The 4th of July is hands down my favorite holiday. Yeah yeah Christmas and Halloween get a lot of love too, but there’s something nostalgic for me about the 4th. It ushers in a time when I was kid where we would set off firecrackers in our neighborhood cul-de-sac, or go to the local Boom River celebration and turn on the radio so we could hear the matching music. It means, barbecues and beers, sticky popsicles, and taking a moment to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy in this country. It’s also the day my husband proposed so it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
If the 4th is one of your favorite holidays too then you’re in luck! I’ve put together a list of places all around southern California that will entertain and delight kids of all ages with fireworks and more. Make sure you check the websites and info for all of these before you go to make sure there’s no changes. Then grab your friends and family and enjoy ‘Merica! Post a pic in the comments below or Tweet me a pic of where you watched fireworks and share the patriotic love.
Best Fireworks in SoCal:
Rose Bowl Stadium: It’s a venerable celebration of our country, so venerable that’ll celebrate its big centennial in under a decade. It’s Americafest Presented by Honda, and entertainment, ahead of the fireworks, is part of the grand festivity.
Disneyland: For four days, from Saturday, July through Tuesday, July 4, the Happiest Place on Earth will be the place to see a special “Red, White, and Blue Tribute” The name? It’s Disney’s Celebrate America! — A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.
Dodger Stadium: The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will play ball on the evening of July 4, and then, glittering high in the sky above the diamond? A home run-worthy fireworks show presented by 99 Cents Only Stores.
San Pedro: There shall be fireworks near the waterfront, oh, yes, but how will you choose to admire them? There’s a ticketed way to watch with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute or the free 67th Annual John Olguin July 4th Spectacular. As for the sparkle show? It’s centered at Cabrillo Beach.
Studio City: CBS Radford is the go-to destination for the 4th of July Fireworks & VIP Celebration. It’s a rare chance to visit where “Seinfeld” and many other shows have been filmed, and to soak in a community-sweet celebration, complete with an evening-topping sparkle extravaganza.
Redondo Beach: The holiday kicks off with “swimming and activities at the Seaside Lagoon featuring water slides, fountains, and plenty of beach sand.” As for when you’ll need to look up from your sand castle at the sky? The fireworks are set to glow around 9 o’clock.
Huntington Beach: Surf City does it up, and the four-day lead-in to Independence Day is further proof of its festive spirit. There’s a pancake breakfast on the morning of July 4, and mid-morning parade, but for the Huntington Beach Pier fireworks? Be there, on or near the sand, well in advance of the 9 p.m. start time.
Newport Dunes: Oh yeahhh. You’ll rock out to a few tribute bands, like The Petty Breakers, you’ll visit the Beer & Wine Garden, if you’re 21+, you’ll nosh at food trucks, if you brought cash, and you’ll take in all of those pretty, pretty fireworks at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.
Calabasas: Where you’ll want to be when night fully settles in on July 4? The Calabasas High School Football Field. What you’ll want to be doing? Enjoying the “(l)ive musical dance party” and the Family Fun Zone (think stilt walkers, games, inflatables). The fireworks? They zoom at 9 o’clock.
Grand Park: It’s a 4th of July Block Party downtown, and, as the “block party” part of the name suggests, things’ll get going in the afternoon. As for the fireworks later in the evening? They’ll “…create a stunning backdrop above the Civic Center skyline.” A bonus? Entry is free.
Hollywood Bowl: The amazing, how-do-they-do-it? vocal stylings of Pentatonix, followed by that beautiful, above-the-shell fireworks show that the Tinseltown venue does so well? That’s on tap not only for July 4, but July 2 and 3, too.
Pacific Palisades: One of the sweetest parades around? You’ll find it here, in the afternoon, but, in the evening, the after-dark fireworks take the center stage. There’s the Palisades 5K/10K, too, earlier in the day, if you want to start the celebration with a dash and end it with some flashy fireworks.
Fullerton: Find a fireworks-loving pal and make your way to the Fullerton High School Softball Field for a free night of live, before-your-ears tunes and fireworks. There may be some activities that charge a fee running $2-$5, do note.
Woodland Hills: It’s Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s July 4th Extravaganza, Presented by Keyes Motors, a spectacular that includes both an admission-free concert and a fireworks show that lasts 15 minutes (that deserves a wowza). This one’s a biggie, and very well-attended, so arrive early.
La Crescenta: If you have bounce house-loving tots, and children who find an hour romping among inflatables the coolest thing ever, head for Crescenta Valley High School on July 4. Music and food trucks round out “the rockets’ red glare.”
Doheny State Beach: A big recommendation from the get-go? You’ll want to get “an early start” at this popular event. If you have a radio, you can listen to patriotic tunes on FM 88.5, tunes “accompanying the fireworks.” Those begin at 8:45, not long after sundown.
Six Flags Magic Mountain: Where to go to best experience the Coca-Cola July 4th Fest fireworks spectacular? The Valencia park’s online HQ suggests Full Throttle Plaza as the “best” spot. If riding rides all day is your Fourth of July tradition, that’s so easily done here, with a finale of bright-sky’d fireworks at the end.
Marina del Rey: Perhaps picnicking is your favorite summer holiday thing to do. Perhaps you’d love to sandwich-it-up, from the comfort of a blanket, before taking in all of the cool colors in the sky. This could be your scene. Note that a few harbor cruises’ll be out during the July 4 at the Marina show, if that tempts.
Knott’s Berry Farm: So you say you always hang out in the Boardwalk area, after you’ve done a few roller coasters and after you’ve visited the Ghost Town and after your boysenberry snack? Know, then, that you’ll be in the exact right place to eye the evening fireworks display.
Queen Mary: Join an All-American 4th of July at the historic Long Beach landmark on Tuesday, July 4. Jump into a tour of the famous ocean-liner, make arts, make crafts, participate in a game, then check out the over-the-water show after the sun goes down.
Lancaster: Cheer for the Professional Bull Riders Touring Division before taking in the shiny wonderment in the starry sky. There’s entertainment, too, and food if you didn’t get a chance to do the dinner thing before settling in for some excellent riding action.
Pomona Fairplex:Kaboom! has its 31st outing in 2017, bringing with it a fireworks presentation as well as monster trucks and Moto X. And if you want to do a buffet, too, for dinner? There’s a special combo ticket for that.
Cerritos:Let Freedom Ring is the name of the celebration at the Cerritos Civic Center. Uncle Sam will be there, on stilts, no less, and a National Bell Ringing will add pomp and history to the party. And will food trucks be nearby, to keep lovers of fireworks sated, if need be? Indeed.
Burbank: Once again, the Starlight Bowl will bring the glimmer, and the music, too. The tunes’ll come from The Company Men and Grooveline, if you’re feeling a little toe-tappy on Independence Day. Want to be a part of An American Celebration? Check out the ticket situation ASAP.
Catalina Island:Spy fireworks over Avalon Bay on July 4, a memorable sight, indeed, but be sure to catch an early boat to Avalon. Swing dance and a golf cart parade are some of the charming and nostalgic sights set to be part of the island holiday.