Los Angeles loves celebrating the 4th! There are fireworks and skydivers, boat parades and kiddie runs, baseball and bulging muscles, music and monster trucks and even destination celebrations.  Let freedom ring as you choose one of our favorite Independence Day festivities that will take you from the center of the city to the beach.

photo: Grand Park

Fireworks

4th of July Block Party at Grand
Pack family & friends, puppies & picnics and head to Grand Park to see Downtown LA light up in a spectacle not to be missed! Don’t forget a change of clothes—the fountain is perfect for splashing around and kids will probably/definitely get drenched.  It’s not so much a parade as a stationary block party with loads of music, a new area for kids and then fireworks over the city. The party starts at 2 p.m. Downtown. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Hollywood Bowl 4th of July Spectacular
The annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at the Bowl is always one of the best fireworks displays in town. This year the concert is headlined by Pentatonix.  The Bowl is offering 50% off tickets for kids, call for details. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. Hollywood. $5 & up. All Ages. Event details.

Marina Del Rey Fireworks
Be sure to get here early for one of the most popular fireworks displays in the city! The fireworks are shot from a barge in the Marina’s main channel for a spectacular display that is doubled by its reflection in the water below. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Marina Del Rey. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Rose Bowl Stadium via facebook

Americafest at the Rosebowl
It’s a whole day of family fun that culminates in the largest fireworks show in Southern California for over 90 years. There will be food, entertainment, crafts, exhibits and inflatable rides for the kids outside the Rose Bowl starting at 2 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. and the fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Pasadena. $15-$30, kids 5 and under are free. All Ages. Event details.

Seaside Lagoon
Yes, it’s happening!  It was touch and go, but the fireworks and fest are on. While you could view the Redondo Beach fireworks from just about anywhere in the South Bay, the best seats are those you reserve at Seaside Lagoon. It gives you a place to play (swim, race, do an obstacle course and more) and picnic for the day, along with a your ringside seat. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Redondo Beach. $15-$25. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Cyndy Sims Parr via Flickr

Something for Everyone in Thousand Oaks
The day caps off with a fireworks show at 9 p.m., but there are lots of things to do earlier in the day. Like the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast ($3), followed by a Home Run Derby.  There’s also a family open swim day (for free) at several area swim pools, and a free patriotic concert in the park featuring the Conejo Pops Orchestra plus patriotic games and crafts for the kids (starting at 5 p.m.). Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Thousand Oaks. Free admission. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Erin Costa via flickr

All Day-All American Festivities in Thousand Oaks
A day of activities (pancake breakfasts, open swims, concerts and a home run derby) is capped off with a fireworks show. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Thousand Oaks. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Celebrate at Shepherd Church
Before the sun sets, there will be bounce houses and face painting for kids and Americana-style music as well as a reenactment of the Iwo Jima memorial and a tribute to the Andrews Sisters.Then as the sun goes down, you can enjoy the 21 minute fireworks show!  Doors open at 4:40 p.m., fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Porter Ranch. Free. All Ages. Event details.

Valley Concert and Fireworks
The show, called Made in the USA, kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra playing All American favorites. Bring a picnic and relax, listen and dance while the kids play in the children’s area before the fireworks begin at 9 p.m.  Woodland Hills. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Michael Witzel via flickr

Parades

Old Glory Boat Parade
Watch out for the water spray  from the fire boats, as a whole host of boats float by, decked out in their finest red, white & blue. Brought to you by the American Legion Yacht Club, who also serves up a pancake breakfast for a fee.  Come back later in the evening to catch the fireworks at 9 p.m. Parade begins at 1 p.m. Newport Beach. Free (parade viewing only). All Ages. Event details.

Pacific Palisades Parade
The Palisades Parade brings with it a small town feel, if your small town happens have skydivers landing in the town center and bands and horses from across the country, alongside the local kids and community. After the parade there is a family concert and finally the fireworks at night ($10 for concert and fireworks seating for adults). Parade begins at 1:50 p.m. Pacific Palisades. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Meghan Rose

Huntington Beach Celebration
The Huntington Beach 4th of July parade was first held over 100 years ago and has grown to encompass three full days of food, entertainment, family activities and more. The festivities get going on the 4th with the parade and a 23-minute fireworks spectacular. Parade begins at 10 a.m. fireworks at 9 p.m. Huntington Beach. Free–$20 (Reserved seating). All Ages. Event details.

Westchester 4th of July Parade

In big cities like LA, true “hometown” events are rare. So this small town Norman Rockwell-esque parade is a throwback treat to a simpler time.  Parade begins at 11 a.m. Westchester. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Mike Licht via Flickr

Santa Clarita Parade
This patriotic celebration is old school with the All-SCV High School Marching Band, the Salvation Army Band, Scouts, vintage cars, horses and floats. Before the parade, there’s a 5k & 10k to get you fit before your grillin’ party fun, and at 9:20 p.m. there are fireworks.  Parade begins at 9 a.m. Santa Clarita. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Ian Flanders 

Something a Little Different

An Old Fashioned Barn Dance & BBQ
This is kind of an old fashioned holiday (it is 241 years old this year!), so spend the day in old fashioned pursuits, like horseshoes, yard jenga, balloon darts, corn-toss, ring toss, face painting, dunk bucket, pie eating contest, water balloon toss, watermelon seed spitting contest, a cake walk, barn dance and relay races for kids and adults, plus barbeque and fixin’s, beer, wine and music! 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Topanga. $8-$22. All Ages. Event details.

