Where to watch July 4th fireworks with kids?

july 4th fireworks 2009Planning for the Fourth of July, CVAA emails:

I am trying to find a perfect spot to watch the 4th of July firework. It has to be kid-friendly. A place where very active toddlers can walk around and is not too crowded would be ideal. Although I won't let the kids roaming around wildly, I don't expect them to sit still while waiting for the show to start either. If your readers have any suggestion, I would really appreciate it. Just a background. We live near Siena collage but would be willing to drive 15 minutes or so. I love fireworks and really hope to find a good spot to enjoy one this year.

We bet there are at least a few spots CVAA and her kids could watch the ESP fireworks, all while having a bit of room to roam.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

photo: Sebastien B


My street. I'm sure my deadbeat neighbors will be shooting off illegal fireworks far into the night. I'm surprised it hasn't started already.

For the past two years, I've photographed the fireworks from the parking structure on Eagle Street (home of the "man cave"). Great location and plenty of party goers, but be prepared that you're going to be stuck in that parking facility for hours as the traffic leaves.

@Chuck - stuck, unless you ride a bike. (Please people, if you ride your bike at night, put some lights on it so that crazy drunk people can see you. They're cheap. Thank you.)

i've been living in the capital district for a long time, and never once did it occur to me to go up to thatcher park to watch fireworks.
last year i did for the first time.
not only do you see the ESP fireworks, but you can see fireworks from the entire area. from as far away as troy, east greenbush and maybe even latham.
its absolutely glorious. there are so many flashes of lights from all over the capital district you wont know where to keep your eyes glues.
kids will love it.
get there early, have a picnic and hang out for the day. you wont be disappointed.

Avoid the rush and get your fireworks' fix in on Saturday, July 2nd. After a day of marveling at the Steamboats during the annual Steamboat Meet on the Waterford Canal, eyeing all the items marketed by vendors, listening to live music, taking a boat ride along the canal, feasting on the scrumptious food, until the final culmination of the most spectacular fireworks around with viewing from Peebles Island or the Waterford Canal. Perfect, family-friendly fun!

If you go to the Empire State Plaza, you can sit on the grass in the area near the State Museum's small parking lot - kids can run around with no risk.

Thatcher park is perfect. Go early and do a little hike and show the kids nature. Then sit on the wall and watch the fireworks show.

When my son was 2, I took him to a spot in Prospect Park (Troy) recommended by my neighbors. We could see the Plaza fireworks, the Valley Cats fireworks, and far off on the other side of the mountians little bursts from smaller towns. Not crowded at all, very safe, and you can bring in anything you like to eat or drink.

It never occurred to me to head up to Thacher Park (one of my favorite local spots.) But doesn't the park close at sunset? Does the overlook remain open? Just curious because I had a friend that was ticketed there a few summers ago for being in the park 15 minutes past the official time of sunset for that day.

I was at thatcher last year. there were cops about and about 50 people. NO one was asked to leave or ticket. Maybe its only for the 4th.

A few years ago, I happened to be at the Walmart in East Greenbush on the 4th to pick up some things, and noticed people gathering on the grass between the movie theater parking lot and Rt. 4. You can get a pretty good view of the fireworks from there and parking is seriously not a problem.

Great view of downtown Albany from East Greenbush. Take I-90 to Route 4 North (Exit 9). A 1/2 mile on the left is the Holiday Inn Express-Skyline -- just pull right into their parking lot.

Where in Thatcher do you go to watch the fireworks? I've never been and would love to check it out.

Thatchers is a must from time to time, but I grew up with the Sch'dy/Scotia fireworks. This year they're on Friday night usually starting at apx 9pm- you can watch from the stockade park (parking is rough but the park is a beauty right next to the river) or from Collin's Park in Scotia. Get there early enough and you can grab Jumpin' Jacks for dinner and the kids can play on the playground while the traffic clears out afterward.

Rt. 4 is a nightmare on 4th of July- I don't think it's very safe for kids. Last year we went to the Valley Cats game and the fireworks are amazing!!

We live in the Pine Hills and find Ridgefield Park a good place to watch the fireworks. They're easily visible, and the kids can run around the ball field or play on the jungle gym while waiting.

Thanks everyone for such good suggestion. This gives me lots idea! Thanks a ton.

Does anybody know if you can see the Valley Cats fireworks anywhere else other than the stadium?

Don't waste time at Thatcher park. The fireworks are so far away, the kids can barely pick them out. My girls were very disappointed, and nearly everyone left a few minutes after they started.

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