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Fireworks & Things To Do 4th of July Weekend with Your Family

Fireworks & Things To Do 4th of July Weekend with Your Family

There are tons of ways to celebrate Independence Day, so we compiled a list of our favorite things to do on the Fourth of July.

Cookouts, fireworks, and flag-waving! July 4th—when we celebrate Independence Day—is a festive time meant to celebrate our country and all its freedoms. Since more and more people feel comfortable being outdoors, we’ve compiled a list of activities to do for the Red, White, and Blue! Keep traditions alive or start new ones—no matter what you choose, there are plenty of things to do on the Fourth of July. One thing’s for sure though, the Independence Day celebrations must include a viewing of a fireworks display. Check out your town’s local Facebook page to see if there are any in your area—or browse our roundup of Fourth of July events in NYC and nearby. If not, the NYC fireworks are just a hop, skip and a jump! Whatever you choose to do during the day, snuggle in at night before bedtime to read a book about Independence Day with your kids.

For even more summer activity ideas, read and download the Summer Family Fun Guide today!

8 Things to Do on the Fourth of July

Make patriotic-themed desserts.

Events are just better when there’s a theme, don’t you think? Make and bake desserts that are red, white, and blue—a perfect match to our nation’s flag! Think red velvet cake, blueberry and raspberry pie, whipped cream and strawberries. Michael’s offers an online class for the older kids to make Patriotic Cookies, so that’s a pretty cool option to have the family do together. 

Go camping…in your yard.

If you can’t take the time to go actual camping (or if you quite honestly have no desire), improvise and make it happen in your yard. Build or buy a fire pit, make s’mores with the family, and tell fun stories. It’s a great way to bond. Kick the evening up a notch with sparklers!

Go all out on July 4th crafts.

Tell the story of America’s independence while exercising creativity. Kids can make their own flags out of buttons, paint a flower pot for a new planting, or tie-dye white shirts with red and blue colors. Stores like JOANN Fabrics and Michael’s will have a lot of options for you. We’re loving these DIY USA Flag Glasses you can do on your own time or this Pennant Flag class you can take online with a group.

Check out local museums.

If you’re in and around the city, kid-friendly museums in NYC and nearby will remain open around the long weekend and have plenty of exhibits for the family to explore. Specifically, the New-York Historical Society invites families to celebrate Independence Day with trivia and a cook-along. 

Take a drive to Philadelphia.

Why not celebrate America in America’s birthplace? Philadelphia’s annual Fourth of July festival is back to an in-person format this year. This 16-day festival will have a stunning firework display, concerts, and lots of other activities with partnering organizations and museums. 

Take a hike or ride a bike.

Stay active, out, and about! It’s easier to slump on the couch and watch TV when the family has a day off, but it’s much more memorable to get outdoors and explore. Create memories with a family-friendly hike or a scenic bike ride.

Watch the Macy’s 45th Annual 4th of July Fireworks!

These NYC fireworks are a tradition for the tri-state area. This year, it’s back! There will be vaccinated and unvaccinated sections (welcome to 2021), plus a live broadcast for those who want to catch it from home. It takes place over the East River with five barges in Midtown. The show begins around 9:30pm and is about 25 minutes long.

Go to the New Jersey State Fair at Meadowlands

This popular family event features many rides, entertainment, open-air thrill shows, games and prizes, and lots of food. The state fair is situated next to MetLife Stadium and runs June 18-July 11. They’ll have a fireworks show on the evening of July 3 and 4 at dusk. (P.S. Now’s the perfect time to plan other summer fair and festival outings!)

July 4th Fireworks, Parades, and More in the NY Metro Area

Click on your region below to jump to those events

July 4 Fireworks in NYC

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks
July 4, 8pm on NBC; 9:25pm fireworks begin
WHERE: Watch on NBC or see them in person along the FDR Drive
WHAT: The 45th Annual Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks will illuminate the Big Apple skyline with an electrifying light show full of bursting colors, jubilant music, & feeling of positivity. This year, they are honoring America's everyday heroes from communities across the country and the resilient spirit within us all. The display will last about 25 minutes and feature 65,000 shells and effects. The NBC special will feature performances by Reba McEntire, Coldplay, Black Pumas, and more. Tune in to 1010 WINS for the accompanying musical score.
WANT TO GO? Viewing will be available for verified, fully vaccinated spectators on elevated portions of the FDR Drive in Manhattan with entry points at East 23rd, East 34th & East 42nd Streets. ADA/Special Needs public viewing for verified, fully vaccinated spectators will be accessible at the East 34th Street entry point. Public viewing for non-vaccinated spectators will be available along portions of the Queens, Brooklyn & Manhattan waterfronts.

