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.

1 Friday

Boston Harborfest, various locations, Boston. The country’s largest Fourth of July festival includes historical reenactments, fireworks, outdoor movies, live entertainment and much more. Through July 4. 617-439-7700;

Whispers of Revolution, 11am & 1:30pm, 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;

A Visit with Paul Revere, 1-3pm, Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston. David Connor brings Boston’s favorite patriot vividly to life. Ask him your questions about his 16 children or midnight ride. Free with admission. 617-523-2338;

2 Saturday

Patriot Fife and Drum, 1, 1:45, & 2:30pm, Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston. Enjoy a lively concert of the music that accompanied colonists as they marched, danced and waged war. Free with admission. 617-523-2338; 

Fourth of July Farmyard Celebration,
10am – 2pm, Weir River Farm, 227 East St., Hingham. Celebrate the Trustees 125th birthday with farm animals, activities and treats. Family, $10. 781-740-7233;


Independence Day Celebration, 9:30am – 5pm, Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge. Take part in the citizens’ parade, march with the militia, participate in a pie-eating contest or play 19th century baseball. Through July 4. Free with admission. 800-733-1830;

3 Sunday

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Preview Concert, 8:30pm, 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.

4 Monday

Independence Day

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, 8pm, Hatch Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston. Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas feature in the annual concert and fireworks show. FREE.


Salem’s July Fourth Fireworks Extravaganza, 4pm, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby St., Salem. Children’s activities start at 4pm, followed by live entertainment and an orchestra-accompanied fireworks display. FREE.

Salisbury Fourth of July Celebration, 7pm, Salisbury Beach, Salisbury. Live music from the B Street Bombers, followed by fireworks over the ocean. FREE.


July Fourth in Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront, Plymouth. A parade kicks off festivities at 9:30am at Mayflower Business Park. Fireworks begin at 9pm on the waterfront. FREE.


July Fourth Celebration in Newton, various locations, Newton. Kids celebrate from 10am to noon at Newton Centre Playground with parades, games and ice cream, the fun continues all afternoon at Albermarle Field, ending with fireworks. FREE.

Happy Birthday USA Family Day, 11am – 3pm, Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. Activities and exhibits feature patriotic stamps; make a flag stamp collection or have a piece of cake. Free with admission. 781-768-8367;

Fourth of July at the Concord Museum, 11am – 3pm, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord. Enjoy colonial games or take part in a patriotic craft. Free with admission. 978-369-9763;