We arguably live in one of the best cities in America, and that should be enough to be grateful for this Independence Day. But while we're all gorging on hot dogs, potato salad, and pastelitos, let's not forget all the other things for which we should be thanking the stars and stripes. There is, of course, freedom and liberty and the fact the we don't use pounds as our currency. There's also good ol' reliable fast food, the invention of the mighty iPhone, and LeBron finally having a ring. You know, super American stuff.
It's America's 236th birthday, and that calls for a proper celebration. If there's one thing this city has a knack for, it's celebrating. (Consider the pots and pans bangers from 49th to Bird Road to Eighth Street just last Thursday for the Heat's triumphant win.)
Regardless of how rambunctious you are, here are the top 10 places in Miami to live out your very own version of Katy Perry's "Firework."
10. Race to The 4th at Miami Speedway
To some, Homestead may seem like a world away with its acres of farmland and a drive worthy of multiple pee stops. But for all you Homestead dwellers, ;Miami Speedway is hosting a festival featuring entertainment, food, and music, ending with a fireworks show.
Who'll Be There: Folks who wish they lived in Miami, but in fact live in Homestead.
5 - 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m., 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead, 305-224-4570, homesteadmiamispeedway.com
9. Miami Children's Museum 4th of July Celebration
Watermelon, water games, and a signing of the Declaration of Independence with John Adams? It's enough to make us want to join in on this one in lieu of something more adult-friendly.
Who'll Be There: Kids, toddlers, babies, and moms who do 'mommy and me' yoga.
Price: Adults, $16; Florida Residents, $12; children under 12 months of age, free; MCM Members, free
11a.m. - 3p.m.,980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, 305-373-5437, miamichildrensmuseum.org
Celebration at Milander Park
8. City of Hialeah's Independence Day Celebration at Milander Park
It's no secret the whole town of Hialeah knows how to make merry. Gather 'round at Milander Park with the brood. There will be a kids zone, live entertainment by Carlos Oliva, and a fireworks show. They've also one-upped everyone else with a laser light show. Take that.
Who'll Be There: Casuela bangers and their abuelas who want their cookware back.
6 - 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m., 4700 Palm Ave., Hialeah, 305-557-6770, hialeahfl.gov
7. Fireworks Spectacular at The Biltmore Hotel
Of course Coral Gables is offering the fanciest way to celebrate the fourth of July. The Biltmore is hosting a fireworks spectacular on its golf course. There will be activities throughout the day, concessions, and patriotic mascots, capped off with a fireworks show and a live performance by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.
Who'll Be There: Fancy Ponce (haha, get it?)
Price: VIP tables with front-row event seating for the Fireworks Spectacular including Stars and Stripes BBQ and Open Bar available for only $1,926; All-American Cookout party with Open Bar including beer, wine and Bacardi cocktails starting at just $95; VIP cabanas available from a mere $395
4 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m.,1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, 800-456-1926, biltmorehotel.com
6. Old Fashioned July Fourth at the Barnacle
If you're thinking of hipster ladies and gents sporting their Gatsby-esque best on Governors Island, sorry, but wrong state. The Barnacle State Historic Site is offering a less pompous old-fashioned soiree on the fourth. There will be a scavenger hunt, kite making, and knot demonstrations, among other period-inspired activities. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase typical American fare on site. Alas, you should make other plans for the evening; there are no fireworks at this celebration.
Who'll Be There: Folks who simply enjoy old-timey stuff.
Price: $5 adults, $3 kids 6-12
11 a.m. - 4 p.m., 3485 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, 305-442-6866, floridastateparks.org/thebarnacle
5. Island Queen Cruises Fourth of July Cruise
Watching fireworks on land is so cliché. Go aboard Island Queen Cruises and watch Downtown Miami fireworks show from the sea. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, though--this two-hour patriotic party by sea sells like hot cakes.
Who'll Be There: Good swimmers. Can you just imagine what would happen if an explosive landed on the boat?
Price: Adults $55, Children $25
8 - 10 p.m., 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-379-5119, islandcruises.com
4. Key Biscayne Fourth of July Parade
In its 53rd year, the Key Biscayne Fourth of July Parade must be doing something right. The patriotic parade makes way down Crandon Boulevard and will feature a variety of high school marching bands, junkanoos, Mocko Jumbo stilt walkers, bagpipers, and a custom Lil John Fire Rescue Truck. Get your barbeque grub on at Key Biscayne Beach Club (685 Ocean Drive, Key Biscayne) starting at 6:30 p.m.
Who'll Be There: Baby boomers, families, and we're guessing a lot of parade volunteers
Price: Parade and fireworks show free. Barbecue is $20 for adults and $10 for children
Parade starts at 11 a.m., barbecue at 6:30 - 11p.m., fireworks start at sunset, 400 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, 305-365-5511, kb4.org
3. July 4th Celebration and Fireworks at Peacock Park
The Grove's event at Peacock Park will be sponsored by Samuel Adams beer and that can only mean one thing; beer! There will be plenty of food truck grub and live music on hand to get you in top patriotic spirit. Churro Mania, The Fish Box, Gastropod, Latin Burger & Taco, and Sakaya Kitchen are among the food trucks making an appearance.
Who'll Be there: Devoted food truck followers
5 - 10 p.m., 2820 McFarland Rd., Miami, 305-444-7270, coconutgrovechamber.com
2. Miami Beach's Fire on the Fourth
Come early and bring a beach chair or blanket. A fourth of July with sand between your toes sounds top-knotch, especially with blues and jazz tunes in the air. Miami Beach is offering free blues and jazz concerts. Big Poppa E and the E Band perform at 6:30 p.m. and South Florida Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Chuck Bergeron, featuring special guest vocalist Nicole Henry perform at 7:45 p.m.
Who'll Be There: Sunburned tourists and those willing to brave the inevitable gridlock traffic. Don't say we didn't warn you.
12p.m.-10p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m., Eighth Street Beach and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 305-673-7400, miamiandbeaches.com
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1. America's Birthday Bash at Bayfront Park
Miami's skyline exploding in pyrotechnics should be enough to make even a macho man cry red, white, and blue. Celebrate America's birthday at Downtown Miami's Bayfront Park with free food, drinks, and children's activities.
Who'll Be There: We're going to go ahead and assume that most of Miami's population will&
3 - 10 p.m., Fireworks start at 9 p.m., 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-358-7550, bayfrontparkmiami.com