5 Fun (Free!) Things to Do for 4th of July Weekend in NYC

01 of 06


Photo credit: Macy's

It's 4th of July weekend and what better way to celebrate America's freedom then by doing something that's, well, free?! From fireworks (of course!) to swimming pools, and plenty in between, here are 5 fun things happening in Manhattan to make the most of the long 2018 holiday weekend, without breaking the bank.

02 of 06

Watch the Fireworks

Macy's / Kent Miller Studios

Nothing says 4th of July revelry like fireworks bursting overhead, and no destination does Independence Day pyrotechnics better than New York City. Now in its 42nd year, Macy's plays host to the nation's largest 4th of July fireworks display, illuminating the evening skies above the East River this year. Here's everything you need to know about making the most out of the 2018 celebration: Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in NYC.

03 of 06

Catch a Flick in Bryant Park

A full house at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Photo Credit: Bryant Park Corporation

One of Manhattan's most-loved outdoor cinema events, the long-running Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, now in its 26th year, landed in Bryant Park on June 18, 2018. Running on Monday nights through August 10, the lineup of free screenings spans legendary films, like "A League of Their Own" which airs on July 2nd. Films roll just after sundown (typically between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.), though the lawn opens at 5 p.m., so come early to throw down a blanket and secure a good spot.

04 of 06

Take a Dip in a Pool

Malcolm Pinckney

With the mercury rising, opt to cool down at a watery oasis set in the midst of the urban jungle. Manhattanites have a dozen outdoor public pools—along with four additional "mini-pools"—to choose from, run by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and best of all, they're free. NYC's outdoor public pool season kicked off on June 27, and will run through September 9, 2018 (with additional indoor pools that are open year-round); pool hours throughout the holiday weekend are from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. (though keep in mind that the pools break for a cleaning between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.). See Free Outdoor Swimming Pools for more info.

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05 of 06

Hit Up a Street Fair

Evan Agostini / Getty Images

NYC's street fair calendar is in full swing all throughout July, with glorious sunny days to beckon you outdoors. Every weekend this month sees street fair options crop up across Manhattan, where you can revel in the warm weather, and take to the pedestrianized streets in search of food stands, bargain shopping, chair massages, live entertainment, people-watching, and more. Head to the Pride on Astor Fair or the Union Square/Broadway Festival on Sunday, July 1, or try the Great July 4th Festival on Fulton Street on July 4th.

06 of 06

Head Over to the High Line

High Line
John Garay

It's high time you checked out Manhattan's High Line! Whether it's your first visit, or your hundredth, this celebrated urban park—elevated 30 feet overhead, atop a historic, once-abandoned, and now wonderfully reinvented railroad trestle—proposes one of the city's best green retreats. While following the nearly 1.5-mile stretch from start to finish (it runs from Gansevoort Street at its southern end, to 34th Street at its northern edge), there are several High Line highlights to be on the lookout for.

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