So maybe you don’t like sitting on the grass and waiting for fireworks to start. But who says you have to be a social pariah during the holiday? Try these events—no explosions necessary.
1. Party in the ParkParty in the Park is like Friday night on a Wednesday: free admission, hot music (local band DV8 plays July 2nd), cold beer, and 5,000 other partyers by the Serpentine Wall. The party starts at 5 p.m. (get there early: there are Happy Hour prices on Bud Light from 5-6:30 p.m.) and winds down at around 10 p.m. party-in-the-park.com
2. Florence Freedom Night GamesWhat’s more American than small town baseball? Grab a hot dog and beer and catch a Florence Freedom night game. A good seat will be easier on your wallet than the Reds (VIP seating behind home plate is only $14!), and the traffic’s lighter too. Heads up: The 4th of July game does feature a fireworks show. July 1-6, florencefreedom.com
3. LaRosa's Balloon GlowConey Island + hot air balloons = summertime magic. The park’s 15th annual LaRosa’s Balloon Glow has live music, jugglers and stilt walkers, and classic Coney rides. Sunlite Pool stays open until 9:30 p.m. and it’s the perfect place to marvel over the colorful glowing hot air balloons that fill the night sky. Top it all off with a Rozzi Fireworks display at 10 p.m. and then catch a few more rides – the park stays open till 11 p.m. July 3, 6–8 p.m. coneyislandpark.com
4. Art Fair 562Craft beer, art, and food make the perfect recipe for a chill Saturday afternoon. Head to Art Fair 562 Independence Day Celebration at Listermann Brewing Company and browse pottery, jewelry, and furniture from more than fifty local art, craft, and vintage dealers. Plus there will be live music, food trucks, and, of course, beer all afternoon. The best part? It’s free entertainment for your whole brood. July 5, Noon–6 p.m., facebook.com/listermann.artfair562
5. Riverbend ConcertsKick off July with some early-2000s dude rock. The Goo-Goo Dolls and Daughtry, (both multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated) as well as an acoustic set by the Plain White T’s. Buy a lawn four-pack with some friends for the bargain price of $75. July 1, General admission for lawn seating is $25. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.; show starts at 6:45 p.m.. riverbend.org
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