Celebrate Fourth of July at the Coolest Watch Parties in NYC

Patriotism, but in a New York way.

Classic Harbor Line
Photo courtesy of Classic Harbor Line
Photo courtesy of Classic Harbor Line

We all know this by now: New York City doesn’t play around when it comes to celebrating holidays. Marking its 47th anniversary, the famous Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display is coming our way on Tuesday, July 4 starting at 8 pm. Free to the public (as long as you can find a clear line of sight to the sky—check out the official website for a full list of recommended locations), the country’s largest pyrotechnic show launches fireworks from five barges on the East River located between Midtown and the Queens/Brooklyn border.

This year’s 25-minute display will launch more than 2,400 shells and effects per minute in 30 different colors and shapes. From red, white, and blue waterfalls to triple linking rainbows, expect to be dazzled by its pageantry from 1,000 feet up in the night sky. Music director Ray Chew is also back again to conduct the show’s synchronized live orchestra performance, which “recognizes trailblazers as we celebrate our country’s independence through the voices of young people.”

For those not looking to battle crowds, NBC—as well as the Peacock streaming service—will broadcast the show in a televised production including a line-up of surprise performances and celebrity guests including Ashanti, Bebe Rexha, LL Cool J, and The Roots.

While staying at home or lining the streets is all good and fine, you’ll find us gallivanting through the city on our way to one of the many high-energy fêtes for stellar views, classic Americana bites, and summertime sips. Come along as we take advantage of the long weekend. Here’s our guide on where to find the best Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks watch parties in NYC this year.

Skyline Drive-In Cinema
4th of July Waterfront Block Party | Photo courtesy of Bucketlisters

With the Manhattan skyline as a stunning backdrop, this collaborative party from Project 91 and Bucketlisters is eight hours of revelrous fun along the East River in Greenpoint. The all-day 4th of July Waterfront Block Party sports big name DJ sets from Sam Feldt, Klingande, Luke Alexander, and more. Upon arrival, guests can take advantage of more than six bars, a beer garden, umbrella-covered picnic tables, games, and food trucks. For a more exclusive experience, VIP tickets offer lounge seating, indoor bathrooms, a private bar, skip-the-line entry, and more.
Cost:GA tickets from $45, VIP tickets from $150

Virgin Hotels New York City
The Pool Club | Photo courtesy of Virgin Hotels New York City

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels New York City, in the heart of NoMad, is a top contender for Fourth of July fun this year. From 4 pm–10 pm, visitors can sip drinks in the sun or take a dip at The Pool Club, while listening to DJ sets from NYC locals L3ni, Tyler From Where, and Orson. Later in the evening, either head to the Sky Lounge event space on the 38th floor to watch the big show or stay posted up on the pool deck.
Cost: RSVP is free, entry is based on capacity

Bar Blondeau
Bar Blondeau | Photo courtesy of Bar Blondeau

Bar Blondeau


If you’re in a Brooklyn state of mind, head over to the Wythe Hotel’s chic rooftop oasis for the Bar Blondeau 4th of July Rooftop Party. With the purchase of a ticket, guests can enjoy East River views; an open bar serving a selection of bespoke cocktails, as well as locally brewed beers from Talea; and twists on American classics like Au Poivre Sliders, Merguez Hot Dogs, and Japanese Fried Chicken. Also, if a staycation piques your interest, inquire after the Stay and Celebrate package, which includes a discounted stay at the hotel, plus complimentary breakfast and two tickets to the Fourth of July party.
Cost: Tickets from $250 per person

Classic Harbor Line - Pier 62
Photo courtesy of Classic Harbor Line

Board a vintage-inspired motor yacht or schooner from Classic Harbor Line for a classy evening spent sailing along both the East and Hudson Rivers with front-row seats to the fireworks. Prices start at $498 per person and include light bites plus an open bar (stocked with beer, wine, and champagne). Guests will board their chosen vessel from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers around 7 pm and can plan to step back on land around 10 pm. And there’s a semi-formal dress code, so leave the work-from-home sweatpants at home for America’s 246th birthday.
Cost: Tickets from $498

East 34th Street Heliport (TSS)
Photo courtesy of The Front Row 4th of July Fireworks Celebration

A dramatic backdrop for a dramatic show. Hosted at the East 34th Street Heliport, The Front Row 4th of July Fireworks Celebration includes unobstructed views of the Macy’s show; cash bars; tons of barbecue, burgers, and desserts for purchase; and games like Jenga, ping pong, and chess.
Cost:Tickets from $69, food and drink is not included with purchase

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

From 5 pm to 10 pm, the rooftop bar atop the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge will host a special party with stunning views of the fireworks show. Programming for the evening includes holiday cocktail specials and DJ sets by Junior Sanches, Alyx Ander, and Ria Bird. If you’d like to pop by earlier in the day to get a headstart on the Fourth of July celebrations, the rooftop bar opens bright and early at 11 am.
Cost: Tickets from $162

One World Observatory

Financial District

Spending your Fourth of July partying the night away at the tallest building in the US definitely seems like a solid plan. Taking place on the 100th floor of One World Observatory from 8 pm–11 pm, guests can take advantage of two cash bars while gazing out above the city. For a more bespoke experience, the resident restaurant of the building, ONE Dine, is offering a two-course prix fixe dinner designed specifically for the holiday that also comes with sublime firework viewing.
Cost:Tickets for the All-Inclusive 4th of July Special from $64, tickets for the 4th of July Dining Experience from $275

Panorama Room
Panorama Room | Photo by Noah Fecks

Panorama Room

Roosevelt Island

Perched atop the 18th floor of the Graduate Hotel, Panorama Room’s ticketed event includes stellar panoramic views of Manhattan, Queens, and the Queensborough Bridge, plus live DJ sets; hors d’oeuvres; and an open bar (which includes cocktails, champagne, beer, and wine). Take note: there will be no car access allowed onto the island, so public transportation via the tramway or subway will be the only options to and from the event.
Cost:Tickets from $216

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Photo courtesy of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Rising up into the NYC sky more than a 1,000 feet above Midtown, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s observation experience is fully prepped for plenty of holiday fun and social media flexing. In addition to free roaming throughout all three floors, there will be themed food and two complimentary cocktails like the Patriotic Punch (vodka, raspberry, lemon) and Stargarita (tequila, blue curacao, triple sec).
Cost:Tickets from $325

Riverpark | Photo by Giada Paoloni


Kips Bay

Elevate your firework viewing experience with a swanky terrace hang while overlooking the East River. Located on the end of East 29th Street, the July 4th Fireworks at Riverpark party has spectacular front-row views, plus added bonuses like an all-inclusive barbecue, burgers, and crawfish boil; an open bar (with beer, wine, and specialty sangria cocktails); and musical entertainment from DJs. Also, don’t miss the stacked dessert station, which will serve pies and ice cream from 9 pm–10 pm.
Cost:Tickets from $424

PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager hotel
Photo courtesy of The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel

Don your red, white, and blues for 360-degree fireworks views, special summer menu bites, sets by DJ Watson, and more at the PUBLIC Hotel’s rooftop party pad. With a choice between hanging inside on the dance floor or outside on the terrace, guests won’t have to scatter immediately after the show since The Roof remains open until 2 am this July Fourth.
Cost: Cover at the door from $30

Izzy Baskette is the New York City Staff Writer for Thrillist. Talk to her at izzy.baskette@voxmedia.com or find her on Instagram.
Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, New York. He is the Senior Editor of East, Local cities and oversees Thrillist New YorkThrillist BostonThrillist DC, and Thrillist Philadelphia.