Best Fourth of July in Miami Festivities: Picnics, Hot Dog Eating, Fireworks

The fourth July comes out on a hump day this year, which means a perfect break in the work week in which to celebrate our nation's break from imperial rule. Miami, being a party town, has a host of different ways to celebrate. Whether its an old-fashioned picnic in the park or a fancy-schmancy celebration in the sky to watch fireworks, there's a party for every person.

Family Fun Time in Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove offers a full day of family friendly activities for your July 4 festivities:

Start with the old-fashioned July fourth celebration at the Barnacle Historic State Park. Bring a blanket or beach chairs and enjoy a picnic on the grounds of Miami's oldest house.  Children's activities, kite-making, knot demonstrations, and live music will keep children of all ages entertained. Bring lunch or buy hot dogs, burgers, and soft drinks at the park. The party starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

Here's a food-related scavenger hunt. The Grove's coconut hunt asks teams to search through Coconut Grove's shops, restaurants, and attractions to find specially painted coconuts. You don't eat them, but you do trade them in for prizes. The hunt starts at The Bookstore in the Grove at 3:30 p.m. Registration is free and starts at 2 p.m. at the shop.

It's not Nathan's, but it's in our backyard. Cocowalk's annual hot dog eating contest starts at 5 p.m. in center court. The goal? Eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes. Free to watch. If you want to enter, email mpeggyq@cocowalk.net for registration information. Stay after the contest for Cocowalk's beer pong competition, starting at 6 p.m. Local merchants supply the prizes.

Family fireworks in Peacock Park start at 9 p.m., but get there early for a great spot. The park opens at 4 p.m. with food available for purchase from New York Roma Pizza, Toby's Concessions, Greek Eats, Candy & Chocolate Covered Fruit, Bahamian Conch Shack, Doña Arepa, LM Catering, Fireman Derek's World-Famous Pies, Chart House, and others. Beer and wine is available for sale.

If you want to watch fireworks in style, the Peacock Garden Cafe, located directly across from Peacock Park, offers the same view of the Coconut Grove fireworks --- but with waiter service. Special red, white, and blue sangria will be available at $5 per glass, $16 a pitcher (which comes with a free platter of hummus and veggies). The cafe's full menu is also available.

Barbeque Buffet On The Bay
Last year, The Rusty Pelican

celebrated July 4th then closed its doors for renovation. This year, a

spiffier Pelican is celebrating with an all-American

barbeque buffet. The buffet features the usual barbeque fare like hot

dogs, Jack Daniels barbecue chicken, guava barbecue ribs, mac 'n' cheese,

corn on the cob, and potato salad. Beer and wine are included in the

package. $65 per adult, $25 per child (12 years and under), tax and

service charge not included. All active and retired military service members with

identification, receive a 50% discount. Call 305-361-3818 for reservations (recommended), which must be secured with a credit card.

Fireworks in the Sky

Area 31, located on the 16th floor of the EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami,

offers amazing views of the fireworks from Miami Beach, Miami, and Key

Biscayne without having to deal with the crowd. Have you ever seen the sky sparkle from a bird's eye view? It's spectacular. Enjoy specially priced

bar bites and cocktails from 5 to 10 p.m.

Celebrate in the City Beautiful
The Biltmore and the City of

Coral Gables are throwing a fireworks spectacular on the Biltmore Golf


Starting at 4 p.m., enjoy an all-American cook-out including open bar

from 5 - 9:45 p.m., with fireworks starting at 9 p.m. $115 for adults

& $40 for children, discounts for Biltmore club members and hotel

guests. High rollers can rent a cabana, starting at $395. Email 4thofjuly@biltmorehotel.com for reservations.

Let a Chef Pack Your Picnic
Chef Michelle Bernstein is offering to cook your picnic for you. Imaging the delight in your friends' eyes when they open this gourmet spread from Michy's instead of the usual sandwiches.Choose a fried chicken dinner for two (one chicken divided into eight pieces, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, and two red velvet cupcakes), or a rib platter for two (dry rubbed ribs basted with house-made BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, biscuits, and red velvet cupcakes).  Either option is $50 (serves two), excluding tax. Call 305-759-2001 (with a credit card) by 4 p.m. today, July 2, to reserve. Pick up on July 4th between 3 - 6:30 p.m.

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