We Long Islanders have always had an independent spirit. Self-sufficient from our Colonial days, we now ride commuter trains, endure traffic delays, and absorb all of Mother Nature’s body blows knowing there’s no place in the nation we’d rather be, in July, or anytime, than right where we are.
Long Islanders are also fiercely loyal to our country and that little slice of America that sits to the east of New York City. This month we’ll celebrate our independence from Manhasset to Montauk with parades, carnivals, fireworks shows, and more.
Perhaps even with a bit of reflection. Long Island has lighthouses commissioned by George Washington, villages named for Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, and, of course, was the center of the most successful spy ring of the Revolutionary War. (Give yourself a gold star if you can name the community named after Franklin. Answer below.)
Kids can learn plenty on Long Island this month. They can celebrate the holiday in 19th-century style at Old Bethpage Village; bond with ”President Theodore Roosevelt” and his family at Sagamore Hill; even marvel at Old Glory in a parade of our nation’s colors in Mount Sinai.
Later in the month, we’ll transition to more traditional activities, including street fairs, festivals like the North Sea Carnival and a North Fork street fair, and outdoor movie nights. School’s out, independence is in, and we’re into it.
And remember, our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month. Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.
(And it’s Franklinville, of course, whose name since has changed to Laurel. Franklin visited the North Fork hamlet while postmaster general. Sorry for the trick question.)
Fireworks alight over the Peconic River and across Long Island. Photo by Steven Isaacson/CC BY 2.0
Fourth of July Celebrations — Islandwide
Don your best red, white, and blue as Long Island celebrates our nation’s birth all weekend. Fireworks shows light up the night sky from Great Neck to Greenport.
Summer Family Fun — Hempstead
The Hofstra University Museum’s two summer programs are sure to keep kids on the go. The “Let’s Explore” backpack series enables kids and adults to explore the outdoor sculpture collection and create their own works of art. In the “Great Art Caper,” children and adults uncover clues to help solve a mystery on the campus.
Summer Concert Series at Eisenhower Park — East Meadow
July 1-late August
Music enthusiasts young and old can enjoy everything from disco to classic rock, oldies, and musical theater at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre. Shows begin at 8pm.
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The fireworks are spectacular at the North Sea Carnival. Photo by Ron Esposito and North Sea Fire Dept.
North Sea Carnival — North Sea
In the Hamptons for the holiday weekend? Why not enjoy games, rides, carnival antics, and more for the benefit of the North Sea Volunteer Fire Department. There are fireworks shows on Saturday, July 1 and Monday, July 3.
Summer Movie Express — Deer Park
Monthlong beginning July 4
Regal Entertainment Group’s summer movie series for kids begins on the holiday, then continues Tuesdays and Wednesdays through late August. Admission is only $1 for the 10am shows.
Friday Night Promenade — Garden City
July 7, 14, 21, 28
A series of themed entertainment nights transforms Seventh Street in the village downtown. Enjoy "Red, White, and Blue Night," “Rock of Ages Night,” a country and western night and Christmas in July.
Citizen Science Fridays — Garden City
July 7, 14, 21, 28
The Long Island Children’s Museum hosts a series of hands-on science workshops for kids 3 and older. Subjects include butterflies and plants.
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Enjoy a dance party in the streets of Oyster Bay. Photo by Meredith Maus
Dancing in the Street — Oyster Bay
July 7,14, 21, 28
Enjoy a FREE evening of dancing and fun in the streets of historic Oyster Bay, near Town Hall.
Old-Fashoned Street Fair — Mattituck
Celebrate the season on the North Fork with live music, food, entertainment, arts and crafts, vendors, and more. Don't miss the crowning of Little Miss and Mr. Mattituck.
Sprinkler Dance Party — Cold Spring Harbor
Dance and splash, and enjoy face painting, crafts, and more at the Whaling Museum and Education Center. The celebration begins at noon.
Kids Nights at the Bandshell — Jones Beach
July 11, 18, 25
After a day riding the waves, why not head over the bandshell for a concert especially for kids. Darlene Graham headlines on July 25.
Dave Jay — Town of Hempstead
July 14, 17-21
The children’s musician and comedian brings his unique talents to a series of locations across Hempstead town. Shows are at 10:30 am or 1:30pm.
Jungle Bungle Animal Jam — Seaford
Toddlers can participate in a live musical about animals and nature, meet animals, march in a parade, then enjoy the rest of the Tackapausha Museum and Preserve.
Children’s Comedy with Jim McClenahan — Town of Hempstead
The magician and comedian delights children with outdoor shows at various locations in Hempstead town. Shows are at 10:30am and 1:30pm.