Hope you had happy 4th of July, wherever you were.
The party is over for this year, but scroll on down and be inspired about where you might want to go on July 4th with the family, out on a cruise, on a rooftop, or in a bar with live DJs in 2024.
The fireworks explode at 9.20pm from five barges on the East River and I’ve got you covered for the best places in NYC to view them.
Whether it’s 4th of July or New Year’s Eve in NYC, here are some fabulous free and paid spots to view the techno displays and enjoy a little hospitality while you celebrate in New York City!
And if you’re looking for the best USA playlist to go with your picnic, you can download my USA playlist for free from Apple (you need to have an Apple Music account).
And if you hate crowds but don’t want to miss out, I’ve put together this post of hotels with rooftops or rooms with a view at one of these fab New York hotels. Get in early for next year to have the best views in the city.
But before you get to the evening, start your Independence Day off with brunch at one of these great brunch spots in NYC and fortify yourself for the day – and night – ahead!
*This post contains some affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Party in the Penthouse!
This family friendly event is happening on the Ravel Hotel rooftop, in Queens. Their 9,500-square-foot indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant/lounge offers amazing views of the Manhattan skyline and Queensboro Bridge, and of course, fireworks.
The event runs from 6.30pm-10.30pm and tickets start at a reasonable $85, but it is dynamic pricing meaning prices will go up as fewer become available, so be quick.
- Live View of NYC’s World-Famous 4th of July Fireworks Show
- Reserved Seating for the duration of the event (w/ select ticket types)
- Premium Open Bar (w/ alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options)
- Great Views of NYC Skyline and Landmarks
- Live DJ w/ Dance Floor
Freedom Fest NYC 4th of July Party
This will be a huge family-friendly event with up to 1000 at an energy-filled party at Solar One on FDR Drive, with amazing views of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show. Dance the night away with water views while you wait for the fireworks to launch over the East River.
Tickets start at $55 and will increase in price as the date draws near, so don’t delay! Event runs from 6.30pm-10.30pm, at Solar One NYC, 24-20 FDR Drive, Service Road East (at East 23rd Street). Cash bar and food available for purchase.
Solar One is New York’s first green energy, arts and education center, with a sustainably-managed park and a solar-powered class room.
Take a harbor cruise
The very best location to see the 4th of July fireworks is right up close on the river. There are a couple of cruise companies putting on champagne, or dinners with live music to celebrate our independence with a bang.
Check out the two Cornucopia yachts, the Horizon’s Edge and Serenity in this list of fun 4th of July cruises in New York. Prices start from $199 and include a dinner buffet, live DJ, open bar and fireworks. They are also family friendly.
Party on the rooftop at Elsie
Celebrate the 4th of July in NYC in a luxe penthouse on the Elsie Rooftop near Bryant Park, with skyline views from the terrace.
Elsie de Wolfe, the world’s most famous decorator, was also famous for throwing extravagant parties, and this will be no exception. There will be a live DJ, a cash bar serving bespoke cocktails, and lots of dancing.
Age 21 plus, tickets start at $30. Enter at 1412 Broadway and take an elevator up to the 25th FL penthouse and show your voucher to staff at the Elsie Rooftop.
Empire State Building
As one of the most famous (and romantic) landmarks in New York City, the Empire State Building is our ultimate favorite spot, with more than 3 million hashtags on Instagram.
On Independence Day, the Empire State hosts their annual celebration from 7pm – 10pm. This exclusive event (closed to the general public and available by ticket only) offers prime views of the firework displays from the 86th floor, as well as gourmet food, DJ music and a premium open bar.
Guests have private access to the open-air observation deck for the best fireworks viewing in the city and an awesome 4th of July soundtrack.
Get Front Row Fireworks tickets to the Heliport
If you want to be assured of a great spot, grab a ticket to the Front Row Fireworks event on a coveted spot on the 34th Street Heliport for prime views of the action.
There will be live music, food trucks, beer tents and games for the whole family like ping-pong and life-sized Jenga.
Doors open at 6pm. Tickets start at $45.
Fireworks cruise from Brooklyn
Stay away from the crowds in Manhattan with this fabulous two-level boat cruise, complete with outdoor deck area for dancing and photos. It sets off from Greenpoint Terminal Market in Brooklyn and provides outstanding fireworks views around lower Manhattan.
You can keep your costs down with the cash bar, while still getting the best views in town. Dance the evening away with live DJ music. Finger food is available for purchase, or you’re welcome to bring your own.
Press play on the video for the full experience!
Circle Line harbor cruise
Board the boat at West 23rd and cruise on the Hudson River to see the fireworks in this four-hour cruise. Food and an open bar with live DJ is provided. Boarding begins at 6.15pm for a 6.45pm departure.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of the event tickets on July 4th from SUMMITOne Vanderbilt, with a premium bar open 7.30pm – 10.30pm and food by legendary NYC BBQ restaurant Blue Smoke.
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But you can take in the best views of New York City while sipping cocktails after your tour any time! It really is a must-visit. It’s bonkers and breathtaking and perfect for selfies.
Buy tickets to SUMMITOne for a tour any time and make sure you save some money for a rooftop drink.
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks
For the best views of Macy’s annual mega 4th of July fireworks display with celebrity performances, get yourself to the East River where five barges laden with dynamite are set to entertain you!
You want to be around Midtown, but get there early as there is limited space for the best views.
Official Macy’s fireworks viewing locations are 42nd Street and FDR Drive, 34th Street and FDR Drive (includes ADA/special needs viewing area), 23rd Street and FDR Drive. Across the river official spots are Gantry Plaza State Park, Newtown Barge Park, Transmitter Park.
If you can’t get into these spots, just shuffle along the river and you’ll see them.
What else is there to do in New York?
Stay in one of these hotels with river view rooms to see the fireworks from the roof, your room or even your bathtub!
Try one of these fabulous NYC rooftop restaurants with views of the East River for a cocktail along with your fireworks! Especially look at Harriets and Westlight.
New year’s eve in New York is another epic date to be here for the annual ball drop and fireworks too. This post covers the best places to be to see that in Times Square, and has links to all the best parties.
Where to go for the best brunch spots in New York any day of the week!
Where to find great shopping in NYC from malls to vintage neighborhoods.
Awesome flea markets in New York to get your bargain hunting on in Manhattan and Brooklyn, then walk the Highline 🙂