Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing Guide

Gillian Osswald
Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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. 

Advertisement

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.

Catacombs by Candlelight Tour
Nov
22

Things to Do
Catacombs by Candlelight Tour

This exclusive tour beneath St. Patrick’s Basilica takes you through the storied underground resting places of legendary New Yorkers including...

More Info
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation
Nov
22

Things to Do
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation

This pre–Turkey Day ritual, held near the American Museum of Natural History, has become almost as beloved a tradition as the parade itself.

More Info
Who's Holiday
Nov
22

Off-Broadway
Who's Holiday

middle aged Cindy Lou Who recounts the night she met the Grinch

More Info
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition
Nov
22

Attractions
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

Hit this limited-engagement exhibition, which features show sets, costumes and artifacts from PBS’s Downton Abbey.

More Info
Stephen Shore
Nov
22

Arts & Culture
Stephen Shore

Shore precociously began his career as a teenager, shooting black-and-white images of Andy Warhol’s Factory during the 1960s. He then went on to...

More Info
Fictions
Nov
22

Arts & Culture
Fictions

Nineteen young, emerging African-American artists are given their shot at the limelight in this show, the fifth in a series of surveys that feature titles...

More Info
Guggenheim Collection: Brancusi
Nov
22

Arts & Culture
Guggenheim Collection: Brancusi

Friend and colleague to Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger and Amedeo Modigliani, among others, Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957) was one of the...

More Info
Wheel of Fortune
Nov
22

Museums & Galleries
Wheel of Fortune

exhibit marking the show's 35th anniversary

More Info
Thinking Machines
Nov
22

Museums & Galleries
Thinking Machines

This MoMA exhibit looks at the impact of computers on art and artists using computers.

More Info
Shop Bleecker
Nov
22

Shopping
Shop Bleecker

Deals and giveaways all month long at local shops.

More Info
Street Smart
Nov
22

Museums & Galleries
Street Smart

SVA graduates exhibit site-specific and interactive installations.

More Info
Directorfest
Nov
22

Off-Broadway
Directorfest

Celebration of theater and up-and-coming directors, along with panels, readings and talks with important figures of the stage.

More Info

Advertisement

From Our Partners