Summer’s now in full swing, and at Operation Warm, we’ve kicked off an action-packed shoe-giving season. We’ll be delivering our brand-new athletic shoes to kids in communities across the nation. Of course, we’ll also make time to commemorate the Fourth of July, and we hope you will, too. In the spirit of Independence Day, we’ve rounded up some kid-friendly activities and events in major cities throughout the U.S. So, break out the sparklers and find a celebration near you!
Operation Warm’s headquarters isn’t far from Philly, so we’re starting with the excitement here:
- Wawa Welcome America Festival—Concerts, a parade, and other festivities lead up to a fireworks grand finale on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Free admission to many local museums rounds out the celebration.
- Philly Balloon & Music Festival—Take to the skies this Fourth of July weekend (or watch from the ground) as hot air balloons ascend over the city. Plus, enjoy bounce houses and other kid-friendly activities.
- Upper Merion July 4th Celebration—A carnival, concert, and food trucks offer something for everyone. After dark, fireworks will light up the sky over Heuser Park.
New York City
- Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks—Find your spot along the East River to enjoy this annual tradition, which kicks off with a star-studded musical lineup.
- South Street Seaport Freedom Fest—Head to Pier 15 for family-friendly activities, great views of the city, and a perfect vantage point to catch the Macy’s fireworks.
- Boston Harborfest—This citywide celebration hosts millions of locals and visitors every year. Enjoy educational activities on the Historic Freedom Trail, catch a patriotic concert, and don’t miss the flag-raising ceremony on City Hall Plaza.
- Independence Day Salute—Gather in Grant Park for a free patriotic concert that’s suitable for the whole family.
- Navy Pier Fireworks—You can head directly to the pier for this dazzling display, but the fireworks are also visible from spots throughout the city—from rooftop patios to Chicago’s beaches.
- Celebrations Around the City—Chicago and its suburbs are home to tons of opportunities to take in a parade or fireworks display this July 4th weekend.
- L.A. 4th of July Block Party—This annual event covers six city blocks and features music, dancing, and Downtown L.A.’s biggest fireworks show.
- AmericaFest—Head to the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena for a motocross show, musical performances, and a fireworks display.
- Independence Day at City Centre—Dance to live music capped off with a fireworks spectacular. Local restaurants offer takeaway dining options for the whole family.
- Freedom Over Texas—Enjoy six hours of live entertainment ending with a fireworks display. In addition, the NASA Johnson Space Center offers programming to celebrate its 60th anniversary—including astronaut meet-and-greets, virtual reality field trips to the International Space Station, and more.
Don’t live near a large-scale celebration, looking for sensory friendly activities, or just want to skip the crowds this year? Enjoy these alternatives:
- Make fireworks in a jar. Oil + water + color = a fun science experiment for young kids.
- Whip up a red, white, and blue milkshake. It’s an easy and delicious way to observe Independence Day.
- Read a book. Stories help kids learn about American history from diverse perspectives. Here’s a list of great options for elementary readers.
- Create kid-safe sparklers. These are fun and easy to make with just a few basic craft supplies.