A July 4th Pool Party
Standing in the sun for those fab parades can really get you hot, so start the day with a cool down. Dive into this cool pool party with water games, water balloon tossing, swimming, and music. 10 a.m.-noon Manhattan Beach. $5. All Ages. Event details.

photo: LeTania K. Smith

Sporting Events

Fireworks With the Dodgers
There will be fireworks on the field and in the sky as the Dodgers take on the D-backs for a patriotic match-up. Games starts at 6:10 p.m. Elysian Park. $25 & up. All Ages. Event details.

The Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy takes on Real Salt Lake for the annual 4th of July Fireworks Soccer Extravaganza. Watch our five time MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy followed by stargazing in the sky with a fireworks display. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. Carson. $25-$150. All Ages. Event details.

Mr. & Mrs. Muscle Beach
Flex those muscles!  The annual bodybuilding competition draws pros and amateurs.  And is free for all spectators.  Show kids what you can look like if you eat your Wheaties. (And pump iron 10 hours a day…) Final judging starts at 1 p.m. Venice Beach. Free. All Ages. Event details.

photo: Josh McQueen

Palisades Kids Run
Before you settle down to sit and watch the parade, sit and watch the fireworks, or sit to indulge in a delicious BBQ or picnic, start that day with a run!  The Kids’ Run is non-competitive and each participant receives a ribbon and a flag. Run starts at 9:15 a.m. Pacific Palisades. $20 for the kids’ run. All Ages. Event details.

Kaboom! Monster Trucks & FMX
Monster trucks plus Moto X extreme plus fireworks finale equals tons of fun for everyone, especially kids who love cars and trucks and things that go.  Event starts at 8 p.m. Pomona. $18.50 & up. All ages. Event details.

Firecracker Dash
Choose between the 5 K run or walk and the shorter Firecracker Dash (ranging from a literal dash to 1/4 mile run, depending on age) or do both!  Everyone goes home with a t-shirt and medal.  Runs begin at various times. Redondo Beach. $25-$40. Ages 4 & up. Event details.

photo: Denise Chan via Flickr

Destination Celebrations

Disney’s Celebrate America
Celebrate with the Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. What could be more fun for kids than to see some 4th of July fireworks at the end of a day at Disneyland? Park opens at 8 a.m., fireworks at 9:25 p.m. Anaheim. $118 & up. All Ages. Event details.

Red White and Boom at LEGOLAND
Spend the day enjoying the rides and shows, which include special musical performances and all-American family picnic games like water-balloon tosses, hamburger relay races, burlap sack races and building activities. Then settle in for a concert and fireworks show! Park opens at 10 a.m, fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. Carlsbad. $90 & up. All Ages. Event details.

A Queen Mary 4th of July
Enjoy a whole day of family-friendly activities and live entertainment aboard the Queen Mary. There will be special historic tours and a patriotic theatrical movie in the Queen Mary Theatre and so much more. To end the night, the Queen Mary will present its signature fireworks spectacular filled with patriotic music capped by a special performance by The Pointer Sisters. Boat opens at 2 p.m., fireworks start at 9 p.m. Long Beach. $24-$44. All Ages. Event details.

Aquarium of the Pacific BBQ
Why fire up the  grill at home when you could come and savor dinner, enjoy the Long Beach fireworks display over the Harbor, and delight in the underwater sea life of the Aquarium at night at the annual 4th of July BBQ?  Or just come after 5 p.m. and skip dinner, just see the animals and fireworks! BBQ is served at 6 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. Long Beach. $14.95-$79. All Ages. Event details.

Tall Ship Spring Adventure Campphoto: Los Angeles Maritime Institute

4th of July Fireworks Cruise
Everyone knows the best way to see fireworks is over the ocean, where they reflect back everywhere you look.  So what could be better than seeing them surrounded by ocean? Enjoy a sunset cruise and fireworks while enjoying wine (well, the grown ups will!) and snacks. The boat leaves at 7:30 p.m. Dana Point.  $45-$65.  Ages 5 & up.  Event Details.

Catalina’s Fireworks On the Island
Catalina’s island celebration kicks off with a golf cart parade at 1 p.m. and ends with the fireworks display over Avalon Bay. With a lot of music and sunshine in between. Catalina Island. Free. All ages.  Event details.

Firecracker Train
This is one your little conductor will love: a BBQ dinner and train ride through the beautiful Heritage Valley, that’s capped off with a spectacular display of fireworks and a relaxing ride home.  All aboard! The train leaves at 6:30 p.m.  Fillmore. $25-$75.  All ages.  Event details.

There’s even more to do on Independence Day: be sure to check our calendar for a list of all activities you can do on the 4th of July!

—Meghan Rose