4th of july things

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Spontaneous Things To Do This Fourth Of July

Fourth of July weekend is basically the climax of summer.

Mostly everyone is off from work, the weather is damn close to perfect, and there’s a whole lot of things to celebrate. What more could you ask for?

Fire up the grill, and set your holiday playlist on repeat all weekend long.

Here are 20 fun, spontaneous things you can do this Fourth of July weekend.

1. Have A Jungle-Themed Barbecue

Some burgers, coconut drinks, and some good company is really all you really need.

Bonus points for good music and festive props.

2. Go On A Road Trip

You don’t even have to have a destination in mind. The journey is just as important.

Pack accordingly, and give yourself some spare time, just in case you run into something unexpected.

3. Host A Summer Movie Marathon

Watching the entire Harry Potter series in one weekend is practically a right of passage for movie-lovers.

If you’ve mastered the wizarding world, try out Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, or whatever floats your boat.

4. Take A Trip To The Beach

Whether you’re oceanside or lakeside, a day by the water beats pretty much anything else.

5. Hold A Fourth Of July Bake-Off With Friends

The baking is only half the fun, you’ll have to sample everything to decide the true winner. Let’s hope you’ve saved room for dessert.

6. Visit A State Or National Park

Enjoy the best of the land that the country has to offer. Scenic views from these protected areas are breathtaking, but you’re sure to discover something new in the great outdoors.

7. Celebrate With Fireworks

Watching or setting off fireworks is an American summertime staple, so take part in the fun (but be safe) this Fourth of July.

8. Dress Up… Just Because

To be quite honest, you don’t need a solid reason to wear your favorite pumps or to try out a new shade of lipstick. Just go for it.

9. Visit Family And Take Some Fun Pics

Holiday weekends are the perfect time to visit with family.

Apart from the traffic, mostly everyone is off from work and in a great mood in anticipation of the holiday.

10. Attend A Sports Game

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There are sports games everywhere you look, from pro and college games to Little League.

Watching a game is a laid-back activity you can enjoy with anyone for a few hours. Add in a beer or two, and you’ve practically fulfilled the American Dream.

11. Go Boating And Water Skiing

Getting out on the water is arguably more fun than lounging on the shore.

This is an ideal activity for a hot day since water is a lot cooler than the land. There are not many better ways to beat the heatwave.

12. Have A Champagne Picnic

Pack a simple lunch, and grab your bestie or bae.

Just being outside is a change of scenery that will boost your mood and keep you going all day.

13. Go Out For Boozy Brunch

If you love breakfast and lunch, boozy brunch is basically heaven.

14. Start A Random Act Of Kindness


This is a simple thing that will make a big impact.

All you need to do is pay someone an unexpected compliment, or offer to buy someone’s coffee. Who knows, perhaps they’ll do the same for someone else.

15. Surprise A Friend With A Last-Minute Plan

This is a simple one, too.

Especially for a friend who’s working over the holiday, a festive surprise can boost their mood for the whole week.

16. Take A Trip To The Bookstore

Browsing the bookstore is the perfect way to have an adventure without leaving the comfort of your hometown. It’s perfect for those summer days that are just too hot to handle.

17. Pamper Yourself To The Max

A pedicure or a new haircut is always a welcome change, and it’ll give you that little extra bit of happiness for the holiday weekend.

18. Reconnect With An Old Friend

Cheryl Holt/

While everyone is having some fun in the sun, it’s the perfect time to reunite with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Plus, the Fourth of July is a great excuse to have a drink or two.

Cheers to that.

19. Go To A Local Fair

The fair is another summertime staple that cannot be missed. Bask in your inner youth, and let yourself enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel.

20. Have A Nap In A Hammock

You’re a busy person, you deserve some decent rest.

July 4th is one of the most celebrated national holidays in the United States. Given that the celebration falls into the summer, it gives you plenty of fun things to do on the 4th of July in NYC.



What is celebrated on the 4th of July?

The 4th of July is officially called Independence Day, on which the United States of America commemorates its independence from the British on July 4, 1776. In other words, the 4th of July is the birthday of the nation!

Our Top Things to Do on the 4th of July in NYC

Some of the best things to do in NYC on the 4th of July are not exclusively activities for that very day alone, but also are great activities you can take advantage of throughout the entire summer in New York. On the other hand, there are several events taking place that are specific to the 4th of July, meaning that you only have one chance to attend them!

1. Watch the jaw-dropping 4th of July fireworks

If you are spending the 4th of July in NYC, you cannot get around Macy’s 4th of July fireworks! Every year, the 4th of July in New York is celebrated by launching an amazing firework spectacular, sponsored by the well-known department store Macy’s. 2020 will mark the 44th annual fireworks show illuminating New York’s skyline from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The fireworks in New York are the nation’s largest independence day celebration, launching more than 75,000 shells to ignite the night. This isn’t the only superlative event sponsored by Macy’s. The most iconic Thanksgiving Parade in the United States is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

The celebration is accompanied by famed musicians. Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, and Ricky Martin have already performed. The performers for the next 4th of July celebration have not yet been announced by Macy’s, but we will be sure to keep an eye out to be the first ones to inform you. You can also check Macy’s official website as we get closer to July.

learn more about the fireworks

2. Take a 4th of July fireworks cruise

A unique way to see the fireworks on the 4th of July is to watch them from the water! There are several cruises that have made it their mission to provide the perfect experience. Instead of storming into the crowds on the streets, you can enjoy a much more relaxing 4th of July evening. The night cruise offers you amazing views of New York’s skyline, food, beverages and most importantly, unobstructed views of the fireworks! For these reasons, firework cruises are much sought after by tourists and locals alike. There’s no need to worry about getting somewhere extremely early or fighting to get a good spot before waiting an eternity for the fireworks are launched. One of the most popular cruises is the 4th of July Evening Cruise by Circle Line, but you can find the best fireworks cruise for you with the help of our more detailed comparison of the best 4th of July cruises in New York.

Most Popular Best Experience





5 hours

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Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Buffet, premium open bar

4-course dinner, premium open bar

Buffet, soft drinks, coffee, tea

Buffet, beer, wine, soft drinks

Buffet, soft drinks




3. Have a BBQ in New York’s most beautiful parks

What’s more typical than enjoying the 4th of July by having a BBQ (or picnic) in a park? Lucky for you, New York City is home to numerous, beautiful parks that let you escape the bustling city life. For you, that means sunshine, super delicious food and a splendid time! If you still want to be around people, head to Sheep Meadow in Central Park to join many others having their barbecues. This is your chance! Grilling and barbecuing in Central Park is only allowed 3 days a year: on Memorial Day, the July 4th and Labor Day. Just note that the use of propane gas is strictly prohibited!

