Plan Your July 4th Around These Explosive Events in the City and Long Island:
This year’s Independence Day falls on Tuesday, July 4th. Read on for more information about the festivities occurring around New York, and how you can celebrate with your family.
Coney Island is a renowned New York landmark, home to Luna Park, the Boardwalk, and on the 4th of July, Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. The original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand was founded in 1916, and folklore states that four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest at the stand to settle a dispute about who was the most patriotic. Last year’s repeat champion was Joey Chestnut and Miko Sudo.
After the hot dog contest has concluded, stay and tour Luna Park in Coney Island. Attractions at the park include the 90-year-old Coney Island Cyclone, the Thunderbolt, the Sling Shot, and games such as Fried Frogs, Bazooka Blast, and Luna Arcade. At the end of the night, take advantage of the view and watch the fireworks.
Celebrate Independence Day with the Staten Island Philharmonic and an after-show performance of citywide fireworks. The show is from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Alice Austen House is located at 2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York.
The block party at Fantasy Forest in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a unique mix of fun for adults and children. It features live DJ music, dance contests, games, and a magic show. The entertainment is from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
The 25-minute display features more than 60,000 effects coming to life over the East River, much to the delight of the more than 3-million spectators along the shorelines, waterways, streets, rooftops, and those watching at home. NBC’s two-hour national broadcast kicks off at 8:00pm, and will feature performances from popular entertainment. The fireworks are set to start at precisely 9:25pm.
This day-long celebration offers a multitude of educational and fun-filled programs for the whole family to enjoy. One of these activities is the Declaration of Independence Signing at the Lefferts Historic House, and the Bird Nerds Game Hour, where children can test their knowledge of birds during this competitive hour.
For families that are celebrating the holiday outside of the city, Jones Beach State Park is hosting its fireworks show at 9:30pm. Families should avoid the rush and arrive early at the Field 4 beachfront to grab a good view. An additional fireworks display takes place at Umbrella Beach in Montauk, New York.
Chabad of the Hamptons is hosting a carnival the morning of July 4th. During this two-hour program from 10:30am to 12:30pm, families should make their way to East Hampton for inflatables, face painting, and treats such as cotton candy and popcorn. Chabad of the Hamptons is located at 17 Woods Lane, East Hampton.
July 1st to 6th
Hester Street is located on the Lower East Side, and is known for its variety of events and activities. In addition to the Total Independence Street Fair featuring food vendors, BBQ, and live music, there is also Modern Dance, Friday Picnics, and its second annual “Test Kitchen.”
“Magic at Coney!!!” is an interactive variety show held at the Coney Island Museum, located at 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. The program features a multitude of magicians, including illusionists, escape artists, mentalists, and close-up tricks. It is hosted by Gary Dreifus, an award-winning magician himself.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been adapted from the well-renowned book by C.S. Lewis, and is considered to be “one of the best pieces of family theatre I’ve seen,” wrote Broadway World Jr. The show is open to children of all ages, and is now playing at St. Luke’s Theatre, located at 308 W. 46th Street, New York, NY.
The Alley Pond Adventure Course offers free programs to the public on Sundays this summer, but pre-registration is required to participate. Games included are rope walking, platform jumping, rock climbing, zip lining, and other courses. Located twenty miles outside the city, it is a welcome weekend retreat for the family.
Hudson River Park presents Big City Fishing, which takes place on Sundays at Pier 25 in Tribeca. During the four-hour program, adults and children ages 5-years-old and up can learn how to fish while learning more about river science. Supplies are provided by the park.
Art in the Park is held every Tuesday from 10am to 12pm in Madison Square Park. During the program, children can discover different forms of poetry, read alongside children’s poet and author Charles Waters, and create their own autobiography poetry book.
Cirque du Soleil: OVO is playing at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for a limited time. The production is insect-based, and acrobatic performers play the parts of ants, fleas, spiders, and more. It is in town from Thursday, July 5th through Monday, July 9th.
