Culture / Entertainment

Fourth of July in Houston — Where to See Fireworks, Find Special Watch Parties, Restaurant Deals, Dance and More

Your Ultimate Guide to the Most Red, White and Blue Holiday

BY // 06.30.22

With the Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year, more Houstonians are bound to be in town for fireworks since the office still calls for some on Tuesday. Jackson Hole, Washington D.C. and Aspen are all spectacular destinations for Independence Day weekend, but the truth is Houston can hold its own. At least when it comes to fireworks and Fourth of July festivities.

Live music, backyard barbecue smoke clouds, loud booms, and colorful bright lights will be filling the air in Houston this weekend. You may not even notice the humidity frizzing your hair because you’ll be so wrapped up in partying in celebration of America’s freedom.

This is your guide to the Best Ways to Celebrate a Houston Fourth of July:

Freedom Over Texas

This is Katy Perry’s favorite holiday. Although she has no plans to be in the Bayou City this weekend, there are still lots of exciting things to look forward to that Perry would no doubt approve of.

The largest firework event in all of Houston is returning this year for the first time since 2019 as part of a Fourth of July celebration that will stretch out over six hours. More than 50,000 people are expected to attend Shell Freedom Over Texas,with its massive fireworks show crescendo completely synchronized with special songs and entertainment from both well known and new artists. Everything starts at 4 pm with the fireworks taking place after dark.

The televised event will play out in its traditional Eleanor Tinsley Park home along Allen Parkway. It doubles as a fundraisier for the Houston Food Bank, with a percentage of food and drink profits going to the nonprofit.

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Woodlands and Kemah Fireworks

The Woodlands is rolling out its own big Fourth of July party. From 6 to 10 pm on July 4th, Hughes Landing will be the place for family-friendly entertainment on the lawn. Crack open a cold beverage and relax by the water as you eagerly await an 18-minute firework show.

You can also take a wild ride at the Kemah Boardwalk. Literally. The waterfront amusement park land will have all its rides and restaurants going on Independence Day. Beginning at 9:30 pm, locals, visitors, sharks, mermaids and redfish can all watch fireworks light up the night sky above the Galveston Bay.

Houston Fourth of July Specials

Believe it or not, you can go on a Fourth of July party barge right here in Houston, Texas. Well, maybe not the same kind of party barges found in Cabo San Lucas, but a good time on a boat is a good time on a boat. Climb aboard Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s pontoon boat at 8 pm this Monday, July 4th and get spectacular views of the fireworks. For $125, you get to pop some bubbly, enjoy light bites and float from Allen’s Landing through the Buffalo Bayou. Space is limited, so sign up if you’re interested in hitting the water.

You can also watch fireworks light up Houston’s downtown skyline in rooftop style. Houston’s new hot mixed-use center POST Houston is hosting a watch party Monday at 7:30 pm. The Houston Brass Band will be performing, which means a lively group of British-style musicians. It’ll be hard to find better views than from POST’s five acre Skylawn, which is being promoted as America’s largest rooftop park.

Sunset view of the Houston skyline from POST Houston's Skylawn (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Sunset view of the Houston skyline from POST Houston’s Skylawn (Photo by Shelby Hodge)

The party starts much earlier in the day at B.B. Lemon’s DJ brunch celebration from 11 am to 3 pm. Of course, you can wait and have a burger later during the Ben Berg joint’s 3 pm to 9 pm Fourth of July dinner service. Another of Berg’s restaurants B&B Butcher’s is right across the street and it will be serving up fine meats as usual. With a major bonus.

You can order from the regular dinner menu at B&B. But you could also devour the TX Wagyu Hot Dog Special being offered this weekend only. For $18, you’ll get two quarter-pound dogs with steak fries and gourmet toppings. Customers from both restaurants will meet in the middle for the actual firework watching, with B&B Butcher’s parking lot boasting some of Washington Avenue’s best views.

Red, White, & Blue Bites & Cocktails

Throughout this holiday weekend, many Houston restaurants will be offering special themed drinks and treats.

Saturday through Monday, prepare for a day of drinking with avocado toast at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, or indulge in the red, white, and blue colored donuts being served this weekend only.

This Independence Day color scheme can also be found on the large patio at Hungry’s where red, white and blue mimosa flights will be running rampant. From 10 am to 3 pm, get these strawberry, lemon and blueberry creations for $16.

Clink and cheers to America’s independence and also to 45 successful years for this Rice Village fan-favorite. If it’s too hot out, you can grab a seat indoors and watch the Houston Astros play in Anaheim Friday through Sunday.

Or watch Yordan Alvarez and friends in person in the Astros’ special 4 pm Fourth of July game against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park. Postgame fireworks included.

