The Best July 4th Fireworks Spots in NYC

A fireworks cartoon display of Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza in NYC.
Photo Credit: Macy’s Facebook

It’s that time of summer to bring out your brightest red, white, and blue outfits and celebrate the United States’ 242nd birthday! If there’s one summer time event that makes every New York City resident come together and appreciate not only our fantastic city, but our beautiful country, it’s the 4th of July! As one of our favorite traditions, the Macy’s 4th of July firework extravaganza is the perfect match when celebrating the 4th in NYC. Grab your picnic blanket, friends and family, and some and favorite BBQ snacks as we experience every “ooh” and “ahh” that comes along with the best fireworks shows in New York City!

The fun all happens this year at Macy’s Firework Extravaganza, happening Wendesday, July 4th along the East River, which runs between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The fireworks will be set off from barges set up on the river between 24th and 41st Streets. The show is set to start around 9:25 pm, and lasts for about 30 minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have an apartment (or a friend!) with a rooftop space close to the show (Midtown East, we’re looking at you!), bring along a festive dessert and gather there!

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Set Up a Picnic for the Show at East River Esplanade

If the idea of packing a frisbee, a picnic basket, and some boxed vino appeals to you, we suggest heading to the Upper East Side to the beautiful 7 acre long East River Esplanade You’ll have an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline, which gives the absolutely perfect backdrop to watch and snap some pictures of the fireworks show. Best of all? It’s completely free!

Fireworks exploding into bright colors in NYC at night.
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Barge Facebook

Pair an Iconic View with FDR Drive

If you’re the type of person who is big on regularly checking off points on their NYC bucket list, this option is just for you. There’s only one time every year where the FDR is partially closed to traffic and open for pedestrians’ viewing pleasure! There will be a few entry points along the East side of Manhattan, including at the following streets: Houston, 23rd, 34th and 42nd Streets. You will be able to access the highway at about 7 pm, but it’s important to note that since this is an “official” viewing site for the fireworks, heavy police inspection will be happening, and you will not be allowed to bring in backpacks, lawn chairs, or other large items. So while I wouldn’t suggest coming to the FDR if you’re looking for a cozy picnic, it sure is an iconic (and safe) way to view the fireworks!

A barge with fireworks sails down the Hudson River celebrating the 4th of July in NYC.
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Barge Facebook

Watch the ‘works at The Roof At Park South

Even if you don’t have access to a private rooftop with views of the show, you can head to Midtown to the Roof At Park South, and enjoy both the fireworks and a fabulous dinner! Treat yourself to an amazing dinner from Chef Tim & Nancy Cushman at Covina at 7pm followed by viewing from The Park South Hotel.

Avoid The Crowds & Catch All The Activities From Home

If you’re looking for a few other options, we suggest checking out the 2018 Firework map which lists other waterfront parks and residential buildings to view from. And don’t forget, you can always order a few hot dogs off of Seamless and catch the show on NBC!

Where are you planning to watch the fireworks this year? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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