How to Celebrate Fourth of July in Boston With or Without Fireworks

The show must go on.

The Fourth of July might look a little different this year, especially since fireworks shows are a no-go in Massachusetts due to COVID-19. The beloved Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular might have been canceled along the Charles. However, you can still catch a few virtual experiences as you enjoy the festivities and controlled shenanigans from home. We’ve rounded up some virtual tours, broadcasts, and outdoor activities to help you celebrate.

Take a virtual tour of the U.S.S. Constitution

Start your holiday morning by checking out a tour of the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, the U.S.S. Constitution, right in Charlestown. Everyday at 10 am, the U.S.S. Constitution Museum hosts a Facebook live led by a Navy sailor, giving viewers the chance to take a peek on-board and ask questions in real-time online.

Boston Pops
Boston Pops

Tune into the Boston Pops from home

Starting at 8 pm on the Fourth, the Boston Pops will present “A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes,” which will pay tribute to frontline workers and honor those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. The stream will feature a musical performance from the Boston Pops along with surprises and special guest artists. Their website also hints that the show will feature “traditional Fourth of July favorites” and other highlights from recent broadcasts of The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. You can tune in to watch on Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, and WHDH-TV. 

Make a kayak reservation along the river

Missing heading down to the Charles for fireworks? You can take a different approach this year and spend a day on the river now that boat rentals are back! You can rent a canoe or kayak from Paddle Boston at seven different launch locations including Allston/Brighton, Kendall Square, Condon Shell in Medford, Newton’s historic boathouse and Nahanton Park, Somerville’s Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, and Waltham’s Moody Street Dam.

Get your history fix by embarking on a self-guided tour

If you’re looking to take a historical stroll during the holiday weekend, download the Action Tour Guide app for access to audio tours of Boston’s Freedom Trail, Harvard Yard, and the Boston Harbor waterfront. The tours, costing around $5 each, are narrated and prepared by local guides with plenty of stories to listen to and learn from.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.