If you are only visiting New York and looking to buy a reasonably priced grill, you should head to Best Buy. You can get a small, portable grill for about 35 bucks. Everything you want to put onto the grill can be bought at the supermarket, for example, Whole Foods. You will find the closest Whole Foods to Sheep Meadows at 10 Columbus Circle.

the ultimate Central Park Guide

4. Enjoy the day at the beach

To escape the bustling city life, even more, you should head to the beach as most New Yorkers do! Manhattan will soon have its first beach at Hudson River Park. Until then, and because of New York’s murky waters, the best option is to ride the subway to Coney Island. Besides just swimming, sunbathing and relaxing at the beach, you can also spend some time at Luna Park or watch the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan’s Famous (jump to more info). Especially if you are traveling as a family, spending the 4th of July in NYC at the beach may be the preferred option for your kids!


5. See Hamilton on Broadway

If you still haven’t watched Hamilton on Broadway, then the 4th of July would be a perfect time! The musical tells the story about founding-father and the nations’ first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton, who played a crucial role in the American Revolution and finally achieving independence from the British in 1776. Celebrate the nation’s birth by reviving a piece of history. Go book your tickets and “raise a glass to freedom”!

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6. Satisfy your shopping needs

As many people will leave town to go to the beach on the 4th of July in NYC, you could take advantage of that and have a great day of shopping! Stores will be open as usual, meaning that the only difference will be smaller crowds! You have plenty of options in Manhattan if you prefer to stay local. Our Ultimate Shopping Guide will help you explore the best shopping spots in the city. Another option would be to take a bus to an outlet. There are two outlets in proximity to New York City: The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey or the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York. You can easily be back in time for the fireworks in the evening!

NYC SHOPPING GUIDE Woodbury outlet bus tickets

Great 4th of July Events in New York

1. The 4th of July fireworks

Where are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC in 2020?
The location for the 4th of July fireworks next year has not been confirmed yet. In 2019, the fireworks were set off from the Brooklyn Bridge and several barges located on the lower East River. For the last four years, they had been set off from barges located on the upper East River, close to Roosevelt Island.

When do the July 4th fireworks start?
The fireworks show typically starts around 9:20 pm while public viewing starts at 6 pm.

How long are the 4th of July fireworks in NYC?
The fireworks typically last for about 30 minutes and are over by 10 pm.

Where are the best places to see the 4th of July Fireworks in NYC?

The best locations to see the fireworks depend on where the fireworks will be set off. If they are set off from the Brooklyn Bridge again, you’ll most likely have the best views from:

  • Pier 17 and the South Street Seaport
  • Battery Park
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Brooklyn Heights

If you’re planning to go to a public viewing area, note that, typically, backpacks are permitted but coolers, lounge chairs, blankets, and umbrellas are not. Should you not be able to be in the city to see the fireworks, then be sure to turn on NBC at 8 pm to see the live broadcasting.

2. South Street Seaport Annual Freedom Fest

You can celebrate the 4th of July in NYC at the 5th annual Freedom Fest at Watermark. It’s located at Pier 15 at New York’s increasingly popular South Street Seaport. It’s a family-friendly event for all ages. They offer a dinner buffet and a DJ if you’d like to dance the night away. The best part of the celebration at South Street Seaport though is that you will also have great views of the 4th of July fireworks from the pier! You can find all the relevant details on FreedomFestNYC.com.

  • Where? 78 South Street (Pier 15) | 2 3 to Wall St
  • When? The door opens at 6:15 pm

3. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island

As we mentioned in our best things to do on the 4th of July in NYC, one of the best ways to spend it is at the beach! While you’re there, be sure not to miss the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest – an annual tradition on Independence Day since 1972. The challenge is to eat as many hot dogs as you can in just 10 minutes! The current record is held by Joey Chestnut at 73 whopping hot dogs! The 73 hot dogs have earned him the bejeweled mustard-yellow belt. The women’s record is held by Miki Sudo with 37 hot dogs!

There are no tickets needed, so just stop by on time! If you are late, chances are you won’t get to see the contestants. About 30,000 people come to watch the preselected, competitive eaters every year. There are some jumbo screens, however, so you won’t miss the contest completely. It will also be live-streamed on ESPN if you’d like to follow the contest from your hotel room. For more info visit NathanFamous.com

  • Where? Coney Island, Brooklyn | D F N Q to Coney Island-Stillwell Av Station
  • When? 10:30 AM till 3 PM

4. July 4th Family Fireworks Celebration on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is hosting an annual 4th of July celebration, especially suited for families. There are tons of activities and an extensive entertainment program for big and small, including bouncy houses and food.

Attending the event is free, but as availability is limited to 2,500, tickets are required. You can claim free tickets online. They will be released on rioc.ny.gov in June. Another great thing about the celebration on Roosevelt Island is that you can get there by the basically free Roosevelt Island Tramway, which is a great New York experience in itself. It’s included in your MetroCard when you own an unlimited pass so you won’t have to pay extra.

  • Where? Roosevelt Island | Roosevelt Island Tramway
  • When? 5 PM till 10:30 PM

5. 4th of July parties throughout the city

There’s no 4th of July in NYC without crazy parties! It doesn’t matter where you go, everybody will be celebrating, not only on the 4th of July but the entire week! You will find numerous parties for you to dance all night, including in our favorite NYC Clubs. For many people going clubbing is one of their top things to do on the 4th of July in NYC.

4th of July Parties Best Clubs IN NYC

What’s Open on the 4th of July in NYC?

What attractions are open on July 4th?

Most tourist attractions in New York are not affected by the 4th of July. Major attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Observatory, the Statue of Liberty, Hop-on Hop-off Buses, the American Museum of Natural History, the Met, the MoMA and many more are operating as usual. Only government buildings will stay shut on the national holiday, including the New York Public Library.

Is New York’s public transportation affected by the 4th of July?

The MTA will run a weekend schedule on the 4th of July, meaning that you can still use New York subways and buses as usual. Additionally, as part of the NYPC Security Plan, you should prepare for some street closures from 3 pm that will affect the area where the fireworks are launched.

