Four Fun Things to Do on July Fourth in NYC
New York City's 4th of July fireworks are arguably the most spectacular in the U.S.
If you're looking for fun things to do on July Fourth in New York City, you're in the right place. Here are a few suggestions:
- Macys Fourth of July Fireworks: Each year on the Fourth of July, millions of revelers journey to the banks of the East River in NYC to watch the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Show. At this stunning NYC event, first held in 1958, five barges will launch 40,000 fireworks over 1,000 feet in the air as smaller boats blast water jets of red, white, and blue. This 4th of July event will also feature live performances by pop artists, choirs, barbershop quartets, and gospel groups.
- Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest: One of the best 4th of July traditions in NYC is Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. At this fierce Fourth of July event, 20 able-bodied competitors will fight to see who can consume the greatest number of Nathan's hot dogs in under ten minutes. Famous world-class competitors such as Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi have ensured that this Coney Island competition will have an attendance in excess of 40,000. According to common lore, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest began as a way to settle a dispute among four immigrants as to who was the most patriotic.
- Central Park Zoo: The Central Park Zoo is another popular NYC attraction open 365 days a year. Unlike the 265-acre Bronx Zoo across town, the Central Park Zoo may be walked comfortably in a single afternoon. Here you will find some of the most exotic animals in the world, including snow leopards, polar bears, poisonous reptiles, and peguins. Don't forget to bring the kids!
July 4th NYC Driving and Parking Tips
Because the Fourth of July is a United States federal holiday, parking in NYC is free (naturally, spaces will be hard to come by). Avoid parking in the large parking garages on the West Side of Manhattan, as some lots charge special event parking fees.
Expect heavy traffic on the Fourth of July on account of the Macy's Fireworks Show. The best way to get from one place to another on July 4th is via New York City's subway line. If you travel by bus, expect significant delays on the following routes: M14, M16, M23, M27, M31, M34, M42, M50, M57, M66, M72, M79, M86, and M96. Note that all cross streets within view of the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Show will be closed to vehicular traffic until at least 2am.
Fun Facts about the Fourth of July
Trivia buff? Check out these fun facts about Independence Day in the United States:
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence to later serve as U.S. Presidents, both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
- The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred, not on July 4, but on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed by Richard Henry Lee.
- The first recorded use of the name "Independence Day" occurred in 1791.