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

NYC Fireworks


Fourth of July weekend is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate America's Independence than by doing something that's... free! From fireworks (of course!) to swimming pools, here are five fun things happening in Manhattan. You'll make the most of the 2019 holiday weekend without breaking the bank.

01 of 05

Watch the Fireworks

Macy's / Kent Miller Studios

Nothing says Fourth of July Revelry like fireworks bursting overhead. And no destination does Independence Day pyrotechnics better than New York City. Macy's plays host to the nation's largest Fourth of July fireworks display, illuminating the evening skies above Brooklyn and the East River. Here's everything you need to know about making the most of the 2019 celebration: Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in NYC.

02 of 05

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, is running this year from June 10 to August 12th. Every Monday night you can see a classic including Big and Goodfellas. This year there will be films before and after fourth of July with "To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before" playing on July 1 and "Carrie" playing on July 8. Films roll just after sundown (typically between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.), though the lawn opens at 5 p.m. Come early to throw down a blanket and secure a good spot. Bring a picnic! There is a Whole Foods on Sixth Avenue at the entrance of the park if you want to pick up some snacks.

03 of 05

Take a Dip in a Pool

Malcolm Pinckney

With temperatures rising opt to cool down at a watery oasis. 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 goes until Sunday, September 8, 2019 (with additional indoor pools that are open year round.)

Pool hours throughout the holiday weekend are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a break from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for cleaning. See Free Outdoor Swimming Pools for more info.

04 of 05

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. Try the Great July 4th Festival on Fulton Street on July 4th where you can try new foods, buy art, and more.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Head Over to the High Line

The High Line in Manhattan, NY

TripSavvy / Brakethrough Media 

Manhattan's High Line has become one of the city's greatest attractions. Whether it's your first visit or your hundredth this elevated urban park, located on a once abandoned railroad trestle, is one of the city's best green retreats. Walk it 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 including art, food, street performers, and more.

Was this page helpful?