As part of a partnership with Eataly and Shake Shack, the Business Improvement District has organized a game station that is open to the public at the Flatiron North Public Plaza. Games will be available beginning at 11am, and include cornhole sets, oversized games, and various board games. The Business Improvement District also offers Tech Tuesdays and Wellness Wednesdays.
During this three-day art camp, children can learn how to draw, paint, sculpt and create with the assistance of trained art professionals. This summer’s program takes place on Wednesday, July 5th, through Friday, July 7th. Mini Monet Art Studio is located at 64 Railroad Avenue in Sayville, New York.
Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, New York, hosts a weekly sand castle contest on each Thursday of the month. It is open to all ages, and prizes are awarded in several categories.
July 7th to July 13th
This July, visit the American Museum of Natural History on Fridays to take part in evening bat walks in Central Park. Interested participants should meet at the Museum entrance on 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Space is limited and children and adults should register in advance.
The Long Beach boardwalk is between Long Beach Road and Edward Boulevard. There, families have their choice of purchasing everything from t-shirts to jewelry. There will also be a number of participating food vendors at the venue. Families should stay for the concert and the fireworks show at sundown! Additional festival dates include Saturday, July 8th and Sunday, July 9th.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, presents the Music of Elvis Presley on Sunday, July 9th at noon. The program is an hour-long introduction to his music, and while it is designed for children under the age of seven, all members of the family are welcome.
On Sunday, July 9th, bring the family to the plaza at 28 Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan for an afternoon of math. Programming includes hands-on math exhibits, entertaining mathematical games, as well as puzzles and brainteasers. Other fascinating programs taking place at the National Museum of Mathematics in July include Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom and Tween Primes, the Man Who Counted.
The instructors of Allergic to Salad offer local, seasonal, and vegetarian recipes, and on Saturday, July 8th and 15th, they will be offering a Family Cooking Class at the Queens Botanical Gardens. The program will introduce children to all aspects of cooking, and participants will enjoy a tasty treat at the end of each session. The Garden is located at 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, New York.
This week’s program is the Summer Jam Laser Spectacular, an interactive class featuring pop/rock music from the past several decades, and will take place on Wednesday, July 12th. There will also be a one-of-a-kind dance demonstration. Additional events at the Morris Museum include Bubble Trouble and Wildlife Wendy and her Tropical Birds. The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Rd. in Morristown, New Jersey.
Family-friendly activities and programs take place on Wednesdays in July and August at the Cape May Lighthouse, located at Cape May Point, New Jersey. Performers, entertainment, and unique crafts vendors will be holding court at the base of the lighthouse. Other interactive programs include The Keeper’s on Duty, which discusses what it takes to be a Lighthouse Keeper.
July 14th to July 20th
The Tenafly Nature Center is offering a two to three-hour round-trip sail on Friday, July 14th. It is geared toward children aged 5 to 12-years-old and their parents, and researchers will introduce them to Hudson River fish, crabs and other creatures. The Nature Center is located at 313 Hudson Avenue, Tenafly, New Jersey.
The Long Island Children’s Museum is hosting a cooking session for kids ages 3 to 5-years-old on Friday, July 14th. Toddlers, with some assistance from adults, will make kid-friendly snacks from beginning to end. Additional events at the Long Island Children’s Museum include Messy Afternoons. The museum is located at 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, New York.
This year’s City of Water Day takes place on Saturday, July 15th, from 10am to 4pm on Governor’s Island as well as various locations in New York and around the harbor. Highlights of the family-friendly festival include rowing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and the anticipated Con Edison Cardboard Kayak Race.
A recurring event on Saturdays at the Transit Museum is the Subway Olympics. This family program is a good way to engage your child in silly, competitive feats that allow him or her to demonstrate their knowledge of the subway system. The Transit Museum is located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn.
This hour-long class at the Mount Vernon Library combines yoga, music, and games to help children build focus, strength, and their confidence. Toddlers can practice and develop relaxation skills through various breathing exercises. The Mount Vernon Public Library is located at 28 South 1st Avenue, Mount Vernon, New York.
