Top five cities for 4th of July fireworks

Where will you celebrate the 4th? If you’ll be in the following top five cities for 4th of July fireworks, you’re in for a treat! Here’s the low-down on where to be this July 4th, how best to view the fireworks, and how to stay safe and sane in firework crowds.


Washington, DC:

We’ll be in Washington, DC this 4th of July, experiencing the fireworks in America’s capital. We even extended our planned DC vacation to include the 4th! How could we not? The Celebrate Freedom firework display on the National Mall is the epitome of the American national celebration. This is an all-day event in the nation’s capital, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The best places to view the fireworks is right in the thick of it: hang by any of the monuments on the Mall, or set up camp near the capital building. The best hotel viewing is at the Hay Adams.

New York City:

The Macy’s Ignite the Night fireworks display is a tradition in New York City, with fireworks launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and coverage on NBC. If you’ll be there, get live updates on the excitement by texting SPARK to 62297. The display will be cast over the Hudson River, and starts at approximately 9:20 pm.

The best place to watch: 

  • from the water (take a Circle Line sightseeing cruise or water taxi)
  • from the Empire State Building (special ticketing will apply)
  • from the West Side Highway (between 22nd and 55th streets)


The Boston Pops fireworks display takes place at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, utilizing a budget of over $100,000 during the 20 minute show. How to tackle this massive event? Start early, and make a day of it! The grounds open at 9 am (yes, in the morning!) and beach blanket real estate is serious business. Get there using Boston’s public transit, so you can skip the parking and traffic hassle. The closest stations are Charles Street/Massachusetts General Hospital station on the Red Line and Arlington Street Station on the Green Line. Make sure you get a wristband so you can enter and leave the bandshell during the day, and be ready for the crowds to really press in by the time the Pops Orchestra starts playing at 8:30 pm.


The 4th is celebrated in colonial style in Philly, with Pops on Independence at Independence Hall and parades. The fireworks display is on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with free concerts across the city all day to get you excited. Period costume is optional. The best places to watch are:

  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Paine’s Park
  • Martin Luther King Drive
  • Schuylkill River Park
  • Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park



Well, not quite Dallas…the suburb of Addison is home to the best fireworks display in the state (or so say locals). This smaller town boosts a budget of over $220,000 for their annual extravaganza, which takes place in Addison Circle Park. Before the big show, enjoy air shows, musical acts, and more. The fireworks display lasts 30 minutes (long by industry standards) and offers visitors a true slice of Americana.

Where will you celebrate the 4th?

Photo credit: Curtis Palmer

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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