It’s America’s birthday, and although it’s on a Tuesday, there’s no reason not to go to these awesome 4th of July events. There are plenty of patriotic celebrations happening, including dance parties, barbecues and even a cheeky burlesque show. From ragers atop some of NYC's most scenic rooftop bars to bashes held on some of Gotham’s best beaches, block up and prepare your hide for some fun in the sun. After gorging on barbecue and drinking the day away, make sure to find the best spots to watch the 4th of July fireworks.
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the 4th of July in NYC
Best 4th of July events
Lovers of jazz music, unite! on July 4, Lincoln Center’s alfresco danceathon taps into the music of Louis Armstrong when David Ostwald's Eterniry Band delivers hits by the American trumpeter. Show off your fancy footwork, or if you’re worried you’re not ready to bring it, come early and take a free dance class to learn the dips and spins.
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, Dirtyboogie, Love Taps and Josai deejay, with live music from BlindSpot and Ratta.
For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy's will explode more than 60,000 fireworks choreographed to a 30-minute patriotic score over the East River. Check out our guide for the best viewing spots and don't forget to bring your own picnic basket with beverages to toast our country's birthday.
The always sexy, scintillating and more-than-a-little-cheeky burlesque troupe Wasabassco is back at it for another Fourth of July spectacular. Combining a variety-show format with a liberal dose of striptease, Nasty Canasta, Sydni Deveraux, Puss-N-Boots, Amanda Whip and other performers show off their many talents—including dancing, Hula-Hooping and juggling—while flashing their patriotic red, white and blue undies. The sexually charged show builds up to a climactic bang when everyone heads to City Winery’s outdoor area to catch the fireworks.
What’s more of an American celebration than overeating? Overeating hot dogs. For sport. On friggin’ TV. The world’s best-known competitive snack-down, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, is back at Coney Island. Thousands gather to watch as the most talented gluttons prove just how many of America’s finest delicacy they can swallow (and keep down) in 10 minutes. The current record to break? 68 weiners.
Longing for a slice of warm, small-town pie? A place where little red, white and blue flags wave freely, and spectators cheer for marching bands and colorful DIY floats? Head to Staten Island’s Travis, a village that can trace its history to the colonial days that predate the Declaration of Independence’s signing. This community has thrown this procession since 1911, which makes it the oldest continuous Fourth of July parade the U.S. Oh, and those taking the ferry there should give the Statue of Liberty a tip of the hat. Starts at P.S. 26, 4800 Victory Blvd, and travels down Victory Blvd.
For an all-American country-meets–big-city feel, head to the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This barbecue with a view serves "Alternative Eats" (a.k.a. cusine from different cultures) to remind us what "Makes America Great Again!" The cookout is followed by a close-up view of the Macy’s fireworks display and a dance party where you can burn off all the calories from drinking beer and wine all night long.
Live music, booze, food, fireworks and a beach view—you can’t ask for much more than that on Independence Day. Last year's party began at 9am and went until midnight, so assume you're in for a full day of partying, unless you need to leave for a quick drunken ride on the Cyclone (you will definitely be tempted). The blowout ends with an incredible firework display at 9:30pm. Best viewing location: The Steeplechase Plaza and the Coney Island Boardwalk.
This open-air bazaar in Queens normally hawks its wide array of retro wares and antiques as well as finger-licking–delicious eats on the weekend, but in honor of Independence Day, the flea invites you to come out and party on Tuesday, July 4. Partake in some day-drinking at the all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden, serving brews from spots like SingleCut Beersmiths and Queens Brewery. (The suds come in handy when you need to wash down Butcher Bar’s wood-smoked BBQ.) Best of all, you’ll have a killer view of the Macy's firework display!
While this annual patriotic pubcrawl won’t turn East Village bars into the land of the free, the streets will certainly be paved with golden beers made cheap. Head to Bar None to begin your night of drink specials—oh and you better not be one of those fancy European-beer loving snobs, because American drafts are only $2. If that doesn’t make you feel patriotic, then nothing will.