Things To Do in NYC 4th of July Weekend: Enjoy the Quiet & the Fireworks!

Image of the 4th of July fireworks blast off in the sky right above the Brooklyn Bridge

New York City never feels more empty than it does on a Fourth of July long weekend… except if you go see the big Macy's fireworks show, and then it never feels more FULL! If you're staying in the city this weekend, and want to enjoy both the quiet and the BOOOOOOM, here are some suggestions on what to do, and where to do it.

Bright pink fireworks light up the sky on the 4th of July right above the Brooklyn Bridge

Macy's Fireworks Return to the East River

The good news for New Yorkers is that, after a five-year hiatus spent wow-ing (New Jersey) folks over on the Hudson, the Macy's fireworks are returning once again to the East River, and all 40,000 incendiaries will be lighting up the sky over and around the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. Mommy Poppins has a good post on basic strategies and viewing locations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Special note to our downtown Glenwood families: Piers 17 – 15 at the Seaport, which would have been prime sites, will be CLOSED.

Unless you have private roof access somewhere, or were smart enough to buy cruise/grandstand tickets in advance, the basic idea for seeing the show is either be fully committed and arrive early (around 5pm on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, a full 4+ hours before it begins), or show up late and not care about obstructed views.

Image of NYC restaurant, Gato's, Chorizo Dish served on a white plate and topped with sauteed onions and basil

How to Take Advantage of New York City Deserted

I've seen the fireworks up close several times, and they are truly spectacular, but what I like most about staying in the city for a long Fourth of July weekend is how deserted everything is! Tables at even the hottest no-reservation restaurants are suddenly easy to come by. We'll be getting back over to Gato (and getting the Chorizo, pictured above), or Bar Primi, or Mission Cantina, or Pok Pok Ny, or any one a dozen other spots. A bike ride along the Hudson (or anywhere) can be done at whatever leisurely or speedy pace you prefer, and the lines at hyped shows and exhibitions–hello Jeff Koons at the Whitney!–are likely to be considerably more manageable.

Whatever way you decide to spend your weekend, all of us at Glenwood wish you a Happy 4th of July! 🙂

(Both fireworks images by Rian Castillo on Flickr

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