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Where to watch Fourth of July fireworks with the family in NYC

Fourth of July fireworks are on the East River this year, and it’s time for Brooklynites to get excited! Round up the family and throw down a picnic blanket at any of these locations for some unforgettable views.

Fireworks over Brooklyn Bridge

Fireworks over Brooklyn Bridge Photograph: Shutterstock

Your old Fourth of July stomping grounds might be out of the question this year, but that just means it’s time for new adventures. The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks will be held on the East River (instead of the Hudson) between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, making Dumbo, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Greenpoint the perfect spots to throw down a picnic blanket. Families may want to avoid South Street Seaport though (we hear Piers 15–17 will be closed).

Below are Macy’s current viewing location recommendations (though families should check the website again as the date draws closer for any potential changes):

The fireworks may be viewed from any area with an unobstructed view of the sky above the East River. The public viewing sections will be the elevated portions of FDR Drive with the following entry points:

Manhattan access points:

Montgomery and South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street).

Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) and Wagner Place (viewing both north and south of the Brooklyn Bridge).

Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street (viewing between Heliport and south side of Brooklyn Bridge)

Brooklyn access points:

Brooklyn Bridge Park (piers 1–6): Enter on Old Fulton and Furman Streets, Joralemon Street and Furman Street or Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street.

Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: Enter on Columbia Heights and Pineapple Street, Montague Street and Pierrepont Street or Pierrepont Street and Remsen Street.

The following pedestrian streets will be closed to all non-emergency vehicle traffic:
• Montague Street from Court Street to Montague Terrace
• Remsen Street from Court Street to Montague Terrace
• Old Fulton Street from Hicks Street to Furman Street
• Furman Street from Old Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue
• Columbia Heights from Montague Street to Old Fulton Street
• Hicks Street from Atlantic Avenue to Old Fulton Street

To make things even smoother for you and the kids, take the following tips into consideration:

If you have a view of the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, you’re in good shape. Residential rooftops are ideal for viewing, so make plans with someone who has one!

Get to your destination waaaay before sundown…probably around 5pm. Fireworks start at 9pm, and it’s likely to be packed in all viewing locations. If you get in early and have a nice family picnic for dinner, you’re likely to get some of the best seating around.

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