Fourth of July events in New York City

Independence Day in NYC means fireworks, hot dogs, BBQ, beaches, picnics and other Fourth of July events that make this summer holiday one of our favorites

Photograph: Grace Chu
4th of July Fireworks: Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

Fete our nation's birthday in style. From Fourth of July events like Macy's Fourth of July fireworks to the best beaches and parks in New York City, we've got myriad ways to commemorate Independence Day in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide

Things to do

Best Fourth of July events

Dance, eat, drink and watch people scarf hot dogs at these Independence Day events

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Things to do

Where to watch the fireworks

Board a boat, hobnob on a swanky rooftop or sweat it out with the masses this 4th of July

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Five indoor Fourth of July events

Looks like rain? Stay dry and celebrate the Fourth of July with these great events

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Fourth of July food festivities

No Independence Day plans yet? Here are 10 spots offering special eats, drinks and patriotic cheer

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Movies

50 American films, 50 states

In celebration of the big, bold USA, we take a trip through all 50 states via 50 indelible American films

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Fourth of July event tickets

4th of July Fireworks Cruise

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Circle Line: 4th of July Evening Cruise

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New York 4th of July Dinner Cruise

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Rooftop Lunch, Manhattan Tour and Statue of Liberty Fireworks Cruise

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Eat well on Fourth of July

Restaurants

Summer BBQ essentials

Stock your larder and keep the outdoor party going all summer long with the best go-to gear for a backyard barbecue.

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The best BBQ in NYC

Get your hands dirty at the city's best BBQ smokehouses, plus our primers on regional styles and smoked-meat terminology.

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Things to do

Best parks for grilling

The barbecue is a Fourth of July tradition, so gather your friends and fire up the grill in one of these park barbecue areas.

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Restaurants

Hot dogs!

In honor of the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating contest, held each year on July 4th, we present our favorite tube-steaks in town.

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Fourth of July lists you love

Movies

50 American films, 50 states

In celebration of the big, bold USA, we take a trip through all 50 states via 50 indelible American films

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Where to celebrate Fourth of July

Things to do

Beaches in New York City

There's nothing like sand and surf for the 4th of July, so hop a train to one of these nearby beaches.

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Things to do

Bring a picnic to these spots

Pack blankets, bites and booze—but be careful with the latter, kids—for an alfresco feast in one of these great picnic spots Most popular in Things to Do Make the most of summer in New York: pack a picnic basket and head for a picnic spot in one of the city's best parks. We've chosen our favorite grassy refuges in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Don't feel left out Manhattanites: We've scouted nine secluded spots for a Central Park picnic.RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide Popular features in Things to Do The New York bucket list Here are the ten New York experiences you simply can’t miss. Cheap date ideas for fun-seeking New Yorkers Don’t fret, penny-pincher—each of these fun cheap date ideas will cost you $30 or less. Don’t be a tourist: Find in-the-know things to do in New York Tired of swamped tourist traps, huh? Check out these alternative things to do in New York. Picnic spots in NYC Astoria Park Open-air dining enthusiasts can grab a seat on a bench along the East River between the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges, or nab a more panoramic vantage point on the central Great Lawn. (There are also a few nice brown-bag-worthy patches alongside the Hell Gate—be warned, however, that they suffer slightly from the noise of train traffic overhead.) Clove Lakes Park Those seeking a waterfront eat-and-nap shouldn’t overlook this beautiful space on Staten Island. And pit masters, take note: The shoreline BBQ area (near the southeast corner of the lak

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Weekend getaways

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Things to do

Central Park guide

Map out your next trip to Central Park in New York with our handy rundown of the park’s must-see attractions. Whether you’re looking for a free tour, a serene picnicking spot, an off-the-beaten-path area or a historical monument, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also find the lowdown on tourist-friendly musts—the Central Park Zoo, boat rides on the Lake, the Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle—that are perfect for out-of-town friends and family. RECOMMENDED: Full list of top New York attractions Things to do in Central Park Concerts and events in Central Park Picnic spots in Central Park Ten things you must do in Central Park Lesser-known Central Park spots Biking in Central Park Central Park Zoo Belvedere Castle Conservatory Garden Great Lawn You'll find plenty of crowds on this beautiful field in the middle of Central Park; warmer temperatures bring out people picnicing, playing Frisbee or sunbathing. The lawn had fallen into disrepair by the 1980s, but an extensive renovation in the mid-’90s restored it to its lush glory. Dotted with baseball diamonds, the lawn is occasionally the site of live music performances. Rumsey Playfield Every summer, Central Park SummerStage fills Rumsey Playfield with every type of music under the sun. After the SummerStage concerts (free) and their benefit shows (not free) conclude for the year, the space hosts other paying gigs, minus the SummerStage name. Arsenal Gallery This exhibition space is located near the 64th Street entrance to the par

