Once a year New Yorkers have the privilege of enjoying the nation’s largest Independence Day fireworks display. Seeing how the skyline is illuminated over the East River while you are experiencing a party atmosphere, emotion, and happiness is undoubtedly an experience that you and your kids will never forget.
The 39th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are inspired by the bravery for the theme of this year, and will trigger more than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells in a 25 minutes synchronized exhibition. The show will start at 9:20 pm and will take place from two locations: East River in midtown, and within the South Street Seaport district.
Kid 101 has come up with the best places to enjoy the fireworks:
1. Public viewing sections in Manhattan
There will be elevated portions of the FDR Drive with the following entry points: from Houston to Midtown, on Houston Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street or 42nd Street; and from Lower Manhattan, on Broad Street Ground Level, Old Slip Upper Level or Pearl & Frankfort. There will also be an ADA/ Special Needs Viewing Areas in Manhattan (FDR Drive southbound lane at 16th Street & Avenue C or 34th street), Brooklyn (Brooklyn Bridge Park at Furman street and old Fulton Street, near PIER #1) or Queen (Center BLVD from 48th Avenue to 49th Avenue).
If you want to get a good spot, it is recommended to arrive at the viewing sections early, around 5 pm, and at 7 pm if you will go to the FDR viewing areas. Otherwise, check here to view the map that shows where the firework viewing stations will be. Avoid bringing backpacks, lawn chairs or other large items.
2. Seaport District
This district will celebrate their own Festival of Independence with two stages in the Seaport District, one on Fulton Street and the second on Peck Slip. They will have a full day of live music, great food, drinks and shopping.
The Fulton Street stage, located on the corner of Fulton and Water Streets, will have previous presentations of Sam Barnes Bluegrass Showdown, Elk City, Marcus Monroe, The Liza Colby Sound, Gedeon Luke and The People and Freedy Johnston. On the other hand, the Peck Slip stage, situated on the corner of Peck Slip and Front Street, will have Ken Whelan and NY Puppets, Hot Peas N’ Butter, The Blue Vipers, Doll Parts, North of Amarillo and Jess Lenat.
You can get there by Bus, subway or bicycle, click here to see the directions http://www.southstreetseaport.com/4th-of-July.
3. Boat Cruises
If you have not seen the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks from the water, it’s an experience you cannot stop having. With the cruises you don’t have to battle the crowds and your family will have a memorable moment with front row seats, enjoying the Macy’s 39th Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display alongside lovely Lady Liberty and other iconic landmarks of NYC.
Audubon Yacht – Pier 40
Looking for a family-friendly location where you and your loved ones can celebrate Independence Day in a nice manner? This yacht is providing fun for people of all ages, ensuring entertainment for everyone. There’s an open bar for adults and a complete buffet not only for the younger members of the family, but for the grown-ups also. The ambiance will be maintained by a live DJ. The prices for VIP tickets start at $175.
For more details and reservations.
Festiva Cruise – Pier 25 – Hudson River Park
This ship matches anyone’s taste and budget, including a buffet dinner and a live DJ for prices that start at $145. Giving people the opportunity to avoid all the bustle, The Festiva yacht leaves from Pier 25 at 7:30 pm and provides the onlookers of the fireworks with a memorable adventure on the water.
The Infinity Yacht Cruise.
This trip is for the ones with a more generous wallet, taking into account that prices can go from the standard cost of $185 up to $1,500 depending on the facilities that you’re going to enjoy. This voyage puts at your disposal a sophisticated menu with dishes such as grilled salmon filet or beef tenderloin, open dance floors and a live DJ, all for an unforgettable celebration of The Independence Day. The cruise starts at Pier 40 at Hudson River Park at 5:00 pm and promises to offer a unique experience. All guests will receive a variety of amenities like Premium Open Bar, Full Dinner Buffet, Live DJ and more.
Bateaux New York Fireworks Dinner Cruise
Enjoy appetizing cuisine, exceptional service and live entertainment on this fancy cruise that will have you pay $450 for a ticket. The atmosphere will be maintained by harmonic notes of jazz and blues that perfectly match the elegance of the event. The cosmopolitan meals and fine wine will enhance the uniqueness of this experience that culminates with the fireworks. The cruise departs at 6:00 pm. from Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers.
They are other options with reasonable prices that are departing from Manhattan:
Circle Line Cruise with a price of $149 per person;
The American Princess from $150 per person;
Water Taxi with prices from $190.
Pier 45 – Hudson River Park
If you want to get an up-close view of the fireworks and not be part of a packed shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, you can get away from it with a water taxi ride. The buffet, the dessert trays and refreshments available on the ride make the price of a ticket ($225) worth it, as you’re going to be privileged to witness the show from close proximity. The trip takes around three and a half hours and the departure from Pier 45 occurs at around 7:00 pm.
