(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

You’re no doubt already counting down the hours till Independence Day weekend, with its blessed promise of a booze-soaked Monday (and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…). But don’t waste your precious free day standing in a massive, sweaty crowd all afternoon just to have any hope of glimpsing some fireworks thwarted when some NBA reject stand right in front of you at the last minute. Instead, spend it drinking, partying, and stuffing your face with grilled meats (or grilled meat substitutes), at one of these parties– no screaming toddlers included. Fireworks are overrated, anyway.

(Photo: Courtesy of Hester Street Fair)

(Photo: Courtesy of Hester Street Fair)

Hester Street Fair Independence Day BBQ
Saturday, July 2. 11am – 6pm. At the intersection of Essex and Hester Street, Lower East Side.
Get the party started early at Hester Street Fair! With Black Tree bringing two whole suckling pigs, six whole chickens, sausages, spicy pineapple chutney, roasted veggies, and custom sauces, there’ll be plenty to munch on while you peruse the vintage clothing and jewelry on sale. Ten bucks gets you an unlimited BBQ plate, and cans of Tiger beer are going for $3 a pop. Events such as DIY lollipop making, t-shirt silk-screening, and loads of outdoor games will ensure maximum Instagramability. If that isn’t entertainment enough, there will be music courtesy of DJ Stretch Armstrong.

(Photo: Courtesy of Montana's Trail House)

(Photo: Courtesy of Montana’s Trail House)

Montana’s Trail House Pool Party
Monday, July 4. Starts at 11:45am – closing. 445 Troutman Street at St. Nicholas Avenue, Bushwick.
Bushwick’s go-to for “Appalachian east coast country food” will be grilling up plenty of BBQ, rustic-style, for its annual Pool Party on. The pool in question is 12-feet wide and three-feet deep, so it isn’t exactly the place to practice your backstroke. But after a couple of beers, it sure will be fun to splash around in. There will also be a raffle with prizes from companies such as Wilson’s Tea, Budweiser, and Left Field.

(Photo: Courtesy of Roberta's)

(Photo: Courtesy of Roberta’s)

Roberta’s’ Pizza Party
Monday, July 4. 12pm – 5pm. 261 Moore Street at Bogart Street, Bushwick.
There’s no party like a pizza party, and Roberta’s knows that the best way to celebrate a national holiday is to stuff yourself with cheesy, saucy goodness. And what goes best with pizza? Beer, obviously! For Independence Day, Roberta’s teamed up with Budweiser to give away free beer for the afternoon in their backyard. Accompanying the festivities will be free DJ sets, some nice artwork, and plenty of Americana, Bushwick-style.

(Photo: Courtesy of David Cova)

(Photo: Courtesy of David Cova)

House of YES’ 4th of July BBQ Extravaganza
Monday, July 4. 12pm – 12am. 2 Wyckoff Avenue at Jefferson Street, Bushwick.
The eternally fabulous House of YES is obviously having a 4th of July celebration of their own, although this one sounds pleasantly chill (don’t worry, not too chill. It IS still House of YES, after all). Starting at noon, the event space will be hosting a BBQ, plenty of cocktails, and of course a jam-packed lineup of DJs, including Soul Nice, Valissa Yoe, and Haruka Salt. The event is completely free, you just have to RSVP here.

(Photo: Courtesy of Koneko Cat Cafe)

(Photo: Courtesy of Koneko Cat Cafe)

4th of July BBQ at Koneko Cat Cafe
Monday, July 4. 11am – 6pm, reservations available for two-hour slots. 26 Clinton Street at Stanton Street, Lower East Side.
Are you debating whether to celebrate the 4th or just stay in watching cat videos? Koneko Cat Cafe in the Lower East Side has you covered with a bunch of IRL cats. Cat ladies can finally really have it all. Thirty smackers gets you all-you-can-eat burgers, hot dogs, Sapporo beers, and all the cats you can pet, too. Sign up for their Purrrth of July party (their name, not mine) as soon as possible, because they’re only accepting reservations for two-hour slots.

(Photo: Courtesy of Nowadays)

(Photo: Courtesy of Nowadays)

July 4th at NowadaysMonday, July 4th. 12pm – 12am. 56-06 Cooper Avenue at Wyckoff Ave., Ridgewood, Queens.
When the summer months hit, you just want to be outside. And what better way to celebrate a peak summer holiday than on Nowadays’ sprawling yard? For July 4th, the Ridgewood summer staple is going all out, serving up corn dogs, burgers (veggie options available as well), and red, white and blue bomb pops for the nostalgics among you. DJ Kristen Zwicker will be spinning records until 8pm, and there’s a good chance there may be some choice firework viewing as well.

4th of July Weekend at Nitehawk
Screenings on Saturday July 2 and Sunday July 3 at 11:30am, on Monday July 4 at 2pm. Tickets $12. 136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg.
Nitehawk Cinema got so excited about Independence Day, they decided to dedicate a whole weekend to it. The highlight of their lineup is the quintessential classic Jaws, around which they’ve even designed a themed 4th-of-July menu. There will be lobster rolls to enjoy while watching the Great White wreak havoc, and an epic-sounding hot dog called the Liberty Dog, which is a beef and pork dog wrapped in bacon and topped with beef chili and queso. Drink options will include the appropriately named “Blood in the Water,” a fruity rum cocktail.

(Photo: Courtesy of Noisey)

(Photo: Courtesy of Noisey)

South Street Seaport Festival of Independence
Sunday, July 3. 1pm – 9pm. Monday, July 4. 1pm – 9pm. Noisey Stage at Fulton and Water Street, Manhattan.
If you’re super keen on fireworks and just can’t bear to celebrate Independence Day without them, then this is your event. Noisey, Vice’s music channel, is hosting this two-day festival jam-packed with bands. The obligatory grilled meats and sundry other delicacies will be provided by Smorgasbord, plus there will be a pop-up market, artwork, and plenty of drinks. Sunday’s lineup will include Porches, Public Access TV, and Wild Nothing, while Monday’s lineup will have more of a funk and hip-hop focus with performances by D.R.A.M., Phony PPL, and MeLo-X, among others. On the 4th, there will also be a second stage at Peck Slip, with family-friendly events and another lineup of indie bands.