Taking the family to NYC the week of the Fourth. I just read that the Macy’s fireworks show is being held on the East River this year (apparently it alternates between there and the Hudson).
Anyone have tips for the best place to view the show with 2 younger (5, 6) children? Are there restaurants in the area that I can try to get reservation and watch from there? Standing outside with 5 million other people sounds like a logistical cluster if you ask me.
It’s been on the East River the last few years but where on the East River can change. I don’t think they’ve announced the location of the barges yet. If it is the same as last year then the FDR at 42nd, 34th, or 23rd are probably the best. Or you can spend some bucks and go to Riverpark and enjoy food and drink while you watch the show.
My suggestion is to book an AirBnB stay in an east-facing, high-rise apartment around Midtown East, the East Village, or Lower East Side.
The city will be packed, because the holiday this year is midweek.
We usually have a few friends over, for a light dinner, old American wine, and a full view.
Any public spaces will be a cluster, as you wrote. That includes the FDR drive, which is closed off to cars but is standing room only for pedestrians along the East River. I thought that the Long Island City side of the East River would allow for more elbow room and smaller crowds, but that was wrong. It’s just as packed on that side of the river. In fact, after the fireworks one year, I thought there might be a stampede leaving the park on the LIC side and we decided to just sit and wait for an hour and then attempt to leave. Not the sort of crowd to which I would subject kids.
You might check out some of the newer hotels on the Long Island City side or Williamsburg. The William Vale has an excellent roof deck that should allow for a great view. In return for the access and the views, I would expect there to be cost. Beware also that in the summer, even on non-holiday weekends, the line to get into the William Vale to get to the upstairs area, wraps down the block. Not sure whether you can avoid that line by booking a table ahead of time.
Another way to watch fireworks is to ride the J, M, or Z train back and forth, over the Manhattan Bridge, between the Essex Street (Manhattan side) and Marcy Avenue (Brooklyn side) stations.
The one-time, upfront cost is just $2.75 per adult, free for children.
Do they keep the Brooklyn Bridge walkway open during these
Wall-to-wall bodies, several hours before the fireworks…sans bathrooms. Some people are known to wear diapers, for their own personal rocket launchers.
Lots of towns in nj have fireworks…I think Jersey City does a big thing at liberty State Park? Many are visible from NYC.
It used to be at Liberty State Park but is now at Exchange Place:
They would be easily visible from many downtown Manhattan areas, especially Battery Park City.
Another alternative is to ride the Staten Island Ferry, back and forth, during the fireworks. Best yet, it is free.
Otherwise, go to Roosevelt Island for dinner, and then watch the fireworks. The island sits between Queens and Manhattan, just north of the fireworks.
My suggestion based on the barge placements is that you check out some option in Long Island City. There are several new, nice but small hotels that have popped up around the Queens Plaza area that have rooftop bars which could suit your needs.
Roosevelt Island is a good idea, but please do yourself a favor and eat near the tram before you head over!
As Paul has said, it really is NYE in July, unless you can find someone with a private deck or patio facing the fireworks on the east side, you will be crammed somewhere with the masses. It’s unavoidable.
Current NYC forecast for that day is clear and warm.
The barges will be between 23rd St and 42nd St this year. As others have mentioned, to be on the FDR is to have the best view. Last time I did that we arrived 4 odd hours ahead of the start (did not wear diapers… just didn’t drink much prior) Back 15 years ago I did watch it from the LIC side and we cycled there and back and had space for a picnic. Apparently the ease of that has changed. Unless you pay the premium for restaurant/other space your best plan may be to watch from a short distance on the Upper East Side river promenade
Or if Victor invites them over to his place.
Thanks for all the advice here. We are still trying to decide if it’s worth fighting the crowds or just watching it with friends/family on their couch (on tv)
Go see it… just not from the middle of the madness. If you are in the 50’s it won’t be as crazy. When it is in the Hudson I walk out my door and go a few hundred feet and get a good show even though it is further downtown. That said, the one time I was on the FDR at 34th it was indeed a long ordeal, we brought books to read for 4 hours… but being underneath the center of the show was particularly spectacular.