Where to See the Fireworks on 4th of July in New York City

This post tells you how to see the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in 2020. 

This year, the fireworks will take place, although in a different format.

Starting on June 29, there will be a series of 5-minute fireworks displays in each of NYC’s five boroughs.

Then, on July 4, there will be a grand finale that will be televised on NBC from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

To avoid large crowds the sites of the fireworks will not be announced until just before they will take place. We advise following Macy’s on social media starting June 29.

The show must go on! Enjoy the fireworks!

 


Note: the below information does not apply to 2020.

 

 


WHEN DO THEY START 

Typically, the start time is 9 pm, but the show usually starts at about 9:25 pm and lasts 25 minutes or so.

Make sure to go early to get a spot to call your own. Plan to arrive by 5 pm or even earlier.

Be prepared to stand or sit on the ground, since you are not allowed to bring folding chairs or beach chairs.

You are not allowed to bring backpacks or other large items, so keep it simple – some snacks, something to drink (non-alcoholic) – and you’ll have a blast!


OFFICIAL VIEWING LOCATIONS 

From Manhattan 

There will be 4 barges stationed along the East River just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

 

Macys Fireworks Map

 

Head to elevated portions of the FDR (North/South roadways) with entry points at:

  • Broad Street & Water Street
  • Pearl Street & Dover Street
  • Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place & St. James Place
  • Pearl Street & St. James Place
  • Montgomery Street & Cherry Street

Access the Lower Promenade with the following entry points:

  • Pike Slip & Cherry Street
  • Market Street & Cherry Street

For more information, see the interactive Macy’s Fireworks website that helps you plan how to get to the best viewing location for you.

Happy 4th of July and enjoy the show!

 


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UNOFFICIAL VIEWING LOCATIONS IN BROOKLYN

Viewing the fireworks from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is one of the most popular locations.

Though not a Macy’s official viewing location, thousands of people will gather along the Brooklyn Waterfront for excellent views.

 

 

Note that it can be very crowded, so get there early. There will also be specific NY Police bag checkpoints to enter the park.

Here is where you can enter:

  • Furman Street and Joralemon Street
  • Furman Street and Old Fulton Street
  • New Dock Street and Water Street
  • Atlantic Ave and Bridge Park Drive

General Information:

  • All permanent restrooms will be closed. BBP will provide portable restrooms throughout the park
  • Dogs and coolers not recommended
  • No ferries will stop at BBP, including the ferry to Governor’s Island
  • Alcohol and furniture prohibited.

See the park’s website for more information.

TIP:

If you are going to DUMBO for the fireworks, why not go earlier in the day and explore the neighborhood and nearby Brooklyn Heights.

These below guides can help you find your way around:

We also offer pay-what-you-wish tours of these neighborhoods and the Brooklyn Bridge:

 


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CRUISES

Getting out onto the East River provides you with a great view and an evening of entertainment. Hornblower Cruises has several offerings for the Fourth of July. 

The Circle Line also provides a specialty cruise that night. American Princess Cruises is another possibility.

To learn more about the various cruise and boat companies in NYC and read reviews, see our post, Which New York Boat Tour or Cruise is Best?

Although the better-known companies sell out more quickly, you can still get similarly priced tickets from competition found on Get Your Guide.

 


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OTHER FIREWORKS DISPLAYS

Fireworks in Coney Island

To find out how to get there and what to see when you are there, see our post, Things to do at Coney Island.

Go early and watch the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.  

Fireworks in New Jersey

Jersey City will have its own fireworks at the Hudson River this year at the Liberty State Park

You can’t beat the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline!

 

 

Come early for the all-day event complete with carnival rides, games, food, and a free pre-fireworks concert.

Over 100,000 guests are expected, so pack your blankets, and picnic baskets and have fun during this 4th of July party!  

There will be parking, but if you ride your bike you will be a lot less hassle. Stay posted for further updates.

 


Related Posts:

 

About the author

Born and raised just across the Hudson River in NJ, Stephen became a licensed NYC tour guide in 2010 and has led and organized thousands of tours since then.

He has researched and written dozens of articles with insider NYC tips, and created a podcast, titled "NYC Travel Tips & Hacks".