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  • Celebrate Independence Day with the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show

    macys-fourth-of-july-fireworks

    Every year, the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks in New York City commemorate Independence Day in an unforgettable fashion. Along with spectacular fireworks, this show usually features some of the nation’s most popular musicians and other talented stars. This makes the event a must-see if you are spending the Fourth of July in or near the Big Apple.

    A National Spectacular

    Macy’s has officially sponsored New York City’s fireworks show since 1976. That year, Macy’s put on a large event in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Today, the show represents the largest and arguably the most well-known Fourth of July fireworks display in the United States.

    Each year, the location of the show rotates between the East River and the Hudson River. Over the course of the half-hour event, 40,000 shells are released from river barges while synchronized live music is performed in the background. Like many people, you may have already witnessed this display on live television, but seeing it in person is truly an entirely new experience.

    Attending in 2015

    During the 2015 Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show, which will start at about 9:20 p.m., fireworks will be launched from the lower East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. Nick Cannon will host this installment of the show, and live performers will include Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, Hunter Hayes, Lionel Richie and Miranda Lambert. You can catch the full fireworks display from various locations around New York City, including:

    • Piers 1 through 6 of the Brooklyn Bridge Park
    • The Brooklyn Heights Promenade
    • FDR Drive in east Manhattan

    Almost any roof or open space that gives you an unimpeded view of the bridges over the lower East River should allow you to take in the show. To get the full live effect, you can tune in to 1010 Wins to catch a broadcast of the accompanying musical performance.

    Enjoying the Show

    If you can’t make the live show this year, you can always tune in to the televised broadcast on NBC. If you do plan on attending the show, it is important to take a few steps to ensure that you get the most out of the event.

    It’s best to arrive to stake out your space early, and expect to enjoy the event as part of a massive crowd. If you’ll be watching from an open or exposed area, don’t forget to dress for the elements to ensure that you can comfortably watch the entire show. With these tips in mind, it should be easy to enjoy the unforgettable experience that this live event promises.

  • Plan the Ultimate Fourth of July Celebration in NYC

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    If you’re staying in New York City during the Fourth of July, whether as a local or a tourist, you have countless celebratory events and patriot activities to choose from. Instead of spending the holiday doing things that you’ll barely remember next year, consider celebrating July 4th in New York City. From year-round events to special Fourth of July attractions, here are three outings that can make your Independence Day unforgettable.

    Visit Top Local Attractions

    Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, the Fourth of July is a great time to explore famous attractions located around NYC. The following museums and zoos are all open for most of the holiday:

    • The Museum of Modern Art
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • The American Museum of Natural History
    • The Central Park Zoo

    These all make great excursions if you’re spending the holiday with family. You can also use the day to check out local restaurants, bars or larger NYC attractions, such as Coney Island.

    Take a Cruise

    NYC cruises offer a novel new way to see the city and its most famous landmarks. Cruises that are scheduled specifically for the Fourth of July and showcase the city’s firework show promise an especially unforgettable excursion. Most of these cruises features live music, along with dinner and drinks, which may be included with your ticket or available for purchase. These cruises provide the ideal way to escape the crowds and enjoy an excellent view of the nighttime fireworks display from a comfortable and even classy setting.

    Catch the Live Show

    The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks display is one of the largest firework shows in the country, featuring as many as 40,000 shells, which are launched from ships in either the Hudson River or the East River. If a fireworks cruise doesn’t fit into your plans, you can still catch the display from various rooftop areas, such as the Brooklyn Heights Promenade or the Sky Room lounge. A number of ground locations, including FDR Drive and the first six piers of Brooklyn Bridge Park, also provide impressive views.

    Putting Together the Perfect Celebration

    However you intend to spend your Fourth of July in NYC, make sure that you start planning early. Tickets for special or limited-seating events, such as fireworks cruises, may sell out quickly. On Independence Day itself, it’s also important to arrive early for any events that you want to attend and leave plenty of time to get around town. This should help ensure that you can fully enjoy the holiday without any unwanted snags.

  • Top Fourth of July Events to Attend in NYC

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    For residents and visitors alike, New York City offers no shortage of exciting excursions and attractions. This is especially true on holidays such as the Fourth of July, when a variety of special celebrations and historical events are staged in honor of the country’s founding. If you’re spending this Fourth of July near the Big Apple, make the most of the holiday by attending at least one of the following July 4th events in NYC.

