If nothing else is ever agreed upon in this great nation of red and blue states, at least the fourth day of every July can be depended upon to bring Americans together with the promise of countless hot dogs, a sky full of explosives, and a playlist solely consisting of Luke Bryan and that same old Katy Perry song. Here’s 10 places to commemorate the day around the Houston area:
10 a.m.-9 p.m.; 9:15-9:25 p.m. | Spring
It’s the Fourth of July pool party the whole city is invited to. The park promises a night of fireworks, music, and games. A ticket gets you into the fireworks show that begins after the park closes and a full day of water-related amusement.
From $34.99. 21300 Interstate 45 N. 281-355-3300.
July 3, 8 p.m. | The Woodlands
This Independence Eve, the Houston Symphony is orchestrating an outdoor concert with a setlist full of classical Americana songs. Grab a patriotic picnic blanket, and stay for the orchestra’s grand finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” accompanied by booming canons. If orchestra isn’t your company’s forte, get there early for pre-event activities like arts and crafts, photo booth opps, and a petting zoo.
Free. 2005 Lake Robbins Drive. 281-364-3010.
4-10 p.m. | Eleanor Tinsley Park
Experience a true American party with live performances from Cupid, Latin-infused country band The Mavericks, and award-winning country artist Chris Young. The denouement of the event will feature a grand fireworks show on Buffalo Bayou; read our interview with Rocco Vitale, the fourth-generation pyrotechnician, to learn about the man behind the explosions.
From $8. 901 Bagby St.
7–11 p.m. | CityCentre
Amid the all-American atmosphere that lacks anything but cutsey shops and sports bars, CityCentre will be celebrating with live country and rock music. The evening will conclude with—you guessed it—a spectacular fireworks show.
Free. 800 Town & Country Blvd.
9:30 p.m. | Kemah
For those who love roller coasters: Kemah Boardwalk will have live music and a patriotic fireworks show booming to the soundtrack of Star Spangled Sky over Galveston Bay. The party doesn’t stop there, though: The park will be shooting fireworks to different movie soundtracks every Friday in July.
Free. 215 Kipp Ave. 877-285-3624.
11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | Museum District
Avengers assemble! The Children’s Museum will be hosting a Captain America meet-and-greet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At noon, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington will join the party to shake hands and pose with America’s future until 2:30 p.m. To top off the day, All-City HISD High School Band will perform at 1 p.m.
From $12. 1500 Binz. 713- 522-1138.
7-10 p.m. | Galveston
For the float-lovin’ folks, head on out to an evening parade down Seawall Boulevard. Sponsored by the Marine Corps League, the parade will feature decorated military vehicles, floats, and performers. Keep your eyes to the sky for fireworks to follow. They’ve been doing this for 179 years, so it’s safe to assume they know what they’re doing.
Free. Seawall Boulevard (59th to 25th). 409-797-3705.
9:30 a.m. | Bellaire
Local school bands, scout troops, and more will compete for the best-looking float in this Independence Day parade down the streets of Bellaire. After the parade, enjoy festival games and food at Bellaire Town Square and Loftin Park. The festival is striving to leave no one unentertained with a dunk booth, putt-putt course, waterslide, rock wall, live music, and more.
Free. 7008 Bellaire. 713-662-8280.
5-11 p.m. | Tomball
This festival will be featuring festival food, fun, and live party music from the Mambo Jazz Kings. A portion of the festival will be dedicated to honoring active military members and veterans before the fireworks show at 9:30.
Free. Business 249 & FM 2920. 281-222-4775.
12-5 p.m. | Bayou Bend
What’s the Fourth of July without a peep into the past at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston? Art that salutes American history is promised at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. The annual festival will feature crafts, activities (such as a reading of the Declaration of Independence), performers, and refreshments. You can even leave your mark by signing a giant copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Free. 6003 Memorial Drive. 713-639-7300.