No plans for the Fourth? Don't sweat it. We're giving you 12 terrific reasons why you should absolutely stay in NYC to celebrate America's birthday. From awesome 4th of July events, to cool places to watch the fireworks and ridiculously fun 4th of July parties, we're certain this Independence day is going to be the best one yet.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to 4th of July in NYC
House of Yes 4th of July BBQ Extravaganza
If you haven’t been to a rager at House of Yes yet, what the hell are you waiting for? No more excuses. The Bushwick party zone is hosting an all-day outdoor bash with great food, killer tunes and plenty of drinks to get you feeling loose…on the dance floor, of course! Best of all, there is no cover (a major blessing on the Fourth). House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn (houseofyes.org). Mon 4 2pm–midnight; R.S.V.P.
LIC Flea and Food Late-night Market
For folks located in Queens, the Fourth is the perfect opportunity to hit up the LIC Flea and Food’s sensational market as there will be a beer garden serving all of the best brews the neighborhood has to offer. The market itself is not launching its very own firework extravaganza, but since the flea will stay open late (until 11:00 pm), you can eat, drink and get a spectacular view of the Macy’s display by the waterfront. 5-25 46th Ave, Long Island City (licflea.com). Mon 4 1–11pm; free.
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
The Bryant Park Summer Film Festival celebrates 24 years of America, and maybe more importantly, depending on your penchant for cheesy ’80s cinema, 30 years of Top Gun. Pump your fist in the air as a young Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a cocky Navy fighter pilot with a need for speed, who sets out on the bold mission to bed his flight instructor (Kelly McGillis) and beat jerk pilot Iceman (Val Kilmer) in homoerotic beach volleyball. There’s some military stuff too, but you’re probably just in it for the killer ’80s soundtrack and, be honest, that sex scene. Bryant Park, 40th St to 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (bryantpark.org). Mon 4 at 5pm; free. —Written by Tolly Wright
Get Summered at Riis Park Beach Bazaar
The folks behind Brooklyn Night Bazaar are back at the people’s beach, a.k.a. Jacob Riis Park, with their annual summer-long market and concert series. The historic boardwalk is filled with tasty outposts of food vendors like Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Ed & Bev’s diner and Ample Hills Creamery, while the beach is your place for sunbathing, ocean frolicking and live music. For the special Fourth of July Get Summered edition, ’70s-style rock & roll outfit the House on Cliff and genre-defying blues, electronic and trip-hop singer Raycee Jones perform live while Dirty Boogie, Edward Askew and Big Vic deejay. Jacob Riis Beach Bazaar, Rockaway Beach Blvd at Beach Chennel Dr (riiparkbeachbazaar.com). Mon 4 noon; free. —Written by Tolly Wright
Get your fix on Fourth of July-themed treats
So maybe you’re an anti-party animal that hates everything about BBQs, and the sheer thought of all those loud firework displays gives you a panic attack. It’s okay—it doesn’t say anywhere in the Constitution that you have to love the Fourth of July. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! If you’re craving something sweet, Bill’s Bar & Burger (various locations) is offering a Fire Cracker Shake for $7 (strawberry and vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream and blue candy sprinkles), which looks pretty damn patriotic. If you need to let loose, hit The Lively (26 Ninth Ave) in Meatpacking for it’s Red, White and Boozy Snow Cone ($6). Er, we’ll take 10 of those, please!
Go to a Mets game
Grab some peanuts and Cracker Jacks—or maybe something from vendors, like a burger from Shake Shack or spicy fried chicken from Fuku—when you cheer on the mighty Mets during America’s favorite pastime. Last year’s World Series contenders test their pitching might against their National League East foe, the Miami Marlins. Plus, the afternoon game means that—barring the off chance of several extra innings—you should have time to get to your fireworks-viewing spot after. (If you want to enjoy watching a color-popping display at Citi Field, go to the Met’s face-off against the Cubs on Saturday 2.)Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave, Queens (newyork.mets.mlb.com). Mon 4 at 4:10pm; $20–$225.—Written by Tolly Wright
Salvation Taco Rooftop Party
Okay, shoving tacos in your pie hole might not be a traditional way to party on the Fourth. But, hey, who cares? We can’t think of anything more delightful than going ham on some Mexican food while sipping margaritas at Salvation Taco. The eatery has a killer rooftop, with plenty of space to watch the grand Macy’s fireworks show, so get there early to enjoy live DJ music, get a little tipsy and bring your friends—you can order a bucket of Montauk Summer Ale, plus tortilla chips and guacamole for only $45. It will cost you a small fee ($30) to reap the benefits of the spot’s specials—and its excellent vantage point for the fireworks—but we reckon the experience is worth it. The Fourth only comes around once a year, kids. 145 E 39 St (212-865-5800, salvationtaco.com). Mon 4 6–10pm; Tickets.
