Enjoying July Fourth in New York City

See red, white and blue in the Big Apple!

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and it’s one of the year’s best days. New York City loves the holidays since they’re the perfect time to showcase just how grand the city is. There’s no better combination than beautiful fireworks, delicious food and good company that makes this holiday worth celebrating every year. If you want to take your Fourth of July celebrations to the next level this year, look no further than the Big Apple. Make a visit to NYC and see what’s in store for you this Independence Day.

July Fourth in New York City

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

One of the signature ways you can celebrate the Fourth of July in New York City is by watching a fireworks show, and the most popular one in the city is Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. This show is the largest Independence Day celebration in the nation, as over 60,000 fireworks are launched along the East River. Macy’s is known for their massive holiday displays throughout the year, and that’s what you’ll find when you arrive shortly after sunset. 

Throughout the night, you’ll also hear music performances from major artists and local groups such as the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus. You won’t forget this fireworks show, so make sure you find your perfect viewing spot early! 

For those searching for a great view, check out Front Row Fireworks at the East 34th Street Heliport. The family-friendly viewing is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with games and food from NYC favorites like Clinton Hall

July 4th Fireworks Cruise

If you want to watch the fireworks but prefer to skip the crowd, you’re in luck! You can take a ride on a July 4th Fireworks Cruise instead. La Barca Cantina is launching a cruise out of Pier 81 in Midtown West that sails around New York Harbor, giving you the perfect view of the fireworks as they launch. You’ll also see some of the city’s most significant landmarks along your ride, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, creating the perfect backdrop for the show. The fun doesn’t stop at the fireworks, as the cruise also comes with a Mexican buffet and a DJ to keep the party going all night long.

Fourth of July Fireworks | WhereTraveler
Fourth of July Fireworks (©Isaac Sloman)

Louis Armstrong Birthday Celebration

The 4th of July doesn’t only celebrate Independence Day. It’s also the birthday of jazz legend Louis Armstrong! Every year, the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens honors the musician with a birthday celebration held on the property. Unlike other places in the city, the museum stays open all day for visitors to come inside and learn about Armstrong’s life. Once the tour is through, they can head into the Japanese Garden for a concert performed by some of the biggest names in jazz music. Celebrate the Fourth of July with music this year by honoring one of the most excellent musicians of all time.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

The Fourth of July is one of the best days for a summer barbecue, but what if you have the chance to eat as much as you like? That’s what Nathan’s Hot Dogs offers with their annual hot dog eating contest. This event takes place on Coney Island, where competitors have just ten minutes to eat as many hot dogs as possible to win the coveted Mustard Belt. Competitors have even broken world records over the years for their efforts, so you know that the contest is always a thrill to watch. If hot dogs are your favorite summer treat, you won’t want to miss this exciting competition. 

Nathan's on Coney Island New York | WhereTraveler
Nathan's on Coney Island (©Thomas Loizeau)

Travis Parade

No holiday is complete without a parade, and New York City parades are always some of the biggest and best. For the Fourth of July, head to Staten Island for their annual Travis Parade. While this parade is more relaxed than other holiday parades, it still provides an afternoon full of fun. At 12:30 p.m., head to the Showplace Center and watch classic cars filled with American flags and special guests ride by on the street. There will also be a ceremony honoring the parade’s guests at Independence Park beforehand, so stop by at noon to see special performances and meet friendly faces before the parade fun begins.

Coney Art Walls

Seafood such as lobsters and crabs are another popular dish during summer, and there’s a festival on the Fourth of July weekend to enjoy them. On July 2, head to the Coney Art Walls in Coney Island for Lobster Fest NYC. This event offers a different kind of holiday weekend fun. From 3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., stop by for a taste of delicious lobster and crab-inspired dishes to give your 4th of July the perfect seafood touch. Once the feast is through, stick around for performances by several local DJs that are sure to get you on your feet and dancing the night away. 

On Independence Day, check out The Day Party for art, live music and DJs. The show is set to be headlined by Meek Mill. The event is for guests over 18 and is scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to midnight. 

The Day Party at Coney Art Walls New York | WhereTraveler
The Day Party (Courtesy Coney Art Walls)