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes Class
July 3, 9-10am
WHERE: Taste Buds Kitchen, 109 W. 27th St., 10th Floor, Chelsea
AGE: 2-8 with an adult
WHAT: Show your USA pride and whip up perfectly patriotic Red, White and Blue Cupcakes completely from scratch! Plain old vanilla? Bore-ring! Bring on the pizzazz, the color, the fireworks! Come cook and learn how to make an oh-so-delicious cupcake with patriotic colors in the cake. Dying to know how? Become a budding chef as you discover some delicious secrets!
WANT TO GO? $50 per child and adult. Advanced registration required. This menu is vegetarian.

Tie Dye July
Saturdays in July, plus July 4-5, 10am-5pm
WHERE: Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side
WHAT: In collaboration with Bombas and Rit Dye, CMOM is excited to present Tie Dye July, which invites kids to design their own socks and t-shirts in red, white, and blue— and the rest of the rainbow too! Families can visit CMOM’s Tie Dye July station as part of their two-hour session tickets. Children can take home their custom styles, in a CMOM-provided travel carrier, to wear as a reminder of the power of their self-expression.
WANT TO GO? $15; $12 seniors 65 and older and visitors with a disability. Advanced Registration Required.

Independence Day @ Home with DCHM
July 4, 11am
WHERE: The DiMenna Children’s History Museum, Online
WHAT: Celebrate food and family with DCHM this 4th of July! Explore historical and family recipes as well as Independence Day trivia during this cook-along. From (veggie) burgers to 19th-century ice cream to dumplings, share this gratitude for the rich array of foods families make when they gather.
WANT TO GO? Free. Advanced registration required. See website for ingredients list and supplies needed.

NYC 4th of July Brunch Cruise 2021
July 4, 12-2pm
WHERE: Event Cruises NYC, 299 South St, New York
WHAT: Looking for a special way to celebrate 4th of July this year? Join Event Cruises NYC on the water for Fourth of July Brunch, where you'll get to enjoy bottomless Mimosas and a delicious four-course brunch with the best skyline view of Manhattan. Remember to dress up with your patriotic accessories and capture all the memorable moments as the vessel sails by the iconic NYC spots, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and more. 
WANT TO GO? Prices start at $99 per person. Advanced registration required.

July 4th Events in Brooklyn

4th of July Fireworks
July 4, 10-10:15pm
WHERE: Coney Island Boardwalk, 1208 Surf Ave., Coney Island
WHAT: Pick a spot on the Coney Island Boardwalk and get ready for a spectacular fireworks display!
WANT TO GO? Free. 

Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 4-9:30pm
WHERE: Fort Hamilton, 101st Street & Fort Hamilton Parkway, Bay Ridge
WHAT: Celebrate Independence Day 2021 at historic Fort Hamilton. Enjoy a live Concert and fireworks show on the lawn with the best sea view in New York City.
WANT TO GO? $5. Advanced registration required. 

4th of July Party at Greenpoint Terminal Market
July 4, Greenpoint Terminal Market, 12-10pm; Fireworks & Film, 7pm
WHERE: Greenpoint Terminal Market, 2 Noble Street, Greenpoint
WHAT: This Independence Day, The Greenpoint Terminal Market and Skyline Drive In are teaming up to bring you two great ways to watch the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks- view them from Greenpoint Terminal Market, or purchase tickets to see them from seats at the Skyline Drive-In, plus a screening of Independence Day.
WANT TO GO? Free admission to the market; $25 for seated fireworks and movie at Skyline Drive-In. Advanced registration required for the Skyline Drive-In portion. 

Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 1-9pm: DJ, music, and live performances at Center Court; 3pm: 2nd annual cannoli eating contest; 9:30pm: An epic fireworks display on the Empire Outlets Waterfront
WHERE: Empire Outlets, 55 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
WHAT: Empire Outlets is hosting an exciting fireworks display for families and visitors to celebrate the holiday. The retailer invites neighbors, shoppers and members of the community to partake in a celebratory block party all weekend with a fireworks show capping off the holiday. The celebration will have inclusive family activities, bites from local partners, shopping experiences and more.
WANT TO GO? Admission is free.

Fireworks in Queens

Independence Day Celebration
June 29, 7:30pm
WHERE: Astoria Park, 19 19th St., Astoria
WHAT: See a performance by the Swingtime Big Band then watch spectacular fireworks by Grucci!

