What to Do on July 4 in NYC

From barbecues to concerts to rooftop parties, we break down events worth checking out

Still don't have plans for the Fourth of July? If you're sticking around the Big Apple this Thursday, you don't have to feel stuck. There are plenty of things to do, from barbecues to concerts to cultural events. Here are a few you may want to check out:
Independence Day Events
The Eventi Hotel will be hosting a hot dog eating contest with competitive eating powerhouse Takeru Kobayashi to celebrate the Fourth on their outdoor plaza. Starting at 12 p.m., the five-time Guinness World Record-holder will compete with six other professional eaters in an attempt to beat them and his record of 69 dogs in 10 minutes. The food and fun continues throughout the evening with the Hester Street Fair team, who will be hosting a July Fourth edition of their weekly alfresco food fest, Hester Nights. Come hungry. 851 Sixth Ave., at 30th Street. Admission is free. More info here
Tickets are still available to Circle Line's party on Pier 83 on the Hudson. Starting at 7 p.m. the pier will transform into a huge pre-fireworks fest with an all-American cookout and live music. Seating is first-come first-serve, but we can't imagine there's a bad seat in the house as it's the perfect viewing position to see the always-spectacular Macy's fireworks display. West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue. Tickets are $99-$104. More info here
Gather the family and head to Staten Island for the Independence Day Party at Historic Richmond Town. Take a step back in time with activities like churning old time ice cream, a pinwheel parade, and the chance to meet patriotic villagers from the 1800s and earlier. Bring your favorite homemade pie for a chance to win a special pie-baking contest that will have you competing against expert "colonial" cooks, or just kick back and enjoy the pie-baking demo. 441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island. Tickets: $5-8. More info here.  
If you're looking for something over-the-top, check out “The Liberty Belle Extravaganza: A Vintage 4th of July Rooftop Spectacular.” The annual party has expanded onto two rooftop locations on opposite sides of Manhattan for this year’s celebration. Let your freedom ring like never before with a variety of music, raucous patriotic revelry and vintage entertainment that includes more than 75 performers in the form of nine bands, burlesque, vaudeville acts and more! The Empire Hotel will be home to the “Uptown” party and the “Downtown” party will take over "The DL," a three-story lounge on the LES. Tickets: $35-40. More info here
The New-York Historical Society will be offering an assortment of family oriented activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can speak with Benjamin Franklin about his experiments with electricity and drafting the Declaration of Independence. From 12 to 4 p.m., get a taste of ice cream made on site using a historic ice cream crank and recipes from 18th and 19th century. There will also be a kid-friendly scavenger hunt and more! 170 Central Park West at 77th Street. Free with museum admission. More info here
Festive Feasts
Popular sandwich spot 'wichcraft will be hosting a “Fourth of July Bash” at its Chelsea Piers location from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission includes an open bar with beer and wine and a menu of sliders, lobster rolls, grilled corn salad, seasonal berry pie, and other signature 'wichcraft items. Guests will also have access to the Chelsea Piers grounds and viewing area for a breathtaking waterfront experience of the Macy’s fireworks.  Pier 62, at West 22nd Street and 12th Avenue. Tickets: $125, under 21: $55. More info here
The Iron Horse Bar & Restaurant in the Financial District will be hosting its annual “Fourth of July Pig Roast and Block Party” from 12 to 8 p.m. They will be serving up free burgers, hot dogs, roasted pig, and sides all day long. Picnic tables and games will be set up in the street out front for guests to enjoy. A portion of the proceeds from the cash bar will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that helps injured soldiers. 32 Cliff St. at Fulton Street. Free admission. More info here
On the East Side, Riverpark is throwing its first ever Fourth of July barbecue from 1 to 6 p.m. In honor of America's birthday, they will be preparing a variety of dishes like smoked wagyu brisket, whole roasted pig, fried chicken, corn on the cob, blueberry pie sundaes and more. An array of beers from local breweries will be on tap as well as red, white and blue sangria. The party includes live music all afternoon and fun for the whole family with games like bocce ball and ping pong on the restaurant's terrace. 450 E. 29th St., between First Avenue and the East River. Tickets: $95, under 21: $65. More info here.   
