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Celebrating the 4th of July Outdoors in NYC

June 24 2019 | Arts & Culture

The country’s birthday is right around the corner and there’s no better place to celebrate than New York City. The second president of the United States, John Adams, predicted exactly how the event would be celebrated when he said 242 years ago:

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…” You can experience all that and more this fourth of July in NYC. Here’s a look.

Fireworks

This will be Macy’s 43rd fireworks spectacular in New York City, which is the largest in the nation. Millions line along the East River to see more than 70,000 shells fired off. The display starts at 9:20pm on Thursday, July 4 and lasts 25 minutes. You can find the official viewing locations here.

Firework Cruises

One of the best ways to see the fireworks is with the buildings out of the way — made possible by boat! There are a number of options, including the luxurious World Yacht’s Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise in New York or the American Princess Cruises. These cruises give you a spectacular view of the fireworks, often accompanied by dinner and scenic vistas that include One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty!

Satchmo’s Birthday Jazz Concert

You can celebrate another birthday on the Fourth: Louis Armstrong. The Louis Armstrong House Museum stays open every 4th of July, offering a special jazz concert in the Armstrongs’ Japanese-inspired garden — with free birthday cake for every visitor! 

Dance Salsa Under the Stars

Of course, there’s plenty more to do on July 4th in New York City. You can dance salsa outdoors at Lincoln Center with tunes from the Bobby Valentín Orchestra as part of Midsummer Night Swing. 

Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

Take a trip to Coney Island to witness a national pastime in-person! Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest runs 10:30 am to 3pm on July 4, which gives you ample time to get back to Manhattan to watch the fireworks display. By Subway, take N, Q, D, F to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station. See details here.

Plan a family trip to the big city! The Upper West Side is your smartest choice.

The historic Hotel Beacon in the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side neighborhood makes for a perfect base for your trip with family. Check out our deals at Hotel Beacon. Our apartment-style rooms have kitchenettes and spacious closets, providing a comfortable refuge at the end of the day. Booking direct with us can create big savings! See more.