Are you looking for what to do to celebrate the 4th of July in New York? You’re in luck because NYC is one of the best cities to celebrate Independence Day. In addition to making your list of museums, bars, and restaurants to visit on the 4th of July in NYC, there are several events you can only experience on this holiday weekend.
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Independence Day takes place on Thursday, July 4th, 2024, giving travelers to New York the whole weekend to take in New York before the big day.
To help you make the most of your time, we are highlighting the best and the biggest 4th of July events NYC has to offer on the 4th of July weekend. From family-friendly cruises and fireworks to hot dog-eating contests and lobster, you’re sure to have a spectacular weekend.
Must-See 4th of July Events NYC
Macy’s 4th Of July FireworksOther Events in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
If there’s one fireworks show to see when you visit New York City, it’s the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show. One of the most iconic fireworks displays in the United States, this is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Each 4th of July beginning just after 9pm, the skies over New York City’s East River light up with a colorful, coordinated display. Sponsored by Macy’s, there are more than 60,000 shells launched off between four and six barges. For over 25 minutes, you’ll enjoy a celebration of America’s Independence Day. Not to be missed is the New York Fire Department’s contribution, as they shoot red, clear, and blue water 300 feet into the air from the fire boats they have stationed in the river, too.
Celebrate 4th of July on a rooftopOther Events in Garment DistrictAdd to myNY added
How about a rooftop party on the 4th of July? Celebrate America’s Independence Day with a breathtaking view of the City! Starting at 4:00pm, the Elsie Rooftop in Times Square is waiting for you with a live DJ to celebrate this holiday appropriately! Tickets start at $20 and admission is for ages 21 and up!
Take Part In A Family Fireworks CruiseCruise in Lower East SideAdd to myNY added
A family trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a family-friendly cruise on the water. Since it’s 4th of July in NYC, you have the opportunity to make it even more special by taking in the annual NYC 4th of July fireworks with a cruise that lets you take in all of New York City’s monuments from a new angle.
With the Family Fireworks Cruise, you’ll enjoy views of the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge, and the whole NYC Skyline before getting an up close experience with the fireworks.
Plus, the fireworks cruise itself is a great time for the whole family with a dinner buffet, DJs, open air deck, open bar (for the adults), and more. Boarding starts at 6pm at the Skyport Marina for a 6:45pm departure. The fireworks take place at 9pm, and you’ll be back at the dock by 10:15pm.
My tip: Here you find the best 4th of July cruises in NYC for 2023.
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating ChampionshipOther Events in Coney Island & Brighton BeachAdd to myNY added
For another 4th of July New York event that’s just as iconic as the fireworks show, come by Coney Island’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Taking place at noon on July 4th, 2023, Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest pits the world’s greatest competitive eaters against each other in one of the most well-known contests.
Officially sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, this event is often witnessed by thousands of people. The current record for the event is 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. Will you be there to see the record get broken?
This free event is open to the public and takes place at Maimonides Park, at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Bryant Park Film FestivalOther Attraction in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
One of the best things to do in July in New York is visiting the free Bryant Park Film Festival and picnic performances in Bryant Park. In the heart of Manhattan, people gather in the summer months with blankets and chairs they’ve brought themselves to relax at the outdoor movie theater and concerts by the New York Philharmonics. Bryant Park is just under a 5 minute walk from Times Square, surrounded by tall trees, so it’s a bit secluded from the rest, but you’re still in the middle of it all: Awesome!
Coney Island 4th of July FireworksOther Events in Coney Island & Brighton BeachAdd to myNY added
The Coney Island Fireworks is a free event open to the public and held at the Riegelmann Boardwalk right on Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn.
After the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship, stick around to see Coney Island’s spectacular display of fireworks. Visible from the boardwalk, this show generally starts at 10pm and lasts about fifteen minutes.
Observe Fireworks From New York City’s Most Impressive BuildingsBuilding in Financial DistrictOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
In 2021, New York’s most impressive and iconic buildings put up quite a show. At the 4th of July Party at One World Observatory, visitors have a chance to enjoy a great view of the One World Trade Center, enjoy drinks and bites, and an almost eye-level view of fireworks.
Similarly, the Empire State Buildings had its own unique 4th of July NYC celebration. With a party split between the 80th floor and the observation deck on the 86th floor for the Macy’s fireworks, this is one of the most impressive ways to see the Macy’s fireworks display.
We are still waiting on official word for the 2023 events, so keep your eye on this link for the official announcement by the Empire State Building and on this one for One World Observatory.
Indulge Yourself At Lobster FestOther Events in Coney Island & Brighton BeachAdd to myNY added
If you arrive in NYC for the 4th of July, you’ll have the chance to indulge yourself on one of the region’s most delicious foods: lobster! Usually on July 2nd Lobster Fest NYC is scheduled to take place at Coney Art Walls.
This Brooklyn-centric party features celebrated local radio station Hot 97 complimentary lobster and crab-inspired dishes from 3pm – 5pm, and complimentary tequila from 3pm – 4:30pm. Plus, local vendors will be selling creative and delicious lobster dishes fit for the whole family. If you’ll be in town, you won’t want to miss out. The event starts at 3pm and goes until 10pm.
To find out more about Lobster Fest, visit the event’s official page.
Roosevelt Island Fourth of July Family Fireworks CelebrationOther Tours in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Roosevelt Island is hosting an annual 4th of July celebration, especially suited for families. There are tons of activities and an extensive entertainment program for big and small, including bouncy houses and food.
Attending the event is free, but as availability is limited, tickets are required. You can claim free tickets online. They will be released on rioc.ny.gov in June. Another great thing about the celebration on Roosevelt Island is that you can get there by the basically free Roosevelt Island Tramway, which is a great New York experience in itself. It’s included in your MetroCard when you own an unlimited pass so you won’t have to pay extra.
- Where? Roosevelt Island | Roosevelt Island Tramway
- When? 5 PM till 10:30 PM
The July 4, 2023 event is currently TBD.
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