The big bangs! Where to watch the fireworks on July 4

The big bangs! Where to watch the fireworks on July 4
A hotly anticipated upscale eatery opened its doors without fanfare at a new Surf Avenue complex near the Cyclone rollercoaster, staff confirmed on Wednesday.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It will be a blast!

The skies of Brooklyn will be ablaze next week when the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks extravaganza explodes with patriotic pride over the East River. Thousands of shells will launch from the Brooklyn Bridge and from four barges parked in the river south of the span, while a “waterfall” of fireworks will cascade from the sides of the 136-year-old bridge.

Technically, any place with a clear view of the sky should be fine to see the fireworks — but with all the towers that have gone up in Downtown recently, a clear view has been harder to come by. So we have compiled a list of some of the best places to watch the action.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks (www.macys.com/social/fireworks). July 4 at 9:20 p.m. Free.

Park place

The best views in town are going to be from inside Brooklyn Bridge Park — all of the barges will anchor between Piers One and Five, so the green space will be in high demand, said the park’s president.

“Obviously the park is going to be a prime viewing location,” said Eric Landau. “There will be amazing views of the fireworks, and the other landmarks — the statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline.”

But he also noted that space in the park is not unlimited.

“Based on past experience, we had a lot more people trying to get into the park than we can handle,” he said. “We don’t have the capacity for hundreds of thousands of people.”

The ferry will stop running on the East River at 2 p.m., and access to the Park will be limited to four entry points, where police will check bags to ensure safety. When the park reaches capacity, the entry points will close — which is likely to happen by late afternoon.

Entry points will be located at:

New Dock Street and Water Street in Dumbo (at Empire Fulton Ferry Park)

Furman Street and Old Fulton Street in Dumbo (at Pier One)

Furman Street and Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights (at Pier Five)

Atlantic Avenue and Bridge Park Drive in Brooklyn Heights (at Pier Six).

The two smaller parks flanking the Manhattan Bridge (Main Street Park and John Street Park) will be closed, as will portions of Pier Five, which are covered in artificial turf not designed for standing crowds.

If you want to watch from the park, you need to plan ahead, and show up early.

Bag checks at each entrance will slow things down, so if you travel in a group, have one person carry the things you need, and they can catch up when the rest of you have staked out a spot.

Concessions in the park will close at 2 p.m., so bring the food and drinks you need to last until the fireworks start at 9:20 p.m. Coolers are strongly discouraged, and there is no alcohol allowed in the park, so try to be discreet.

Get more details at www.brooklynbridgepark.org.

Prominent citizens

The Brooklyn Promenade, which runs above the Park and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, will also have amazing views, and will have similar issues with crowding. Police will also check bags at the entrances to the Promenade, and you should show up hours early if you want to get a spot.

Cashing out

There are several restaurants and hotels along the water’s edge where you can get a seat for the fireworks — if you can afford it! Here are few options for you and Uncle Moneybags — but for the spots inside the Park, remember that you need to arrive before the park hits capacity, which means before 6 p.m.

Ship shape

The oyster bar Pilot is on board a ship floating off the edge of Pier Six, and it will have spectacular views and sky-high prices! The ship offers an open bar, unlimited oysters, lobster rolls, caviar, and more, but tickets start at $375 for a seat at the bar ($445.78 with tax and tip), and go up to $10,000 for a 12-person Captain’s table. Because it is inside Brooklyn Bridge Park, you should be sure to show up before the Park hits capacity — and you had better carry a copy of your ticket, which might help you get past security.

Pilot at Pier Six (enter at Atlantic Avenue and Bridge Park Drive in Brooklyn Heights, www.pilotbrooklyn.com). 6 p.m. $375–$450.

Pie in the sky

At the base of the Pier Six is the two-story Fornino Pizza, which will have its own party with fantastic views. You can indulge in an inclusive meal of anti-pasta, salad, pizza, chicken parm, and meatballs, and visit the cash bar. The party does not start until 7 p.m., but you should probably show up by 5 p.m. to make sure.

Fornino on Pier Six (enter at Atlantic Avenue and Bridge Park Drive in Brooklyn Heights, www.fornino.com) 7–10:30 p.m. $250.


At the base of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier One, 1 Hotel has three different spots where you can watch the action.

The rooftop will host Harriet’s Rooftop Viewing Party which is likely to have the best views. General admission include an open bar and food for $250, but if you actually want to sit down, it will cost $1,000 for a table for two people, though it does include “premium bottle service” and canapes.

One floor down, in the enclosed Harriet’s Lounge, a $150 general admission ticket also includes an open bar, along with access to the roof, and a table reservation will still run $1,000 for two.

And on the ground floor, the Osprey restaurant will offer an al fresco prix-fixe meal and open bar, with reservations starting at $800 for a table for two.

1 Hotel (60 Furman St. at Doughty Street in Dumbo, (347) 696–2505, www.1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge). Rooftop and Lounge, 4 p.m.–midnight. The Osprey; 5 p.m.–midnight.

Imperial options

The Empire Stores complex on Water Street in Dumbo has several restaurants that will host Independence Day parties.

On the ground floor are two restaurants with patios: Sugarcane and Cecconi’s. Both spots will hold parties that night with open bars, food included, and dancing, though Cecconi’s also adds a live band.

The rooftop also has a tiny outdoor patio for the new Time Out Market, and a large inside area with floor-to-ceiling windows. Admission will cost you $200, and that includes $100 credit to spend at the bar or the fifth-floor food vendors.

Empire Stores (55 Water St. between Main and Old Dock streets in Dumbo, www.empirestoresdumbo.com). Cecconi’s, 7:30–11 p.m., $200; Sugarcane, 7–11 p.m., $175 (kids $95); Time Out Market, 6–10 p.m., $200.

The Hook up

Red Hook should have decent view of the sky, but there are very few spots along its industrial waterfront where you can settle down.

Try the Valentino Pier (Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke Streets in Red Hook). Free.

Rooftop rave

The many hotel rooftops that have cropped up in Williamsburg will have their own parties, although the fireworks will be far away. The Babel Indepen-Dance party at the William Vale will have the focus on dancing, but its height — on the 22nd floor Westlight restaurant and the 23rd floor Turf Club — probably gives you the best chance of spotting the bombs bursting in air.

Fourth of July at the Westlight [111 N. 12th St. at Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 307–7100, www.westlightnyc.com/events]. 5 p.m.–midnight. $95–$125.

Coney calling

There is another fireworks display on the other side of the Brooklyn! The People’s Playground will launch its own pyrotechnic pageant at 9:50 p.m. on Independence Day, which you can view from anywhere along the Boardwalk, or from the rooftop bars of Tom’s Diner (Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue) or Kitchen 21 (Boardwalk at W. 21st. Street). The Alliance for Coney Island has honed its expertise by firing off rockets every Friday night during the summer, from June 21 to Aug. 25, but the Fourth of July display will be especially dramatic!

Steeplechase Spectacular Fireworks Show on the Boadwalk (between W. 10th and W. 21st streets in Coney Island, www.coneyislandfunguide.com). Free.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Blast-off: Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show will launch from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges nearby for the first time since 2014.
Julienne Schaer