Are stores open on the 4th of July?

Although most people are enjoying a day off on the 4th of July, everything except post offices, banks, and the stock market will stay open. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself about the adjusted hours on the 4th of July, as some stores may open late or close early.

One of the best days on the summer calendar is Independence Day. If you want to have a really special 4th of July, head to the Big Apple. Take advantage of one of the many New York Attractions that the city is famous for.

If you’re looking for New York 4th of July Weekend 2019 ideas, check out some of these local activities and fun things do in New York in July, including…

  • Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island
  • Luna Park at Coney Island
  • Macy’s 4th of July fireworks
  • NYC Harbor Cruise
  • and more…

Save on Admission to Popular Attractions

Regular admission to a number of these attractions are available on the New York City Explorer Pass.

Choose as you go from dozens of New York attractions & activities and save up to 50% off combined admission vs paying at the gate.

See all available passes and New York attractions – Learn more.

Please note, some of these special July and 4th of July weekend events may be separately ticketed and not available on the New York City Explorer Pass.

Macy’s 4th of July fireworks
July 4, 2019

Macy’s will launch over 40,000 fireworks for a 25-minute show. This year is their 43rd annual fireworks show! The fireworks will be set off from Brooklyn Bridge and four barges on the lower East river. For the best view of the fireworks over the Manhattan skyline, head to Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, or Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, NJ.

Insider tip: Pack a picnic, beverages, a football, and some games to play with friends and get there early to score a good spot.

Getting In: The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are free to watch.

The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

There’s no better way to celebrate Independence Day than visiting one of the most iconic symbol of American freedom.

Visit both Liberty Island and Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty up close and explore the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

These activities are likely to be extremely popular during the holiday season. Be sure to make any reservations you might want to make for pedestal tickets, etc., far in advance. However, the 4th of July falls on a Thursday this year, so crowds may be split between the weekends on either side.

Getting In: Statue of Liberty Ferry tickets are available as an option with the New York City Explorer Pass.

Coney Island

Head to Coney Island for some festive, boardwalk-style fun. This place has been delighting summer travelers for generations, and is sure to please you and your family.

Relax on the beach, ride the roller coaster, and play some carnival games. Then, enjoy some classic, fried-fare and a Nathan’s Famous hot dog for an All-American day on the boardwalk.

See if this will be the year that somebody breaks the record for the most hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes in Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. It has been a 4th of July tradition since 1916!

Insider tip: Get the best views of the fireworks on the boardwalk between West 10th and West 12th streets or, take a spin on the Wonder Wheel.

Getting In: The fireworks are free to watch. Luna Park tickets are available as an option with the New York City Explorer Pass.

Enjoy the Outdoors

A great way to see the city — from big ticket attractions to hidden gems — is to hop aboard your very own bicycle. You’ll get a local’s perspective on the city and be able to tailor your explorations to suit you interests.

Check out a New York bike rental, strap on a helmet, consult a map, and start exploring the city like a true New Yorker.

New York has expanded their bike lanes in many parts of the city, so getting around on two wheels is easy in many areas.

Many New York attractions are bike accessible, so as hang onto the lock that comes with your rental. Then, stashing your bike during a visit to a museum or restaurant will not be not a problem.

Getting In: New York City bike rentals are available as an option with the New York City Explorer.

New York SummerStage

This popular free NYC event is beloved by locals and visitors alike — those who know about it, that is.

Taking place in Central Park, SummerStage offers a wide variety of music and dance performances that everyone will enjoy.

On the weekends around the 4th of July this year, you’ll see performances that run the gamut from contemporary Jamaican to house music to soul and more. Keep in mind that although most events are free, some do require tickets.

If you want to explore the park after enjoying a bit of these free performances, consider a guided walking tour, which will highlight the most important landmarks and sites of this iconic urban park.

Getting In: SummerStage events are free to attend. Central Park Walking Tour tickets are available as an option with the New York City Explorer Pass.

4th Annual Freedom Fest @ South Street Seaport
July 4, 2019

This amazing musical event is the perfect way to really immerse yourself in local NYC happenings.

Featuring an expert DJ who’ll provide a variety of musical stylings, plus a full summer barbecue buffet and an open bar (!), this is the place to party this 4th of July. Keep in mind that it’s a bit pricey, so you may want to consider this event if you have a hefty budget.

This event actually kicks off an entire season of music in the Seaport District, so if you’re visiting later in the month, be sure to check out their schedule as well.

If you want to explore the area more during another time, a must-see attraction in this neighborhood is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Take a guided tour across the bridge to get some fresh air and exercise, too.

Getting In: Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Tour tickets are available as an option with the New York City Explorer Pass. The Freedom Fest is separately ticketed and is not included with the Pass.

NYC Cruises

One way to beat the often horrible July heat in NYC is to get out on the water.

Hop aboard a sightseeing cruise for some excellent chances to get the perfect Insta. And, you know, to actually see a lot of the city, too!

A Landmarks Cruise will focus on big picture buildings and major highlights.

Getting In: Landmarks Cruise tickets are both available as options with the New York City Explorer Pass.

America’s Favorite Summer Pastime

What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than with an afternoon enjoying America’s favorite summer sport? Though the Yankees aren’t playing on the 4th itself, they are playing against the Toronto Blue Jays throughout June and July.

Love baseball, but simply don’t have time for a game? Take a guided tour of Yankee Stadium to see this the many facets of this historic arena — including Derek Jeter’s retired number.

Getting In: Yankee Stadium Tour tickets are available as an option with the New York City Explorer Pass. New York Yankees ball games are separately ticketed and are not included with the pass.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

There you go – plenty of fun ideas for things to do in New York in July to help you plan your 4th of July weekend itinerary.

Remember, many of these great ideas are included on the New York Explorer Pass, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

We really hope you consider adding a few of these popular options to your upcoming plans. Enjoy!

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author’s knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

Along with Thanksgiving, July 4th is a holiday Americans can claim all to themselves. There’s no shortage of fun, family oriented things to do in Massachusetts this July 4th. Boston Harborfest is the king of all things 4th of July. With hundreds of events for adults and children, including historic reenactments, live music, food, and patriotic revelries, you won’t run out of things to do. But Independence Day celebrations aren’t limited to Boston. There is a solemn reading of the Declaration of Independence at Old Sturbridge Village; a Blessing of the Fleet with food and live music in New Bedford; art shows in Brewster; a road race on Nantucket and many fireworks displays across the Commonwealth. Don’t miss any opportunity to get out there and have some patriotic fun. Here are just some of the things to do in Massachusetts this 4th of July.



