Where to watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC

Call your friend with the best rooftop: It’s time for the 4th of July fireworks, NYC's biggest firework display of 2018
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Let the American Eagles fly and the red, white and blue bikini tops shine! It’s time for the 4th of July Fireworks—NYC's epic Independence Day celebration and one of the most exciting things to do in summer. Check out Macy's pyrotechnic spectacular as it bursts over the East River and some of the best New York attractions. You can also look out for other smaller but still dazzling displays in New Jersey and Coney Island. It’s gonna be a blast!

What time are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks occur over the East River and the show begins at 9:25pm on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The show during the annual Freedom and Fireworks Festival at Jersey City starts after dark. These displays should last about 25 to 30 minutes.

Where are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are set off from barges located on the East River and are spread between 23rd and 40th Sts. Jersey City will be displaying fireworks at Exchange Place where you’ll get a waterfront view of New York.

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

Watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC

4th of July fireworks cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Viator
Things to do, Fireworks

Fourth of July fireworks cruises

Since you can’t light sparklers of your own in NYC, boarding a Fourth of July fireworks cruise is the best way to celebrate the nation’s birthday. No need to stake out a spot at a rooftop bar or scour NYC parks for a hill with a good view: You’ll have a prime viewpoint from the prow of a ship. Read on for the best 4th of July firework cruises this year. 

Photograph: Courtesy Keith MacDonald
Things to do

4th of July party at Northern Territory

Celebrate America's Birthday at one of the best rooftop bars in Brooklyn—Northern Territory! A $60 entry fee gets you access to one of the best views of the Macy's Fireworks and there will be boozy cotton candy and red, white and blue drinks. Tickets go on sale starting at 4pm on Wednesday, July 4, but make sure to get there in advance to secure your spot. Northern Territory will be donating $20 from every ticket sold to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. The organization works to prevent the wrongful deportation of refugee families who have come to the United States fleeing violence, including repeated sexual assault and the murder of relatives. 

Coney Island
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Shinya Suzuki

Fourth of July Coney Island

Music, booze, hot dogs, 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 9pm. Best viewing location: The Steeplechase Plaza and the Coney Island Boardwalk. Sure, it's not as big and flashy as the Macy's 4th of July fireworks, but it's still a pretty great way to end America's birthday. 

Photograph: Courtesy Front Row Fireworks
Things to do

Front Row Fireworks

Want unparalleled views of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks? This event company is practically guaranteeing that you’ll get a front row spot from its name alone. Grab tickets to this all-day party that promises live music, food vendors serving BBQ, burgers and other traditional picnic foods and multiple bar tents serving liquor and beer. Play some giant Jenga, ping-pong and chess thanks to Clinton Hall and Slate to kill time before the pyrotechnic display begins.

4th of July fireworks over the Statue of Liberty
Wyatt Neumann, NY on Air
Things to do

July 4th Rooftop Fireworks Viewing and BBQ

Head to the Ravel Hotel's Penthouse808 for a rooftop feast courtesy of Chef Seth Levine. Snack on Fourth of July faves like beef sliders, hot dogs and watermelon, as well as less typical options like veggie spring rolls, rack of lamb and sushi, all while ogling Macy's impressive fireworks display over the East River. Word has it this year's show is the retail giant's biggest show in over a decade, so you'll be plenty thankful for the view. 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Gabe Shore
Things to do

July 4th Party at LIC Flea

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 Wednesday, 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 that smoked BBQ. Best of all, you’ll have a killer view of the Macy's firework display! 

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Anthony Quintano
Things to do, Festivals

50Star Fireshow

For a full day of truly American festivities, head to New Jersey’s Exchange Place. Only a short ferry ride from the city, the area offers great views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. Starting at noon, the full day of programming includes carnival rides, food trucks, a beer garden and a live performance by Snoop Dog. A lengthy fireworks show by Grucci ends the day as a perfect salute to the nation.

East River Park
Photograph: Anna Simonak
Attractions, Parks and gardens

East River State Park

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Williamsburg’s waterfront park is a bit shabby compared to some of the other more enchanting parks in Brooklyn. However, the breathtaking views of Manhattan’s skyline and the neighborhood engulfed with hip rooftop bars, trendy parties and some of the best eats in New York make it a prime destination for watching the fireworks. Just bring a set of lawn chairs to East River State Park, chug a few cans of PBR, sit back and enjoy the show.

Attractions, Parks and gardens

Grand Ferry Park

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Skip the crowds and find a quieter slice of the city at Grand Ferry Park. With its Williamsburg location, it’s far from the action and the clearest views, but we know how important personal space is to New Yorkers.

Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Levin
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Domino Park

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

The former site of the Domino Sugar Factory that has been transformed into sprawling public waterfront park—with amenities ranging from a 450-foot-long elevated catwalk to bocce courts, a volleyball court and a taco-and-margarita joint operated by Danny Meyer. Spend the night viewing the park's new digs before the firework display. 

Want to hang out in an NYC park?

Pelham Bay Park
Photograph: David Rosenzweig
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Check out the best NYC parks

NYC parks offer verdant green spaces to relax, get some sun, picnic and more. Don’t miss any offerings with our guide.

More to explore