It has been four years since the last time I celebrated the 4th of July on American soil, so I definitely did not want to miss out on it this year.  My last 4th of July celebration happened at Main Beach in East Hampton, NY… a wonderfully warm day spent playing in the sand and a cool evening waiting for the fireworks to begin. We were surrounded by friends and family that drove the 3hours out of NYC to meet us there.  At the time, we only had one child, Samantha, and she was only 6 months old and easily went any where we took her.

The last 4 years, we have been the lone celebrants (ok, maybe another American here or there) in Shanghai and Sydney. As you can imagine, not much celebrating America happens there… though, we did have one sad attempt in Sydney through the American Society in Sydney.  They tried their best but it’s nothing like celebrating the 4th in New York City!

So, here we are, staying in the city for about a month, living in limbo (because we have just repatriated back from Australia), and with only a handful of friends in the area, we found ourselves at a loss for what to do.  Sadly, no backyard bbq invites or trips out to the beach.  We are here with 3 children in tow, instead of just 1, and wondering how to properly have our little ones experience the firework extravagazna we’ve come to expect.  We totally lucked out… we happen to be staying in a serviced apartment near Columbus Circle, only a few avenues away from the Hudson River and our windows face west - SCORE!  Now, could we see the fireworks from our windows? That was the unknown… but luckily, the building has a wonderful roof top deck with perfect views of the Hudson (and Central Park). So, with a simple pre-registration, we were all set to have the easiest fireworks viewing I’ve ever experienced.  10 minutes before the fireworks were scheduled to start, I took Sam and Noah (in their pjs) up to the 43rd floor roof deck for a nice, warm view of the skyline.  The kids couldn’t have been happier… We could see all 6 sets of fireworks along the river. The only thing better would be to hear the accompanying music.  1/2 way through, the kids were getting tired so I took them back down and tagged off with James so he could see the fireworks as well (baby Annabelle was snug in her crib already). But the pleasant surprise was that we had a very clear view of the fireworks from our 11th floor windows.  It couldn’t have been more perfect… 10 mins later, the kids were all asleep.  Now that’s the best way to watch fireworks in NYC with little kids!