12 Things to Do the Week of the Fourth of July in NYC

nycgo.com staff

When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, New York City doesn’t hold back. For starters, we’ve got the biggest fireworks display in the country, a world-famous hot dog eating contest at Coney Island and a star-spangled parade marching through Staten Island for its 108th year. The week surrounding the Fourth of July has other kinds of festivities too, including outdoor concerts, film screenings, food festivals and several chances to see America’s pastime. So celebrate the USA turning the big 242 with more than a week’s worth of fun things to do.

1. Midsummer Night Swing

June 26–July 14

During this annual summer series, Lincoln Center’s plaza transforms into a dance floor with live music, dance lessons and plenty of space to try out some new moves.

Photo: Kaoko Nakamura

2. New York Asian Film Festival

June 29–July 16

Screening everything from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics, this festival shows some of the biggest films from many Asian countries.

3. New York Yankees Baseball

June 29–July 4

The Bronx Bombers host back-to-back three-game series culminating with a daytime showdown on the Fourth; they face the Boston Red Sox followed by the Atlanta Braves.

Smorgasburg, East River State Park. Photo: Alexander Thompson

4. Smorgasburg

June 30–July 1; July 7–8

Eat your heart out at this fan-favorite foodie fest, which sets up shop in Williamsburg’s East River State Park on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays.

Warm Up at MoMA PS1. Photo: Molly Flores

5. Warm Up at MoMA PS 1

June 30, July 7

The museum’s innovative outdoor concert series is known for hosting up-and-coming voices in the music world; past performers include Cardi B, Solange, Jamie XX and Black Dice.

"Whipped Cream," American Ballet Theatre. Photo: Gene Schiavone

6. American Ballet Theatre Spring Season

July 2–July 7

The American Ballet Theatre takes up residence at the Met Opera beginning in May and closes out the season with performances of Richard Strauss’ Whipped Cream.

Photo: Julienne Schaer

7. Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

July 4

Nothing says the Fourth of July quite like the Macy’s Fireworks Show, launching thousands of shells over the East River for a spectacular show.

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8. Louis Armstrong Birthday Celebration

July 4

The famed jazz musician shares a birthday with America, and accordingly the Louis Armstrong house is throwing a birthday bash with live music and free cake.

9. Travis Parade

July 4

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

Photo: Julienne Schaer

10. Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

July 4

It’s an annual Coney Island tradition and a testament to the tenacity—and stomach size—of its wiener-eating competitors.

Noah Syndergaard. Courtesy, New York Mets

11. New York Mets Baseball

July 6–8

Watch the Mets take on the Tampa Bay Rays in an interleague series at Citi Field.

12. Outdoor Movie Night at Randall’s Island Park

July 8

Summer in NYC means a full lineup of free movie screenings, including this showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.


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