L.A.'s 10 Best Fireworks Shows for the 4th of July
Have an explosive (but kid-friendly) Independence Day at these fun-filled SoCal celebrations.
No matter how patriotic you consider yourself to be, celebrating Independence Day is usually one of the highlights of the summer, especially for families. From the parades to the parties, everything about it makes for great times and happy memories that can last a lifetime. Of course, no 4th of July experience would be complete without a sky full of crackling, booming, dazzling fireworks. It’s something that seems to delight kids and adults alike. (Anxiety-plagued pets, on the other hand? Not so much. So make sure you get a pet sitter to help keep them calm while you're gone.)
If you live in the Los Angeles area, there are July 4th fireworks shows galore, many of which can be experienced on the cheap. (They’re listed below in order from least to most expensive.) For the most part, these shows are simply the grand conclusion to a day of activities designed to delight little ones. So, take your pick from the options that follow, and you might just establish a family tradition for years to come.
Address: 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: 2 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Parking: Available in surrounding lots; view map of options here
For the fifth year running, Downtown L.A. will be transformed into a massively rocking good time that stretches around eight city blocks. There will be live music performances and DJ sets on the two main stages, featuring funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, world music, and more. (The Frontyard Stage is near Hill Street, and the Backyard Stage is near City Hall.)
There will also be a dedicated play area with games for kids on the Grand Park Event Lawn, and plenty of picnic areas to get your grub on. You’re welcome to bring your own eats, or stuff yourself with fare from one of the many gourmet food trucks.
Additionally, this year will see the introduction of mobile vendors offering face painting, art making, and video gaming. It all wraps up with a fireworks display launched from the civic center skyline.
Worth noting: This is an alcohol-free event, and there are a lot of other prohibited items, including coolers, large backpacks, chairs, and any beverages except sealed juice boxes. Check the website for more details on all that.
- Burton Chace Park: 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
- Fisherman’s Village: 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Hours: Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Parking: County lots for $7–$15
If you require a beachy locale from which to view the fireworks, then you’ll want to check out what’s considered to be the best fireworks show on the Westside. The 20-minute pyrotechnic display is launched from a barge in Marina del Rey’s main channel, and is synchronized with patriotic music broadcast on radio station KXLU 88.9 FM.
Since that music is blasted on loudspeakers in Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village, those are two prime spots to set yourself up. Consider packing a picnic and making a day of it at the park, or book a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants in the village.
Another thrilling option is to head out onto the water itself. You can find information about companies that charter boats in the Marina here—or check out one of the special Independence Day excursions being offered by Hornblower Cruises here. It’ll be a shipload of fun, guaranteed.
Address: Warner Park: 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Hours: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Parking: $20 in any of the surrounding Warner Center parking structures
As fireworks shows go, this is one of the most popular in the West Valley. In addition to the blazing 15-minute sky show, this year’s extravaganza includes a concert by the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, along with more than 20 local food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and a children’s play area.
Admission to the event is free, but you might want to consider the VIP treatment—options include reserved seating for a mere $10, and parking passes with reserved seating for $25.
Also worth noting: A lot of people try to get there well before the vendors open for business to meet up with friends, have potluck picnics, and/or stake out a spot on the grass. It does tend to get crowded, so consider making a full day of it yourself.
Address: Rancho Santa Susana Community Park: 5005 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063
- July 3: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- July 4, noon – 10 p.m. | Fireworks at approximately 9 p.m.
- July 3: Entry Fee, $5 | Children (5 and under), Free | Ride Tickets, $1 each | Unlimited All-Rides Wristband, $20 |
- July 4: Entry Fee, Free | Ride Tickets, $1 each | Unlimited All-Rides Wristband, $20 | VIP Tickets (see below for more details), $125
- NO CREDIT CARDS AT EVENT – CASH ONLY
- July 3: Community Park Parking Lot, Metro Station Parking, and On-Street Parking, Free
- July 4: Premium Parking at the Community Park Parking Lot, $20 | Metro Station Parking and On-Street Parking, Free
The Rotary Club of Simi Valley’s annual festival will take place on July 3 and 4 this year — and you might just want to go both days so you can experience everything they’ve got to offer!