Enjoy Tex-Mex this weekend at the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation and get one of the special Fourth of July cocktails.

The Original Ninfa’s is getting in on the Houston Fourth of July fun. Why not please your tastebuds with Tex-Mex institution’s famous tacos al carbon and chile con queso accompanied by a Fourth of July drink special?

You can watch the tortillas being made up-close as soon as you step foot in the door. And from Friday, July 1st through Monday July 4th, you can get a strawberry tequila spritz for $15. It’s made with strawberry liqueur, strawberry preserve, silver tequila, St. Germain, lime juice and Topo Chico.

Do a Happy Dance For America’s Day

Grab your boyfriend, girlfriend, Mom, or Dad and get on the dance floor. No matter who your dance partner is this Fourth of July weekend, you can find a place in Houston to get your groove on. Happy country music and DJ pop music will be vibrating the floor of bars and restaurants all around the city.

The Rustic
Pat Green (co-owner with Kyle Noonan & Josh Sepkowitz) will be playing at the Rustic on Friday, July 1st at The Rustic. (Courtesy Nosh Creative)

Choose from one of the many beers on tap, sip on frosé, or taste a sweet watermelon margarita at The Rustic located at 1836 Polk Street in Downtown. Once you have your drink in hand, pretend you’re in a Texas dance hall with Pat Green as he performs “Wave on Wave.” Green will be the bar that he co-owns this Friday night, July 1st with everything kicking off at 6 pm.

You can even look this Texas proud country star straight in the eye and give him a warm Houston welcome at the meet-and-greet. Green’s sweet Texas smile keeps his fans coming back, and his classic Texas country tunes make for the best two-stepping. From Fredericksburg to Aspen, he knows how to swing it for every crowd that’s put in front of him,

On Monday, July 4th, move your dancing over to Bobcat Teddy’s Icehouse in The Heights, where you can have fun playing Jenga and munch on free burgers and hot dogs.

The gaming and dancing keeps going at Patterson Park Friday, July 1st all the way through Monday, July 4th. This new three tier bar has plenty of patio space, TVs for watching sports and will even add an extra pop-up bar on the rooftop level to heighten the Houston Fourth of July fun. This weekend only, Patterson Park’s bartenders will be whipping up special red, white and blue Independence Day lemonade cocktails. Monday, gather your friends for a rooftop viewing of the Downtown fireworks.

But, of course, there’s more. This Sunday, July 3rd, North Houston bar Monkey’s Tail will be celebrating its third birthday as well as America’s birthday with a costume contest, dog fashion show, mariachis, churros and more. You can make reservation for brunch or dinner and have yourself a Sunday Funday unlike any other.

Getting Patriotic From Home

I get it, it’s a work night and sometimes you just want to kick back and relax. If that’s the case, you can still celebrate a Houston Fourth of July in style. Many restaurants are preparing patriotic dishes and sweets that you can order for takeout.

Take home a bucket of homemade fried chicken, Texas Toast, and sides from MAX’s Wine Dive this Fourth of July Weekend. (photo: MAX’s Wine Dive)

Have the ultimate fried chicken night with a limited time to-go food deal from MAX’s Wine Dive. From July 1 through July 6, you can get a bucket of jalepeño buttermilk fried chicken (there is also a gluten-free option), Texas Toast, mashed potatoes and collard greens for $45. Substitute any of these sides for others like mac and cheese or Brussels sprouts for $5.

If heavy Southern food isn’t your thing, check out the meal pack from Houston’s own Loro, which will consist of a full rack of ribs, coconut-scented rice, two cookies and two sides of your choice. Now through July 4th, it’s available as a $55 dinner for two. While you’re at it, make sure to check out Loro’s drinks menu which includes refreshing summer cocktails like the ginger old fashioned, a frozen mango sake slushee, a frozen mojito and a frozen gin & tonic.

Of course, sometimes you just want to go for the sweet. New all-day neighborhood bistro Cafe Louie is taking pre-orders over the phone now (346-446-5770) for its special Fourth of July personal pies for pick-up on Sunday (pick up runs from 7 am to 3 pm). The $8 homemade vanilla Bavarian cream pies with local blueberries from Hersch Farm and seasonal flower toppers make for a perfectly beautiful sweet treat to impress your company.

Red, white and blue sugar treats are also available for pickup at No-Po Café Market & Bar, but orders need to be placed by this Friday, July 1 at 1 pm. The decorative sugar cookies will be available for pickup Friday from 8am to 9pm, Saturday from 8am to 10pm and Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

It’s a Houston Fourth of July weekend. Go out and enjoy it.

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