Fourth of July - Independence Day

Happy Birthday America!

Date: 07/04/2023 - 07/05/2023
Categories: Events


UPDATED: JULY 1ST, 2023

How to celebrate July 4th in New York

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July is a Federal Holiday in the U.S. commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 declaring independence from the British Empire.  Although, the actual formation of the United States will not happen for a few years after first reading that Declaration of Independence,  July 4th marks, for all intents and purposes, the birth of the United States of America

Independence Day is the National Day of the U.S. – aka America's Birthday! This year (2023) America is turning 247 years old!


The Fireworks for the 4th of July seen from Queens

Check out the last minute of the popular Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Show as seen from Long Island City, Queens! This is what's in store for you, if you decide to spend the 4th of July in NYC.



Families usually celebrate Independence Day organizing picnics, barbecues and attending carnivals, parades, fireworks, fairs and baseball games. All parades usually take place in the morning and are then followed by other celebrations like barbecues and picnics. Everything is decorated with the colors of the American flag (red, white and blue). In New York, the evening of July 4th, a fireworks display is organized by the famous department store Macy’s.


Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence
Visiting Independence Hall in Philadelphia


July 4th in New York: Where to See The Fireworks From

In New York City, on the evening of July 4th, you can't miss the famous Fireworks Show organized by department stores Macy's to celebrate America's Birthday. The shooting platforms (barges) are usually located on the East Side either by lower Manhattan (NY Bay/Brooklyn Bridge) or up the East River by the UN Building (34th to 42nd Street) - The show will start after sun down generally between 9:20 pm and  9:30 pm.

Spectators will usually have few viewing options to choose from in order to watch (free of charge) the 4th of July Fireworks Shows  from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens depending on where the barges will be located that particular year. Don't miss the show when the first fireworks start lighting up the Manhattan Skyline. If you want to get a good spot, it's always recommended to arrive early, preferably in the early hours of the afternoon. Generally, the best locations will be public parks and promenade (waterfronts) with unobstructed views over the barges and the skyline of New York City.

What to wear and bring with you

Do as most New Yorkers do, dress comfortably and remember that summer is generally hot and humid in New York City so bring plenty of sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and stay hydrated throughout the afternoon. (Remember that in most public viewing areas NO ALCOHOL IS ALLOWED.) Some years, we may get a cool July evening, so if that's the case bring a light blanket with you. Make sure to check the weather app (we recommend AccuWeather for the most accurate forecast.)

Bring snacks and something more substantial to eat (if you get hungry easily) so you can pass the time while picnicking with friends. Great food ideas are: watermelon, grapes, honeydew, cherries, cheese & charcuterie boards, crackers, olives, nuts, etc. ... and of course, bring your cell phone & camera with a fully charged battery and a power bank (just in case!) In these past years, we have come to the conclusion that the best and easiest way to get footage of the fireworks – use your smart phone (for most cameras, you will need a tripod to stabilize it to get good pictures, your phone is just more practical) ... and celebrate this Independence Day with us all :-)

If you are spending July 4th, 2023 here in New York City, we have compiled a brief guide on all you need to know in order to watch the 2023 Macy's Fireworks Show including the updated map of this year's viewing locations.



The 4th of July Cruises in New York

Dinner and Sightseeing Cruises organized specifically for the 4th of July Fireworks Show are the most requested and loved by both tourists and New Yorkers in order to see the fireworks from a front-row spot. The view of the illuminated Manhattan Skyline is in itself spectacular, imagine it with the addition of the Fireworks ... the Brooklyn Bridge, the Bay with the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building & The Midtown Skyline ... Do not miss it!

We recommend booking your cruise at least 1 month in advance as spots are generally limited and easily sell out – Choose your cruise among many offers:

All the cruises of the 4th of July Independence Day


Traveling to New York? 3 Articles to learn how to get around the city

Read our  Top-3 Articles to learn how to get around New York City using Public Transportation.



A New York Vacation in July - How to plan it

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