photo by Symic

We’ve gathered the best of the best family activities to help you plan a fun-filled July 4th holiday. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fitness run, a pancake breakfast, a carnival or a nostalgic parade. And, of course, fireworks!

Unless otherwise stated, all activities are held Wednesday, July 4th.

San Francisco Bay Area

  • Marin County Fair (June 30-July 4): Classic fair activities, carnival rides, farm events, Chinese acrobats, and fireworks every night of the fair.
  • Berkeley Marina 4th of July: Food, live music and lots of activities for kids, including Adventure Playground, face painting, a giant slide and fireworks. 12 pm – 10 pm.
  • Orinda 4th of July Parade & Events: Events for every age group starting with the annual Pancake Breakfast, flag raising ceremony, fun run, parade, live music, food, games and booths in the park.
  • Jack London Square’s July 4th Family Fun Festival: Festival includes many activities for the whole family, including a giant slide, bounce houses, hands-on arts and crafts, magicians, hula hoops, a petting zoo, jugglers, food and shopping. 11 am – 4 pm.

NYC and Surrounding Area

  • Declare Independence in Prospect Park: Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House? at the Imagination Playground are offering special events for the holiday. Kids can sign their own replica of the Declaration of Independence.


  • Family Fun Festival in Millennium Park (July 2 – September 2): The Family Fun Tent offers family performances and hands-on activities from 10 am – 3 pm. Free!
  • Navy Pier Fireworks: Spectacular fireworks perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. Fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with a special July 4th show at 9 pm. View from the dock or onboard an evening cruise.
  • Independence Day Play at Pump It Up: $10/child provides for four hours of climate controlled inflatable fun! Includes a complimentary popsicle for each child. Reserve tickets online in advance.
  • Chicago History Museum 53rd Annual Fourth of 4th of July Celebration: Highlights include patriotic musical performances, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a children’s costume parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam. Free admission to the outdoor event on Uihlein Plaza; free Museum admission for Illinois residents all day. 10 am–12 pm.

Los Angeles

  • Marina Del Rey Fireworks: Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village are ideal spots for watching the firework’s display, shot from a barge across from the Marina’s main channel.

After the festivities are over, wind down with a night off from the kids with the help of UrbanSitter, where you can book babysitters online instantly.

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