Fireworks burst over Salem Harbor in its annual Fourth of July celebration. Photo by Scott Lanes
by Boston Parents Paper
The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Charles River is a grand event that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. But if you aren’t up to braving the crowds and traffic, try one of these other exciting Boston area Fourth of July celebrations. And make sure you check out these fun crafts and decorations kids will love on our Pinterest Board here.
July 1, Wednesday
Boston Harborfest, various locations, Boston. A festival of colonial and maritime heritage with reenactments, concerts, historical tours and much, much more. More than 200 events, many free. Through July 5. 888-733-2678; bostonharborfest.com.
“No Tax on Tea!” A Colonial Tea Tax Debate, 10:30am, Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. Recreate the 1773 tea tax debate that started a revolution with the Boston Tea Party. Free with admission. 617-482-6439; osmh.org.
July 2, Thursday
Whispers of Revolution, noon & 2pm, Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. Costumed reenactors share how the Boston Tea Party was planned in secrecy in the city’s back rooms and taverns. Free with admission. 617-482-6439; osmh.org.
Summertime in Somerville Fireworks Celebration, 9pm, Trum Field, 1 Franey Road, Somerville. The city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show. Rain date: July 9. FREE. somervillema.gov.
Summer Concert Series, 7-9pm, Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. The Concord Band presents a patriotic concert. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and picnic basket. $15 per car. 978-456-3924; fruitlands.org.
July 3, Friday
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Preview Concert, 8:30-10:30pm, Hatch Shell, 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston. Get a preview of the Fourth of July show with a full concert, minus the fireworks. FREE. july4th.org.
Independence Day Celebration, 9:30am – 5pm, Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge. Old-fashioned, patriotic family fun – militias, parades, crafting tri-cornered hats and more. Free with admission. Through July 5. 800-733-1830; osv.org.
Anniversary of the Automobile, 11am – 2pm, Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Celebrate Karl Benz’s 1886 invention by creating an air-propelled vehicle of your own. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums.org.
July 4, Saturday
July 4 at LEGOLAND, 10am – 7pm, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 598 Assembly Row, Somerville. Miniland has special patriotic builds, including an indoor fireworks display, and a 2,000-brick Uncle Sam mosaic will be on display. 866-228-6439; legolanddiscoverycenter.com/boston.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, 8pm, Hatch Shell, 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston. The Boston Pops annual Fourth of July party includes music, special guests and an amazing 10:30pm fireworks show. FREE. july4th.org.
Salem’s Independence Day Celebration, 4pm, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 185 Derby St., Salem. Head to Salem for a Pops concert, Kid Space play area and fireworks launched over Salem Harbor at 9:15pm. FREE. salem.com.
Buttonwood Park Zoo 1.5K Walkathon, 8:30am, Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn St., New Bedford. Start the holiday with a walk through the zoo. Ages 2-10. Admission includes registered child and one adult. $25. 508-991-6178; bpzoo.org.
Star Spangled Plymouth, various locations, Plymouth. Start the day with a parade (9:30am, begins at Mayflower Business Park) and end it with a fireworks display and old fashioned band concert on the Plymouth Waterfront (9pm). FREE. july4plymouth.com.
July 4th Celebration, Newton Centre Playground and Albermarle Field, Newton. Morning events at the playground include parades and free ice cream, followed by rides, music and a 9pm fireworks show. FREE. 617-796-1540; newtoncommunitypride.org.
Family Concert, 11am, Tanglewood, 297 West St., Lenox. Celebrate the Fourth with a picnic and a concert titled, “A Brass Carnival!” Pre-concert activities begin at 9:30am. Adults, $11; children, free. 888-266-1200; tanglewood.org.
Happy Birthday USA Family Day, noon to 4pm, Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, 235 Wellesley St. at Regis College, Weston. Celebrate our nation’s birthday with postage stamps. Free with admission. 781-768-8367; spellman.org.