Independently minded almost from our inception, we Long Islanders have come to appreciate the month of July. After an angry winter and a dreary spring, it’s an annual call to celebrate all we cherish about our country and our Island.
And yes, we will celebrate this year, with a thank-you to the 2018 calendar, which placed July 4 squarely in the middle of the week. With school out and the holiday on a Wednesday, we have the benefit of potentially two extra-long Fourth of July weekends. That gives us plenty of time for fireworks, barbecues, beach days, and parades.
Hopefully, time for a bit of reflection, too, because as much as any region of the nation Long Island really can strut its Independence Day stuff. We boast communities named after two Founding Fathers – Port Washington and Port Jefferson. We are home to President Theodore Roosevelt, whose bust adorns Mount Rushmore. We even have two villages that lay claim to being New York State’s oldest community – Southold and Southampton, a friendly rivalry that has continued since 1640.
Though but 120 miles from tip to tip, Long Island is rich in the history and pageantry of America. And what better month to celebrate it than in July? Enjoy a Roosevelt-style Fourth at Sagamore Hill, a Wild West show in Old Bethpage, and fireworks shows from Glen Cove to Montauk.
Of course, there’s more to this month than just the red, white and blue. But Independence Day is a great way to start. Are you into it?
As always, 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. Now on to what’s happening.
Enjoy the fireworks and plenty more at the North Sea Carnival on the East End. Photo by Ron Esposito and North Sea Fire Department
North Sea Carnival — North Sea
Friday, June 29-Tuesday, July 3
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 Sunday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 3.
RELATED: The best summer fairs and festivals on Long Island
Get ready for the bounce of your life at Big Bounce America in Calverton. Photo courtesy of the event
Big Bounce America — Calverton
Saturday, June 30-Sunday, July 1
It’s the final weekend on Long Island for the nation’s largest traveling bounce house. Enjoy bouncers, a water slide, Ninja run, and more.
RELATED: LI farm stands where kids can pick their own
Get a final batch of strawberries as the season closes at Garden of Eve in Riverhead. Photo courtesy of the farm
Strawberry Festival at Garden of Eve — Riverhead
Sunday, July 1
Celebrate the close of strawberry season with hayrides, pedal carts, games, and, of course, fresh fruit and treats.
Wild West Show — Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Sunday, July 1
The Island Long Riders bring their equestrian skills to the village restoration in a re-creation of old-time entertainment. Afterward, enjoy a few innings of vintage baseball played according to 1864 rules.
Science of Ice Cream – Port Jefferson
Saturday, June 30-Sunday, July 1
This STEM-focused activity at the Long Island Explorium explores the physics behind the creation of our favorite summer treat.
Outdoor Music and Dancing – Islandwide
Sunday, July 1-Tuesday, July 3
With the holiday looming, enjoy outdoor concerts, dancing, and more. Take in FREE music at Eisenhower Park; on the greens in Montauk or Farmingdale; in the park in Southampton, and elsewhere. If you’d rather dance, why not sample the outdoor dance party at Mitchell Park in Greenport. Most are FREE.
RELATED: 50 FREE things to do with Long Island kids this summer
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Long Island's grandest fireworks show, at Jones Beach. Photo by Rhiannon via Flickr
Independence Day celebrations – Islandwide
Saturday, June 30-Wednesday, July 4
The celebrations actually begin on June 30 with a postgame fireworks show at the Long Island Ducks game, the TD Bank Celebrate America show at Eisenhower Park and Independence Day tributes in Oyster Bay, Orient, Point Lookout, and at Riverhead Raceway. On Tuesday, July 3, you can Go 4th on the Bay in Oakdale; and on the holiday itself you can enjoy Grucci shows at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville and on the beach in Montauk, as well as community celebrations in Asharoken, Glen Cove, and Port Jefferson. The annual Jones Beach fireworks show is July 4 at 9:30pm.
RELATED: 25 things we can't wait to do with LI kids this summer
Channel your sand castle-making talents at Hither Hills State Park. Photo courtesy of LI State Parks and Recreation
Sand Castle Contest – Hither Hills State Park, Montauk
Thursdays, July 5, 12, 19, and 26
Using only native beach materials, kids are challenged to create the most ornate sand castles they can. Prizes are awarded to the best sculptors in a number of categories.
Alive on 25 – Riverhead
Thursdays, July 5, 12, and 26
Riverhead’s downtown closes for street fairs featuring music, vendors, local beer and wine for the grownups, and even a classic car show. Enjoy a similar street fair in Patchogue on Thursday, July 19. FREE
Garden City Promenade — Garden City
Fridays, July 6, 13, 20, and 27
Each Friday night through September, Garden City’s downtown comes alive in a series of themed entertainment nights. Enjoy music, giveaways, balloon art, face painting, and more. FREE
Old-Fashoned Street Fair — Mattituck
Saturday, July 7
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. FREE
Music at the Band Shell — Jones Beach State Park
Tuesdays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31
After a day riding the waves, why not head over to the band shell for a family concert? Enjoy FREE parking at Field 4. Kids performers, including Rock N Roll U Kids, headline on Tuesday evenings.
Great South Bay Music Festival — Patchogue
Thursday, July 12-Sunday, July 15
Enjoy “America-themed” music, art, and culture at this family event at Shorefront Park. Come for the music, stay for the celebrations. On Sunday, enjoy a performance by Disney’s Imagination Movers.
Darlene Graham — Town of Hempstead
Friday, July 13-Friday, July 20 (no shows Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15)
The celebrated children’s performer delivers a week’s worth of interactive concerts at venues across Hempstead Town.
RELATED: Nature centers sure to delight LI kids
Experience local aquatic life at the Marine Discovery Sail at The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay. Photo courtesy of the center
Marine Discovery Sail — Oyster Bay
Sunday, July 22
Set sail on the sloop Christeen for an afternoon of aquatic discovery. Assist the skipper and crew in their sail around Oyster Bay.
The “Jim Jester” Show — Town of Hempstead
Monday, July 30-Friday, August 3
The magician and comedian delights children with outdoor shows at various locations in Hempstead town. Shows are at 10:30am and 1:30pm.