    Coney Island Events

    It only makes sense to celebrate Independence Day at an all-American attraction like Coney Island. You can plan a full day of activities, including swimming, enjoying live music, attending a sideshow, braving the amusement park rides and enjoying classic fair food. You can also attend the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest, which is a Fourth of July tradition that has been held for almost a century. This event usually wraps up before early afternoon, giving you plenty of time to attend other Fourth of July festivities.

    Historical NYC Tours

    Taking a historical walking tour is another fitting way to celebrate the Fourth while learning more about the country’s history. Check out the Revolutionary New York Walking Tour from Big Onion Walking Tours, which is staged specially around Independence Day, or the Presidential Greenwich Village and Gramercy Park tour from NYC Discovery Walking Tours.

    Both of these tours stop at several famous locations. The Revolutionary New York tour includes Federal Hall, Fraunces Tavern and the graves of General Richard Montgomery and Alexander Hamilton. The Presidential Greenwich Village and Gramercy Park tour stops at Washington Square Arch, Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace and historical locales associated with the following presidents:

    • George Washington
    • Abraham Lincoln
    • Teddy Roosevelt
    • Woodrow Wilson
    • Franklin Roosevelt
    • John F. Kennedy

    This tour also conveniently ends at the highway a few hours before the firework show starts, which makes it a great way to wrap up your afternoon.

    Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks

    Finally, no Independence Day in NYC is complete without taking in the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show. You can catch this event on live television or from various areas around the city, from bridges to rooftop promenades. For an especially unforgettable night, buy a $100 ticket to the Sky Room lounge. This bar, which offers panoramic views, is currently the highest rooftop lounge in NYC. Besides a spectacular view, your ticket buys you classic American picnic food and access to an open bar.

    Planning an Unforgettable Holiday

    Simply spending the Fourth of July in New York City can be incredible, given the city’s history, culture and many opportunities for celebration. Still, if you want to enjoy an especially spectacular Fourth, try to work one or even all of these memorable events into your itinerary for the day.

  • July in New York City: Weather and Event Guide

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    You've decided to visit New York City in July when summer is at its peak, and there's no limit to the enjoyable events. For a genuine NYC summer tradition, stop by the annual Nathan's hot-dog-eating contest. New York weather in July can be quite hot, so many New Yorkers escape to local beaches on the weekends, such as the Jersey Shore or the Hamptons. The 4th of July celebrations, including the firework spectacular, are truly once-in-a-lifetime NYC experiences. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to plan around the weather.

    NYC Weather in July

    Even though it is hot and humid, don’t let that intimidate you. The highs average around 85 degrees, and the lows fall to 70 degrees. July is the hottest and wettest month of the year, but this is the time when most of the activities are available outdoors. Start planning for the hottest month ahead with the essential things to do to keep cool, including summer concerts, art exhibitions and things to do on NYC rooftops.

    Featured July Events

    Find your favorite sunglasses, put on some sunscreen and get the summer drinks ready because summer in NYC is here! There are plenty of events that take place in July, but the highlight of the season is unquestionably Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display, when the sky lights up looking a million candles. The best spot to observe the performance is along either side of the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge. Other featured July events include:

    4th of July fireworks cruises
    • Shakespeare in the Park
    • Governor’s Ball Music Festival
    Summer music festivals
    • Museum Mile Festival
    • Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

    Walking Central Park is essential. Stop by Sheep Meadow, which transforms into a sunbathers' paradise. Other smaller parks, such as Madison Square Park, are ideal for sun-worshippers also. Listen to music at Celebrate Boston! or Central Park SummerStage in Prospect Park. On the west side of Manhattan, don't miss River Flix at the Hudson River Park.

    What to Wear in NYC in July

    Hot weather comes to NYC throughout the month of July. Pack plenty of shorts and sleeveless tops. Remember to wear sunscreen, especially if you plan to do a lot of touring around town. Bring an umbrella and a light sweater or rain jacket. This will come in handy for the unexpected downpours or in the air conditioned stores and museums. Comfortable, water-resistant closed-toe shoes are ideal for walking. A picnic blanket is a must if you plan to attend some of the free outdoor movies and concerts.

  • Plan a July 4th Cruise in New York City

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    After five years of lighting up the Hudson, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks is returning to the East River. Most locals are quite pleased about the change because it means that Brooklyn and Manhattan can get a glimpse of the excitement. Additionally, tourists have the option of participating in family-friendly activities such as a 4th of July Fireworks Cruise!

