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No Fourth of July celebration is complete without the oohs and aahs that come with a breathtaking fireworks display. In New York City, that usually means finding a spot on the East River to watch the show. With plenty of places from Brooklyn to Manhattan to gather with friends and family, we’ve rounded up a few options to get you in on the holiday tradition. (Forget Independence Day, being able to safely gather with vaccinated loved ones is reason enough for fireworks!) Whether you are looking to casually relax at a park by the river or grab dinner at a waterfront restaurant, there’s an option here for everyone.

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Where are the Fourth of July fireworks in NYC?

Although you may see amateur fireworks displays all across the five boroughs this Independence Day weekend (despite it being very much illegal), the biggest and the best show takes place on the East River near Midtown. The “45th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks” will launch more than 65,000 shells and effects from five barges, all synchronized to a patriotic musical score. And it won’t just be the standard ribbons of color—expect fun shapes like linked rainbows, blue jellyfish and red, white and blue sparkling waterfalls.

What time are the Fourth of July fireworks in NYC?

This year, the fireworks display will start around 9:25 p.m. EST on July 4th and will last for 25 minutes.

Can I watch the Fourth of July fireworks from home?

Of course (the view’s better from the couch, anyway). Kick back and tune in to NBC for the “Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. There will be a slew of events leading up to the big event, including performances by Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Reba McEntire and more.

The 8 Best Places to Watch the Fireworks in NYC

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in NYC Brooklyn Bridge Park
Calvin Y. Lee/Getty Images

1. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Grab your picnic blanket and cooler and head to Brooklyn Bridge Park. This popular park offers idyllic views of Manhattan on any day of the year, but particularly on the Fourth of July where the skyline and Brooklyn Bridge are a picturesque background to the fireworks. Get there a bit early to secure a spot on the grass or find a bench on the Brooklyn Promenade located right above the park.

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2. Watermark Bar

Located in the South Street Seaport, Watermark Bar sits right on the East River and is the perfect hangout for outdoor dinner and drinks. Make a reservation in advance to guarantee you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the fireworks show. This year, they are offering several packages specifically for the Fourth of July that include festive drink deals. Cheers.

3. Fornino Brooklyn Bridge Park

If sipping cocktails and nibbling on wood-fired pizza is your ideal Fourth of July evening, look no further than Fornino Brooklyn Bridge Park. With a stunning rooftop and terrace, this restaurant overlooks the East River with a menu structured as a historical investigation into pizza. Be sure to make a reservation early if you want to get in on all the action.

4. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

For those looking for a bit of a more upscale holiday celebration, reserve a room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Here you’ll find Harriet’s Rooftop, an open-air garden and bar with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline that’s ideal for unique cocktails and light bites. Don’t want to get out of your pajamas? You can also catch the show from the comfort of your hotel room. Check the hotel’s website for special room packages.

5. On a Boat Cruise

If a unique Fourth of July experience is on your agenda, a fireworks cruise is an experience you’ll never forget. For Instagram-worthy snapshots of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, grab a lifejacket and hop on a boat from Liberty Cruise or Circle Line Cruises to take you along the East River. Check out the different holiday packages that are available.

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in NYC Domino Park
James Andrews/Getty Images

6. Domino Park

Spend the day at Domino Park where you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy before the fireworks start. You can easily spend the day at this Williamsburg park by exploring the elevated walkway, grabbing a meal at Tacocina or checking out the newly built playground that offers cool water features.

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in NYC John V. Lindsay East River Park
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7. John V. Lindsay East River Park

Hoping to avoid the crowds this holiday? Head to John V. Lindsay East River Park on the Lower East Side for a more secluded experience. This park is located directly on the waterfront with views of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. With barbeque areas and greenways, you can spend the day here while waiting for the show to start.

8. The Greens at Pier 17

Gather your crew and head to the Greens at Pier 17. This fun and unique rooftop offers amazing views of the East River in the South Street Seaport. Guests can reserve a “mini lawn” that fits up to eight people or a spot on the restaurant’s patio. An All-American menu and drink specials are available for the Fourth of July as well as a live DJ.

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