July 4th Events in Westchester County

3-D Fireworks
July 3, 10:15pm
WHERE: Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, 2132 Middlebury Road, Middlebury, CT
WHAT: See 3-D Fireworks over Lake Quassapaug. Special viewing glasses will be sold for $2 with proceeds benefiting Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.
WANT TO GO? $15 parking pass to view fireworks

3rd Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence
July 4, 11am-12pm
WHERE: Stamford History Center, 1508 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT
WHAT: Board member Rick Peterson will read the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, complete in his colonial attire. This important document set forth the view of our early American forebears that we should not be subject to a country thousands of miles across the ocean. Come enjoy the event which will include some other exciting surprises.

Independence Day Fireworks
WHEN: July 4, 8:15-9:30pm
WHERE: Pierson Park, 238 W Main Street, Tarrytown
WHAT: Celebrate Independence Day with a beautiful fireworks display!
WANT TO GO? Free. Fireworks may be seen from any of the Village Parks in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown.

Long Island 4th of July Events

Village of Freeport Firework Show
July 1, 6pm
WHERE: Guy Lombardo Marina, 898 Guy Lombardo Ave., Freeport
WHAT: Get a head start on celebrating Independence Day with a stunning fireworks display!

Jones Beach Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular
July 4, 9:30pm
WHERE: Jones Beach Central Mall, 2400 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh
WHAT: See a Fireworks extravaganza above the shores of Jones Beach State Park simulcast to a musical array of patriotic songs. Arrive early for a prime seat on the Central Mall beachfront and to avoid traffic delays.
WANT TO GO? Free to watch along the beach, parking fee may apply to park in lots.  Simulcast: WALK 97.5 FM or KJOY 98.3

Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise
June 26 and July 4, 8-10pm
WHERE: Freeport Water Taxi & Tours, 211 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport
WHAT: Looking for an unforgettable Fourth of July experience? There’s nothing like witnessing the July 4 celebration aboard a Freeport Water taxi & Tour boat. Whether it be a specific show or taking in the entire skyline, it’s something you’ll remember for a lifetime! Just be sure to bring along your camera to capture the experience!
WANT TO GO? $60 ages 11 and older; $40 ages 5-10; free for children 4 and younger

Fourth of July Weekend Celebration
July 3-5, 10am-6pm
WHERE: Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck
WHAT: Celebrate the Fourth of July weekend at Harbes Family Farm!  FREE LIVE MUSIC will be available in the courtyard/picnic area all three days from 1-5pm! While you’re there enjoy Harbes Barnyard Adventure! The Barnyard offers hours of fun for the whole family. Admission includes a Musical Hayride tour of their 100-acre farm, the famous Pig Races, adorable farm animals, and much more. There are also some exciting new additions for 2021 such as the Canna Bulb Flower Field! Plus, you won’t want to miss the great food and drink to enjoy all weekend long featuring award-winning Harbes Vineyard’s wines, concession foods include roasted sweet corn, delicious tomato/mozzarella paninis, a mouthwatering selection of homemade ice creams made with Harbes seasonal produce, and more!
WANT TO GO? Free admission; $21.95 for Barnyard Adventure

Heritage Day 2021
WHEN: July 4, 12pm
WHERE: Oysterponds Historical Society, 1555 Village Lane, Orient
WHAT: The progenitor of Heritage Day, Oysterponds native son Augustus Griffin, began a tradition of the reading of the Declaration of Independence every July 4th. Many years later, that simple ceremony has grown into Heritage Day—an annual celebration where the community comes together to honor this great country and, especially, Oysterponds. The program features readings by community stalwarts of the Declaration of Independence; the singing of God Bless America; the Pledge of Allegiance, and much more.
WANT TO GO? Free. 

4th of July Game: Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Long Island Ducks
July 4, 6:35pm
WHERE: Fairfield Properties Ballpark, 3 Court House Drive, Central Islip
WHAT: See the Long Island Ducks take on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs! Following the game, all fans in attendance will be treated to a Fireworks Spectacular, presented by Catholic Health.

A Celebration of Hometown Heroes!
July 4, 11am
WHERE: Outside of VFW Post 6249, 109 King Road, Rocky Point
WHAT: VFW Post 6249 & Rocky Point Sound Beach Chamber of Commerce, Inc. presents A Celebration of Hometown Heroes! Following the presentation the festivities will continue with a live reading of the Declaration of Independence. Refreshments will be served.

WWII Armor Parade
July 4, 10am
WHERE: Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage
WHAT: Join Old Bethpage Restoration Village for an Armored Vehicle Parade presented by the Museum of American Armor. Bring your lawn chairs and sit back and relax as America’s military history moves around you! Coolers and pets are not permitted.
WANT TO GO? $13.50; $10.50 seniors 60 and older and children younger than 13

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