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The Best Ways to Spend the 4th of July in NYC

Independence Day is on it’s way and with that come all the fun things like July fireworks, live music, specialty cocktails, good food and of course, the celebration of our country. If you’re not headed out to the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore this 4th of July and happen to be looking for some fun things to do in the city, you’ll never believe this amazing list of activities I’ve found! I have made sure to grab some great options of both family-friendly activities and adult activities for all things Fourth of July celebrations.

These events and happenings are the best in town and a great way to spend the Fourth of July weekend! For those local New Yorkers and those visiting the big apple, let’s ring in America’s birthday the best way we know how: with amazing views!

Watch the Fireworks

Firstly, we have to begin with the main attraction! The Macy’s July 4th Fireworks display is not only incredibly iconic, but so necessary to check out! How can you not watch them?! You can see them from different spots all throughout the city, especially if you have a rooftop at your apartment, that tends to be one of the best views of the fireworks. No matter where you go, make sure to get a good seat early to make sure you get a great view of the fireworks! The fireworks show is over the East River, so get a good spot on the East side of Manhattan or West side of Brooklyn and it begins at 8PM. And even if you can’t watch them in person, they will be airing on NBC!

Floating Lobster Shack

Secondly, spend the 4th the most delicious way: with The North River Lobster Company. They are NYC’s only floating lobster shack, which is honestly the most delicious thing I’ve heard all week! They run every day except Mondays and Tuesdays, but they are open on the 4th of July and passes are on sale now for an early bird special at $299! This includes a dinner buffet (including a 1 1/4lb lobster!) a standard open bar and sides. For the July celebration, you can board this sightseeing cruise at 6PM to watch the fireworks. It begins at Pier 81 and goes south, past the Statue of Liberty, to position by the Macy’s Fireworks show on the East River.

One World Observatory 4th of July Party

Not so family friendly, but very adult friendly, this event is one for the books! The One World Observatory is hosting a party to celebrate the United States! They do this every year and it’s always so much fun! Enjoy cocktails, bites, and the best views in town. Seriously, can you imagine how perfect the view of the fireworks is from there?! Tickets are currently on sale and you must be 21 or older to attend. The party begins at 8PM and ends at midnight!

Go to the Beach

A great family-friendly activity is to spend the day at the beach! There are a few choices such as the Rockaway Beach and Coney Island Beach. You could even try a swimming pool in the city if you can’t make it out to a beach! But it’s always fun to pack up some snacks or grab some sandwiches from the Bodega and head out there to spend the day in the sun. If you can make it all day to watch the fireworks at night, it’s really special.

Picnic in Central Park

Looking for a more low-key way to spend the holiday weekend? Have a picnic in Central Park! Or any park in NYC, for that matter! Sometimes my best solution to things is to just have a picnic. It really is so underrated! Meet up with your friends and enjoy American classics like hot dogs and burgers. This is another fantastic family-friendly activity, as well, and there’s so much space in Sheep’s Meadow for the kids to run around and play! It really is the perfect way to spend the long weekend.

The Pilot Brooklyn

From the same owners as the Grand Banks, comes the Pilot Brooklyn. The Pilot is an oyster bar on a sailboat that’s docked at Pier 6 by Brooklyn Bridge Park. Not only are the views beautiful, but it’s literally on the water, so it’s a really fun experience! It’s quite literally the perfect spot to watch the fourth of July fireworks. And did I mention they have lobster rolls and cocktails?

Fireworks in Jersey City

This is arguably the best free event going on during the fourth of July weekend! The Jersey City Night Market will be a great spot for fireworks this time of year. you can find the ultimate fireworks and food festival! Enjoy live music performances, drinks and so much more! The event itself is free, but obviously, you do need to pay all the vendors there if you get anything. It’s a great way to support local businesses and artists!


Head over to Seaport to celebrate America! They are pretty family friendly and have so many fun activations and pop ups going on all the time. With live music performances, pop up bars, food trucks, The Seaport does it all.  Moreover, Pier 15 hosts a fantastic holiday party to watch the huge fireworks every year! Because Seaport is on the east side, the view of the Macy’s fireworks show is perfection! There’s a ton of food like hot dogs, hamburgers and other bites, as well as music to enjoy. Between the rooftops, restaurants and movie theatre, you can spend an entire day there!

Watch some All-American Classics

If you’re not feeling like partying this year and you just want to relax, I suggest cranking the a/c and watching an all-American movie! With endless options, you can watch a few! Here are some of our suggestions: American Pie, Top Gun, Hidden Figures, Gone with the Wind and The Music Man! You can always benefit from a day of rest, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Host An America Themed Cocktail Party

Moreover, have you seen those videos where people are having cocktail parties where each person makes a cocktail and dresses like it?! For instance, if you’re making a blue lagoon, you would dress in blue. The dressing up part is all for fun, but it would be refreshing to have a potluck cocktail party with your friends. Everyone brings their supplies and you try them all out!

Take Advantage of the Empty City

Finally, when I say take advantage of the empty city, I mean it! Finish all of those errands you need to finish, make time to clean your space or simply take a long or short walk along the West Side Highway without bumping into a runner! I suggest even grabbing dinner or brunch at a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try out! People usually head out of town or to the beach, so the sidewalks are pretty clear and with the holiday on a Tuesday this year, you will have plenty of days in the long weekend to spend to yourself.

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