As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, you may be getting excited about the prospect for cook outs, parades and of course, the fireworks! In fact, Los Angeles ranks as one of the BEST places to celebrate the 4th thanks to L.A.'s beautiful year-round weather, the amount and duration of our many fireworks shows, and even the low cost of beer!
But, if you're having trouble deciding where to take the family to celebrate our nation's independence, we've got a handy guide of all the best events happening around Southern California.
- Location: Palisades Charter High School, Pacific Palisades
- Time: Thursday, July 4. Starts just before 2 p.m.
- Cost: Free to sit along the parade route, but you can purchase VIP seating.
The annual Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade is a great opportunity to take your family on a beachy Independence Day extravaganza. Beginning just before 2 p.m. on Thursday, several patriotic skydivers will be seen descending from the air, kicking off the massive parade. Baton twirlers and trombonists lead the parade as it goes down Sunset Boulevard, between Via de la Paz and Drummond.
Admission is free, but there is VIP grandstand seating available. A concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. and fireworks are set for 9 p.m.
- Location: The Rose Bowl
- Time: Thursday, July 4, starting at 2 p.m.
- Cost: $40 for parking, but the event is free.
AmericaFest, considered one of the nation's best fireworks displays, begins as an explosive celebration of all things America! Classic American food will be dished out while a motorcycle stunt show is scheduled for later in the day. There's also a ton of activities, inflatable rides, games and crafts for the kids.
Parking for the event will run your $40, but admission is free. You can watch the fireworks show from the areas around the Arroyo, as well as along the Colorado Street Bridge and the parking garages rooftops in Old Pasedena.
- Location: Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles
- Time: Thursday, July 4, All Day.
- Cost: FREE!
If you're looking for a free or cheap way to celebrate our nation's independence, head on down to Grand Park and check out the all-day show in downtown Los Angeles! The Fourth of July, Grand Park is a block party with food trucks, live music and more. No booze allowed at this shindig, only empty water bottles are allowed.
Bonus: Your four-legged furry friends are also invited, AND it's easy to get to, if you use Metro.
- Location: Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey
- Time: Thursday, July 4. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
- Cost: FREE
What could possibly be better than watching fireworks from the beach. The fireworks show at Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey is one of the best, family-friendly events for a July 4 party. Watch the fireworks with synchronized music from Burton Chace Park, or Fisherman's Village as well as from Marina "Mother's" Beach, waterfront hotels and restaurants.
The show begins at 9 p.m., so you'll want to get their early and stake out a spot. Bonus: You can use one of the area's county lots to park and use parking shuttles to get you closer to the action.
- Location: Queen Mary, Long Beach
- Time: Thursday, July 4. Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
- Cost: Tickets are $49, $59 at the door.
Watch the fireworks explode above Long Beach from aboard the Queen Mary where you'll also get live music, family-friend activities and patriotic-themed events. You can also take a tour of the historic Queen Mary and even check out a patriotic film.
- Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
- Time: BBQ 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fireworks at 9 p.m.
- Cost: Adults: $79, Child (3-11) $43
Celebrate Independence Day and enjoy some freshly made BBQ from the folks at the Aquarium of the Pacific as they host their annual late-night aquarium access and magnificent views of the waterfront fireworks show. The cookout features classic summer dishes such as coleslaw, hot dogs and Honey Citrus bone-in Chicken.
Premium seating has sold out for this event. Discounted admission to the Aquarium begins at 5 p.m.
- Location: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- Time: July 3 and 4
- Cost: $18, with parking costing an additional $12-$20.
Movie buffs will love spending their Independence Day celebrating with a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road and E.T. Bring a picnic, enjoy the movie and stay for the fireworks show that happens after the movie. There will also be a themed photobooth and DJ for you to enjoy.
- Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
- Time: All day!
- Cost: FREE!
Councilman Curren Price hosts one of the best Fourth of July parties in town. Bring a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of music, games and kid-friendly activities with a free fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m.
- Location: Fairplex in Pomona
- Time: Show begins at 8 p.m., but the Fairplex opens at 5 p.m. for other events.
- Cost: $18.50 - $60
What's more American than Monster trucks and fireworks? Kaboom!, an annual celebration at the Fairplex will bring families a monster truck derby, big-air motorcross shows, and even a human cannonball demonstration. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.
- Location: Dodger Stadium
- Time: July 4th and 5th. Game starts at 7:05, fireworks immediately follow the game
- Cost: Depending on your seats, tickets can range from $60 to $1,000
Watch the boys in blue take on the San Diego Padres and then hang out in your seat after the game for a spectacular fireworks show above Chavez Ravine.
- Location: Universal Studios Hollywood & Universal CityWalk, Universal City
- Time: All day
- Cost: The show is included in the park admission, which can run you $109 - $129.
The famed movie studio and theme park is set to fire up its first ever salute to the stars and stripes with a Fourth of July pyro extravangza synced to both Universal-themed music and patriotic themes.
- Location: Huntington Beach, Orange County
- Time: All day
- Cost: $15 for Parade Bleacher Seating, $10 VIP Fireworks seating
The festivities kick off early for the Huntington Beach Fourth of July celebration with a 5K run and fitness expo. Then, you and your family can walk the parade route to the beach from 10 a.m. to noon. The Pier Plaza Festival is where you'll find live entertainment, family activities, and all-American eats. Purchase a VIP seat for the fireworks display at 9 p.m., or claim your spot early.
Photos: Getty Images