July 4th in Brooklyn

  • 01 of 09

    July 4 in Brooklyn: What's Going On to Celebrate Independence Day, July 4th?

    Fourth Of July Fireworks Light Up The Skies Over New York City
    ••• Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

    While tens of thousands of locals pour out of New York City for a 4th of July vacation, millions of tourists come into the City to visit—and millions of New Yorkers stay home, too! Here's a brief overview of July 4th in Brooklyn, NY, with details, links, and ideas on the following pages. Have a fabulous 4th of July in Brooklyn! There's plenty to do for tourists and locals alike!

    And, for general information: A Visitors Guide to Brooklyn, NY

    Edited by Alison Lowenstein

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  • 02 of 09

    Nathan's July 4 Hot Dog Contest

    July 4 in Coney Island: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest draws tens of thousands of spectators.
    ••• July 4 in Coney Island: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest draws tens of thousands of spectators. Courtesy of Major League Eating, Nathan's Famous

    For decades, the Coney Island hot dog eating contest, sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs, at the site of their original store near the Atlantic Ocean boardwalk and Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster, has been a July 4th favorite. Since 2010, when competition was doubled, there's both a women's and a men's division. About 40,000 onlookers watch as a roster of preselected competitors stuff as many hotdogs into themselves as then can in ten minutes. 

    Can I Show Up & Participate in this Coney Island Hot Dog Contest? No. The contestants are selected beforehand. Not everyone can join in and slow eaters need not apply! You have to be able to stuff a more than a few dozen dogs into your mouth in a period of ten minutes. 

    Is there a Women's Competition? Yes! There's a "women's division," since 2011.


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  • 03 of 09

    Macy's July 4th Fireworks in New York City

    People recording fireworks on cell phones from under urban bridge, New York, New York, United States
    ••• Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

     According to Macy's, the best Brooklyn access points will be

    • Brooklyn Bridge Park (piers 1-6): enter on Old Fulton & Furman Street, Joralemon Street & Furman Street or Atlantic Avenue & Furman Street.
    • Brooklyn Heights Promenade: enter on Columbia Heights & Pineapple Street, Montague Street & Pierrepont Street or Pierrepont Street & Remsen Street.
    • For boater viewing restrictions, call Macy's Marine Hotline at (212) 494-5243.
    • Any rooftop with views of the top of the Brooklyn Bridge! Check out our list of rooftop bars, many of which you can catch a glimpse of the fireworks. 
    • Spend 4th of July at Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (unfortunately this is sold out for 2017, but keep this unique celebration in mind for the future). 
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  • 04 of 09

    4th of July Brooklyn Barbeque!

    Staubitz Market, on Court Street in the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill area, is one of Brooklyn's many highly regarded, old-fashioned butcher shops, selling freshly made sausages.
    ••• Staubitz Market, on Court Street in the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill area, is one of Brooklyn's many highly regarded, old-fashioned butcher shops, selling freshly made sausages. Ellen Freudenheim

    4th of July Brooklyn Barbeque! Where to Get Sausages, Brooklyn BBQ Recipes & More

    What else do you do on July 4th weekend? Have a barbeque, of course! You've got the friends. But what about the food, the recipes, and the venue? Read on.

    1. Brooklyn Butchers Where You Can Get Great Sausages, Steaks, Dogs for a 4th of July Barbeque

    You can always go to the supermarket for packages of hot dogs (including Brooklyn's homegrown Nathan's brand), but for interesting, fabulous and freshly made hot dogs with special flavoring, or of a vegetarian persuasion, or good chicken sausages or kielbasa, you've got a lot of choice in Brooklyn.

    Tips on the Best Brooklyn Butchers for Hot Dogs, Sausages, BBQ Meats

    (These aren't the only great butchers in Brooklyn by a long shot, but they're good bets for great July 4th sausages and hot dogs.)

    On the other hand, if you're having a huge party and want to watch costs, head to Brooklyn's giant Costco, Fairway or your local...MORE supermarket.

    2. No Yard? No Deck? Have a BBQ in a Brooklyn Park

    If you're in the city and you don't happen to have access to a back yard, but want to have a BBQ, what to do? Head to one of Brooklyn's many parks. But be forewarned, you can't just set up your grill and fire it up! You can barbeque in special areas only, and it's smart to stake out your place very early in the morning (because everyone else does!).

    Want to do a July 4th barbeque in a Brooklyn Park? Read this first.


