Like most things in New York City, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks are some of the most elaborate and famous in the country. This year, the show will feature celebrity performers like Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce, and Pitbull, plus the Young People’s Chorus of New York and The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus, with expert musical direction from Ray Chew (who also is in charge of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade). It all starts on Monday, July 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Historically, the Hudson and East rivers switch off hosting the fireworks each year. The latter will be doing the honors in 2022, with five barges and 48,000 shells. If you don’t feel like joining the crowds along the riverbank to watch the show, however, a festive alternative is to attend a party at one of the city's many hotels, restaurants, or observation decks. Read on for some of our favorite places to watch the 4th of July fireworks in NYC this year.
Public viewing platforms
The city sets up elevated viewing areas throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens (you can see all the locations on this map), but if you want to take advantage of them, you better get there early. (Note: The East 34th Street and FDR Drive viewing point is the only ADA-accessible option.) There is limited capacity on each platform, and once they’re full, you’re out of luck. You can, of course, also try your luck at one of the city’s public parks that are close to the East River. Gantry Plaza State Park, Newton Barge Park, Transmitter Park, and Marsha P. Johnson State Park will all have platforms, but other spots close to the action include John V. Lindsay East River Park.
This small island nestled between Manhattan and Brooklyn has become quite the hub of activity over the last few years. Its most anticipated opening this summer is certainly GITANO Island, a restaurant and beach club that will host its first guests just a few days before July 4. The 27,000-square-foot space will have uninterrupted views of the fireworks, along with a giant dining tent, a disco ball suspended over the water, and hundreds of tropical plants. You’ll have to take a quick ferry to the island, but don't worry about getting lost once you dock—Gitano is only a two-minute walk away.
Circle Line Cruises
If you want to be right in the action, there’s nowhere better to watch the fireworks than on the East River itself. Well-known tour boat company Circle Line Cruises is offering a special, 4.5-hour July 4 sailing, which will travel down to the tip of Manhattan for unbeatable views of the show. An on-boat DJ, extravagant dinner buffet, and open bar will help take the party to the next level. If you can’t manage to snag a ticket, know that Circle Line’s sister companies, La Barca and North River Lobster Company, are also offering celebratory Fourth of July cruises.
On the other end of the spectrum, you could always ring in the Fourth from 1,100 feet in the air. The highest outdoor sky deck in New York, The Edge is hosting an exclusive Fourth of July party in its indoor and outdoor areas, complete with champagne, corn dogs, and popcorn, plus views of the Macy’s, Coney Island, and Jersey City fireworks. If you’re feeling fearless, you can even get to the celebration via City Climb, the highest open-air building ascent in the world. After scaling the 45-degree angled staircase up the side of 30 Hudson Yards, you’ll have more than earned that bubbly.
Farther east, the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt observation deck is throwing its own soiree, which includes access to all three levels, a premium open bar, and barbecue from famed restaurant Blue Smoke. Downtown, the One World Observatory is celebrating with patriotic bites like hot dogs, pretzels, and churros, as well as unlimited premium cocktails and views of the fireworks from New York’s tallest building.
The Lower East Side and Williamsburg are always two of NYC’s best neighborhoods for nightlife, but they’ll be especially buzzing on the 4th due to their proximity to the fireworks. Ian Schrager’s PUBLIC Hotel will be hosting a rooftop barbecue, complete with a live DJ and plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream. Across the river, Westlight, the rooftop cocktail bar at The William Vale hotel, is throwing a viewing party with new-age social club GOSPËL. Guests will enjoy live DJs all night, as well as food from celebrated chef Andrew Carmellini’s Noho Hospitality. And nearby, The Williamsburg Hotel will be holding a rooftop 4th of July fête featuring 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline and a brand-new menu of zero-proof and adaptogenic cocktails for those who don’t imbibe.
Farther uptown, the views might not be quite as good, but the parties will be more lavish. The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue is inviting big spenders to throw a super swanky party in one of the hotel’s penthouses. Included in the $22,000-per-night package is pick-up in a limousine, a Champagne cart for four, a $500 credit for dinner in your suite, and even breakfast the next morning.