18 Fun Things to Do on Fourth of July Weekend in New York City

nycgo.com staff

America turns 243 on July 4, and New York City is the best place to celebrate Independence Day. We’ve got beaches, baseball, comedy, movie screening, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and more. Read on for some of our favorite options for the long holiday weekend. Have fun!

Citi Field. Photo: Jen Davis

1. Mets vs. Yankees at Citi Field

July 3
It doesn’t get more American than baseball. Two hometown teams go head-to-head in Queens.

Staten Island Yankees. Photo: Julienne Schaer

2. Staten Island Yankees vs. Tri-City ValleyCats

July 3
See above, but minor league edition. Also, there will be postgame fireworks.

3. Ishtar at Film Forum

July 3–4
This 1987 Hollywood flop is a funny road movie cum geopolitical satire—courtesy of freshly minted Tony winner Elaine May—in which a pair of hapless songwriters stir up trouble in North Africa. We’re telling the truth (which is dangerous business).

4. Do the Right Thing 30th Anniversary Screenings at BAM

July 3–4
Celebrate a milestone birthday for one of Spike Lee’s classic films in his own Fort Greene neighborhood. Screenings are in new 4K DCP and 35mm prints—check listings for details.

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise at The Shed. Photo: Stephanie Berger

5. Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise at The Shed

July 3 & 5–7
The words kung fu musical should be enough to pique your interest.

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Photo: Julienne Schaer

6. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

July 4
With a combination of steely grit, limber lips and highly expandable stomachs, competitors in the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest down dogs (and buns) for 10 minutes straight, stopping for nothing—not ketchup, not mustard, not even a French fry.

7. Travis Parade

July 4
This small-town Staten Island gathering, with a ceremony at noon and stepping-off at 12:30pm, is one of the oldest continually running Fourth of July parades in the country.


Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks. Photo: Julienne Schaer

8. The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

July 4
You’ve probably heard about these. Check ’em out at these viewing spots.

Brooklyn Cyclones. Photo: Jen Davis

9. Brooklyn Cyclones vs. Aberdeen IronBirds

July 4
It’s more minor league baseball, with more fireworks.

Fourth of July Night Market. Courtesy, LIC

10. Fourth of July Night Market

July 4
Sample foods from international vendors at this outdoor market in Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the United States.

Riis Park Beach Bazaar. Courtesy, Riis Bizzarre

11. Riis Park Beach Bazaar

July 4–7
Take the NYC Ferry to the beach in Queens and enjoy hot dogs, ice cream, shaved ice and, on July 4, live music from Freddy DeBoe.

Courtesy, New York Mets

12. Seinfeld Night at Citi Field

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Seinfeld by watching Jerry’s favorite baseball team, the New York Mets, take on the Philadelphia Phillies.

13. Films on the Green

July 5
The French were stalwart allies of the United States in the Revolutionary War. See French film Tomboy in Tompkins Square Park. Don’t worry; there will be subtitles.

14. Roni Size at Sunnyvale

Dance along with the British producer and DJ at one of Brooklyn’s trendiest music venues.

15. Whiplash at Union Hall

July 5
One of New York City’s top showcase-format stand-up comedy shows is still going strong at Union Hall. We don’t know the lineup yet, but big names like Janeane Garofalo, John Mulaney, Aparna Nancherla and Trevor Noah have appeared in the past…so go ahead and assume it’ll be great.


16. Warm Up with Freddie Gibbs and Madlib at MoMA PS1

July 6
This long-running concert series features an array of live and electronic music performances on summer weekends. This Saturday, rapper Freddie Gibbs takes top billing.

Smorgasburg. Photo: Scott J Lynch

17. Smorgasburg

July 6–7
More than 100 vendors convene to sell nearly every foodstuff you can imagine: arepas, poke, yakitori, fried chicken, popsicles and so forth. On July 6, it’s in Williamsburg’s East River State Park; the next day, it’s at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill.

18. Chicken & Beer at the Rooftop at Elsewhere

July 7
Wrap up your holiday weekend with this popular Bushwick brunch party.