America's 237th birthday lands on a Thursday this year, and that can mean only one thing: long weekend! Take Friday off (if you haven't already) or plan on calling in sick. You can thank us later.
Just like any birthday, we Miamians know how to celebrate with a bang, and this Fourth of July is no exception. Here are Miami's hottest Independence Day spots for all of your patriotic, pyrotechnic needs.
8. Race to the Fourth at Homestead-Miami Speedway
The City of Homestead's annual Fourth of July celebration lets every race-car lover live their Talladega Nights dream. Live music, games, food, drinks, and rides.
Go Because: Homestead is your stomping grounds
6 to 10 p.m., 1 Speedway Blvd., Homestead. Call 305-230-5000 or visit homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
7. The Fourth of July Celebration at Miami Children's Museum
If you're stuck with an underage bunch this Fourth, there's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is, you're stuck with kids on your day off. The good news is, you can take them to Miami Children's Museum. There will be all kinds of patriotic activities, including flag T-shirt making, a parade of the colonies, a signing of the Declaration of Independence, a reenactment of Paul Revere's midnight ride, a special appearance by John Adams, and a confetti canon.
Go Because: You can't find a babysitter
Price: $12; kids under 1 get in free
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 980 Macarthur Cswy., Miami. Call 305-373-5437 or visit miamichildrensmuseum.org.
6. Star Spangled Music Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
If you think you can rival Daniel Day Lewis for best Abe Lincoln look-alike, the Star Spangled Music Festival is your chance to dress up like Honest Abe and not feel out of place. At this 12-hour beach party, attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite American hero to celebrate the men and women who have exemplified the American spirit. Enjoy live musical performances, DJ entertainment, gourmet grub from more than 20 food vendors, and the City of Key Biscayne's fireworks display.
Go Because: Proceeds benefit the Children's Survival Network
Noon to midnight, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami. Call 305-458-4900 or visit starspangledmusicfestival.com.
5. Fireworks Spectacular at The Biltmore
The Biltmore will host its annual fete on the golf course. There will be activities throughout the day, including concessions and patriotic mascots, capped off with a fireworks show and a live performance by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.
Go Because: You're way over the party scene this year
5 p.m., fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Call 800-456-1926 or visit biltmorehotel.com.
4. The SeaFair's July Fourth Fire Works Party
Celebrate our nation's birthday in style with the July Fourth Fire Works Party aboard the SeaFair mega-yacht, setting sail from Bayfront Park's South Dock (next to the InterContinental Hotel). With unbeatable views of the Bayfront fireworks and downtown Miami's sparkling skyline, enjoy creative hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, soft drinks (cocktails available for purchase), and entertainment by DJ Rosano.
Go Because: You have the extra Benjamins to spare
Price: $150 per person ($175 after July 1 on space-available basis), $90 children 12 years and younger, and $1,200 for VIP reserved table for six guests
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call 239-949-5411 or visit expoships.com.
3. Miami Beach's Fire on the Fourth
Nothing says God bless America like a bit of bared flesh, especially when paired with a flag-printed bikini. Head to Miami Beach's Lummus Park for Fire on the Fourth, presented by Coca-Cola. This all-day music fest kicks off with DJ Maximus3000 from 1 to 5 p.m., Fred Thomas from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and then the South Florida Symphony Orchestra at 8:30 p.m. Stake out a nice spot on the sand to watch the fireworks display, and tote a picnic basket with beverages to toast to 'Murica's birthday. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
Go Because: You're already on the beach; otherwise, stay on the mainland to avoid gridlock
Eighth Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Call 305-673-7577or visit miamiandbeaches.com.
2. Coconut Grove's July 4th Fireworks and Food Truck Extravaganza in Peacock Park
At this extravaganza, there will be plenty of grub and live music to get you in top patriotic spirit. Local restaurants and shops will have special offers, plus there'll be raffles and holiday gifts for kids. Pack snacks, picnic blankets and lawn chairs, and head over to Peacock Park for the fireworks show at 9 p.m.
Go Because: You can take Metrorail
4 to 10 p.m., 2820 McFarland Rd., Coconut Grove. Call 305-444-7270 or visit coconutgrovechamber.com.
1. America's Birthday Bash at Bayfront Park
This waterfront party is the mother of all pyrotechnic displays in Miami. At Bayfront Park, you'll be positioned directly under the fireworks display for what's undoubtedly the best view in the 305. Enjoy a live DJ, free food, drinks, and children's activities.
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Go Because: You like things that go boom
3 p.m., fireworks start at 9 p.m., 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Call 305-358-7550 or visit bayfrontparkmiami.com.