Blue Star Museums Free admission to the military and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Massachusetts fireworks displays by town


Arlington – July 4th Celebration

Bellingham – July 4th fireworks 9:00 pm Bellingham High School

Boston Harborfest – July 1-7

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular – Rehearsal is July 3 and the performance is July 4

Boston – Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence

Boston – Ben Franklin, Son of Boston tour

Boston – Heart of The Freedom Trail Walking Tour

Boston – Road to Revolution Walking Tour

Boston – Johnny Tremain Kids Tour of Boston

Boston – Ancient & Honorables Artillery Company – Independence Day Parade

Boston – Celebrate Independence Day at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo during Red, White & Zoo on July 6

Hopkinton – Horribles Parade, July 4, noon, Hopkinton Common

Franklin – 6 day celebration, July 3-7

Milford – Fireworks 10:00 pm Plains Park

Natick – July 4th Celebration

Needham – 4th of July Festivities

Newton – July 4th Celebration

Westboro – 4th of July fireworks 10:00 pm, Chauncy St. boat ramp

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Acton – Independence Day Celebration

Amesbury – Amesbury Days

Burlington – Parade for the 4th of July

Chelmsford – Independence Day Celebration

Concord – Picnic in the park with the Concord Band

Danvers – Highlands Horribles Parade

Gloucester – Independence Day Celebration & Horribles Parade

Gloucester – Red, White & Beauport

Marblehead Fireworks & Harbor Illumination

Pepperell – Fourth of July

Rockport – Independence Day Celebration

Salem – Salem Celebrates the 4th

Salisbury Beach – Fireworks Over the Ocean

Sudbury – July 4th parade

Wilmington – Fun on the Fourth
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Braintree -July 4th Celebration

Brockton – Brockton Fair

Edaville USA – Military Appreciation

Fairhaven – Fort Phoenix July 4th ceremony and cannon salute

Fairhaven – 4th of July car cruise and parade

Hingham – Celebrates the 4th

Plymouth – July 4th Events

Plymouth – Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum to Host “Monumental 4th of July Picnic” and Fireworks

Walpole – 3rd of July Parade & Fireworks

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Cape Cod Baseball League – Summer Schedule

Chatham – Independence Day Parade

Edgartown – Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks

Falmouth – Bike and Carriage Parade

Mashpee – Wampanoag Annual Pow Wow- July 6-8

Nantucket – Independence Day Fireworks

Orleans – 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Orleans – July 4th Fireworks Cruise

Patriotic Fun – On Cape Cod

Provincetown – Monumental Fourth of July Picnic

Wellfleet – Animals of the sea is the theme

More Cape Cod Events

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Harvard – Summer concerts at Fruitlands


  • Ayer – Parade and Fireworks (July 6)
  • Fitchburg – 4th of July parade and fireworks (July 3-4)
  • Templeton – Reading of the Declaration of Independence (July 4)

Old Sturbridge Village – An 1830s Independence Day Celebration

Fitchburg – Great Wolf Lodge – Celebrate Family Fun For The Entire Family At Great Wolf Lodge For July 4th – And All Summer Long!

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Agawam – Six Flags New England – Coca-Cola July 4th Fest

Charlemont – Mohawk Trail Concerts – Free jazz concert

Deerfield – Memorial Hall Museum – Free concert

Greenfield – Independence Day fireworks celebration

Lenox – Norman Rockwell Museum- All American baseball day – July 6

North Adams – 4th of July baseball and fireworks with the Steeplecats

Pittsfield – Fourth of July Parade

Pittsfield – Pittsfield Suns and fireworks extravaganza

Springfield – Star Spangled Springfield

Williamstown – Free family events

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Find Lodging Options in Massachusetts

Celebrate this Memorial Day by honoring America’s heroes. 

Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War. Today, the American holiday honors all those who died in any war while protecting the freedoms of the United States citizens.

The total number of casualties in the last 7 major wars in which the United States has fought stands at 1,674,469. This year, take time to remember these heroes and do something new or out of the ordinary to show support for those who left us too early. Here are some patriotic things we can do on Memorial Day.

SEE ALSO: 109-Year-Old Veteran Stays Young With Cigars, Whiskey and Yard Work

1. Set the flag at half-staff

Fly your home flag at half-staff in honor of our Soldiers.

2. Volunteer


Take cookies or books to the local VA. Many of the veterans in homes do not have families who visit them regularly. Memorial Day is the perfect time to volunteer and show your support for those who have fallen. While Memorial Day is about those who have died, it is always nice to show support for our Veterans also.

3. Go to a parade


Many communities celebrate Memorial Day with a parade. If you are looking for one near you, visit vetfriends.com to find one.

4. Observe the national Moment of Remembrance

The United States government declared a moment of silence to be observed each Memorial Day at 3:00 pm. Wherever you find yourself at 3:00 on this day, pause for a moment and see how people you can influence around you.

5. Show honor and respect

Visit a local Veteran’s Cemetery. If you don’t have a Veteran’s Cemetery nearby, most communities have a war memorial of some type.

6. Have a cook out


Memorial Day for many families has become a reason to barbecue. The holiday has become the symbolic start of the summer. This is a great way to celebrate our honored Soldiers – just don’t forget to include some red, white and blue.

7. Make a Soldier’s Day


Craft with your kids and send the completed items overseas to a Soldier currently serving in the military.

8. Take time to reflect

Taking time to reflect through long hikes or strolls is another way you can show support and respect for all military. There is nothing wrong with a little self-reflection.

9. Watch a movie about history


When the day’s activities settle down, enjoy a movie and learn some history. There are many channels that run historical movies all day. The History Channel and Military Channel have shows that can educate and entertain.

10. Pass it on


Maybe the most important thing you can do is teach your kids about the holiday. Teaching the next generation about the sacrifices for freedom is one of the most rewarding ways that you can celebrate this Memorial Day.

Here are 10 patriotic things to do with your kids this Memorial Day:

Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial start to summer. Ask a child what the meaning of the holiday is and they might just tell you it’s a long weekend off from school or a day of parades and picnics. (My child might tell you it’s the weekend we go to the beach every year.)