Also, cheaper options that sail from the Bronx, like the Island Current Fleet with a great price, $85 per person; Riptide III with a price of $ 100. And finally, those that depart from New Jersey, like the Seastreak with a pricing of $85; and the NY Waterway with a price from $135 for adults to $85 for children.
4. Brooklyn Bridge Park
They will be open on July 4th, and you can use the park’s entrances at Old Fulton and Furman Streets, Joralemon and Furman Streets or Old Dock and Furman Streets. Also, the local streets will close at 4 pm, so you need to use public transportation, like subway, bus, and ferry; check the directions here http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/pages/info#transportation.
It is important to remember that most of the park attractions, like the Pier 2 Pop-Up Pool, Jane’s Carousel and the playgrounds, will be closing early, around 4 pm and 6 pm. As well, the NYPD will be checking all bags, and the backpacks and chairs aren’t allowed. The biggest advantages of choosing The Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar on the 4th of July are: avoiding the fuss, on one hand, and the alcohol that is available for adults only (of course), on the other hand. This ticketed event promises to offer its guests the best views of the fireworks while spoiling them with a buffet made of all-American dishes and three drinks of their choice, all for $150. A printed copy of the ticket is all you need to gain access to the park. You can get tickets here: http://bbgb4th.brownpapertickets.com/.
5. Brooklyn Heights Promenade
This popular walkway in Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhood offers breathtaking vistas of Lower Manhattan and the East River, especially to catch the Fourth of July fireworks. The entries available are Columbia Heights and Pineapple Street, Montague, and Pierrepont streets or Pierrepont and Remsen streets.
Also, remember that is no drinking allowed in the installations because it is a public park, and they have limited space, so make sure to get there early for a good spot.
6. East River Park
This waterfront park located along the East River in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn offers a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline and a delightful play area for your kids. They have barbecue areas, picnic tables, and benches, so you can bring a blanket and enjoy a good time with your family and friends, while you see have the full view of fireworks show on the river.
The park is located on Kent Avenue between N. 7th and N. 10th and is free and open to the public. No pets are allowed.
7. Williamsburg Grand Ferry Park
Located at Grand and River streets and near the former Domino Sugar Factory, this park was once a ferry landing on the edge of the river. This place will give you a clear look at the fireworks show, and if you arrive early, you can take the waterfront benches for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful view.
You and your family can also stand in the manicured pathway for taking pictures or sitting in the small strips of lawn.
8. WNYC Transmitter Park
This stunning green space, with natural areas and places for fishing, play, and recreation, it’s a great local waterfront destination to enjoy the 4th of July with your loved ones. You can sit in the waterfront esplanade while you watch the fireworks display and chow down on your favorite snack. The kids can also have a good time in the children’s play area.
The park is located on West St. between Kent St. and Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, and you can get here by public transportation. See the directions here (Center of WNYC Transmitter Park).
9. Berry Park
This bar with an amazing city view is located at 4 Berry St. in Williamsburg. They have a 100-seat rooftop with great seating options, outdoor and indoor, in case of rain. If the rain happens, do not worry, you can still have a VIP view of the sky and get cozy under a glass enclosure. The Berry Park rooftop bar is a place where you can enjoy a full menu (from snacks to main dishes and tasty desserts), with an excellent view of the fireworks, but bear in mind that owing to its popularity, this place gets very crowded so it’s ‘first-come, first-seated’. An alternative for this place would be Grand Ferry Park, located on Grand Street and River Street, which is the best option for people who want to avoid big crowds and still have a beautiful view of the fireworks.
10. Pod 39 Rooftop Bar
On top of the Pod 39 hotel, Salvation Taco is the restaurant for the Mexican food lovers of your family. Salvation Taco accepts party reservations for groups of all sizes that are looking for a nice and decent-priced way to celebrate the 4th of July. Reservations can be made by emailing email@example.com, and the prices start from $75 per person. Although the fireworks may be slightly dimmed by the buildings around, this place remains an alternative to taking into consideration.
11. Gantry Plaza State Park
This Queens’ waterfront in Long Island City is a 12-acre Riverside located in 4-09 47th Rd, and also a great option to enjoy the 39th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. They have a spectacular views of the midtown Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building and the United Nations. Remember to arrive early so you can get a good spot on any of the four piers of the park or in some of beautifully landscaped gardens. The children have many options to play and have fun, like playgrounds, courts, and grassy fields, they will love it. Also, parking in the area is a challenging, so the best is to take the subway: 7 to Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue.
