The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America's birthday by hitting up your favorite spot, kicking back with a cold one, and watching the night skies light up with explosions. But what's a Fort Lauderdale resident to do when it's all been done? Sure, you can try the usual areas — maybe drive down to Hollywood Beach or brave the crowds at the Village Street Festival or stop at a spot somewhere along A1A or Las Olas Boulevard.
But this year, why not try something different? Something where you'll still be able to get your drink on while filling your belly with tasty food but also be doing something you may not have tried before. From cruises to swim parties, there's plenty to do on Independence Day in Fort Lauderdale.
Below are five events you may not have considered while making your July 4 plans:
- Fourth of July All-American Celebration: A family-friendly event featuring a live concert, rides for the kids, arts and crafts, and games. And the best part is, it's all free. The All-American Celebration is going down at the Tamarac Sports complex, located at 9901 NW 77th St. The event kicks off at 6 p.m., when you can take pictures with Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross, grab some good grub from one of the many food trucks, and lounge on a lawn chair as music plays. Then at 9, things wrap up with a massive fireworks display. Parking at the complex is going to be tight (first-come, first-served), so you might be better off going to Tamarac City Hall and grabbing a shuttle to the event. You can call Tamarac Parks and Recreation Department at 954-597-3620.
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- Fourth of July Bash at America's Backyard: Right in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale is 15,000 square feet of good times known as America's Backyard. And this year, the Backyard, located at 100 SW Third Ave., is throwing down a Birthday for America like no other. Besides fireworks, music, and drinks, the event will feature a Mr. and Miss Independence Day contest as well as a costume contest for the most patriotic Fort Lauderdalian. Prizes are to be won, and partying is to be had. Things get kicked off at 8 p.m., and it's free. Call 954-449-9569.
- Fourth of July Celebration at BalQony: For those of you who want to steer clear of the usual crowds and celebrate America's birthday in style (and aren't afraid to spend a little), there's this fancy-pants shindig going down at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. For $250 per private cabana, you'll be able to enjoy a DJ, barbecue, complimentary Champagne, and, of course, a front-row view to some pretty spectacular fireworks. The event, located at 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., will also feature patriotic drink specials. You'll need to call ahead for a reservation at 954-414-2630.
- Liberty Belle Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise: As everyone knows, the best fireworks shows take place off the shores of our beautiful beaches. But beaches get crowded, and it's hard to find a good spot to enjoy the show. So why not go out to the ocean where the fireworks are being launched and enjoy the best seat in the house? For the second year in a row, the Liberty Belle paddlewheel riverboat will be shoving off from the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, located at 2301 SE 17th St., and taking passengers out for a three-hour patriotic cruise. For $65 a pop ($30 for kids), you'll enjoy dinner, an open bar, dessert, and music as the cruise travels in and around Fort Lauderdale's waterways. You can go here to reserve your tickets.
- Fourth of July All-American Swim Party: Ain't no party like a swim party. Even better, a Fourth of July All-American swim party. And at the Aporella Aquatic Complex, located at 9300 NW 58th St. in Tamarac, you get just that. It's pretty simple. It's a Fourth of July bash but with swimming. For $4, you'll enjoy DJ, games, prizes, and more. The swim party is a daytime event, running from noon to 4, but it's a cool way to get the rest of the evening kicked off. Call 954-597-3620.