Holidays

Fun Things to Do on July 4th in NYC Besides the Fireworks

Fireworks just aren't for everyone. For little kids especially, the loud noises and flashing lights in the sky can be overwhelming and a little scary. If that's the case in your family, the Fourth of July might be a bit of a challenge in New York City.

But no worries: You don't have to line up midday to stand in a crush of strangers and watch the sky explode in order to enjoy this holiday in NYC. We've got a cool dozen ideas to help you navigate the birth of our nation, gunpowder-free!

Of course, you can also always turn to our July GoList, our compendium of 100 Free Things to do with NYC Kids This Summer, and our bulging calendar for more ideas. Happy 4th!

Firework Displays to Celebrate the 4th of July in Philly, Suburbs, and at the Jersey Shore

When you think of Philadelphia, many things come to mind: Amazing museums, soft pretzels, phenomenal theater productions, the world's first Certified Autism Center zoo, cheese steaks, and the winning Super Bowl Philadelphia Eagles. But, perhaps the City of Brotherly Love is best known for its historical connection to the birth of our great country. After all, Philadelphia was where the Declaration of Independence was signed, General Washington crossed the Delaware and made his famed camp at Valley Forge. So with such a passionate and impressive history, it's quite fitting to celebrate the good ol' U.S. of A.'s birthday with some fantastic firework displays throughout the Delaware Valley.

Gather along the Delaware River at either the Philly or Jersey side to see fireworks burst above the water. Party on the Parkway early, then sit back to see the firework show at night with the Art Museum as a backdrop. If your crew prefers the suburbs, there are plenty of options. Some include parades, while others boast live entertainment. Heading down to the shore? We have you covered with options at the beach.

No matter where you watch the fireworks, be sure to bring a blanket, lawn chair, and some snacks. Then, sit back and be mesmerized as the sky lights up - red, white, and blue. Happy Fourth!

4th of July Fireworks in Connecticut

Here in Connecticut we love fireworks so much that the shows start as early as late June and continue throughout July! Kick off summer with a bang with our roundup of more than 40 (!) CT pyrotechnic displays in honor of Independence Day. As always before heading out, check the weather forecast and parking restrictions, especially at beaches. Some venues allow nonresidents to pay for parking on-site, but others require that passes be purchased in advance at a separate location.

Fireworks! 46 Different 4th of July Displays in Los Angeles & Orange County

Who's ready for some rockets' red glare? LA and Orange County's many communities compete for sky space on July 4th, launching fireworks willy-nilly at the stroke of 9pm. From the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, Angelenos have plenty of directions to look on Independence Day. Whether your plan is to book a fireworks cruise, to lay a blanket in a park, or to close all the windows and try not to wake the baby, it helps to know where those firecrackers are being aimed. Below is a list of locations lighting up the night sky on the 4th of July (plus one or two on June 30). We'll keep adding more right up to the day!

4th of July Fireworks Cruises for Families in LA and OC

We landlubbers love our fireworks, don't we? Well, if you think the view from the shore is stunning, try witnessing the spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget. Several small cruise boats set sail this Independence Day, with 2-3 hour tours to delight you and your first mates. Snuggle on deck under a blanket and watch the sky come alive as the water sparkles below. Read on to find a boat leaving a port near you.

4th of July Fireworks in and Around Boston

If you’re looking for a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is a classic choice. Heading over to the Esplanade in the morning to stake out a spot, enjoying a picnic and the outdoors all afternoon, then in the evening hearing the 1812 overture as fireworks explode in the sky is a Boston tradition families have been enjoying for decades. 

But if the sounds and crowds on the Esplanade seem a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of other great options. Lots of towns around Boston put on their own 4th of July displays that are just right for families with young children. Read on for some wonderful local celebrations with fireworks from June 30th through July 4th, and check out other Independence Day activities (an Ice Cream Cruise!) on our events calendar.

Best July 4th Fireworks for NJ Families from Jersey City to the Shore

From small town celebrations to waterfront extravaganzas, we've got the scoop on NJ's best options for family-friendly fireworks shows on July 4th. You can cheer on the red, white, and blue in Atlantic City, which hosts one of the country's biggest celebrations; spread out a beach blanket and enjoy a display down the shore; take in the fireworks extravaganza at the New Jersey State Fair; or choose from more than a dozen other great shows happening throughout the state. 

In addition to fireworks, these July 4th celebrations include lots of other fun activities, such as parades, a Revolutionary War encampment, live music, and even a canoe race. Read on for more than a dozen picks. 

For even more holiday-weekend fun, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

July 4th Fireworks in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Independence Day means summer fun, barbecues, and, of course, stunning pyrotechnics. We’ve identified fireworks displays over the course of an entire week (the benefit of Independence Day falling on a Wednesday!) along with lots of added attractions—a carnival, a fair, concerts, sports, bouncy houses, a parade, and other perks.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the famous Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is best visited strategically, and we have the best spots to watch with your family; there’s also a show-stopping fireworks display that’s less frenetic over the bridge in Jersey City, which also features a full agenda of fun.

Be sure to keep tabs on our Event Calendar, and sign up for our newsletters to stay on top of our frequent updates and announcements!

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