Each August 3 marks the observance of Watermelon Day. Even though it's not an official national holiday, Watermelon Day is still a great time try something special, such as eating tasty watermelon treats, playing games and reading watermelon stories.
The National Watermelon Promotion Board reports that about 200 to 300 varieties of watermelons grow in the United States. Forty-four states grow watermelons, the most-consumed type of melon in the country. Celebrate Watermelon Day by indulging in recipes featuring Citrullus lanatus, also known as watermelon. It has both fruit and vegetable characteristics and can be classified as either.
For something special, make a sweet and spicy salsa featuring watermelon, pineapple, sweet onion, jalapeno peppers and cilantro. A watermelon fruit salad served in a hollowed-out watermelon and shaped like a basket is perfect on this holiday. Don't forget to serve watermelon slushies and slices of juicy watermelon.
Read books about watermelons
Kids will enjoy spreading a blanket in the back yard and reading some fun fiction books starring the watermelon. Consider One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge, Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt and Peter 'Spit' a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller. Kids and adults can learn more about the watermelon with Julie Murray's book Watermelon (Life Cycles). Challenge the kids to write and illustrate their own watermelon stories and then read them aloud while eating fresh sliced watermelon.
Throw a Watermelon Day party
Invite friends and neighbors for a Watermelon Day party. Ask everyone to dress in pink and green to mimic watermelon colors. Play games like Watermelon Bingo with homemade bingo cards featuring pictures of a full watermelon, a watermelon slice, a watermelon seed and other summery items such as a sunflower, beach ball, ice cream cone and baseball.
Create a unique version of the egg-and-spoon race by painting plastic, refillable eggs to look like little watermelons. Line the kids up and have them race while balancing their mini-watermelons on plastic spoons until they cross the finish line. Serve plenty of fresh watermelon and a variety of kid-friendly watermelon recipes.
Visit a watermelon farm
If you live near a working watermelon farm, inquire if it's open for tours on Watermelon Day. Kids of all ages can enjoy a trip to a working farm to see how this delicious fruit/vegetable grows. For example, Tanaka Farms in Irvine, Calif., offers watermelon tours that include picking your own watermelon. If you can't get to a watermelon farm, visit a local produce stand or a farmers' market and select a fresh watermelon to eat on Watermelon Day.