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Where to watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC

Get to the best rooftops, it's time for the 4th of July fireworks! NYC celebrates Independence Day with a bang.

Photograph: Grace Chu
4th of July Fireworks: Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

Let the American Eagles fly and the red, white and blue bikini tops shine! It’s time for 4th of July Fireworks, NYC's epic celebration of all things America and one of the most exciting things to do in summer. Check out the pyrotechnic spectacular as it bursts over the city's skyline and some of its best sights and attractions. And don’t forget to look out for other smaller but still dazzling displays like the Coney Island July 4th Fireworks Spectacular from our favorite lookouts, rooftop bars and parties.

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

What time are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks over the East River begin after dark on Monday, July 4, 2016. The show during the third annual Freedom and Fireworks Festival at Jersey City starts after dark as well. These displays should last about 30 minutes.

Where are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are set off from barges near Pier 17 and more barges on the East River spread between 23rd St and 37th St. Jersey City will be displaying fireworks at Liberty State park where you'll get a waterfront view of the Statue of Liberty. 

Watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Dumbo's gorgeous 85-acre urban playground features such unique attractions as Jane’s Carousel and riverside esplanades with gorgeous Manhattan views. In a nutshell: This is basically your golden spot for the fireworks.

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Brooklyn Heights

Berry Park

If you want great atmosphere more than a perfect view, Berry Park is the place. It serves alcoholic slushies and barbecue on the rooftop and had a cover-free party last year, but you probably won’t be able to see much of the actual fireworks show, unless you’re one of the lucky ones seated on the only side with a river view.

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Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade

For a free, but very busy, lookout, post up on the Brooklyn Promenade. With sweeping views from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll be able to see it all, but it may feel a lot like your morning L train commute. At least the fireworks happen above your head, so it doesn’t matter as much if you get that coveted spot by the railing. 

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Brooklyn Heights

Firework Spectacular at Surf City

Even though Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are now over the East River, the folks in New Jersey have no need to fret—there’s plenty of patriotic, pyrotechnic fun to go around! From Jersey City’s megabar Surf City you’ll have a spectacular view of the state’s biggest display over the Hudson River at nearby Liberty State Park. There’s no cover, which means more money you can spend on frozen cocktails ($10-12) and tasty surf and turf food options.

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04 Jul 2016


Sure, we love our hot dogs and hamburgers on the Fourth of July. But pizza is forever. Grab a slice on Fornino’s rooftop at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and get a great view of the nearby pyrotechnics show. This is a ticketed event, so make sure to email (Patricia.Logan@Fornino.com) in advance. 

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Cobble Hill

Grand Ferry Park

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.

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South Street Seaport

We love historic harbor South Street Seaport for its excellent outdoor concert series in the summer and, of course, the amazing Seaport Museum. But did you know the district offers a killer view of the fireworks? We recommend guzzling a few beers at Watermark Bar, chowing down on a lobster roll at Ambrose Beer Hall and topping the night off with gorgeous waterfront views of the jaw-dropping patriotic display.

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Financial District

Fourth of July Fireworks at Brooklyn Grange

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 Southern-style comfort like “not-so-hot” fried chicken, smoked pulled pork, collard greens, and baked five-cheese mac and cheese from Bed-Stuy’s Peaches HotHouse. 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 those finger-lickin’ good calories.

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04 Jul 2016

4th of July Fireworks Cruise on the Hornblower Hybrid

All aboard the Hornblower Hybrid for this Fourth of July cruise! On this beautiful, eco-friendly yacht you’ll enjoy a buffet of American picnic foods like corn on the cob, codfish cakes, BBQ chicken breasts and pulled pork sliders. The vessel will sail to a premier spot on the East River where the main event will blast into the sky above the passengers’ heads, completely unobstructed by the crowds and the tall buildings of the shore. You’ll feel so excited by the display of fireworks over the Statue of Liberty—and the effects of the open bar—that you won’t hesitate for a moment to dance to the live DJ afterward. Boards at Pier 15.

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04 Jul 2016

East River State Park

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.

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By: Jennifer Picht


Katie E
Katie E

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