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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Where to watch the fireworks with kids this July 4 in the San Francisco Bay Area

There's nothing better than a great July 4th fireworks show. Well, if you're eating ice cream during the blast, that makes it better. Here are great spots to view the pyrotechnics with the kids in the Bay Area this year.

San Francisco

Watch from a boat - the Jeremiah O'Brien on Pier 45 offers deck-top viewing with admission starting at 7:30. Tickets are $30/adult, $20/senior, $15/children (ages 6-12), or $70 for a family (2 adults, 2 kids). The fireworks go from Aquatic Park to Pier 39, so you'd be in prime viewing location.

For no cost, though, get to Fisherman's Wharf early to snag a spot along the waterfront, and further southeast along the Embarcadero, for a good view.

You'll find great fireworks in the Foster City lagoon at 9:30, along with all day entertainment and carnival rides at Leo Ryan Park.

Fireworks shoot out over the Redwood City port at 9:30, so get there early (before 7:30 p.m.) for a spot on Seaport Court.

South Bay
Morgan Hill Freedom Fest has a full day of festivities planned, with a parade, bike fest, car show and live music, plus evening fireworks.

From the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, you can see fireworks from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Two spots to park yourself - the Marin Headlands has a high vantage point with the scenic Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground. Or head down to Cavallo Point Lodge, which has great views from the Bay side of the bridge, closer to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. The lodge has activities and a BBQ during the day, no reservations required, with live music from 1-5.

If your kids love amusement parks, head to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which has fireworks all weekend long.

The Marin County Fair has a great fireworks display on July 4th (and any day during the fair, just in case you miss it on the 4th). Spend the day visiting the 4-H animals, riding rides and listening to concerts like La Santa Cecilia or March Fourth Marching Band on Independence Day.

East Bay
Spend the day - or part of it - on the USS Hornet in Alameda. Their celebration does from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with live music starting at 2. Lots to keep you busy during the day, with the flight simulator, interactive games, and a bounce house. And of course stay for a great fireworks viewing spot on the deck. Tickets are $25/adult ($30 at the door) and $10 for kids 5-7. Kids under 5 are free with a paying adult.

Photos courtesy of Flickr/Angela n and Jorgen Kesseler

This was originally posted on MommyNearest, an awesome free location-based app which provides parent-tested things to do, eat, go, find and explore.


  1. Any tips for toddler-friendly fireworks or 4th of July activities in the Bay Area?

  2. Lots of the places mentioned here have toddler friendly day activities too. As for fireworks do prepare your tot for what to expect.