    The new location provides plenty of places in NYC to view the performance on land, but many of the most dramatic views will be from the water. There is no experience quite like watching Macy's 4th of July Fireworks up close while you sail along the East River. Also, you won't have to battle the crowds.

    Cruise Options for Everyone

    Of course, these special boat rides come with a hefty price tag and many are only open to ages 21 and up. However, you can find an affordable, kid-friendly 4th of July Fireworks cruise in NYC. The July 4th Spirit of New Jersey Dinner Cruise provides the perfect vantage point to watch the fireworks display while you enjoy a leisurely dinner, an open bar, and live music. There are many other available cruises to choose from, such as:

    Circle Line July 4th Cruise. See the firework displays over the river aboard this unique cruise. You can purchase drinks and food on board while a DJ entertains you during the exhibition.
    World Yacht 4th of July Dinner Cruise. Experience a one-of-a-kind, five-hour dinner cruise. The all-inclusive price features a five course sit-down dinner, music for dancing, open premium bar, and a personal view of the fireworks.
    Clipper City’s July Firework Spectacular Sail. This catered five-hour cruise features a BBQ buffet, open bar and up-close fireworks viewing.
    July 4th Sail on the Schooner Adirondack. Start at the Chelsea Piers on this two and a half hour cruise while you relax and enjoy an open beer, wine, soft drink and champagne bar.
    July 4th Cruise on the Yacht Manhattan. When you board this 1920s style yacht, you’ll be whisked away on a three-hour cruise. Tickets include an open beer, wine, soft drinks and champagne bar, as well as four separate courses of passed desserts hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
    Water Taxi's July 4th Fireworks Cruise. There’s no better way to view the fireworks than from the American Princess. Tickets include a light buffet, hors d'oeuvres, soft drinks, juice and dessert trays.

    Take in all the perks of the unbelievable sights of the East River fireworks display on an exciting dinner cruise. If you're planning to take a July 4th cruise, you should book one quickly. Most of these cruises sell out long before the sparklers go off. Make sure to leave ample time to get to the dock.

  • Long Island Wine Tasting

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    When you crave a world-class wine tasting experience at a charming vineyard, you don't have to fly to Napa Valley. The North Fork area of Long Island is NYC's unsung Wine Country, and it's right here in your backyard where you can participate in excellent Long Island wine tasting. The North Fork Crush Wine and Artisanal Food Festival is an ideal occasion to taste excellent wines and sample exquisite cuisine with the people who produce the wines and create the menus.

    New York Wine Events is turning North Fork establishment Jamesport Vineyards into an elegant wine and food tasting venue, just in time for your summer sampling delight. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste over 100 wines that are available to buy. Samples artisanal foods and light fares provided by Noah’s Restaurant while the delightful sounds of live jazz provide the backdrop.

    North Fork Crush Wine and Artisanal Food Festival Highlights

    At North Fork Crush Wine and Artisanal Food Festival, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the premier winemakers on Long Island. You won’t be talking with retailers, importers or distributors. You will be interacting with the region’s legitimate wine growers and producers. Highlights and features of the festival include:

    • Three hours of sampling of more than a hundred different varietals of wines
    • A unique selection of North Fork’s best artisan foods
    • An artisanal assortment of cheeses and locally baked breads
    • Live jazz concert on the vineyard grounds
    • Complimentary souvenir wine glass

    Don’t miss this a unique opportunity to learn about winemaking from the experts!

    Jamesport Vineyards

    Jamesport Vineyards was established in 1981 and manufactures 7,000 cases of wine annually on 60 lush acres of productive land. As one of the oldest vineyards in North Fork, it supplies wine to many top Manhattan restaurants. Once you visit Jamesport Vineyards you will develop an understanding of the unique lifestyle of the North Fork of Long Island. The quality of Jamesport’s wines, including their tasting room in a 150-year-old barn, creates a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere.

    Long Island Wine

    North Fork Crush highlights grapes from Long Island’s 3,000 acres of vines. You will be treated to an eclectic blend of over a hundred remarkable whites, bold reds and sparkling samples. The geography, soil characteristics and maritime climate combine to create exceptional, high-quality wines. Long Island winemakers blend state-of-the-art technology and age-old growing techniques to offer a range of world-class wines from selected blends and distinct varietals. Taste it, and if you like it you can buy it. All wines that are sampled during the festival will be on sale throughout the day. You will also have the opportunity to join the wine clubs of the vineyards at the festival.

