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
- Fourth of July Celebration at Pier 39: Live music from 2 pm – 11 pm. Fireworks at 10 pm.
- 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.
- Alameda 4th of July Parade and Jumpin’ & Jivin’ Jubilee: Parade starts at 10 am followed by old-fashioned family fun from 12 pm – 4 pm in Rittler Park. Includes music, games, jump house, tattoos and food.
- 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
- The 36th Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks: Everyone’s favorite for a classic July 4th celebration is back, this time with its own app:
- Fourth of July Cruises: Watch the Macy’s Fireworks from the Hudson River.
- Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island: Enjoy Coney Island and watch 20 adults vie for this year’s championship hot dog eating contest. 12 pm at the Surfside Avenue flagship Nathan’s.
- 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.
- Rose Bowl Americafest – Family Fun on the 4th: Celebrate America with music, food and fireworks.
- 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.
- Santa Monica 6th Annual 4th of July Parade: This year’s parade honors science and technology with a “weird science” theme. Starts on Main Street at 9:30 am.