Holidays

Fun Things to Do on July 4th in NYC If Your Family Doesn’t Like 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 then wait for nightfall to 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!

Best Fourth of July Activities for Kids That Aren't Fireworks

It's Fourth of July week, and the kids are itching for something fun to do before the big fireworks show. Keep them entertained with these Independence Day activities, including patriotic crafts, cooking projects, and even day trips.

We've rounded up plenty of kid-friendly things to do this Fourth of July, including for toddlers and preschoolers who might prefer to avoid those startling (and thunderous) sky explosions. But we didn't neglect the big kid and teen activities either.

Find more at-home activity ideas in our Boredom Busters for Kids guide, including 100 Awesome Crafts and the Ultimate Summer Play List.

Where to See July 4 Fireworks in and Around Chicago

Every year, the Navy Pier fireworks over the lakefront are a highlight of summer in Chicago. While sparklers light up the night sky over Navy Pier every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the extra-long, super-sized Fourth of July display is one not to miss. With July 4 falling on a Thursday in 2019, you'll want to make plans in advance for how and where your family will catch the big sparkler show. We've rounded up a few of the best ways to watch the Fourth of July fireworks downtown, plus a list of well-worth-the-drive fireworks displays in the near suburbs.

Fireworks! 50 Different 4th of July Displays in Los Angeles & Orange County

It's almost the 4th of July—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 Fourth of July (plus several on July 3, and even a couple in late June!). We'll keep adding more right up to the day!

4th of July Fireworks Cruises and Boat Rides 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 pyrotechnics spectacle from a boat. That's a holiday memory your kiddos won't soon forget. Several small cruise boats and ships 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.

Guide to Fourth of July Fireworks on Long Island

It's almost the Fourth of July here on Long Island, and we're all excited for the fireworks. Summer has arrived, and we've rounded up some of the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks shows on Long Island, from Nassau to Suffolk and the East End; from June and past Independence Day in July. 

So don your red. white, and blue and after your park barbecue or visit to the beach, grab the kids and head out for some Fourth of July pageantry and activities at Jones Beach, Eisenhower Park, and elsewhere. And for the record, the fun doesn't end on July 4th on Long Island; fireworks shows continue through mid-July. Check out our Event Calendar for other fireworks spectaculars or use it to plan a summer day trip

Maybe even take in a FREE outdoor community concert or movie. Whatever you choose, have a great 4th of July. 

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

We've got the scoop on NJ's best family-friendly fireworks shows on the 4th of July, from small-town celebrations to waterfront extravaganzas. You can cheer on the red, white, and blue in Atlantic City, which hosts one of the country's biggest 4th of July 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 fireworks displays happening throughout the state. 

Big kids might enjoy a special trip out to the NYC 4th of July fireworks show, or the fireworks festival in Philadelphia.

In addition to fireworks, these Fourth of July festivities include lots of other fun activities, such as parades, rides, live music, and more. Read on for more than a dozen picks, and try these non-fireworks July 4th activities for kids before the show or with little ones looking for a little less noise.

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

Best 4th of July Fireworks in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

The 4th of July means summer fun, barbecues, and, of course, stunning pyrotechnics. We’ve identified Westchester area Fourth of July 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 in NYC 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. Try these non-fireworks Fourth of July activities with kids before the show to get everyone into the holiday spirit.

Looking for more seasonal spectacles? Check out our guide to summer festivals and fairs in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

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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