01 of 09
What's Going on for the Fourth of July in Brooklyn
While tens of thousands of locals pour out of New York City for a Fourth of July vacation, millions of tourists come into New York City to visit—and millions of New Yorkers stay home, too. Here's a brief overview of the key happenings on July 4th in Brooklyn, New York. There's plenty to do.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Nathan's July 4 Hot Dog Contest
For more than 100 years, the Nathan's Famous Coney Island hot dog eating contest is held at the site of their original store on the Atlantic Ocean boardwalk and adjacent to Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster.
In 2010, the competition was doubled to include both a women's and a men's division for the contest. About 40,000 onlookers watch as a roster of preselected competitors stuff as many hot dogs into their mouths as they can in 10 minutes.
Not just anyone can participate. This event is for serious competitive eaters only. The average winner eats about 70 hotdogs in the allotted time.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Macy's July 4th Fireworks in New York City
Most years, the Macy's July 4th fireworks show is along the East River. When it is, then the best spots to the see the 25-minute pyrotechnic display is from Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Heights promenade, boats, and rooftops and venues that have views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Check online each year, because some years the fireworks have been fired off from the Hudson River, making fireworks very difficult to view from Brooklyn.
If you go to Brooklyn Bridge Park, go to piers 1 through 6. You will want to enter on Old Fulton and Furman Street; Joralemon Street and Furman Street; or Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street.
From the Brooklyn Height promenade, enter on Columbia Heights and Pineapple Street; Montague Street and Pierrepont Street, or Pierrepont Street and Remsen Street.
For boater viewing instructions, call Macy's marine hotline at (212) 494-5243.
You are encouraged to find any rooftop with views of the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. Check out a list of rooftop bars, many of... which you can catch a glimpse of the fireworks. Or, you spend 4th of July at Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (this sells out quickly, call ahead).Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
4th of July Brooklyn Barbecues
What else do you do on July 4th weekend? Have a barbecue, of course! You've got the friends. But what about the food and the grill? Find out where you can get good quality meats and where you can grill them.
Where's the Beef?
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 head to a butcher. You can get vegetarian hot dogs, good chicken sausages, or kielbasa, and you've got a lot of choices in Brooklyn like Staubitz Market in Cobble Hill, Fleisher's Craft Butchery in Park Slope, the Meat Hook in East Williamsburg, and Kiszka Meat Market in Greenpoint (Polish sausage).
Grilling in a Brooklyn Park
If you're a city dweller, you might not have access to a backyard, but no worries, 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 only barbecue in special areas, and it's... smart to stake out your place very early in the morning (because a lot of other people will have the same idea).Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
July 4 for Kids in Prospect Park
There's nothing like re-enacting something to get the feeling of how it felt to live during that time. That's why, for July 4th, there are special children's events offered at Prospect Park that are designed to encourage children to feel like they are part of a meaningful historic celebration. On the 4th of July, your kids can participate in a mock Declaration of Independence signing at the Lefferts Historic House ($3 suggested donation). Lefferts Historic House is located inside Prospect Park near the park’s entrance, at the intersection of Flatbush and Ocean Avenues and Empire Boulevard. Afterward, your child can ride the 1912 carousel.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Self-Guided Walking Tours of Brooklyn
If the weather cooperates, explore Brooklyn at your own pace. The borough is full of interesting neighborhoods, eateries, and shop that are all each quite different from the next. For a self-guided tour of different neighborhoods during July 4th, consider Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge to or from Manhattan.
Dumbo's Front Street makes for a nice short walking tour. Dumbo is an acronym for "down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass." Tucked under the Manhattan 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. The Manhattan views are incredible from here.
Take a walk through historic Pierrepont Place in old Brooklyn Heights and you will see stately homes, great Manhattan views from the airy promenade overlooking New York Harbor, and a bevy of educational institutions. It is also home to... Brooklyn's municipal government, centered in the historic Borough Hall building.
Explore a leafy Victorian neighborhood of fine Brooklyn homes in historic Park Slope south of Prospect Park. 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.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Walk from Manhattan across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge through classic Brooklyn neighborhoods, including the outskirts of Park Slope. You can reach the shady Brooklyn Botanic Garden within an hour and twenty minutes (5 miles). Explore the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, then visit the adjacent Brooklyn Museum. It's a safe walk, but wear comfy shoes, and bring a map. You can choose to make a few detours into Fort Greene, Prospect Park South, Park Slope, or Prospect Park.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park
Since 1979, BRIC has launched the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, a series of free music concerts for the summer in the bandshell. The music lineup includes several acts over the July 4th weekend. Get there early for seats or a good spot on the grass.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Hit the Beach
All over the country, Independence Day is celebrated by going to the beach with family and friends. Brooklyn has several beaches. You can consider Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach. Coney Island already has the hot dog eating contest, so you might want to check that out, ride the Cyclone, then hit the sand. A suggested 12-hour July 4th itinerary for Coney Island might help you plan your day.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Get Out of the Heat and Shop
July 4th, it turns out, is a good day to go shopping. Some national chains have sales. Others might have hot one-day specials.
Some local mom-and-pop stores might take the day off, but at least in Brooklyn, gift shops, independent booksellers, and food stores are likely to be open. Check before you go.