Five Classic Fourth of July Events in Boston

Including an open bar at Top of the Hub, the Boston Pops, and Harborfest.

Boston Pops

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. / Courtesy photo

Treat Your Ears to the Boston Pops Concert

Going on its 43rd year, the Boston Pops’ rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is the ultimate hallmark of Independence Day in Boston. Keith Lockhart will conduct the orchestra in the annual show during his 21st year with the Pops. This year, Grammy award-winning country group Little Big Town and pop stars Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato will perform. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the concert begins at 8:30 p.m. Insider tip: catch the show July 3 for a less crowded version of the experience.

Free, Monday, July 4, 5–10 p.m., DCR Hatch Memorial Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston,


Top of the Hub. / Courtesy photo

Wine and Dine at Top of the Hub

If you’re planning a fancy date night, Top of the Hub is the place to be on the Fourth. From the open bar, to fine dining, to a stellar view of the fireworks, it’s no wonder the price is high. The night kicks off with an hour of hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, and continues to a five-course meal. The dinner opens with an appetizer palette sampling delights like ginger sesame spiced tuna tartar and scallops crudo. The three entree choices include summer harvest ravioli with butter-poached lobster, pistachio-crusted day boat halibut, and grilled eye of prime rib. Though it’ll be tempting to indulge early on, leave room for dessert: the Fourth of July blueberry cake is completed with Caribbean rum, coconut mousse, and local strawberry compote. Finish off the night enjoying one the best views in the city of the fireworks. Check out more Fourth of July dining options.

$250, reservations required, Monday, July 4, 6–11 p.m., 800 Boylston St., Boston, 617-536-1775,

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Boston Fireworks. / PHOTO by SUNSET NOIR on FLICKR/Creative Commons

Ogle the Fireworks Spectacular

It’s not the Fourth of July in Boston without the city’s famous fireworks show. From the Museum of Science garage rooftop, to Larz Anderson Park, to Harvard Bridge, the dazzling display of stars, stripes, and sparks will be visible throughout the city. The pyrotechnics will be blast off shortly after the Pops concert ends from barges in the middle of the Charles River. Want the best view? Here’s where to go.

Free, July 4, 10:30–11 p.m., Boston,


U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Webb salutes. / Photo by Gary Ward

Cruise Through Harborfest

A weekend-long celebration, Harborfest epitomizes Boston’s Fourth of July spirit. From free events to specially planned tours, the packed schedule is overflowing with family fun for every budget. The holiday festival’s signature events include a screening of Yankee Doodle Dandy, a historical tour of the Freedom Trail, and welcoming the navy on the USS Mesa Verde. Don’t miss the Taste of Harborfest on Long Wharf Sunday, where Ruiz Jazz Quartet will play live music and restaurants such as Chart House, Koy, and Urban Pie will serve up their best creations.

Prices vary for each event, Thursday, June 30–Monday, July 4, Boston, 617-439-7700,

“Queen Mary 2.” / Photo via Roderick Eime on Flickr

Queen Mary II Is Docking in Boston

Check out the massive trans-atlantic ocean liner—the largest and priciest in the world—that’s setting up camp in Boston’s CruisePort at 12 p.m. on the Fourth. It’ll stick around for the fireworks and set sail the next day. The world-renowned cruise ship weighs approximately 75,000 tons and is 1,132 feet.

Monday, July 4, 12 p.m., to July 5,