Cities, New York

Celebrate Independence Day in New York | 4th of July

Celebrate Independence Day in New York on July 4. Independence Day is one of the most important days of the year in the United States. New Yorkers know how to celebrate this and if you are in New York on July 4, you should definitely not miss this.


For New York, July 4 means that many residents are leaving the city, especially to Long Island and Fire Island to barbecue with family. The trains to the beaches are crowded but nobody is in a hurry.

July 4 is also one of the few days of the year that many stores are closed. Most (clothing) stores will not be open this day. Banks, schools and (post) offices also remain closed this day. Museums and, for example, Top of the Rock and Empire State Building are open (the Empire State Building closes at 7 p.m.).

What to do on July 4th / Independence Day?

It is often expected that there will be a parade, but unfortunately it will not be on July 4. New York, however, has a magnificent firework display that around 2 million (!) People come to watch live. The firework has 40,000 explosions and lasts more than 25 minutes. It is one of the largest fireworks shows in the world.

Where can I see the fireworks?

If you are in New York on July 4, you should not miss this. The fireworks start around 9 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the East River. There are 4 large ships in the East River. The best way to see the fireworks is from the Williamsburg Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge. So many people come to see that some are already present at 11 a.m. to get a good seat. If you do not need this bustle, there are other options:

  • See the fireworks from a dinner cruise. A great option to enjoy Independence Day and the fireworks is a dinner cruise. Both dinner cruises offer a 5-course menu and a premium open bar. On the luxury cruise you will also be treated to snacks and a live DJ. Everyone is expected to dress nicely and only 200 guests can be accommodated on the ship.
  • Evening cruise. If you do not want to do a dinner cruise, but want a great view of the fireworks, then I recommend that you do an evening cruise. The cruises depart around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., giving you ample time to enjoy New York before watching the fireworks. Both offer food and drinks for sale on board. You can also enjoy DJ entertainment on the Circle Line Cruise. These boat trips are cheaper than dinner cruises.
  • Total 4th of July Experience. Do you want to experience a real 4th of July? Then this might be something for you. An entire day’s program including a barbecue on a terrace overlooking Times Square. This is followed by a bus tour through Lower Manhattan. The highlight is a boat trip with dinner buffet and of course a view of the fireworks. This exclusive tour is very limited available and will be sold out quickly. So do not wait too long.
    Book the Total 4th of July Experience here

4th of July at the Empire State Building

Empire State Building will open its doors for an exclusive 4th of July party on July 4th. The evening starts on the 80th floor where there is a welcome reception with premium open bar and snacks. At 9 p.m. you can go to the observation deck on the 86th floor for a unique view of Macy’s fireworks show.

Book your tickets for the 4th of July Celebration at the Empire State Building here

Tickets for 2019 are not yet available. If you want to stay informed when these tickets become available, enter your email address below, and we will notify you by email.

What can you expect from the fireworks from a boat? Look here:

Best Place to See Fireworks?

Personally, I think the BEST view of the 2019 New York City Fireworks is from a boat cruise on the water. Here’s why…

If you want to watch them from land, be prepared for crowds, long waits, packing your food and drinks, carrying your stuff and umm…restrooms? Good luck.

Not sure if the fireworks will be on the East Side or West Side? Over the Brooklyn Bridge or not? A cruise has a view of the fireworks no matter what changes the city makes at the last minute.

hotel with a roof deck is also a great option. 2019 is still TBD, but the fireworks were over the East River in 2018 and lit up the night from 7 barges placed from 23rd to 40th Streets.

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