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By Whit Honea

Fireworks over Brooklyn, New York. Credit: Howard_N2GOT.

Fireworks over Brooklyn, New York. Credit: Howard_N2GOT.

July 4th travel is all about one thing: fireworks. If you’re looking to put some bang! in family vacations for the 4th of July holiday, look no further than these Top 5 Places for Fourth of July Fireworks:

  1. Washington, D.C.: Can you think of a more patriotic location than Washington, DC for the 4th of July? During the day, enjoy readings of the Declaration of Independence, military parades and the outdoor Smithsonian National Folklife Festival (June 24-28, July 1-5). In the evening listen to the National Symphony Orchestra play patriotic favorites before fireworks light up the sky behind the Capitol Building and the National Monument.
  2. Boston: The July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular takes place along the Charles River and is free to the public. This event is one of the largest firework displays in the country and usually features celebrity hosts and famous musicians. Take some time to walk Boston’s Freedom Trail, but keep in mind that the Oval (the official seating area) is free and open to the public, which means you need to get there early!
  3. New York City: Macy’s doesn’t just do Thanksgiving Day Parades, they’re also responsible for one of the biggest firework displays in the nation. The fireworks are fired from six barges on the Hudson River to a soundtrack provided by the New York Pops, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and several other musical groups.
  4. Walt Disney World and Disneyland: Chances are if you’re at the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland, you’re already enjoying a pretty awesome family vacation. The good people at Disney put on wonderful firework shows on a regular basis, but take it up a serious notch on the 4th of July.
  5. Seattle: While the fireworks don’t shoot from the Space Needle on the 4th of July (that’s New Years), it still provides a great backdrop to the shows held in Puget Sound. The biggest and best fireworks display is the Family 4th at Lake Union, which follows a day of family fun at Gas Works Park. Don’t just take my word for it: Time magazine constantly ranks the show as one of the best.
Fireworks from Seattle’s 4th of July celebration…

Holiday travel tip: Remember, July 4th travel is pretty crowded and often hot. Pack your sunscreen, drink plenty of water and make your family vacation plans early.

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Whit Honea is a travel writer living in Seattle with his wife and two children. He packs light and travels often to far-away places, exotic lands and more than a few theme parks.

Tagged: Family time, Florida, New York

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Nina Kokotas Hahn

Nina Kokotas Hahn

Nina Kokotas Hahn is a travel writer and Chicago journalist whose work appears in Chicago magazine, HuffPost Travel and Condé Nast’s HotelChatter. Globetrotting since infancy, she’s the daughter of a travel agent and considers thrill seeking part of the DNA. Find her on Twitter at @ninakhahn.

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