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Museums

Parks in New York City

Take advantage of spring's warmer temperatures at ten of New York City's best public parks. New York City is full of public parks—in fact, nearly 14 percent of the city is covered in green spaces. But some of these verdant spots stand out above the rest. Here, we've rounded up ten of our favorite New York City parks—pack a picnic basket and hunker down for an afternoon, or simply lace up your sneakers and take a walk. Brooklyn Bridge Park Some city parks—Central and Prospect, most obviously—were built to replicate rustic fields and preserve serene woodland. Brooklyn Bridge Park, however, was not—and that’s precisely why it has become so popular in the almost three years since it debuted. The project has transformed a chunk of the Brooklyn waterfront into a nearly 85-acre expanse; several sections house unique attractions such as Jane’s Carousel, a restored 1920s merry-go-round, and riverside esplanades with gorgeous Manhattan views. Pier 5, the first part of the park designed specifically for “active recreation,” opened in late 2012, cementing the space as the city’s premier urban playground. Central Park For your stroll head to the 38-acre wilderness area on the west side of the park known as the Ramble. The area has a storied history (as a gay cruising spot dating back to the turn of the last century, among other things), and it was even proposed as a recreational area in the mid-'50s. Thankfully, the winding trails, rocks and streams remain, seemingly waiting to be discove

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Things to do

New York events in July

Plan your month with our events calendar featuring Neutral Milk Hotel, Bolshoi Ballet and Nathan’s hot-dog–eating contest Summer is at its peak, and there's no shortage of wonderful events. For those yearning to experience some true '90s indie legends, snag tickets to acclaimed Neutral Milk Hotel concerts. Dance aficionados looking to add some culture to your summer can visit the Bolshoi Ballet at Lincoln Center. And for a true NYC summer tradition, stop by the annual Nathan's hot-dog-eating contest. New York's biggest events by month May Participate in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, snap up tickets to An Evening with Neil Gaiman, and check out Brit comic Eddie Izzard.SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MAY June Plan your month with our events calendar featuring the annual NYC Pride March, Janelle Monáe and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.SEE WHAT'S HAPPNING IN JUNE July Plan your month with our events calendar featuring Neutral Milk Hotel, Bolshoi Ballet and Nathan’s hot-dog–eating contest.SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN JULY August Plan your month with our events calendar featuring St. Vincent, the Electric Zoo festival and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN AUGUST Popular events this week Our July highlights Phish The peerless jam band has come back with a vengeance since re-emerging five years ago and Trey Anastasio & Co. have plotted yet another epic summer tour. The Vermont quartet’s East Coast run includes this trio of gigs at Randall’s Island, where they’ve ne

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Music

Summer concerts

We’ve rounded up the top summer concerts of 2014, along with the best free shows, festivals and world-music picks at clubs and outdoor venues all over NYC Start hoarding sunscreen: Your guide to the best summer concerts of 2014 has arrived. Plan out your summer in New York with our picks for the best warm-weather gigs, including free concerts, jazz concerts, hip-hop shows and more.RECOMMENDED: See all concerts in NYC The 10 best summer concerts in 2014 Popular concerts this week Summer concerts by month June July August September Best free summer concerts in NYC Summer music festivals in NYC Summer concert and music festival photos Boston Calling Spring 2014 Moogfest 2014 Coachella 2014 CMJ Music Marathon 2013 CBGB Festival 2013 Austin City Limits 2013 Global Citizen Festival 2013 Virgin Mobile Freefest 2013 Summer concert venues SummerStage Mainstage For more than 25 years now, the City Parks Foundation has filled summers in the park with just about every sound under the sun. This New York institution has an ear for music of every type—M.I.A., Television, and Amadou & Mariam have all played in recent years, as have Zap Mama, Nortec Collective and Neko Case. Many of the shows are free, with a handful of benefits covering for them. Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Thanks to Celebrate Brooklyn!, the Prospect Park Bandshell is to Brooklynites what Central Park SummerStage is to Manhattan residents—the place to hear great music in the great out

