While, sure, most neighborhoods in L.A. seem to have their own amateur fireworks shows at all hours of the night (apologies to anxious dogs and anybody concerned about fire safety), nothing really beats spending the Fourth of July marveling at an old fashioned pyrotechnic spectacular thrown by the pros. Here are some of our favorite spots to set up and watch some amazing fireworks in L.A.
Hop aboard for a day-long, family-friendly party at the Queen Mary. In the afternoon, there will be live music, games, craft stations, and tours of the historic ship. After sunset, you’ll be treated to a what’s said to be one of the best fireworks shows in the area. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach; tickets $24-$135.
Spend your Fourth with The Go-Go’s and the L.A. Phil this year. Sing along with the bands retro hits (“We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” et al) then enjoy a patriotic performance by the orchestra and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles; tickets $9.50-$282.
It’s a summer block party at Grand Park and the Music Center! The event, which they claim is the biggest free Fourth of July party in the entire country, starts a 3:00 P.M. with two stages of music and entertainment. This year, the Front Yard Stage offers a five-hour dance party courtesy of Soulection DJs, and Quitapenas headlines the Backyard Stage. Oh, and there’s fireworks, set off from the roof of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; free.
July 4 is AmericaFest at the Rose Bowl. This show is among the oldest fireworks in L.A., with the tradition now going for the last 92 years. It continues this year with a live performance by American Idol winner Maddie Poppe, a Michael Jackson tribute show, and a family fun zone. Fireworks blast off at 9:00 P.M. Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena; tickets $15-$30.
Bring a blanket and your picnic basket (booze-free, please) and spread out on the grass field of the West L.A. College campus. Grab snacks from some local food trucks, play carnival games, and enjoy evening fireworks. West L.A. College, 9000 Overland Ave., Culver City (parking shuttle from Westfield Mall); tickets $5.
If you want a prime view of the fireworks overhead, it makes sense to get up high. WP24 by Wolfgang Puck is throwing a rooftop fete that includes classy cook-out fare and skyline-level views of the big downtown show. In Hollywood, the Highlight Room is offering a food-and-fireworks package of their own. WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, 900 W. Olympic Blvd, downtown; tickets $55. Highlight Room, 6417 Selma Ave., Hollywood; tickets $25.
This year is the 70th anniversary of Pacific Palisades’s parade and celebration, which offers a charming, small town-style take on the Fourth. Patriotic pups, pie eating, marching bands, and more, followed by a music-synched fireworks display by local legends Pyro Spectaculars. 15777 Bowdin St., Pacific Palisades; tickets $12-$55.
Gather on the South Lawn starting at 11:00 A.M. for a free, family-friendly community festival and picnic party, followed by an hour-long fireworks show at 9:00 P.M. If you’ve got kids in tow, they’ll have plenty of games and activities to keep them busy throughout the day. 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles; free.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.