  • The Imminent Arrival of Awesomeness: Kalahari Resorts and Conventions

    Kalahari resorts waterpark

    New York, NY- Very few things can be classified as awesome, but Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is certainly one of them. Currently, there are two Kalahari Resorts and Conventions open: the first in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and the second in Sandusky, Ohio. On July 1, a third location will open in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, which will be a boon for East Coasters. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is unique in many ways. One is their authentically African theme. In fact, the owners, the Nelson family, traveled to six countries in Africa last October to bring back authentic items and experiences for their guests. The resort also caters to all members of the family — from the young, to the young at heart. With a mission to help families reunite, Kalahari Resorts is destined to revolutionize the waterpark industry.

    Their press release explains the latest Kalahari Resorts mission: "The demands of modern life and overbooked schedules are taking a toll on family time. On average, families are spending fewer than eight hours per week with one another. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions was created for families by the Nelson family — and they are on a mission to remove family time from the Endangered List — beginning with the opening of their grandest resort to date in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, on July 1, 2015."

    Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, recently named the World’s Coolest Indoor Water Park by Condé Nast Traveler (2014), is sure to satisfy anyone who visits their resorts. Their new resort in the Pocono Mountains will feature Pennsylvania’s largest indoor waterpark, an outdoor waterpark with a huge outdoor pool, a sundeck for relaxing, indoor/outdoor whirlpools, and a swim-up bar. It also has a 30,000 sq. ft. family entertainment center including bowling, laser tag, and arcade games, three signature dining experiences, a 100,000 sq. ft. convention center, and more. With a vast number of family-oriented activities on premises, people of all ages are guaranteed to have a great time. As Travis Nelson, spokesman for Kalahari Resorts, said: “We are passionate about creating an unforgettable experience for families — and our new resort is unparalleled to any destination on the East Coast.” Although this sounds like a strong statement, to my surprise, it may actually be an understatement.

    Here in New York City, the excitement about the new Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is palpable. I am eager to check out the resort later this summer. I especially anticipate seeing how this family resort will appeal to all ages. And based on the reports, I look forward to showing the world why everyone should go to the resort. And of course, those with families should bring their entire crews. At Kalahari Resorts, the "fun factor" will certainly be at the highest caliber and I cannot wait to experience it for myself. The hype is for real!

  • Experiencing Real New York At The Puerto Rican Day Parade

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    There are days when I just want to run down the street as fast as I can, tossing others aside as I move at my own pace and avoid the kerfuffle of shuffling feet and loud conversations (and yes, I did say “kerfuffle”). But then there are those days, those few glorious days when I round the corner and realize that the intense foot traffic is not because of construction: it’s a parade!

    As I may have made mention multiple times in my previous posts, New York is great.

    “But why, random blogger, is New York so grand?” you may ask. Well, I shall explain. The pivotal and most significant element that makes this city the “Big Apple” is its exquisite culture.

    One of the best parts of living in New York is the multicultural celebrations, and boy oh boy does the Puerto Rican Day Parade raise the bar. It’s fun, it’s vibrant and it’s a good time The streets are blanketed with color and flowing with music. You really can’t help but be infected by the excitement.

    This year’s 57th parade was a spirited and lively celebration. With EGOT winner Rita Moreno acting as Grand Marshal, the day included thousands of participants and crowd-goers. The National Anthem was sung by Puerto Rican singer Raquel Sofia, along with a selection of songs from her new album.

    But where, oh where, can one find this parade for next year? Again, my friend, take my hand and I shall be your guide. The festivities began around 11am at 44th street and 5th avenue. This year the parade lasted until about 4pm. So for those of you interested in going next year, get an early start and bring a lot of water.

    National Puerto Rican Day is not simply about dancing la bomba and having some pastelón. Parade officials always use the celebration to raise awareness for various causes. This year Boricuas used their voices to call attention to the terrible conditions involving the Caño Martín Peña. The channel has fallen into extreme disarray and poses a threat to its nearby low-income populace. Officials also expressed support for the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, ex-leader of a Puerto Rican terrorist organization. The celebrations also focused heavily on the influence of Afro-Boricuas (Puerto Ricans of African dissent) honoring artistic, philanthropic, and other important cultural achievements.

    Great food, fabulous dancing, risque costumes, discussions about ecological destruction, and upbeat music: what more could you want?