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Things to do

Staycation guide

Save money and time with a summer holiday in NYC. Take a staycation and let the city surprise you all over again. While NYC seems to have been (mostly) spared from swarming cicadas, the heat, humidity and scorching concrete might still have you ready to hop on a plane for a weekend getaway. No need: We'll help you find a respite with a staycation, whether you want to bask in the greenery of gardens, get adventurous or lounge in luxury—all without leaving the boroughs.RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide Staycation guide 2013 Get away from it all at these relaxing, secluded spots in NYC There’s no need to leave the five boroughs to get away from it all. New York’s parks and gardens offer cheap, easy trips to hidden spots of natural beauty. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time, money or energy for a getaway. Thankfully, there are bucolic refuges in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Hell, there’s even places in Manhattan’s perpetually mobbed Central Park to escape your fellow denizens. Pick up a friend or a book, and go reclaim some peace of mind. RECOMMENDED: Full list of staycation ideas Most popular in Things to Do June 2013 events calendar for New York City Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including free things to do and our picks from theater, the arts and music. NYC events calendar 2013 May 2013 events calendar June 2013 events calendar July 2013 events calendar August 2013 events calendar September

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Fourth of July in pictures

Things to do

Fourth of July fireworks 2012

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Fourth of July fireworks 2010

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Things to do

Photo tour: The Statue of Liberty

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Related Fourth of July coverage

Wearing the American flag on the Fourth of July: A sartorial guide

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Music

Top 25 patriotic protest songs

The Fourth of July isn't just about fireworks and lukewarm hot dogs, it's about revolution. Two hundred thirty-five years ago, our Founding Fathers declared independence from tyrannical British control. In honor of that act of rebellion, we've decided to take a look of some of the most potent and important protest songs ever recorded by (mostly) American artists—because what's more patriotic on the Fourth than self-expression in the face of oppression? 25. "Georgia Bush" by Lil WayneLil Wayne's music is usually consumed by scatological metaphors, codeine references and lewd descriptions of sex acts. Needless to say, he's not generally the go-to guy for politics. But when New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the N.O. native broadened his lyrical scope to address the dire conditions of his home and blast President Bush for FEMA's lackluster response to the disaster. This standout song from 2006's classic DJ Drama—hosted Dedication 2 mixtape is a passionate representation of the feelings of abandonment felt by many of Katrina's victims. 24. "Dry Drunk Emperor" by TV on the RadioFew bands encapsulated the malaise of post-9/11 New York better than Brooklyn indie heroes TVOTR, whose tunes blend romance and optimism with the desperate, disconcerting nature of our times. "Dry Drunk Emperor" is not about love in times of war—it's about action. In the song, frontman Tunde Adebimpe calls for all the bleeding hearts and the families of soldiers to get guns and

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Movies

The 10 most patriotic movies ever

Even political cynics will be stirred by these paeans to American virtue. (USA! USA! USA!) Rocky (1976) No list would be complete without a sports movie, and while baseball looms large in our national consciousness, it’s this Stallone-scripted boxing drama—about “going the distance”—that feels most emblematic. A scrappy rejoinder to Watergate and Vietnam, Rocky depicts a warrior refusing to take a dive.—Joshua Rothkopf  Watch now on iTunes    Watch now at Amazon Instant Video Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Oliver Stone’s biopic of paraplegic Vietnam vet Ron Kovic not only got a career-high performance out of Tom Cruise, it reclaimed the notion of American pride for those at the forefront of the era’s protest movement. Real patriots, the film tells us, don’t just wave flags. They demand accountability.—David Fear  Watch now on iTunes    Watch now at Amazon Instant Video Apollo 13 Whereas The Right Stuff was a pageant of the space race, Ron Howard’s tense, uplifting drama about the ill-fated 1970 shuttle mission looks at how a technical malfunction transformed our post-Moon-landing apathy into nail-biting attentiveness. If you ever doubt your country, just look to the stars.—Keith Uhlich  Watch now on iTunes    Watch now at Amazon Instant Video Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Vincente Minnelli’s musical is the ultimate hymn to the all-American family. Our heroes, the Smiths (of course), live a comfortable life in the U.S. heartland, the daughters’ pining for boys next door

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