You can help your kids gain a deeper understanding of the holiday by honoring it in age-appropriate ways. Older kids may be interested in the history of the holiday and capable of understanding the sacrifices military people make for their country. For the little ones, it might be wise to explain Memorial Day simply as a time to say thank you to the people who keep our country safe. You know your children best, so it’s best for you to decide how much detail you provide. Even if they don’t fully grasp the holiday, children of all ages can commemorate the day.

* Read a book! Libraries offer a wide selection of kid- friendly picture books that explain the meaning of Memorial Day. The Wall by Eve Bunting is a great choice. It’s also a great lead-in to the following idea:

* Go online together to view the Names of Fallen Soldiers. Just seeing the lists will help kids understand that the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country are more than just a number.

* Make a patriotic snack together. These red, white, and blue strawberries are easy and scrumptious! All you need is a carton of ripe strawberries, white melting chocolate for dipping, and blue sprinkles. Melt the white chocolate, dip the strawberries half-way, then when the coating is semi-dry, dip the tip in the blue sprinkles. Voila!

* Decorate a thank you card for a family member or friend you know who served or is currently serving in the military. This is such a simple and effective way to show gratitude!

* Display an American Flag outside your house. There is no better color combination than red, white, and blue. Even if they’re a bit young to understand the true meaning of these days that pay tribute to and thank our past and present soldiers, they can understand the importance of the flag and how we represent it and care for it.

* Make a patriotic craft together. These crafts are perfect for the rainy Memorial Day forecast:

Star Spangled Slime

DIY Handprint American Flag T-Shirt

Pom Pom American Flag Painting Craft

* Teach them the Pledge of Allegiance. If they know it, ask them to lead it before a meal time prayer.

* Host a Red, White, & Blue play date. A fun way to encourage children to learn the Symbols of America and show gratitude to our soldiers. Have everyone wear their red, white & blue clothes, bring a patriotic snack, and partake in red, white, & blue crafting fun!

* Make a connection- do you have family members who served in the military? If so, ask them to share pictures or memorabilia from their time in the service with your children. If your family member is no longer living, bring out photos from their time in the service, or medals if you have them. Children will be proud to know they have a personal connection to someone who served our country.

* Pause for a moment of silence during the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00pm on Memorial Day. Talk with your children about thinking about the brave men and women who fought for our country during this time.

Even if all you do is talk about what the holiday means to you, your kids will benefit. They are little sponges, and take in way more than we may think they do. Helping our children at a young age become cognizant of the sacrifices people make for the greater good will better prepare them to be more thoughtful and patriotic adults!

In honor of our great country’s 237th birthday, I decided to come up with the 10 most patriotic things you can do to celebrate. July 4 is all about celebrating this great country, and giving everyone an excuse to have an American flag pattern on every item of clothing they wear. Because on any other day, it would be tacky.

(Side note: as a history buff, I feel obligated to point out that while it is the nation’s birthday, it’s technically the anniversary of the ratification of the document declaring the British colonies’ independence from England. So yes, it is the date that the United States of America was effectively born. But one could argue that the nation was truly born either before that, when the colonies declared war, or after that, when the war finally ended with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which officially recognized the USA as a sovereign nation. End of side note.)

1) Watch fireworks

There are fireworks shows all over the country, literally in almost every single city and town. I’m not a huge fan of crowds when I’m alone, so my favorite thing to do is to stay home or record the Capital Fourth from Washington DC on PBS. (I used to love watching the Boston Pops concert and fireworks show, but I don’t think they air it anymore.) Because what’s more patriotic than watching fireworks in the nation’s capital while sitting on the couch?

2) Eat junk food

Originally it was “eat hot dogs,” but as the most obese country in the world, any junk food will suffice. A Fourth of July without some kind of food found at a BBQ is a sad day indeed. Hot dogs, potato chips, ice cream, apple pie…I’m not even hungry and I want to eat some of this. Speaking of hot dogs…

3) Watch Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Championship

I tried to watch this last year and, as a result, didn’t eat a hot dog for months. Or weeks. I don’t remember. Either way, I just know it’s both fascinating and disgusting all at the same time. The six-time reigning champion, Joey Chestnut (awesome name, right?), is a scrawny dude whose world record is 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Gross.

4) Go to a baseball game

The game with British origins (probably; the details of its founding are a bit sketchy) is, somehow, about as American as you can get. Whether it’s an MLB game or your local pick-up game, baseball is America’s pastime for a reason.

5) Get pulled over by a cop

The flashing lights are red, white, and blue. Need I say more? (Note: this is not something I recommend.)

6) Watch Les Miserables

Yes, it takes place in France. I’d like to make the argument that it’s unintentionally about America. It’s about a down-on-his-luck man (many immigrants are escaping their country for a better life) who turns his life around with the help of a gracious bishop (our open-doors immigration policy), and ends up living the American dream (aka, gets rich). Plus, a rebellion takes up a good chunk of it. Sure, it fails, and (SPOILER ALERT!) a lot of cute boys die, but it’s about helping those who are less than fortunate. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

7) Watch a parade

I actually only included this because while I was looking for that quote above, that’s on the Statue of Liberty, I learned that the first ticker-tape parade in New York was held when the assembly of the statue was completed. Plus, parades always include local politicians trying to buy your votes with better candy than their competitor.

8) Take a road trip

Of course, this works best if you have more than just one day off, as I do this year. Pack up the car, bring some friends (or go alone, it’s up to you), crank up the tunes, and go someplace. I recommend…

9) Visit a national park

Yellowstone was the first, and is pretty darn spectacular. A few other notables: Grand Canyon (Arizona), Denali (Alaska), Everglades (Florida), Yosemite (California), Mount Rushmore (South Dakota). I suggest starting with the closest to you. (In my case, Olympic.) To date, there are more than 400 national parks, monuments, and heritage areas, and I suggest visiting as many as possible.

10) Learn about the country

Several years ago, History Channel did a 13 part documentary called “The American Revolution.” Three guesses on what it covered. Being the nerd I am, I purchased it, and I watch it at least once every couple years. Then a couple years ago I downloaded videotaped lectures from a Yale course on the American Revolution, and watched every single one of them. I even took notes. I am a firm believer that unless you learn history you’re destined to repeat it, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. To know where the country is going is to know where the country came from.

(obligatory photo credits: all were found on Google image search and were usually one of the first 10 results.)

