Light those sparklers and get in the patriotic spirit because the Fourth of July is here and ready to be celebrated. In New York City, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show on the East River is one of the best ways to gather with your friends and family. With plenty of places in Brooklyn, Long Island City and Manhattan to watch the show, we’ve rounded up a few spots that you’ll definitely want to check out. Pick from a casual and relaxing day at the park, dinner at a waterfront restaurant or an extravagant hotel stay—there’s an option here for everyone.
The 14 Best Places to Watch the Fireworks in NYC
WHERE ARE THE FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS IN NYC?
The “46th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks” will launch more than 48,000 shells from five barges on the East River (that’s over than 1,900 shells and effects per minute). There are seven official public viewing areas along the East River. No tickets are needed, but we suggest if you want to be at one of these locations to get there early! While some of the official viewing areas are in our list below (noted with an asterisk*), we’ve included plenty of other lesser-known spots to take in the show.
WHAT TIME ARE THE FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS IN NYC?
This year, the fireworks display will start around 9:25 p.m. EST on Monday, July 4th and will last for about 25 minutes.
CAN I WATCH THE FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS FROM HOME?
If you prefer a view from the couch, the “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” can be streamed on Peacock from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. There will be events leading up to the big show with performances by the United States Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus, the Young People’s Chorus of NYC and many more.
1. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Grab your picnic gear and head to Brooklyn Bridge Park this Independence Day. This popular park offers idyllic views of Manhattan on any day of the year, but particularly on the Fourth of July when the skyline and Brooklyn Bridge are a picturesque background to the fireworks. There are plenty of things to do while you wait for the show to start including roller skating, ping pong, pickleball and basketball.
334 Furman St., Brooklyn; brooklynbridgepark.org
Take your Fourth of July celebration to the next level at Westlight, located in Brooklyn at The William Vale Hotel. Hang out on the rooftop deck while you listen to live DJs, enjoy bottle service and a menu of small bites. You’ll be able to dance the night away under the fireworks while taking in the incredible views of lower Manhattan. Be sure to reserve your table in advance and pick from various event packages.
111 N 12th St., Brooklyn; westlightnyc.com; 718-307-7100
3. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Looking for an extravagant Fourth of July celebration? Reserve a room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge where you can catch the fireworks show. Here you’ll find Harriet’s Rooftop, an open-air garden and bar with view of the Manhattan skyline that’s ideal for unique cocktails and light bites. You can also catch the fireworks from the comfort of your hotel room while relaxing in your pajamas with a glass of bubbly. Check out the hotel’s website for special room packages and viewing party details.
60 Furman St., Brooklyn; 1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge; 833-625-6111
4. Gantry Plaza State Park*
Located in Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park is most known for its large and recognizable Pepsi-Cola sign. The park has great views of Midtown Manhattan and the East River and features four different piers, a mist garden and riverside benches and chairs making it the perfect spot to catch the fireworks display. Gather your friends, a cooler and some snacks and head to one of the piers early to grab a spot close to the river since it’s an official viewing location of the Macy’s show.
4-09 47th Road, Long Island City; parks.ny.gov/parks/149; 718-786-6385
If your ideal Fourth of July includes sipping cocktails and eating oysters on a boat, look no further than Pilot in Brooklyn. The docked 147-foot wooden schooner is the ultimate Instagram-worthy spot to watch the fireworks and enjoy a night on the water. Be sure to make a reservation in advance or grab a table before the festivities start to secure your spot. You won’t want to miss these views.
Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn; crewny.com/pilot; 917-810-8550
6. Fdr Four Freedoms Park
Is riding the famed Roosevelt Island tram on your New York City bucket list? If so, head to FDR Four Freedoms Park this Independence Day to explore the island and watch the fireworks show. The island is easily accessible via subway, car and ferry so the tram isn’t your only transportation option.
1 FDR Four Freedoms Park; fdrfourfreedomspark.org; 212-308-3351
7. Fornino Brooklyn Bridge Park
Calling all pizza lovers. Fornino in Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect place to watch the Fourth of July fireworks if you want wood-fired pizza at your fingertips. With a stunning rooftop and terrace, the restaurant overlooks the East River with a menu structured as a historical investigation into pizza. There are also other menu favorites including meatballs, Italian hero sandwiches and fun cocktails. Be sure to make a reservation in advance for your party to get in on all the action.
Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn; fornino.com; 718-422-1107
8. On A Boat Cruise
Looking for a unique experience for the Fourth of July this year? A fireworks cruise is one you’ll never forget. For incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, grab a lifejacket and hop on a boat from Circle Line Cruises that will take you along the East River and right near the fireworks show. Check out the different holiday packages that are available on their website.
9. Marsha P. Johnson State Park*
Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a 7-acre waterfront park located along the East River in Brooklyn where you will find unobstructed views of the fireworks this Fourth of July. Formerly known as East River State Park, this space offers barbeques, a play area and green space for a more secluded and calmer holiday. You can easily spend the day here while waiting for the show to start and exploring the park’s native plants—and that might just be your best bet for scoring a spot for your lawn chairs.
10. The Greens At Pier 17
Grab your friends and head to the Greens at Pier 17. This fun and unique rooftop offers amazing views of the East River and is located on the South Street Seaport. Guests can reserve a “mini lawn” that fits up to eight people that is perfect for social distancing, or a spot at the restaurant’s patio and bar area. The menu includes classic American fare and a drink menu with endless cocktail and beer options.
89 South Street; thegreens.pier17ny.com; 917-512-7540
11. Hunter’s Point South Park
Long Island City is one of the best spots to watch the fireworks this year with views of the East River including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. There’s plenty of comfortable areas to gather with family and friends as well as a turf field, children’s playground, basketball courts and a dog run. Take the ferry, subway or drive to enjoy the Fourth of July at this new and recently renovated park.
Center Blvd, Long Island City; hunterspointparks.org; 212-639-9675
12. The Water Club
Those in search of a lavish holiday celebration should make reservations at The Water Club in Manhattan. For a set price, guests can enjoy a top-shelf open bar, buffet, live music and entertainment and of course, spectacular views of the fireworks. Be sure to head over to the restaurant’s website to book your table and choose between outdoor or indoor seating.
500 East 30th Street; thewaterclub.com; 212-683-3333
13. Wnyc Transmitter Park*
A quaint waterfront destination, WNYC Transmitter Park in Brooklyn is the ideal spot to watch the fireworks with a waterfront esplanade, pier, a large open lawn, a separate children’s play area and plenty of seating. Pack your beach blankets, coolers and sunscreen and plan to spend the day taking in all that the park has to offer since this Greenpoint, Brooklyn haven is an official viewing location for the show. In other words, show up early.
Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn; nycgovparks.org/parks/transmitter-park; 212-639-9675
14. The Hoxton Williamsburg
Looking for a hip spot for a staycation? With views of Manhattan from the rooftop and hotel rooms and Williamsburg right at your doorstep, the Hoxton Williamsburg is the perfect place for a Fourth of July staycation. Head to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant Laser Wolf where you can dine on fine Israeli cuisine while watching the fireworks show.
97 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn; thehoxton.com/williamsburg; 718-215-7100