Where To Watch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in NYC

The full show returns in celebration of its 45th anniversary.

NYC Fireworks
Macy's 4th of July Fireworks | Winston Tan/Shutterstock
Macy's 4th of July Fireworks | Winston Tan/Shutterstock

As New York City continues to rage on this summer without the constraints of COVID restrictions, 2021 also marks the full return of the beloved Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, this year’s show is in honor of the United States Armed Forces and named “Macy’s Salutes Those Who Serve.” Starting at 9:45 pm on Sunday, July 4th, America’s largest pyrotechnic display will set off in the East River with fireworks launched from five barges located near Midtown. Free to the public, viewing locations for vaccinated revelers include East 42nd Street, East 34th Street, and East 23rd Street, along with sections of waterfronts in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan for those who aren’t vaccinated (check out the official website for developing info on locations). 

The 25-minute extravaganza saluting “American bravery and optimism” will feature a patriotic-themed musical score, and launch more than 65,000 shells in 24 different colors and shapes. From red, white, and blue waterfalls to triple linking rainbows, expect to be dazzled by its effects from 1,000 feet up in the night sky.

“The Summer of New York City is underway!” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. “New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back COVID-19 and build a recovery for all of us. This summer, we can’t wait to reconnect with the iconic events that make our city great. These fireworks make us all proud to be New Yorkers and Americans, and I’m looking forward to a joyful and safe viewing this year.” 

After more than a year of quarantining and following COVID-19 mandates, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks signify the welcomed return of milestone traditions and events across the city. 

For those looking to watch the fireworks from the comforts of air conditioning at home, NBC will broadcast the show (be sure to check your local listings) in a televised production including a line-up of musical performances and more. And if the thought of being jostled by crowds along the East River doesn’t sound quite appealing either, here are a few eateries, rooftops, and more to watch the show from instead.

The Roof at PUBLIC
Photo courtesy of The Roof at PUBLIC

The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel

Lower East Side
The restaurant, POPULAR, isn’t the only exciting happening at the newly relaunched PUBLIC Hotel. For the 4th of July, the property’s rooftop spot, The Roof at PUBLIC, is hosting a special summer party. With a cover price of $30 per attendee, the soiree will feature 360-degree views of the city skyline along with seasonal cocktails, an a la carte barbecue menu, and a DJ spinning late into the evening. Doors open at 5 pm.

City Cruises
City Cruises

City Cruises

Pier 61
Board The Bateaux New York from City Cruises by Hornblower to set sail on an evening spent along both the East and Hudson Rivers featuring front-row seats to the fireworks. Packages are available in three different tiers starting at $499 and include a full-course dinner, open bar, live music, and views of NYC’s magnificent skyline. Guests will board the vessel from Pier 61 at 5:30 pm and can plan to be back on land after 10 pm. And there’s a semi-formal dress code, so leave the pandemic sweatpants at home for America’s birthday.

Estuary at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina
Photo courtesy of Estuary at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina

Estuary at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Located at the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront, this brasserie with a globally inspired menu by executive chef Jonathan Rodriguez offers a year-round terrace that’s especially ideal to catch the fireworks. For the occasion, Estuary is offering special reserved seating for $150 per person, which includes an open bar plus a la carte menu items including oysters, salmon tartare, lobster rolls, and a fried chicken bucket. Call 718-521-6744 for more info.
How to book: Resy

Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge
Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge | Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Park
From 7 pm to midnight, this rooftop bar atop the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge will host a special viewing party with unobstructed views of the fireworks show. In addition to a table reservation for $1,500 that can accommodate up to 6 guests, loungers on the rooftop pool are available at $500 each. All table and lounger reservations include a bottle of rose.
How to book: Table reservations here and pool loungers here.

Other Half Brewery
Other Half Brewery

Other Half Brewery

Domino Park
If you’re looking for something a bit more lowkey, Other Half Brewery at Domino Park is offering special picnic packs—and a prime viewing location—at their waterfront location in Brooklyn. At $35 each, the holiday sets (available for order here) include a 4-pack of beer, blanket, cups, and Bjorn Corn popcorn—and seating will be available until 10 pm. There'll also be beer selections on sale via an ice cream cart onsite, including the newest offering, Oh2 hard seltzer, which is only brewed at the Domino Park location.

ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY
ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY

One World Observatory

One World Trade Center
High in the sky at 102 floors above street level, One World Observatory will host a celebration saluting iconic Americana dishes and beverages. From 8 pm to midnight, along with hot dogs, pretzels, waffle fries, and cheesecake lollipops, attendees can enjoy cocktails (all food and drinks are unlimited) and unparalleled views of the city. Tickets are $350 per person and proof of vaccination is required.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.