Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest
Since 1916, Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest has been not only one of the most beloved events in NYC, but one of the most unique sporting competitions worldwide. After all, nothing says America like watching legendary competitive eaters shove as many hot dogs down their throats as they can in ten minutes! While others watch on ESPN, your family can partake in the festivities while relaxing on the beach, playing games on the boardwalk, and riding the rollercoaster at Coney Island. The thrill of the competition and the smell of hot dogs in the air will leave you feeling proud to be an American. 10am for pre-contest musical performances, 11am women’s contest, 12:30pm men’s contest. Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn.
Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks
To fail to mention Macy’s Annual Fourth of July Firework Show would be un-American! This 25-minute spectacular, held over the East River, showcases over 40,000 fireworks against the breathtaking backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. For the best views, head to Brooklyn Bridge Park or Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Don’t forget to pack a blanket, football, drinks, and snacks, for the perfect salute to the land of the free and the home of the brave. For other places to get the best firework views, keep on reading. 9:25pm. Free.
The 4th Annual Freedom Fest 2018
For those looking to give the whole family a 4th of July they’ll never forget, check out the annual Freedom Fest at Pier 15. Here, you can all dance the night away under the fireworks to the sounds of a live DJ, and listen to your favorite songs from this years top 40, pop, dance, hip-hop, and more. Don’t get so caught up in the party that you forget to check out the amazing buffet, featuring all your fourth of July favorites such as hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, and pulled pork! The four-hour premium open bar will have you raising your glass all night long! For unbeatable views of the fireworks over the East River and a night you’re family will cherish forever, book tickets at freedomfestnyc.com. Doors open at 6:15pm. Located at Pier 15, 78 South Street.
LIC Flea & Food July 4th Party
Celebrate America’s birthday at the largest open-air bazaar in Queens! Enjoy spectacular views of the fireworks while soaking in internationally inspired food and drink, art, antiques, furniture, fashion, arts and crafts, and more. If cracking open a cold one is an Independence Day tradition of yours, join in on the day-drinking at the All-Queens Beer and Wine Garden. 2pm-11:30pm. Located 5-25 46th Avenue Long Island City.
Since it’s beginnings in 1911, the Travis Parade in Staten Island has boasted patriotic floats, marching bands, and red white and blue decorations to commemorate a charming village that traces back to colonial times. Escape from the city and relish in the quaint, small-town, all-American feel, while still getting an incredible view of the fireworks over the East River! This historic town is sure to give your family a unique 4th of July. If you’re feeling extra patriotic, take the ferry there for a glimpse at Lady Liberty! 12pm, beginning at P.S. 26, 4108 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island.
Jersey City Freedom and Fireworks Festival
For a fun-filled day of carnival rides, mouth-watering food trucks, live music (headlined by Snoop Dog!), and a beer garden, take a short ferry ride over to Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Situated right on the Hudson River, this park offers magnificent views of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline. This epic event features a Kids Zone with a variety of your child’s favorite rides, from a ferris wheel, to tea cups, a merry-go-round, and more. After the nighttime firework spectacular, your family will feel more patriotic than ever! Free entry, 12-10pm, Exchange Place, Jersey City.
Front Row Fireworks
For an all-day party with live music, a classic BBQ cookout, bar tents, and game tournaments ranging from ping-pong to Jenga, head to East 34th Street Heliport. This event promises the best views of the fireworks in NYC! Buy tickets at frontrowfireworks.com to see for yourself! $35 tickets, doors open at 6pm, firework show at 9pm. Located at 499 E 34th Street.