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  • 05 of 09

    July 4 for Kids: Events at Prospect Park

    Autumnal Reflections
    ••• Phil Roeder / Getty Images

    Two Educational, Fun Activities for Kids on July 4th Weekend, at Lefferts House in Prospect Park

    There's nothing like re-enacting something to get the whiff of how it felt to live the original event. That's why, for July 4th, there are  special children's events offered at Prospect Park, both designed to encourage children to feel like they are part of a meaningful historic celebration. This 4th of July, kids can participate in a Declaration of Independence Signing, 2–4 pm. Lefferts Historic House ($3 suggested donation).

    Where: Lefferts Historic House is located inside Prospect Park. It's near the Park’s entrance, at the intersection of Flatbush and Ocean Avenues and Empire Boulevard.

    Get directions by car, bus and subway.


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  • 06 of 09

    Explore Brooklyn on July Fourth! 4 Neighborhood Walks: DUMBO, Red Hook, etc.

    Empire State Building, Manhattan Bridge and Dumbo
    ••• Philip Kramer / Getty Images

    II. Self-Guided: Brief Neighborhood Walking Tours in Brooklyn New York

    Take a breather, and explore Brooklyn at your own pace! The borough is full of interesting neighborhoods, each quite different from the next. For a a self-guided tour of different neighborhoods during July 4th, consider these four options.

    • 1. DUMBO. Take a brief walking tour of DUMBO's Front Street

      Tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge, the old industrial neighborhood of DUMBO has been transformed into a hip, high-rise haven for artists, bankers, and a handful of trendy stores, restaurants and food shops. Above all, the Manhattan views are incredible.

    • 2. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS. See historic Pierrepont Place in old Brooklyn Heights

      Settled by wealthy bankers and industrialists, Brooklyn Heights is today known for its stately homes, great Manhattan views from the airy Promenade overlooking New York Harbor, and a bevvy of educational institutions. It is also home to Brooklyn's municipal government, centered in the historic...MORE Borough Hall building.

    • 3. PROSPECT PARK SOUTH. Explore a leafy Victorian neighborhood of fine Brooklyn homes

      It comes as a huge surprise to most visitors to discover this neighborhood of large, architecturally significant, and elaborate homes and gardens in a leafy residential neighborhood in Brooklyn. For those interested in the notion of "suburbs in the city," a visit to Prospect Park South is a must-see.

    • 4. WALKING ROUTE FROM BROOKLYN BRIDGE. See Real Brooklyn on a Walk from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Brooklyn Museum

      Walking from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge through classic Brooklyn neighborhoods, including the outskirts of famous Park Slope, one can reach the shady Brooklyn Botanic Garden within an hour and twenty minutes (5 miles, 7 kilometres). Explore the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, then visit the adjacent Brooklyn Museum. It's perfectly safe, but wear comfy shoes. Tourists might wish to bring a map, and make a few detours into Fort Greene, Prospect Park South, Park Slope, or Prospect Park.


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  • 07 of 09

    Celebrate Brooklyn! Concert in Prospect Park on 4th of July Weekend

    Celebrate Brooklyn!'s is Brooklyn's famous almost-free concert series, held in the Prospect Park Bandshell in Park Slope
    ••• Celebrate Brooklyn!'s is Brooklyn's famous almost-free concert series, held in the Prospect Park Bandshell in Park Slope. Photo courtesy of BRIC

    There's a hot concert in Prospect Park at the Bandshell on July 6. Find out who's playing! Free!

    Get there early for seats or a good spot on the grass.

    What's playing at Celebrate Brooklyn! during the rest of July?

    What's playing at Celebrate Brooklyn! during the rest of August?

    Day by Day Calendar of July 4 Holiday Events in Brooklyn

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  • 08 of 09

    Go to the BEACH in Brooklyn on July 4th!

    The Coney Island Boardwalk at sunset, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA
    ••• Alexander Spatari / Getty Images
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  • 09 of 09

    July 4th National Pastime: Shopping! Are the Malls Open?

    Atlantic Avenue Subway Sign, Brooklyn, New York
    ••• demerzel21 / Getty Images

    Go ahead, do the patriotic thing: go shopping!

    July 4th, it turns out, is a good day to go shopping. Some national chains have sales. Others might have one day specials.

    Some local mom-and-pop stores might take the day off, but at least in Brooklyn, many, many others don't. Gift shops, independent book sellers and food stores are likely to be open.

    And, the large malls are there, air conditioned and waiting for you.

    Tip -Check your favorite store for possible early closing hours, though, as the shopping crowds dwindle as dusk — and the moment for the annual July 4th fireworks — approach.

    Are Brooklyn malls open on July 4th?

    Happy July 4th!