Styled like a true red-white-and-blue county fair, the fun includes carnival rides, a rock climbing wall, a water balloon toss, a pie-eating contest, country bands, food trucks, a craft beer and wine garden, and shopping in the vendor village. At the end of day two (i.e. July 4), you’ll be treated to the largest fireworks display in all of Ventura County.
As noted above, this is a cash-only event, so bring plenty of greenbacks. (There will be an ATM on-site if you forget!) You can feel good about where the money is going — the festival is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Rotary Club of Simi Valley, and all net proceeds help other local nonprofits, scholarships, the Boy Scouts of America, the YMCA, military veterans, Meals on Wheels, senior concerns, and many more important organizations.
If you decide to opt into the unlimited carnival ride wristband, just know that they're only good for one day. And if you want to make the 4th an extra-special outing for your family, you might want to consider springing for the VIP tickets option. VIP tickets include parking, an all-rides wristband, access to an air-conditioned tent, and complimentary food and beverages from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. on July 4 only.
- Concert and Fireworks: 15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
- Parade: 15120-15140 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Hours: Skydivers and Parade at 2 p.m. | Food/Concert Gates Open at 4 p.m. | Main Stage Concert at 6 p.m. | Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Cost: General Admission for Concert and Fireworks, $10 | Children (6 and under), Free | Parade Grandstand Seating (Optional), $50
Parking: Free neighborhood parking is available in nearby areas, as long as all signs and parking laws are obeyed. Limited paid parking may also be available at Temescal Gateway Park at 15601 Sunset Blvd., at the intersection of Sunset and Temescal Canyon Road. Concert and fireworks parking at the high school is available to prepurchase for $20 here.
Folks who live in the Pacific Palisades take their July 4th festivities seriously! For nearly 70 years, crowds have flocked to the upscale area to celebrate the occasion.
It all kicks off with an early-morning 5k/10k run. Then, there’s a parade where the community’s patriotism is on full display, and participation is highly encouraged. Opportunities to get involved include building a float, walking your dog with other patriotic pups, or letting your kids ride their bikes in the parade while you accompany them. (There’s even a bike-decorating contest.) If that’s not enough, you’ll also see skydivers, marching bands, equestrian groups, and celebrities in the mix. Plus, locals decorate their houses in all-American style for the home contest.
After the parade wraps up, it’s time to head over to the high school, where there will be food trucks, family-friendly activities, and local musicians jamming in the parking lot. As the sun sets, there’s an evening concert on the main stage and then, for the grand finale, a display of the best fireworks you've ever seen, presented by the world-famous Pyro Spectaculars.
Address: Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103
Hours: 2 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Fireworks at 9 p.m.
- General Admission, $15 | Children (5 and under), Free
- Reserved Seating, $30 | Children (2 and under), Free
- You can buy tickets at Ticketmaster.com
- Purchased in Advance: Regular Parking, $20 | Preferred Parking, $30
- Purchased on the Day of the Event: Regular Parking, $30 | Preferred Parking, $40
- You can purchase parking in advance via Ticketmaster
Returning for its 91st year, AmericaFest at Pasadena’s legendary venue promises a day full of good times for the whole family.
You can head over as early as noon, when the parking lot opens, if you want to score a good spot and do a bit of tailgating. But, the real party will kick off at 2 p.m., when the food court opens, along with a Family Fun Zone full of inflatable rides and games. Doors to the stadium will open at 5:30 p.m., with performances beginning at 7 p.m. Beatles tribute band Liverpool Legends will be back as the headlining act this year, with a special set honoring the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s iconic album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Kids will also go crazy for the motorcycle stunts showcased by TNT Freestyle Motocross. Then, Pyro Spectaculars by Souza will deliver one of the largest and longest-running 4th of July fireworks displays in the nation.
