New York City fireworks on the Fourth of July are as synonymous with the holiday as the smoky smell of BBQ and hot-dog eating contests. But this is NYC, so you’ll be pressed to find the most traditional Independence Day experience. So add a twist. Shake it up. But don’t wake up on the Fourth of July without a drawn-out plan, because venues fill up and events sell out fast.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island is a classic tradition. But interestingly enough, Takeru Kobayashi, who for years reigned as Nathan’s hot-dog eating champion, will devour dogs from Crif Dogs who are hosting their own Fourth of July hotdog eating contest: the First Annual Crif Dog Classic. Kobayashi will be there to take on nine other contenders at Roberta’s Pizza, on Moore Street in Bushwick. Admission is $10, and includes an afterparty and live music–all beginning at 11am.
Fireworks in New York City is an experience to behold. So where’s the best spot to watch the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks in NYC? Sure, you can join the thousands of other New Yorkers setting up camp on the West Side Highway, but if crowds aren’t your gig, you need a box seat. So if you have a few dollars to spend, and want to make this an Independence Day to remember, look into one of these fireworks events for the best seat in the house.
Hudson River fireworks offer a truly unique New York experience. The most spectacular view of the fireworks in NYC is on the Hudson River. I’m talking about departing for a formal night aboard a historic sailing ship–catered with a BBQ dinner and a full open bar. Both The Shearwater and The Clipper City leave South Street Seaport for a trip around the Battery to view the fireworks above the Hudson River. But if $350 a pop is a little too formal for your budget, there are a few other cruise lines offering Fourth of July dinners at half the price. For more affordable [and casual] evening on the river, check out American Princess Cruises or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, also docked in South Street Seaport near the Financial District.
Since the fireworks moved to the Hudson River back in 2009, a handful of rooftop venues have been hosting annual fireworks parties. Places like Hudson Terrace and Sky Room in Midtown West offer all-inclusive Fourth of July events with unobstructed views of the fireworks. But if you’d prefer to have a fireworks dinner with drinks, make a reservation at the trendy Plunge Bar atop the Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District–which sits just two blocks from the river. But don’t make it too late of a night out, the Fourth of July is on a Wednesday this year!
Good food, hot weather, and the country’s largest display of fireworks right here in NYC–who could ask for more? So whatever events you plan to attend this Fourth of July, reserve your tickets before they’re gone. And give one of these unique festivities a shot–because NYC sure knows how to celebrate our nation’s independence.