and a three-day weekend highlighted by Independence Day!), there’s plenty of star-spangled fun to be had around the city. On our lineup: a holiday picnic with the animals, a popular maritime festival, an anniversary celebration in the park, an activity for little amphibians, a neighborhood festival highlighted by kids and pets and an Independence Day celebration with tons of kids activities. If you are looking for the best places to picnic, play and watch the fireworks on the 4th, be sure to check out our Independence Day roundup.

fourth of july

photo: Michael Witzel via flickr

Seattle

Red, White & Zoo
The animals at Woodland Park Zoo are celebrating the holiday with a special 4th of July picnic. Watch the orangutans, lemurs, pigs and gorillas nosh on star-shaped popsicles, watermelons and corn on the cob. Plus, catch a mini zookeeper presentation and learn how special treats and activities can enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals. Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Seattle, Free with admission or membership. Event details.

Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
This old-fashioned, down-home waterfront festival is where everything is fun, almost everything is free and nothing is fancy. See gorgeous wooden vessels, take a free boat ride, participate in a scavenger hunt and enjoy food vendors, live music, kids’ activities including toy boat building and much more. Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mon., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

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Freeway Park in Bloom: A 40th Anniversary Celebration
Freeway Park is turning 40 and you’re invited to celebrate this momentous occasion. This community event will include free music, food and activities for the whole family including face painting and a tour of Freeway Park’s arboretum with Seattle’s Tree Ambassadors. Psst… bring along a picnic and stay for the launch of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s second annual Free Blues and Cool Jazz concert. Sun., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

Ranger Program: Frogs for Life
Wetlands offer some of the most diverse habitat for wildlife. Take your crew to Mercer Slough Nature Park to see some of the ideal habitats for amphibians and other aquatic creatures, listen for singing frogs both near and far and venture out on a guided walk to visit their home. Sat., 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Bellevue. Free. All ages. Event details.

Bellevue Family 4th
Jugglers, storytellers, rides, bouncy houses and field games at the Bellevue Parks Family Fun Zone make the Bellevue Family 4th a favorite annual tradition. After the sun goes down, settle in for a spectacular fireworks show set to the sounds of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra at 10:05 p.m. and be sure to stay late for the post fireworks show concert. Mon., 2 p.m.-11 p.m. Bellevue. Free. All ages. Event details.

Issaquah’s Down Home 4th of July & Heritage Day
Take the fam to Issaquah’s annual Independence Day celebration for tons of family fun! This 4th of July celebration will start off with the annual Kids ‘n Pets Parade. From Labradors to llamas, favorite pets accompany costumed kids on decorated floats, bikes, scooters and wagons down the streets of Issaquah. After the parade, try your hand at old-fashioned games, activities and races and take in live music and the annual Slug Beauty Pageant. Mon., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Issaquah. Free (various costs for games & activities). All ages. Event Event details.

What do you have planned for this three-day weekend? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Kristina Moy