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Red fireworks with the NYC skyline.
Photograph: Courtesy of RoofTop at Exchange Place

The best 4th of July events in NYC

Here are the top 4th of July events in NYC for making the most of America’s Independence this year.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

It’s America’s big day and we're here for it. Head to one of Gotham’s best beaches, grab your sunscreen and your sunnies and prepare for some fun in the sun. After gorging on red-white-and-blue treats and drinks, head out for the night to watch the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks or sail around NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the 4th of July in NYC

Best NYC 4th of July events

  • Things to do

A beloved New York City tradition since 1976, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks are back for 2023 with a dazzling show. It's on Tuesday, July 4, beginning at 9:25pm. Fireworks will be launched in the East River centered around Midtown Manhattan between E. 26th and E. 40th Streets.

Over 60,000 shells (2,400 per minute) are launched off five different barges along the East River. The extravaganza lasts 25 minutes and features, according to Macy's itself, "a host of shells and numerous effects in 30 colors and shapes."

Macy's has released official viewing locations right here for the best places to watch the fireworks on the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens waterfronts. But any place with an unobstructed view of the skyline above the East River in Midtown promises a good view. 

Get a front row seat for the fireworks
Photograph: courtesy of Front Row Fireworks

2. Get a front row seat for the fireworks

Get the best views of the annual Macy’s Fireworks show at the East 34th Street Heliport (499 E. 34th Street) with Front Row Fireworks. This special experience includes exclusive access to the highly limited East Riverfront area where guests will be front and center for America’s most renowned fireworks show.

Not only that, but there will be live music, food, and cold drinks, along with life-size versions of Jenga, ping pong, and chess. This event is family-friendly and will run from 6-10pm. Tickets begin at $35.

  • Things to do

Hold on to your guts—Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2023 is upon us! During the competition—which is now more than 100 years old—Frankfurter-eating legends race the clock and chow down on as many Nathan’s Famous dogs and buns they can swallow in ten minutes.

It’s certainly one of the most beloved traditions and best NYC events in July, so here’s everything you need to know about watching and entering the competition. You won’t want to miss a single bite.

Watch the fireworks dance across the sky at One World Observatory. They're ofering a holiday-inspired food and beverage menu for two ticketed summer celebrations on July 4. Both events will feature One World Observatory’s July 4 signature cocktail "The Star-Spangled Spritzer."

The first option is the an all-inclusive experience, featuring access to the 100th floor with festive decorations and a cash bar with spirits, wine, beer, and soda ($64/adult; $58/child). 

Then, there's the all-inclusive dining experience, which includes exclusive access to the on-site restaurant, along with two drinks and food ($275/person, 21+). 


Enjoy a fun day of learning about what the fight for independence was like at an all-day 4th of July celebration at the New-York Historical Society! Starting at 11:30am and going until 1:30pm, you can try on 18th-century clothing and sit for a portrait or learn about America’s famous and little-known American greats from Gayë́twahgeh to Juliette Noel Toussaint to former First Lady Michelle Obama. At noon, partake in a fun game of family Bingo, or discover your rights and responsibilities, your role in US politics, and how you can exercise your power as a citizen. It’s all free with museum admission (which is free for those 17 and younger).


7. Eat barbecue with panoramic views

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Riverpark Terrace & Patio, right next to the East River, will have a panoramic view of the fireworks but also live music and Chef Big Herm’s barbecue with specialty drinks. In case of inclement weather, it has a great backup with floor-to-ceiling windows for optimal viewing. Tickets are $424. 

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

You can't see the fireworks from Watermark in the Seaport District, but you can party like you're in the tropics.

Watermark, the outdoor bar/restaurant located at the end of Pier 15, is hosting a July 4th All Day BBQ Beach Bash with sessions at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm. Hang out by palm trees and cabanas on the water, featuring unobstructed views of the Brooklyn skyline and a 40-ft long bar. The party features DJs, tropical cocktails and grilled foods. 

Tickets start at $25/person; reservations can be made here.

Head to the rooftop at Rockaway Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy The Rockaway Hotel/Kyle Knodell

9. Head to the rooftop at Rockaway Hotel

The Rockaway Hotel + Spa will be celebrating all weekend, kicking things off on July 2 with rapper Action Bronson. Other events include DJ sunset sessions on the rooftop as well as cabanas for rent by the pool.

Enjoy the views at Manhatta's Sky-High Fourth of July
Photograph: Courtesy of Giada Paoloni

10. Enjoy the views at Manhatta's Sky-High Fourth of July

Celebrate 60 floors up with sweeping views, barbecue favorites, and plenty of drinks to go around at Manhatta. A $295/person ticket includes front row, floor-to-ceiling views of the East River fireworks, live DJ entertainment, passed bites, a 4th of July barbecue spread, passed desserts and an open bar with spirits, and beer and wine by the glass.

Dance it out at Somewhere Nowhere's July 4th Indepen-Dance Day Celebration
Photograph: courtesy of Somewhere Nowhere

11. Dance it out at Somewhere Nowhere's July 4th Indepen-Dance Day Celebration

Somewhere Nowhere (112 W 25th St.) is taking Independence Day to new heights this year with the Indepen-Dance Day Fourth of July Sunset Party. Somewhere Nowhere’s outdoor lounge and open-air rooftop pool offers a prime vantage point for the annual Macy's Fireworks Spectacular. 

Get into the spirit with a classic BBQ menu and cocktails. DJs Rick Wonder and Michael Simpson will provide the soundtrack. 

See the Jersey City fireworks at the RoofTop at Exchange Place
Photograph: Courtesy of RoofTop at Exchange Place

12. See the Jersey City fireworks at the RoofTop at Exchange Place

Get unobstructed views of the Jersey City July 4th fireworks show over the Hudson River. Snap Insta-worthy moments while sipping festive libations and indulging in RoofTop’s new summer menu, which includes Jersey-style pizza, RXP sliders, signature chicken parm bruschetta and more. Tickets range from $35 for standing-room only up to a VIP section with a $150/person minimum spend.

  • Things to do

New York City beaches are now open for swimming and sunbathing. A visit to one—if not all—of the best beaches NYC has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky. Whether you’re planning weekend getaways, a camping trip or just looking for ways to cool off or with friends, these beaches in New York are a quick subway, ferry or bus trip away. If you have a car and want to venture further out, we’ve also included off-the-beaten-track sandy shores that are less than two hours away. 

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  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • price 1 of 4

Acting like a kid again is never a bad idea, and these amusement parks near NYC are the perfect places to get your adrenaline pumping.

Good ol’ Coney Island is right in your backyard with one of our fave Ferris wheels and the famous Cyclone wooden roller coaster, but it’s also worth venturing to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut for a fun day out. 

See great things to do on rooftops


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