Boston's Fourth of July: Things To Do

photo of fireworks over Charles River in boston

For Boston, the Fourth of July has always been one of the most-celebrated, exciting events, for both day adventures and evening celebrations. Filled with fireworks, festivals, and plenty more fun, the city has never stayed shy during the Fourth... except for last year.

In 2020, nearly everything in the country was canceled, including concerts, weddings, birthday parties, and even holidays weren't totally normal. We all had to distance, mask-up, and keep to small gatherings, but despite being together in masks, things weren't the same. Last year was the first year since 1974 that Boston did not host their annual fireworks on the Charles River Esplanade.

Now in 2021, Boston has lifted the mask mandate, and began reopening venues, in addition to restaurants, museums and shops. With the reopening of the city, the Fourth of July is the next holiday in line that gets a re-do. The real question is, how will the city of Boston celebrate the Fourth of July in 2021?

boston-4th-of-july-fireworksPhoto Source: Boston Tea Party Museum

Boston Harborfest Fireworks Cruise

There's a handful of things to do this Fourth of July weekend, so we're starting off this list with our personal favorite.

For two hours and $125, experience a Boston cruise like no other. This Harborfest Fireworks Cruise will be offered on July 3rd at sunset. The boat will cruise for two hours around the Boston Harbor, and drinks can be purchased on board throughout your ride. Looking to do something out of your comfort zone? Try out this lovely cruise!

Declaration of Independence Reading and Parade

Boston is keeping its tradition of their Independence Day Parade and Declaration of Independence reading. Beginning at 9 a.m. at the Congress Street City Hall Plaza, the mayor will recite the Declaration, and the parade will commence. This event will take-over plenty of Downtown Boston, so be sure to plan accordingly for traffic or shut-down roads during the parade! 

things to do in boston parade 2021 colorful red white and blue confetti is surrounding bostonPhoto Source: Metro US

Boston Pops

With the country still feeling a divide between masks and in-person events, most celebrations can be made virtualized. Boston Pops is offering this exactly-- virtual and in-person fireworks. Boston Pops will be holding a virtual firework show from the viewing at the Boston Common. Boston Pops is also offering tickets (4 per household) to come view the fireworks in the Common between 8-11 p.m. on July 4th evening. 

In addition to fireworks, Boston Pops will be holding the Tanglewood Music Festival, which will be live at Tanglewood, or to view online through Boston Pops. These events are perfect for families who may have children, those who don't want to leave the house but still see a great show, and for everyone who is fully able to visit in-person. Both of these events are free!

If you can't make it to Boston for the music, check out Chelmsford! Chelmsford Town Common will hold their traditional concert beginning at 7pm on July 3.

Nick Presents Sunset Series

Rather than join the crowds at Tanglewood or the Boston Common, come down to Fort Hill on the 4th beginning at 7 p.m. to watch Nick Laudani and fellow musicians play live music in historic Fort Hill's Highland Park. This event is free, and perfect for those who want to miss the crowds, or just want something non-fourth-of-July related to do this upcoming Sunday evening! 

Non-Holiday Events

Not in the mood to celebrate the Fourth? There's plenty more the city has to offer this weekend! There will be farmer's markets in Roslindale, Union Square, Waltham, Copley Square, Brookline, Quincy, Harvard Square and Dewey Square on the Greenway. There will be an art market held in Lowell, and The Rose Kennedy Greenway. 

As for exercise, there are free or low-cost fitness and yoga classes outdoors in Franklin Park, Pier's Park, Columbus ParkThe Beer Garden, Peter's ParkMemorial Drive, Maria Baldwin Open Space, Charlestown Naval Shipyard Park, The Anchor Boston, and Pleasure Bay Beach.

Boston is known for its food experiences, so try a beer crawl off the Freedom Trail, make your own French pastagluten free pasta, or Asian dumplings and dim sim. Don't feel like cooking but still hungry? Try a wine tasting in Lynn, or cocktails and cannolis in the North End. 

No matter how you choose to spend the Fourth of July in Boston, make sure to stay hydrated and sun-screened! It will be yet another hot day in Boston, so be sure you're taking care of yourself!

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