Drip Painting at Jackson Pollock’s House is considered to be one of Long Island’s top ten family-friendly activities. During the 90-minute class, individuals can take a private tour of the home and studio of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and then make their own Pollock styled versions on the grounds. The program occurs every Saturday in July and August at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, located at 830 Springs Fireplace Rd., East Hampton, New York.
This summer, visit the Whaling Museum and Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor for the chance to learn more about the wonders of the sea. On Sunday, July 16th, children discover what it means to be a whaler, see artifacts up close, and make a scrimshaw-design box to take home. Other programs at the Whaling Museum and Education Center include Sailor Boot Camp, Mermaid Tea Party, and Sailin’ Saturdays. The Whaling Museum and Education Center is located at 279 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Theatreworks USA is putting on a production of Pete the Cat, based on the bestselling children’s books. All performances will be held at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, located in Greenwich Village, and the play is geared toward ages 5 to 9 years old.
July 21st to July 27th:
On Friday, July 21st, visit the Little Green Tambourine in Canton, Connecticut for a morning of open play. During the 90-minute session, children and caregivers can engage in playtime with toys, music, and bubbles in the garden. To close out the morning, participants will get to decorate s’mores cupcakes with marshmallow frosting and a crumbled graham cracker topping.
It’s never too early to introduce your children to The Muppet Show. On Saturday, July 22nd, the Museum of the Moving Image is opening a permanent exhibition dedicated to exploring Jim Henson’s work for film and television. Among the nearly 300 objects on display in the exhibition are 47 puppets, including fan favorites Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, and Elmo. The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Avenue, Queens, New York.
The 6th Annual Vanderbilt Clam Bake takes place on Saturday, July 22nd, from 6pm to 10pm. The event offers a seafood-lovers menu, and the chance to take part in a chip-shot contest in honor of Willie Vanderbilt’s original estate golf course. The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium is located at 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, New York.
From Thursday, July 27th through Sunday, July 30th, the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row is putting on a production of the bestselling book, Peace, Love, and Cupcakes. Topics of bullying, cliques, and mean girls are prevalent in today’s day and age, and the show drives home a message of how empathy, love, and young people can change the world. The theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street, New York, New York.
An exquisite section of Fire Island is the Sunken Forest. During these weekly tours, families can learn more about the background behind this unusual forest, including about the specialized plants and animals of this ecosystem, and how human interaction has affected this area. Sailors Haven is located at 41 River Road, Sayville, New York.
July 28th to July 31st:
The 6th Annual Firefly Festival takes place on Friday, July 28th from 7:30pm until 9:00pm. Families can bring a chair and blanket to learn more about fireflies. The Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is located at 11 Reservation Road, Cross River, New York.
On Sunday, July 30th, visit the New York Transit Museum for a fun trek out to Coney Island. This all-day affair features the Museum’s vintage Train of Many Metals for its first ride on the Second Avenue Line, rides at Luna Park, and individuals can grab one of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs on the Boardwalk. The Transit Museum can be found in a decommissioned subway station at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
This five-day camp runs from Monday, July 31st through Friday, August 4th at Darlings & Divas. As part of the session, participants will be transformed into a mermaid, complete with face paint and make-up. The children will also construct their own treasure box, sing to songs of the sea, and enjoy mermaid themed desserts. Darlings & Divas is located at 65 Merrick Road, Amityville, New York.
On Monday, July 31st, visit the Caldwell Public Library for a chance to celebrate the Boy Who Lived with treats and others that are up to no good. The library is located at 268 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, New Jersey.
From Monday, July 31st through Friday, August 4th, the Acorn Theatre on Theatre Row is putting on a production of Backbeard, the hairiest pirate who ever lived, and his quest to find out the answer to the question, “how should a pirate look?” This family comedy is a story of courage, acceptance, and standing up for who you are. The theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street, New York, New York.
Child Care Professionals Who Know NYC:
At the Nanny Authority, our nannies are knowledgeable in age-appropriate seasonal activities and programs, so parents can feel at ease knowing that their children maintain a cultural, educational lifestyle when they aren’t around. To learn more about how we can assist you in your search for a professional nanny, contact us via e-mail or at 973-466-2669 today!