Amidst Fourth of July celebrations, the hamburgers and hot dogs often take prominence over the history of how our country came to be. This year, why not be to true to those patriotic New England roots? Between the BBQs and fireworks, here are some UPP picks for what’s going on around historic Boston this weekend:

1. Pack a picnic and explore some of the local sites covered in the Boston Globe Travel Section’s “Historic New England” from the Peabody Essex Museum and Longfellow National Historical Site in Cambridge to the Minute Man National Historic Park in Lexington and Concord. To delve a little deeper, Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands and Boston’s Gardens & Green Spaces have enough historic sites to make weekend excursions a new tradition.

2. Join in the festivities at the City Hall Plaza at this year’s Boston Harborfest. Today’s focus is on the kids, Friday through Sunday has an incredible line up of music, activities, and reenactments, and Monday concludes the celebrations with 29th Annual Chowderfest. Take a look at the website for more specifics–the city has planned something for everyone!

3. Tomorrow, Fri July 2, our Boston’s Gardens & Green Spaces fans will be excited to join in the 18th Century Garden Conversations at the Old North Church from 10AM-4PM. Discover herbs and flowers behind the 1713 Clough House, the city’s oldest surviving brick residence. 193 Salem Street, North End, 617-523-4848. While you’re there, stop by Caffe dello Sport, Caffe Paradiso, or Caffe Graffiti to catch the next round of the World Cup among the city’s most loyal soccer fans. Brazil is taking on the Netherlands at 10AM (EST) and Uruguay takes on Ghana at 2:30PM (EST).

4. Speaking of the World Cup (not quite historic, but definitely a unique and worldly tradition!)… spend part of Sat July 3 cooling off at a local pub for the rest of the quarter-final matches. Take a look at Chris Klein’s recommendations of Where to Watch in Boston–as covered in his book, The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston. Germany plays Argentina at 10AM (EST) and Spain plays Paraguay at 2:30PM (EST).

5. The USS Constitution is hosting a number of July 4 weekend events in honor of Boston Navy Week. Not only will the Constitution participate in the July 2 Annual Sunset Parade and the July 4 Boston Pops, but Old Ironsides will also exchange a 21-gun salute with Fort Independence on Castle Island. So ship lovers, history buffs, and the adventurous should be sure to catch a glimpse of the Navy festivities in action.

6. If your family likes to get up and out–even on a Sunday morning–head to the Old South Meeting House at 10AM on July 4, for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Only once a year, Boston residents and visitors get to hear the famous speech read from the balcony as it was on July 18, 1776. Location: Old State House, State and Division Streets. While you’re there, take the self-guided Meeting House Scavenger Hunt–coloring and other revolutionary activities included.

7. Want to take the day off from grilling on Monday? AND be patriotic too? Head over to Owner/Chef Jim Solomon’s The Fireplace in Brookline. For the month of July, you can dine like a president–our past presidents that is. They are serving the favorite dishes and drinks of U.S. presidents who were born, raised or vacationed annually in the six New England states.

8. Finally, as always, Union Park Press loves to get out to the Boston Harbor Islands— so why not this weekend? A perfect escape from the city heat and only a 15-min ferry ride from Long Wharf, the islands have free activities planned for every day of the week. Plus, if you’d like to kayak or camp out there, Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands will tell you where and when you can do so.

For fireworks, festivals, and parades outside of the city, check out MassVacation.com. And from the team at Union Park Press: Happy Fourth of July!