Worth noting: The Rose Bowl has a strict bag policy, so you’ll want to travel light when it’s time to head inside the stadium (unless you’re happy to carry an oh-so-fashionable freezer-bag purse). See all the venue’s rules and guidelines here.
Address: 2301 Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068
Hours: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Tickets start at $27 (children 12 and under are half-price)
Parking: On-site parking is $18–$50 and all lots are stacked | Consider one of the many park and ride options, $6 shuttles, or a taxi or ride-sharing service instead
There’s nothing quite as magical as experiencing a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, especially during the summer.
This year’s three-day celebration of America’s independence (shows are on July 3, 4, and 5) will feature the Grammy Award–winning a cappella group Pentatonix, along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, plus the Bowl’s always spectacular pyrotechnics. The ultimate experience is bringing a picnic dinner and scoring a seat in one of the Garden or Terrace boxes, which are equipped with fold-out tables. That said, box seats aren’t cheap. The on-site restaurants are also a delicious option, and there are plenty of picnic areas located outside the Bowl where you can dine before the show, too.
No matter where your seats are located, the good news is that you’ll easily see every incredible moment of the fireworks without any trouble whatsoever.
Address: Dodger Stadium: 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cost: Tickets start at $35
Parking: General Admission Parking, $10 | Preferred Parking, $35–$40
What could be more American than spending Independence Day at one of our nation’s (and L.A.’s) most revered baseball fields? Add a world-famous hot dog to the mix and you may as well call yourself Betsy Ross. Fireworks are part of the deal every Friday night at Dodger Stadium, but the venue makes it even more spectacular for the 4th.
This year, the special event ticket package includes a seat to watch the Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, a limited-edition patriotic Dodgers T-shirt, and—of course — one of the best fireworks shows in the region.
Address: 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Hours: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Tickets Purchased in Advance: Adults, $44 | Children (ages 4–11), $24 | Children (4 and under), Free
- Tickets Purchased at the Door: Adults, $49 | Children (ages 4-11) | Children (4 and under), Free
- VIP Upgrades (ages 4 and older), $99
Parking: Available for purchase on-site on day of visit only—it’s recommended that you arrive early or by taxi/ride-sharing service
If you haven’t yet visited the Queen Mary, this would be the perfect time to head south to Long Beach and make the experience even more memorable.
The retired ocean liner of the 1930s, which once carried the likes of Bob Hope, Clark Gable, and Winston Churchill, is loaded with rich maritime history and old Hollywood glamour. All that gets cranked up a notch with the July 4 festivities, which include tours of the legendary historical landmark, a patriotic movie in the Queen Mary theater, family games, arts and crafts for the kids, and — if you aren’t already “so excited” — live entertainment featuring The Pointer Sisters. The night will be topped off with a signature fireworks spectacular accompanied by patriotic music.
If you want to make the evening even more extraordinary, reserve a special cabana, booth, or table — or book the Hotel Package and stay overnight in one of the staterooms. The event sells out every year, so get your tickets early!
Address: CBS Studio Center: 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City, CA 91604
Hours: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Fireworks with music at 9 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $125 | Children (ages 3–12), $60
Parking: Valet parking included with ticket price
Sure, the ticket prices here are a bit steeper than for some other July 4th festivities, but with the cost comes the true VIP treatment on a genuine studio soundstage. That includes a gourmet dinner, as well as sampling stations with bites from local restaurants, beer, wine, cocktails, and entertainment — all for the price of admission. Plus, you won’t have to deal with parking headaches, fighting crazy crowds, or staking out a spot to see the pyrotechnics.
There will be plenty for the kids to do in the children’s section, too, including face painting, caricature artists, airbrushed tattoos, and photos with Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. Best of all, when it’s time for the fireworks show, you’ll head straight up to the roof to watch it. You can also feel good about the money you’ve spent, since a portion of the proceeds goes to the North Hollywood High School Music Department.
Do you have a favorite spot in the L.A. area to check out 4th of July Fireworks? If it didn't make our list, tell us about it in the comments below!
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