What is the biggest holiday in the US? Christmas? Perhaps. New Year's Eve? Possibly. What about the 4th of July? Definitely! Celebrating America's independence, the 4th of July is among the most revered holidays in the US
. The whole country celebrates it, even the ever-so-busy New York City. In the Big Apple, people celebrate the holiday by seeing the Statue of Liberty, going on a cruise, entering a hotdog eating contest, and having fun at Coney Island. Since there's a lot to do in the city in general, it's only natural that there are many ways to commemorate the 4th of July here too!
See The Statue of Liberty
Yes, it's a bit cliché to see the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It's the ultimate tourist activity to do in the Big Apple, especially for first-timers in the city. For those who have moved to New York City
or have been here a few times, probably not. But you know what? There's no better time to go there than the 4th of July! As the literal “figure” of liberty in the country, the statue embodies what the holiday is all about. Not to mention the US as a whole too. Though it doesn't have anything to do with American independence, the Statue of Liberty still stands as a reminder of the country's greatness.
Visit Ellis Island
Although immigration is a hot topic right now, it pays to visit Ellis Island on the 4th of July. It seems that many have forgotten that the US is a country of immigrants. From the British and the Polish to Italians and the Irish, people from various parts of the world came to this country to start a new life. It's their liberation that American liberty was built upon. And their first foray into the new world was at Ellis Island. It was here that people entered the country filled with hopes and dreams.
Go on A Cruise
Since you already took a ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, why not go on a cruise altogether? The 4th of July is a public holiday, after all. It's the perfect excuse to go on a cruise. As you sail on the Hudson River and bask in the metropolitan glory of New York City, you'll better appreciate your time there. And of course, you get to relax, eat good food, and just take a break from it all. New York is known for its hustle and bustle. Sometimes, you just need an escape to stay sane!
Enter A Hotdog Eating Contest
Everyone knows that the hotdog is a classic New York snack
, right? Ergo, it's also an American cuisine staple, perfect for the 4th of July. So why not have your fill of it while you're in New York City? You can even join a hotdog eating contest here too! Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is held every 4th of July. It's among the city's main events on the holiday, not to mention one of its old traditions too. The contest is over a century old now and remains one of the most highly anticipated local contests in New York City.
Travel Back in Time in Historic Richmond Town
Now, let's go to the actual root of the 4th of July: the American Revolution. You've heard about re-enactments of the revolutionary war, right? Well, you get to witness one firsthand if you go to Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island during the holiday. Not only do they act out the key moments in American History, but you can also make your own US flag and pinwheel and join their Pinwheel Parade. It's a highly education and family-friendly activity that everyone can take part in every 4th of July.
Read About American History at The New York Public Library
Want to learn more about American history in celebration of the 4th of July? There's always the New York Public Library! Although it's become a popular tourist attraction thanks to its grand architecture and ornate interior, it still serves as a public library. Whether you're a local or a tourist, you can still read all sorts of books here, not the least of which is history textbooks that chronicle the American Revolution. You can also more about the country and its other impactful moments in various references that you'll find here. This is a unique and more peaceful way to celebrate the holiday if you're not into partying, playing games, and the like.
Have Fun at Coney Island
Let's go back to Staten Island for this next one. After all, it is one of the more historic neighborhoods in New York City
. Particularly, its famous amusement park. Though it's far from the most popular theme park in the world, let alone the country, it is pretty historic. Having opened in 1895, it's actually the very first amusement park in the US. The fact that it's still open today is already pretty spectacular. And here, you can have some holiday fun while reveling in a small but fascinating part of American history.
Attend A Pool Party
From Somewhere Nowhere
on 112 W 25th St. to The Summer Club
in Long Island, you'd be surprised at how many pool parties New York actually hosts on the 4th of July. It does make sense though. Not only is the 4th of July a public holiday, but it's also around the peak of summer in the city. While the Big Apple remains lively during the holiday, tons of locals and tourists alike are flocking to the nearest beaches, riverside piers, waterparks, and more. Still, the 4th of July calls for a party! And what better way to celebrate the holiday and escape the summer heat than with a pool party?
Watch the Fireworks
Finally, there's no better way to end the 4th of July than to watch a fireworks display! It's the biggest holiday tradition, one that every American looks forward to all over the country. And here in New York City, there are tons of great spots to watch Macy's Annual 4th of July Fireworks display. Arguably the best one is on the East 34th Street Heliport. From here, there are barely any skyscrapers to block your view. The popular Riverpark restaurant on E 29th St. is also a great option. Their rooftop area gives you a front-row seat to all the bangs and sparkles!
You'd be surprised at how much fun you can have celebrating the 4th of July in New York City! From a hotdog eating contest to seeing the Statue of Liberty, there are many things in the Big Apple that you can do to celebrate this special holiday.