Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing Guide

Gillian Osswald
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Nothing marks the Fourth of July quite like fireworks do, and in New York City there are a host of places to watch the red, white and blue sparks fly. The annual Macy’s display (now in its 41st year) takes place over Manhattan’s East River and remains the largest in the nation, but other local shows draw spectators to Coney Island, Staten Island and Battery Park as well. Check out our guide on how to get the best views of Independence Day fireworks throughout the City. No matter which spot you choose, be sure to arrive early; fireworks are set to start at approximately 9:30 pm.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

There’s a reason Macy’s holds the title of having the nation’s largest fireworks display. This year they’ll launch 60,000 shells in a colorful display over the East River, which will be synchronized to a patriotic score from the West Point Band and Glee Club. Macy’s will section off areas of the FDR Drive and other streets along the river as official viewing locations, but there are additional spots in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens from which to watch the display.

Pier 15, Seaport District. Photo: Julienne Schaer

Views from Manhattan
Head to the Lower East Side for a view from East River Park, or make your way uptown to Carl Schurz Park. The Queensboro Bridge will be in your sightline there, but it certainly won’t inhibit your view or your Instagram post.

Views from Brooklyn
Bring a blanket to Grand Ferry Park, East River State Park or Transmitter Park for views along the northern Brooklyn waterfront. 

Courtesy, LIC Flea & Food

Views from Queens
Check out Gantry Plaza State Park or visit the LIC Flea & Food. The market will stay open until 11:30pm on the Fourth, so along with a great view of the fireworks you’ll have prime snacking and shopping options during and after the display. 

Brooklyn Flyer in Luna Park, Coney Island. Photo: Alex Lopez Luna Park, Coney Island.

4th of July in Coney Island

You might find more entertainment at this 4th of July celebration in Brooklyn than anywhere else in the City. While the fireworks are the main event, you can make a full day of it: lay out on the beach, take a spin on Luna Park’s rides and check out special events like the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Then claim some space on Coney Island’s beach or its 2.5-mile-long boardwalk to watch the evening’s fireworks.  

Independence Day with the Staten Island Philharmonic

On Staten Island, enjoy some orchestra music with your fireworks. The Alice Austen House hosts this annual event on the waterfront, which overlooks the New York Harbor. Set up camp on the museum’s lawn to hear the live performance leading up to the Citywide fireworks displays.  

Staten Island Yankees

The minor league affiliate of baseball’s big league Yankees takes on the Hudson Renegades, to be followed by a fireworks display. The views from the waterfront stadium are already plenty scenic without the added pyrotechnics. 

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Liberty State Park Fireworks

Spend Independence Day exploring the waterfront Battery Park City waterfront. After dark, settle in to Battery Park for a view of the Jersey City fireworks, set off across the Hudson River. 

Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Photo: Julienne Schaer

Fourth of July Events

These events take place before the fireworks and will help get you in the patriotic spirit. For details on happenings the rest of Fourth of July weekend, see our holiday events guide.

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