  • Asian Food Festival

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    If you are planning on visiting NYC the end of June this year, you won’t want to miss the one-of-a-kind Asian Food Festival. It is the biggest and most distinct Asian food celebration in North America, marking the culinary arts of Asian and Asian-inspired cuisine. Taste Asia is a produced and established by NTD Television and Epoch Times to present the best of Asian culture and food to New Yorkers.

    Over the past six years, approximately one thousand chefs from a dozen countries and neighboring regions have competed in the competition, with cash prizes awarded to winning participants. In 2015, Taste Asia returns to Times Square, this time with an even larger exhibition, including notable chefs illustrating distinct Asian cuisines and demonstrating their country's culinary techniques and traditions.

    The Event

    Asia comes to Times Square when top chefs from numerous Asian regions will gather at NTD television’s kitchen arena to exhibit the ultimate in Asian cooking. Taste Asia is NYC’s highly publicized outdoor food festival. Master chefs from around the world and some of NYC’s finest will showcase their talents using Taste Asia’s trademark fully-equipped outdoor kitchens, delighting live television viewers and crowds of thousands. They will concentrate on recipes and ingredients that span across Asian cultures, regions and countries.

    A gathering of Asian and Asian-inspired restaurants will provide tastings, and cultural performances will take place on the center stage. The result is a celebration of Asian cuisine that serves as a connection between those countries and also the East and West through the love of food and culture.

    Taste Asia 2015

    Taste Asia is the climax of a month-and-a-half-long Asian restaurant month, which starts annually in May, the month that celebrates Asian Pacific Heritage. Tempted by free food samples and live performances, it isn’t hard to entice visitors and locals to attend. While Asian food is famous in New York, what is less well known is how it is made.

    This year, the Taste Asia 2015 will be coming to NYC June 26 through 28. On June 28th, the 7th International Chinese Culinary Competition will also bring together traditional Chinese chefs from around the world to compete in five cuisine categories: Cantonese, Northeastern, Huaiyang, Shandong and Sichuan. The competition’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culinary techniques. Other events you won’t want to miss include:

    • Asian cooking showcase and on-stage cultural performance
    • 7th International Chinese Culinary Competition
    • Taste Asia Food Fest
    • Taste Asia luncheon
    • Taste Asia awards dinner

    Korean and Indian dancers round out the mostly food-related performances, which include a dumpling eating competition, mochi- and noodle-making demonstrations, and lessons on how to eat with chopsticks.

  • 2015 Summer Concerts in New York City

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    The best things this summer are free, particularly when it comes to NYC's summer concerts. Starting each year in May and running through August, you can hear live music of all kinds across the city without spending a dime. Whether it's a classy night outdoors with the Philharmonic, indie rock on the Manhattan waterfront or world music at SummerStage, NYC’s 2015 Summer Concerts in New York City are sure to please music lovers of all tastes.

    Central Park SummerStage Concerts

    The Central Park SummerStage in an outdoor venue at Rumsey Playfield that hosts numerous music, spoken word and dance events each summer. Many of the events are free. Others require advance tickets and serve as charitable affairs for the Central Park SummerStage series.

    Rumsey Playfield is located off Fifth Avenue on East 72nd Street. The closest subway is the 6 train; just take the 68th Street exit. You can easily enter the park on Fifth Avenue and 69th Street. Entrance to the concert area begins 90 minutes before the entertainment begins on weekends, and one hour before it starts for weeknight shows.

    New York Philharmonic in the Parks

    A favorite New York City summer concert series for visitors and locals is the New York Philharmonic in the Parks. This year, from June 17 to 23 the Philharmonic will present free outdoor concerts in in the following areas:

    • Cunningham Park in Queens
    • Prospect Park in Brooklyn
    • Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx
    Central Park

    These shows offer the chance to hear outstanding classical music. More importantly, it's an excuse to meet up with friends and enjoy food, drinks and a free evening out with the New York Philharmonic providing the backdrop. Plan your seating location because the audience takes the performance more seriously up close to the band shell.

    Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. so if you want to get close to the band shell, you should plan to arrive at least two hours early or more. However, depending on your group’s size and if you're less particular, you can arrive up any time even right up until the show begins.

    The Great Lawn is positioned directly in the middle of the park, from 79th to 85th Streets. You can find the band shell in the northern part of Great Lawn. To arrive by subway, catch the 4, 5 or 6 train to 86th Street. Head three blocks west to 5th Avenue and enter the park at the entrance between 85th and 86th Streets. Follow the winding pathway and the crowds. Another option is to take the A, B or C train to 81st Street and enter the park right on 81st Street. Follow the excitement to the Great Lawn.