Red, White and Brew at Mr. Purple
So your only friend with a rooftop in NYC is going out-of-town for the Fourth? (Well, gee, that sucks.) But hopefully, you can cough up some cash ($50) to hangout atop Mr. Purple’s swanky but hip rooftop. DJ Phresh will provide the killer tunes while you down the bar’s specialty frozen margaritas. There will be a traditional Sabrett hot dog stand, because nothing says America like shoving a Frank in your mouth. And there will be deals on Budweiser and Bud Light buckets, so it will truly be a ‘Murica affair. And once the fireworks start going ka-boom, you will appreciate this killer view from Lower Manhattan. Mr. Purple, 180 Orchard St, 15th floor (mrpurplenyc.com). Mon 4 at 4pm. Tickets.
Independence Day Bash at Saxon + Parole
You’ll truly be getting your money’s worth at this Bowery Street shindig, because Saxon + Parole is going all out for it’s Fourth of July BBQ extravaganza on the restaurant’s terrace. We’re talking classic but not basic American grub, backyard grilling and even a beer pong tournament. Chef Brad Farmerie will be presenting his specialty—a whole hog—as well as pulled pork sliders, summer salads, french fries, corn on the cob and pies that taste way better than your mama makes. The alcohol comes in different variations ranging from boozy popsicles (winner!), beer slushies and Goose Island on tap. Apart from the aforementioned beer pong, there will also be a riveting game of Twister and plenty more surprises. Speaking of surprises, would you believe all you can eat, drink (with a few exceptions) and play only costs you $65? Consider us shocked. 316 Bowery (212-254-0350, saxonandparole.com). Mon 4 2–7pm; Tickets.
July 4th Front Row Fireworks at the 34th St. Heliport
If you’re concerned about securing an excellent spot for he 40th annual Macy’s fireworks show, at this event, a front row seat is guaranteed. This day-to-night blowout ropes off prime territory around the East Riverfront area, where folks tend to flock around 8pm. But don’t worry, the party starts much earlier than that! The private affair features live music, food vendors serving BBQ, burgers and other gourmet options, plus multiple fully-stocked bars and beer tents. The Heliport also offers life-size replicas of your favorite games as a kid: Jenga, ping pong and chess. Tickets start at $60 for general admission. 499 E 34th St. Mon 4 6pm–midnight; Tickets.
July 4th Rooftop Party at Coney Island
Get a bird’s-eye view of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest while devouring mouth-watering burgers? That sounds good to us. Wahlburgers is hosting a rooftop party on the Fourth, and the convenient vantage point of the ESPN-televised eating competition isn’t the only highlight. For $150, you’ll get unlimited food from the grub hub’s signature menu and soft drinks, plus one free alcoholic beverage. Once Coney Island’s fireworks start, you’re going to be especially grateful that you arrived early to stakeout your viewing spot from the boardwalk. Wahlburgers 3015 Stillwell Ave, Brooklyn (wahlburgersrestaurant.com). Mon 4 9:30am–1pm.
Manhattan By Sail
Where can you snag the best view of the Fourth of July fireworks? On the water, of course! Sail New York Harbor and get close to the action aboard the Clipper City Tail Ship or the Shearwater Classic Schooner. The evening cruise comes equipped with an unlimited feast, including classic American fare like Southern fried chicken, corn bread, red potato salad, tons of sides and appetizers, plus dessert. You can sip themed cocktails such as the Red “Valor” (sangria) and Blue “Justice” (a blue cosmo). And the whole night ends with a unique view of Macy’s iconic firework display. Warning: This event will cost you ($400 to $450), but just think of the breathtaking Instagram shots you’ll get! Departs from multiple locations (manhattanbysail.com); Tickets.