Host With the Most: Fun Things to Do on 4th of July

Is it your turn to host the 4th of July party this year? Have no fear! While you’re getting your grillin’ on, let your guests — both big and small — celebrate the occasion with these five must-do activities.

1. Make One-of-a-Kind Refreshments

Before your guests pour their first drinks, get them to decorate their glasses with red, white and blue paint. Simply set up mason jars, acrylic paint and craft sponges (cut into strips, stars, etc.) next to the drink station area, and see what kind of patriotic designs the guests come up with. (Don’t worry, the paint will dry quickly.) For added customization, let them also paint chalkboard labels on the glasses so they can personalize them with their names.

Tip: For a festive after-dinner dessert, consider reusing the same glasses for 4th of July–themed ice cream floats, made with vanilla ice cream and bright red and blue sodas.

Image Source: Big Bear’s Wife

Related > Amazing DIY 4th of July Mason Jar Centerpieces

2. Have a Lawn Decorating Contest

If yours is truly a “home of the brave,” consider letting your guests compete in a festive lawn decorating contest. Divide the participants into two teams, provide them with cardboard and scissors to make stencils, as well as red, white and blue grass-friendly construction marking spray paint and see who can create the most patriotic look on their half of the lawn. The cool part about it? Because it’s paint, you get to admire the artwork long after the party’s over. What’s even cooler? When you are tired of looking at it, all you have to do is give the grass its normal summertime trim.

Tip: Unless you want to draw attention to your home, we recommend doing this activity in your backyard versus the front.

Image Source: The Concrete Cottage

Related: 11 Décor Ideas For Your Patriotic Party

3. Play a Quick Game (or Two or Three) of Patriotic Bingo

Whether the players are young or old, bingo never fails to be a hit with the crowd — especially if there are prizes involved. Want to take the game up a notch? Consider testing the winners’ American knowledge by asking each of them to answer a trivia question (for example, “What are the words to the Pledge of Allegiance?”) before picking a prize.

Image Source: Crazy Little Projects

4. Take Bubble Blowing to a New Level

Sure, the little ones would be amazed with regular bubbles. But it’s the 4th of July. Regular bubbles won’t cut it. Instead, kids of all ages are sure to enjoy making patriotic bubble blowers of different shapes and sizes and blowing red and blue color bubbles. The best part is that, since the blowers and bubble solution are so easy to make, the fun can continue as long as the supplies last.

Image Source: Pint-Sized Treasures

5. Go Out With a Bang

When it comes to fun things to do on 4th of July, you can’t go wrong with fireworks. However, for safety reasons, many communities have a ban on igniting the explosives. Who says you need fire to have fun with fireworks, though? Try these non-explosive — but sure to make a pop! — fireworks instead.

  • Confetti Balloon Fireworks
  • DIY Pop Rockets
  • Fireworks in a Jar (for the younger guests that may not enjoy popping sounds)

Image Source: Moore Minutes

Happy 4th of July!

Related: Outdoor Fun for Everyone: Backyard Ideas for Kids

Add some spark to your Fourth of July celebration with fireworks displays, parades, live performances, patriotic games and crafts, and other star-spangled happenings.

Tuesday | July 2

Del Beach Bash. Kick off your celebration with a beach party filled with live music, fire pits with s’mores and a fireworks display. 7-10 pm; fireworks begin at approximately 8:45 pm. $30; free for overnight hotel guests. Call for reservations. Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave. www.hoteldel.com; 619-522-8490

Wednesday | July 3

FREE Oceanside Fireworks Show. Plus live music and food trucks. 6-10 pm; fireworks show at 9 pm. Oceanside Blvd. & Rancho del Oro Rd. www.visitoceanside.org

Thursday | July 4

Fourth of July Celebration at San Diego County Fair. Highlights include the Hometown Heroes Parade (12:30 pm), the Most Patriotic Costume Contest (1 pm), a performance by the 1st Marine Division Band with the Marine Corps Air Station Color Guard on the Corona Grandstand Stage (7:30 pm) and the Fair’s Fireworks Spectacular (9 pm). 10 am-midnight. $14-$20; ages 5 & under free. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. www.sdfair.com

Red, White and BOOM! Featuring All-American games like water balloon tosses and burlap sack races, a LEGO hamburger relay, a patriotic costume parade, live performances and fireworks set to a patriotic musical tribute. 1-9 pm; fireworks, 8:30 pm. Free with park admission. LEGOLAND California Resort, Carlsbad. Tickets at www.legoland.com.

FREE Independence Day Festival & Fireworks in Escondido. Live music, food trucks, kids’ games and activities, a performance by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and more. 4 pm; fireworks, 9 pm. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. www.artcenter.org

FREE Alpine Parade travels down Alpine Blvd., from the Alpine Women’s Club to Tavern Rd., starting at 10 am. Afterwards, enjoy live music and kids’ activities at the Alpine Community Center. www.alpinekiwanis.org

FREE Chula Vista 4th Fest. Head down to Mountain Hawk Park for special performances by Fern Street Circus and food trucks, starting at 2 pm. At 9 pm, see a spectacular fireworks display at Chula Vista Elite Athletic Training Center with simultaneous music on the radio. Participating stations are 91X – San Diego, MAGIC 92.5 | San Diego and Z90.3 | San Diego. www.91x.com/event/chula-vista-4th-fest

Crown City Classic 4th of July Run. Start the day with a 12K run or a 5K run/walk and enjoy scenic views of the Coronado Bridge along Glorietta Blvd. Also featuring the Crown City Mile and Crown City Kids 1/2 Mile on Orange Ave. 7 am. Coronado Tidelands Park, 2000 Mullinex Dr., Coronado. www.raceplace.com/events/46714/crown-city-classic-4th-of-july-run

FREE Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show. Southern California’s largest fireworks show offers the best views from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District and the Coronado Ferry Landing. 9 pm. www.bigbayboom.com

4th of July Parade at San Diego Botanic Garden. Kids can wear red, white and blue and bring decorated strollers and wagons (no bikes, please). Parade starts at 10:30 am; meet at Seeds of Wonder at 10 am. Included with garden admission. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. www.sdbgarden.org

FREE Independence Day Parade in Del Mar. Meet at the north end of Powerhouse Park for the pledge of allegiance at 9:15 am, then bring your decorated bikes, scooters and skateboards for the parade starting at 9:30 am. Parade travels in a loop up Coast Blvd., followed by a DJ dance party, goodies and refreshments at Powerhouse Park. 9:15-10:30 am. www.delmarfoundation.org

