Light Up the Sky - 4th of July Celebration at NYC

Happy 4th of July, USA.

I know it's been quite some times from the celebration itself but I haven't shared our story about how we celebrated the Independence Day of the US, here in NYC :).



That's what we have in mind when it comes to the 4th of July celebration.
The blinding sights of bursting colors and shapes, coupled with thundering sounds, always captivate people's attention.
Well, it seems like enjoying fireworks during the 4th of July has been a long tradition here.
It's great indeed, because it's the official holiday where the UN is also observing and we can have a family picnic. So no complaint :).

Since 2014, the first year we lived in NYC, July is always in the middle of the holy month of Ramadhan. As much as we wanted to see the fireworks, long days of fasting and coming earlier to get the best spot is not the perfect combination. So by the time the 4th of July in 2017 is no longer celebrated during Ramadhan, we were thinking of getting to the best spot available. If we can.

As part of the annual celebration, Macy's 4th of July fireworks have been lit up and displayed on top of the East river for the last couple of years. 

We have several options for the designated areas for the fireworks.

Most of them are in Midtown Manhattan, particularly on the 42nd, 34th, 23rd and 16th and FDR. There are a few in Brooklyn as well. As for Queens, the Long Island City, particularly the Gantry Plaza State Park, was the designated spot. For sure people flock there and that's exactly where we're going :).

We know that we have to come early in order to get the good spot.
Judging from our previous years' experience, we really had to come early to ensure we have a great place to sit down and take pictures. Ton of pictures :).
So we have set our hearts on going at 2 PM and arriving on the spot at 3 PM at the most, before the police close the area. We have been reading and listening about all those street closure for that day.
And the fireworks started at 9.25 PM, so we had to wait for at least 6.5 hours.
Yes, 6.5 hours.
Under the sun.
Mind you :).
For sure it's no-pain-no-gain-game #whyamiboldingthis.

waiting for the bus :))

So we took the bus to go to Gantry Plaza. 

The 15 minutes ride by car became 1-hour trip by bus, due to the road closure.
Packed with 2 portable seats, our photo gears, food and drink, picnic mat and sunscreen, we went to Gantry Plaza. By the time we got there, it was not that packed yet but the prime spot for photos were almost gone. 


Good thing we got the spot at one of the piers, got the wristbands and we had to stay there from 6 PM until the fireworks started at 9.25 PM. 
we were standing right across the UN headquarters, with Empire State Building in the background. Happy!

the wristband :

We waited for 6.5 hours indeed.

I bought books, fidget spinners (yes, the kids made sure they put them in the bag), games, tablets and 3 power banks.
Just in case LOL.
But our friends joined us at around 4 PM so 6.5 hours passed just like that.

With Habib's family :))

And it was hot, hot, hot!

Fully packed!
And such a loooong line to the toilet.
Although the officers in charge said we cannot get out of the pier after 6 PM, but they did understand that the line at the toilet was super long so we sneaked out at 5.45 and came back at 6.15.
Still have around 3 hours to go. 

the view from my corner

As the time came, we spent beautiful 25 minutes full of fireworks.
Light up the sky for the 4th of July celebration at NYC.
And I have to say, after 6.5 hours waiting and have the experience on seeing wonderful fireworks in Geneva and Melbourne, Macy's fireworks are awesome!
They said it was the country's largest fireworks by the numbers, with 2,400 burst and effects!
They also have performances actually, but we can only watch it live on NBC.

the pictures are taken from

Here are some of the photos we took.
Some were taken by iPhone 7 plus, some with our Canon 5D, taken by me or my husband :)

Here's a little video of our adventure to see Macy's 4th of July celebration fireworks

So that's how they light up the sky for the 4th of July celebration at NYC.
How do you celebrate your 4th of July?
Hope you enjoy it!  


  1. Always love the fireworks! They are very entertaining

  2. Cantik banget kembang apinya. Anak2 pasti suka ngeliatnya. Di sana juga lagi musim fidget spinner ya? Lebaran beli 3, lumayan ya 😅

    1. iyaaa mbaaa...fidget spinners masih heboh di sini..satunya sekitar USD 7..anak2 udah koleksi hehehe

  3. Cantik2 bgt kmbang apinyaaa... Gilaaa 25 mins full mbaaa???.. Uwwoooo anakku bisa ga terpaku banget itu hahahaha... Slalu seneng baca cerita ttg perayaan 4 juli.. Nasabah2ku yg org amerika pernah cerita gmn meriahnya kalo sdg perayaan.. Dgr dr mereka aja udh bikin aku pgn ke sana lgs utk melihat :) .. Trs pernah baca di novelnya laura inggals, pas perayaan 4 juli thun dia hidup dulu.. Dengan kembang api, trs minuman dingin yg diambil dr barrel.. Hahahaha sampe keinget bgt ceritanya saking serunya..

  4. Truly spectacular! I think the 6.5 hour wait was worth it for those kinds of views!

  5. all that money burnt.... hahhahaha... But the sight is spectacular just by seeing them on this post... It must be fun to see them bursting in the sky together with family and friends ^_^

  6. Waduh kembang apinya bagus bagus banget yaaaa, keren mba
    mampir juga ke artikel baru saya ya : Kuliner di Bandung

  7. Keren kembang apinya.. boleh juga kali yahh setiap 17 agustusan di Indo ada kembang api juga hehehe...

  8. Independent day identik sama fireworks ya mbak

  9. bagusssssss... ihh.. bagus bagussss.. aku selalu suka liat fireworks.. meski suaranya menggelegar gede banget

  10. Those fireworks are awesome. It looks like they put on a really good show.

  11. I bet you saw a lot of pretty ones! It actually got too smoky for me just having surgery, so I stayed in, and watched from a window.

  12. Worth it, lah, Mbak. 6,5 jam yang tidak sia2 meski dipanggang oleh senagatan matahari. Kembang apinya besar dan ada landscape kotanya. Plus banget. Kalau di Bandung, yang terbesar kalau ulang tahun Pindad, itu pun tiap jam dan tidak sebagus di foto.


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