The Strand Smokehouse, Astoria's massive beer hall and barbecue joint, will be celebrating with the "Do It for America" party. Rock out to live music all day long beginning at 11 a.m. A full menu of their barbecue favorites like beef short rib, burnt ends, brisket, pork loin and salmon will be available as well as $2 hot dogs and $3 Narraganset beers. Find beers from 16 local breweries on tap and a selection of whiskeys. There's communal style seating, so it's perfect for large groups, and the restaurant boasts both a front yard AND backyard if you want to take things outdoors. 25-27 Broadway, Astoria, Queens. Free admission. More info here
Hotel Chantelle on the Lower East Side is opening early on the Fourth for a good old-fashioned barbecue on its roof. They'll be cooking up burgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken as well as offering their signature summer cocktails like the Pineapple Express, which has tequila infused with jalapenos and pineapples, and the Mint Blues, a rum, fresh mint and blueberry drink. DJs will be spinning until long after the sun goes down. You won't be able to see the Macy's fireworks, but there is a pretty nice view of the Williamsburg Bridge. 92 Ludlow St. between Delancey and Broome. No cover charge. More info here
The Fatty Cue Crew is throwing a “Pig Brew and Jam” at their Brooklyn location from 12 to 8 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of live music, unlimited access to a self-serve keg, "kitchen sink" punch, pulled pork sandwiches, brisket tacos, and a whole pig fresh from the smoker. A pickle back station will be set up for an addition $5. The bar room will be open as a cash bar for the day. 91 S. Sixth St., at Berry Street, Williamsburg. Tickets: $35. More info here.  
Sons of Essex on the Lower East Side is celebrating with a "Beer & Bacon Block Party” from 12 to 7 p.m.. Join the festivities by stuffing yourself with all you can eat porchetta-style roasted pig from Stony Brook Farms and Southern-inspired sides. Also include -- as many beers as you would like to wash it all down with. Brews on tap include selections from Empire Brewing Co., Fire Island Beer Co., Ithaca Beer Co., and Kagan Ales. Party is indoors. 133 Essex St. between Stanton and Rivington. Tickets: $48. More info: (212) 674-7100 / reservations@sonsofessex.com
If you’re looking for an “Endless Backyard BBQ,” then head to the Terrace at Yotel. The celebration will go from 6 to 9 p.m. and promises unlimited beer, wine and pitchers of red, white and blueberry sangria. The endless feast includes summertime favorites like fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, coleslaw, pies and s’mores lollipops.  570 Tenth Ave. at 42nd Street. Tickets: $78. More info here.
Rooftop Revelry
Take the Fourth to new heights atop the tallest building in SoHo. SOAKED at the Mondrian SoHo, the hotel’s chic 2,500 sq.-foot rooftop space, is throwing a "Red, White and Juice" bash from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. All partygoers can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views, an open bar with beer/wine and snacks like truffle popcorn during the fireworks. Afterwards guests are invited to join the after-party downstairs at Mister H, the hotel’s ground level club. 150 Lafayette St. at Grand Street. Tickets: $95+. More info here
La Piscine, the rooftop restaurant located on top of the Hotel Americano, will be making a splash with its “Independence Day Pool Party.” The Chelsea gem is hosting a star-spangled soiree from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes, lobster and branzino cooked on their open-air grill, signature cocktails and music by different DJs throughout the day. Get there early so you can score a table with an incredible view of the fireworks. 518 W. 27th St., between 10th and 11th avenues. Reservations suggested. More info here
STK Rooftop will be hosting an all-day party beginning at 1 p.m. that boasts an all-American menu prepared on the restaurant’s outdoor grill. Nosh on signature items like the STK Burger, mini lobster rolls, tuna taquitos and truffle mac and cheese bites. Cocktails all have a dose of summer flavor, with signature drinks including a Watermelon Cucumber Cloud. The rooftop offers extensive views of the High Line, Hudson River, and this year’s fireworks display. Various DJs will be spinning exclusive sets the entire afternoon and into the evening. 26 Little W. 12th at Washington. Free Admission. Reservations suggested: 646.624.2441. More info here
Gallow Green, the lush rooftop garden at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, will be throwing a fireworks viewing party complete with an all-you-can-eat gourmet barbecue. Quench your thirst on holiday-themed cocktails, and dance to live bands and festive rock music under the stars. As with all things at Gallow Green and Sleep No More, guests will be treated to more than a few unique surprises. 530 W. 27th St. between 10th & 11th avenues. Tickets: $75 includes food, drinks additional. More info here.  