FREE Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks in El Cajon. Games, live music and more. 1-9:30 pm. Kennedy Park, 1675 E. Madison Ave. www.cityofelcajon.us

FREE Independence Day Fireworks in Imperial Beach. The Navy Band performs at 7 pm, and fireworks begin at 9 pm. Portwood Pier Plaza, 10 Evergreen Ave. www.imperialbeachca.gov

FREE Julian’s 4th of July Parade. Catch pre-parade activities starting at 10 am; parade steps off at noon. Parade travels along downtown Main St., from Julian High School to Frank Lane Park. www.julianparade.com

FREE Fireworks Display Off the Ocean Beach Pier. The fireworks soundtrack will be broadcast simultaneously during the show. To hear the broadcast, tune in to KyXy 96.5. 9 pm. Niagara Ave., San Diego. www.oceanbeachsandiego.com

FREE Lake Murray Music Fest & Fireworks. Bands, food, games and activities for kids at Lake Murray Playground in San Carlos. Noon-9 pm; fireworks, 9 pm. www.lakemurrayfireworks.org

FREE Old Town Fourth of July. A parade around the plaza, crafts and activities of early San Diego. 11 am-4 pm. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, 4002 Wallace St. www.parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego

FREE Yankee Doodle Dinghy Parade. Dinghies with patriotic-themed decorations parade around the Oceanside Harbor. 1-3 pm. www.oceansideyc.net; www.visitoceanside.org

FREE Military, Fire & Law Appreciation Day. Active and retired military as well as fire and law enforcement officers receive free admission to the Wave Waterpark from 10 am-4 pm. Present valid ID. 101 Wave Dr., Vista. Details at www.thewavewaterpark.com

FREE The Spirit of the Fourth in Rancho Bernardo. Come to the community fair at Webb Park (off Bernardo Center Dr., near Webb Lake), starting at 9 am. Also features a patriotic pet contest, the Wheels of Freedom Motor Show, a veteran’s memorial service, a rubber ducky race, live entertainment and more. Parade starts at 3:30 pm; more entertainment and fireworks at Bernardo Heights Middle School at 6 pm ($10-$20 donation). www.spiritofthefourth.org

FREE July 4th at the Beach. Have a blast all day long on Oceanside Beach and Pier as you enjoy various booths, vendors, kids’ attractions and activities in the plazas, parks and parking lots from the Oceanside Pier to Tyson Street Park. Don’t miss the Star-Spangled Sunset Market with food, live entertainment, a children’s area and more at the corner of Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. from 5-9 pm. www.visitoceanside.org

FREE Poway’s 4th of July Celebration. Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Old Poway Park (14134 Midland Rd.) includes patriotic entertainment, Western re-enactors, train displays and games from 10 am-4 pm. Then enjoy more games, activities and fireworks at Poway High School (15500 Espola Rd.) from 6-10 pm. $5 at the gate; ages 11 & under free. www.poway.org

FREE Fireworks Extravaganza in San Marcos. Live music, kids’ activities and entertainment start at 6 pm; fireworks at 9 pm. Bring beach chairs or blankets for seating. Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Dr. www.san-marcos.net

FREE Santee Salutes. Live music, Kid’s Fun Zone, a patriotic ceremony, food and fireworks. 2:30-10:30 pm; fireworks, 9 pm. Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Dr. www.cityofsanteeca.gov

Hornblower’s Fireworks Dinner Cruises. Watch the Big Bay Boom Fireworks Show from the deck of a Hornblower yacht after a delicious buffet dinner. 6:30-9:30 & 7-10 pm. Visit website for fees and reservations. Pier 1, Hornblower Landing, 1800 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. www.hornblower.com

FREE Scripps Ranch Parade. This year’s theme: “Sounds of Freedom.” 10 am. Parade starts at Red Cedar Dr. & Ironwood Rd., and ends on Scripps Ranch Blvd. & Aviary Dr. www.scrippsranch.org

FREE Freedom Festival. Open to military families, retirees, reservists and DoD employees, this event offers a tailgate party (registration required), entertainment, Family Fun Zone, All-American favorite eats and a great view of the fireworks. 2-9 pm. Harbor Drive Annex, Naval Base Point Loma. www.navymwrsandiego.com

FREE Fourth of July in Coronado. Featuring the annual parade along Orange Ave. (from 1st St. to Churchill Place) at 10 am, Art in the Park (8 am-4 pm) at Spreckels Park, live music by the Coronado Community Concert Band (4 pm) and fireworks over Glorietta Bay (9 pm). www.coronadotimes.com

FREE University City Celebration. Highlights include a one-mile Fun Run & 5K, a snow playground, a car show, music, a book barn, a kids’ play area, vendors and more. 8 am-7 pm. Standley Park, 3585 Governor Dr., San Diego. www.uccelebration.com

FREE Celebrate Fourth of July at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Celebrate Fourth of July at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Choose from various experiences: a buffet dinner aboard the Berkeley with a great view of the fireworks, a fireworks cruise onboard the Californian, a bayfront cruise on one of the museum’s smaller historic engine-powered vessels and more. Visit website for reservations. 1492 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego. Details at www.sdmaritime.org.

“Sea to Shining Sea, an Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular.” SeaWorld presents this spectacular 15-minute fireworks display. 9:40 pm; park hours: 10 am-11 pm. Included with park admission. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego. For reserved seating, visit www.seaworld.com/san-diego/shows/fireworks.

FREE Mira Mesa Parade & Family Fun Day in the Park. Parade steps off at 11:30 am at the corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. & Greenford Dr., travels down Mira Mesa Blvd., and turns north on Camino Ruiz to end at New Salem. Family Fun Day takes place at Mira Mesa Community Park from 11 am and continues until the fireworks show at 9 pm. www.miramesatowncouncil.org

Things change. That’s why we’ve included phone numbers and websites when available. Since most activities require advance reservations or have limited space, don’t forget to call first to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

Want more events going on in San Diego County? Go to San Diego’s Best Day-by-Day Calendar of Events in our online magazine.