12. Park and Pier At Maxwell Place
This lovely park in Hoboken has a great beach area, passive space, and a cool waterfront walkway. Is located in Sinatra Dr. N, Hoboken, NJ 07030 and it’s farther from the train station, so go with time and take precautions. The good thing about this place is that is not so full, and they have a playground for the children, for some fun while you are waiting for the fireworks.
It will be open to the public and will have several checkpoints, so avoid bringing backpacks, cans, glass bottles, tents and other large items.
13. The Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier
This verdant waterfront park is located in Red Hook, Brooklyn and you can arrive by public transportation, taking the B61 to Red Hook and getting off at the intersection of Coffey and Van Brunt Street, then walking two blocks west to the park pier. Also, you can check here for other options. Your kids will love the view the park offers, the closest front-facing view of the Statue of Liberty, and if you add the fireworks, everything will be more magical than you have imagined. Though is not filled as much as elsewhere in Manhattan, it is important to arrive early to pick a good spot and get settled with your family.
14. Freedom and Fireworks Festival
There are plenty options to enjoy, so if you’re in New Jersey, you can celebrate the July 4th at this festival, that city is bringing back for the second year in a row. The event will be located in the Liberty State Park, from 12 pm to 10 pm, with a lot of fun activities for you and your kids: like carnival rides, great food, live music and at last but not least, the New Jersey’s premier firework show.
The good news is that this is a FREE event, and you can get there on foot, on a bike, in a car, by a bus, ferry or train.
15. Empire State Building
What better than watch the fireworks of July 4th from one of the most iconic symbols of NYC? If you haven’t visited the 86th floor of this amazing building yet, this is the moment to do it, your family will never forget the scene of the Manhattan skyline lit up in celebration. There are only 250 tickets for this exclusive event, so you have to hurry up, get them here. The tickets include admission to the observatory and light refreshments, along with a simulcast broadcast of the televised fireworks performance. The price is $186, and it runs from 8 pm to 10 pm.
16. Freedom Fest 2015
This family-friendly event offers all the comforts for you and your family, like a great view of the downtown of Manhattan and the East River; also cold drinks and a delicious BBQ Buffet with burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, Cesar salads, hot dogs, chicken wings and pulled pork tacos. Your kids will love it! The festival will be taking place in two different locations: at Pier 15, 78 South Street (get the tickets) and at Watermark, 78 South Street (get the tickets here). They have different prices ranging from $109 to $1,625, and the doors will open at 6:15 pm.
17. Fornino Pizzeria & Cafe
Located on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fornino is a place where people can get quality food and a spot on its rooftop for a perfect view of the fireworks for only $75. The access to the park is made with the wristband that is received by the customer after having purchased the tickets in person. Relish your Italian food in a friendly environment where you and your family will spend a great night filled with fun, ending with the colorful show.
18. Brooklyn Grange Rooftop
You might want to go to the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm if you’re looking for a barbecue after which you would enjoy a spectacular view of the Macy’s fireworks that will explode right overhead. For $125, you’ll get, besides the beautiful view of the fireworks, a fresh, flavorful meal and a party in honor of this day’s significance. If you want to be part of this event, you must purchase your ticket in advance. Contact their website for reservations and more.
19. LIC Landing
LIC Landing is the home to a broad range of public or private events throughout the year. Located Long Island City, in Hunters Point South Park, this place makes up for the fact that the view may not be the best one with the possibility of getting unlimited food for only $100 per person -and even better- anyone 10 years old and under gets the package free! The spacious venue enables people to watch the fireworks as they take over the American sky. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
20. Z Hotel’s Rooftop
If you don’t want to miss the party on Independence Day, tickets here cost $66 for kids and $166 for adults, for classic picnic foods and non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re planning on staying at the hotel for two nights, the price for the package that includes a picnic, daily breakfasts and VIP roof access for you to see the fireworks on the 4th of July starts at $569. With such an incredible view and an offer for everyone’s budget, be sure the memory of this night will follow you for quite a long time. Reservations can be made at email@example.com or by dialing +1 877-256-5556.
21. Novotel New York Times Square
If you’re willing to spend $460 per person on the 4th of July night, this package that provides great fun is perfect for you. Around 1:00 pm, there will be a BBQ lunch on the terrace of the hotel, followed by a tour of Downtown Manhattan to the Hudson River Pier. From there, you will take a cruise along NY Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, while you can dance, drink and dine.
With the 4th of July approaching so fast, you have dozens of alternatives out of which you can choose in order to have a wonderful night. Give these ideas a try and regardless of your option, celebrate like no one’s watching! Have fun taking your pick and spending a special night with your family!