With last weekend being probably the best Gay Pride Parade of all time, the upcoming celebration of our nation’s birthday has some stiff competition for most festive weekend of the summer. But then again, the Fourth has a rather explosive feature at its disposal: fireworks, and lots of them! And for the second consecutive year, the Brooklyn Bridge will serve as a backdrop to the more than 50,000 pyrotechnic shells set to be launched from fives barges along the East River, illuminating the skies overhead.
And while, sure, we would all love to venture to the Brooklyn Bridge with our lawn chairs, binoculars, and blankets in tow, that really isn’t an option. At least not unless you’re a total masochist, because with the bridge and much of the waterfront being on total lockdown, treading through the swarms of anxious spectators this Fourth of July weekend would be foolish without some kind of a game plan.
So whether you’re willing to throw down a chunk of change or all about that free-ninety-nine life, make sure you read on so you can know all about the best spots around Brooklyn to view the fireworks.
Home to the highest point in the city, one that looks out onto the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, Sunset Park provides the best vantage point for firework spectators. Though it won’t be quite as hectic as the promenade, we can’t promise that you’ll nab a spot here. But, hey, here’s to wishful thinking.
Valentino Pier, at Coffey & Ferris streets
You won’t be confronted with hordes of people like you would at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, but you can still expect pyrotechnic fun at the pier. Of course it will be a less in-your-face fireworks display with the show being relocated back to the East River, but that’s ok because you’ll also be avoiding the craziest of the crowds. Plus, you’ll be near great bars like Sunny’s and the Brooklyn Ice House for post-fireworks drinks.
Berry Park: 4 Berry Street, Williamsburg
Berry Park’s roof deck will be opened for your fireworks-viewing pleasure on a first-come, first-served basis. There’s no cover charge, which leaves you more money to spend on beer and beer-friendly foods and barbecue.
Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar: 12 Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights
If you don’t mind cracking open your piggy bank this weekend, then Brooklyn Bridge Garden Bar is your spot for the action. Yes you’ll be coughing up $175, but that fee includes access to an all-you-can-eat buffet, three beverages of your choice, and a stunning view of the fireworks. It’s basically a one-stop shop for all your Fourth of July desires.
Grand Ferry Park: Grand Street at River Street, Williamsburg
Yes, the return of the fireworks back in their rightful spot over the East River might not benefit most of Brooklyn (or even the city), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rejoice by lounging in this serene and intimate spot on the waterfront. Plus, anything’s better than letting New Jersey get better views of the pyrotechnics than us.
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade: Montague Street & Pierrepont Place
If you can overlook the fact that it will feel about as crowded as your morning commute on the C train, then take your chances at the promenade. Along with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the place is going to be crowded with spectators gawking at the sky. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sure the bridge would have been the optimal spot for the blue, red and white bombs bursting overhead, but the Brooklyn Bridge Park is definitely a worthy runner-up. With picturesque views, the park is basically the prime spot to sprawl out on the lawn if you’re planning to start the festivities mid-afternoon. Although, frankly, you really might want to head over closer to the time of the, uh, dawn’s early light.
Rooftops Near the Brooklyn Waterfront
Pull out your blankets and portable recliners, and look no further than your own, or a friend’s rooftop—that is, if you live in DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights or near the Brooklyn Bridge. Skip the chaos on the ground and the commute by taking advantage of that roof deck that you or your friend probably paid an arm and a leg to get.
Contrary to popular belief, the Macy’s 4th of July show won’t be the only fireworks decorating the night sky; you can also watch bombs burst over Coney Island! Who needs the East River anyway? Not us. Plus, Coney’s fireworks provide an atmosphere that is both more festive and less cramped than what you’ll find crowded along the Brooklyn Heights promenade.