Planning your own 4th of July party? Find tasty recipes and fun crafts in our Red, White and Blue: July 4th Round-Up.

updated: June 2019



WHEN: July 5–7, 2019
WHERE: Cherry Creek North, from 2nd to 3rd Avenues, on the seven streets between Columbine and Steele Sts.
This free, outdoor extravaganza — the city’s signature cultural celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts — gives more than 350,000 annual visitors the chance to meet and talk with international visual artists, enjoy a wide range of family-friendly fun and sample fine cuisine. At the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, experience Artivity Avenue, a full block of interactive activities perfect for youngsters. Visit the Cultural Pavilion, where music, dance and theater from around the globe will be presented. Culinary Avenue features tasty treats and live cooking demonstrations from some of Denver’s most popular eateries.

Museum Exhibitions


WHEN: Nov. 8, 2018–Sept. 9, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Stroll through an insect nursery full of larger-than-life cocoons and larva sewn by Denver artist Nicole Anona Banowetz. Children and adults alike can also contribute to the life cycle of the nursery by designing their own creature to add to this ever-evolving exhibit.


WHEN: Dec. 8, 2018–Apr. 23, 2021
WHERE: History Colorado Center
The Ute are Colorado’s longest continuous residents. In Written on the Land, you’ll journey to the places they call home and hear their stories, told in their own voices through art, photography and video.


WHEN: Jan. 11–Sept. 29, 2019
WHERE: Museum of Outdoor Arts
Step into a surrealist, dreamlike forest made up of art, sculpture and digital technologies created by more than 30 Colorado artists.


WHEN: Jan. 25–Dec. 31, 2019
WHERE: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
The Bauhaus school of art and design in Weimar, Germany, was only open for a few years before the Nazis forced it to close. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this influential art style, the Kirkland Museum is highlighting Bauhaus pieces from its permanent collection, including many not usually on display.


WHEN: Jan. 28, 2019–Jan. 5, 2020
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum
One of the foremost photographers to photograph the great American West, William Henry Jackson’s images had an immense influence on the public’s perception of the American West. A portion of those images were captured here in Colorado as Jackson traveled throughout the west by rail.


WHEN: Feb. 2–Aug. 18, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Denver-born artist Jordan Casteel chooses her subjects by walking around her neighborhood in Harlem, New York, and taking photographs, which she then translates into larger-than-life portraits that reveal individuals and atmospheres that often go unnoticed. See Returning the Gaze at Denver Art Museum.


WHEN: Mar. 1–Aug. 25, 2019
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS)
It’s been 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, but the Renaissance man’s legacy lives on. View dozens of Leonardo’s inventions, including an automobile, helicopter, airplane, submarine and military tank; test a Leonardo-inspired catapult; and explore the world’s only 360-degree replica of “The Mona Lisa.”


WHEN: Mar. 2, 2019–Jan. 5, 2020
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection features more than 60 paintings by masters such as Anthony van Dyck, Adriaen van Diest, John Singer Sargent and Thomas Hudson, gifted to the Denver Art Museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust.


WHEN: Mar. 10–Nov. 17, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
This multi-media installation by Mexican-American artist Erika Harrsch is comprised of imagery, music, text and furnishings that reference the circumstances faced by immigrants and refugees subject to the United States DREAM Act.


WHEN: Mar. 21–Aug. 24, 2019
WHERE: Museo de las Americas
“Liminal space” refers to a transitional or transformative space. In this exhibition, you’ll witness how local Latino artists are taking their knowledge of the traditions of the past into this liminal space and transforming them into new cultural interpretations and identities.


WHEN: Mar. 22–July 14, 2019
WHERE: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Barbara Locketz studied under Vance Kirkland at the University of Denver and later taught there herself. She works in a variety of mediums, including oil paintings, prints, collages made from paper and metal, acrylic and metal sculpture, textiles and jewelry, and exhibits her art across the American Southwest, New York and Mexico.


WHEN: Apr. 12–Aug. 4, 2019
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS)
It is through our senses that we experience the world around us. Browse the galleries of this funhouse-style exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History for a better understanding of our senses, including and beyond the traditional five.


WHEN: Apr. 14–Sept. 2, 2019
WHERE: History Colorado Center
This powerful and timely exhibit explores the concepts of home and borders and features artists from southern Colorado, northern New Mexico and beyond.


WHEN: Apr. 19–Sept. 15, 2019
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Human | Nature’s 18 sculptures depict the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of Denver Botanic Gardens’ lush botanical environments. The collection includes both classical and abstract pieces from sculptors across the globe.


WHEN: Apr. 27–Dec. 30, 2019
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
Artist Patrick Dougherty weaves flexible, sustainably harvested saplings into complex and whimsical architectural forms with the help of staff and volunteers. The stickwork installations remain on view until they naturally fall apart, some lasting for years!


WHEN: May 5–Aug. 25, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
This unique Denver Art Museum exhibit presents the concept of playfulness in postwar America as a catalyst for creativity and thoughtful design in everything from home furnishings, to children’s toys, to corporate offices.


WHEN: May 12–Nov. 17, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Artist Jonathan Saiz uses social media to spark conversation about our society’s ability to embody a modern utopia: “an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.” His installation #WhatisUtopia is a column covered with 10,000 minuscule drawings, paintings and sculptures, all created to be given away after the end of the exhibition. Follow along on Instagram via @utopia_is_free or using the hashtags #WhatisUtopia or #JonathanSaizatDAM.


WHEN: May 18, 2019–Aug. 1, 2020
WHERE: History Colorado Center
Whether you’re an avid homebrewer or just someone who loves to cheers over a cold beer, you won’t want to miss History Colorado’s newest exhibit. Explore Colorado’s hoppy history, from gold rush saloons, to Prohibition, to today’s craft-beer craze.


WHEN: June 2, 2019–May 3, 2020
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Let there be light! This brilliant exhibition features around 250 pieces pulled from the Denver Art Museum’s nine curatorial departments and explores humanity’s drive to understand both physical light and metaphorical, spiritual and divine light.


WHEN: June 7–Sept. 1, 2019
WHERE: MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Clark Richert is one of Colorado’s most important artists. This retrospective at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver explores his decades-long interest in dimensionality.


WHEN: June 8–Sept. 2, 2019
WHERE: History Colorado Center
Explore a pop-up installation with larger-than-life sculptures of Colorado flowers. Then, collect pollen to pollinate the flowers for wildflower honey. Kids will especially love getting a 3-D photo of themselves riding a giant bumblebee.