One of New York's best kept secrets in midtown, Sky Terrace at Hudson Hotel, has views of the Hudson River that stretch all the way down to the Statue of Liberty. Tickets for their Fourth of July party start at $40 and include one-hour open bar from 6 to 7 p.m. The party will run from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with music by Rawse, J. Schott and Brandon James. 356 West 58th St. between Eighth and Ninth avenues. Tickets: $40+. More info here
Star-Spangled Sounds
"A Midsummer Night's Swing" will have you dancing under the fireworks in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. Get ready for a little East Coast vs. West Coast action with a Battle of the Bands. The theme of the evening is swing and the dancing lesson begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by a live performance and friendly competition when The George Gee Swing Orchestra takes on Mora’s Modern Rhythmists. Dress in your red, white and blue vintage finest for an intermission fashion contest. West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues. Tickets: $17.50. More info here
World-class DJs and EDM will be taking over Governors Beach Club for the Fourth. The 20,000 sq.-foot waterfront concert venue on Governors Island will celebrate all night by kicking off the first night of “RPM Presents Independence Day Weekend” with Dirty Dutch w/ DJ Chuckie, plus Gregori Klosman and a special guest. Doors open 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.. Governors Island. Tickets: $70+. More info here
The New York Philharmonic and the U.S. Coast Guard Band are teaming up for “A Star-Spangled Celebration” concert. Get your ticket to a performance of popular American classics by Sousa, Copland and Bernstein as part of the Summertime Classics Concert Series. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall. 10 Lincoln Center Plaza at 64th Street. Tickets: $45-55. More info here
Fourth of July... to Go!
Friedman's Lunch in Chelsea Market has created some special picnic baskets just in time for the Fourth. Make a stop on your way to the High Line and take your pick of burgers, fried chicken, a variety of sandwiches and fresh summery sides like watermelon and feta salad and homemade potato chips plus a drink. Your personal picnic will cost you $15 and it can be made gluten free for another $2.25. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave. More info here.  
Shake Shack is cooking up its famous Shack Corn Dog. The Vienna all-beef hot dog, dipped in Shack-made corn batter, cooked golden brown and served with Rick's Picks sweet corn relish, will cost you just $4.50. Sweeten things up with a Blueberry Pie Oh My concrete, which features their vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of seasonal blueberry pie from local bakeries. Various locations. More info here
West Village hot spot The Dutch is offering an "Eat in or Takeout" July Fourth Cookout from 12 to 9 p.m. For $40, guests can get their fill on all-American dishes like smoked brisket, suckling pig, ribs, watermelon, corn on the cob, a variety of pies, julep specials and more. 131 Sullivan St. More info here. 
Table Green & Table Green Cafe, two food kiosks located in the Bosque Gardens in Battery Park, are the perfect accompaniment to a trip to Liberty Island. Reopening on July Fourth for the first time since Hurricane Sandy, the Liberty Island ferry departs steps away from the Table Green kiosk, which serves BN Ranch hot dogs, pig-in-a-blanket-style, a variety of sandwiches, house-made infused lemonades, plus local beer on tap and wines by the glass. Battery Park. More info here
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