I’ve been dreaming about this summer since last April. I’ve made lists of things that I have to do, places I have to go, and people I have to see, for months now. There’s a whole page in my planner dedicated to my “summer bucket list,” complete with planner stickers of excited face emojis. After last year’s dud of summer, I know I’m not alone.
At the very top of my list is finding the best places to see fireworks in the Austin area this 4th of July and taking my little family and new toddler. Below are a few of the best places that made my list.
Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert & Fireworks (Austin)
Having been born and raised in Austin, obviously, this one made the top of the list. This event has been an Austin staple for years, unfortunately, it was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but it is back in the rotation once again. This is probably the most popular fireworks show in Austin. Held on Vic Mathias Shores (formerly “Auditorium Shores”), the show will begin at 8 pm. The Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform, and their performance will be followed by an amazing fireworks show over Lady Bird Lake.
You can view the fireworks from several locations in the area, including the Congress Bridge and Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, or if you are feeling adventurous from a paddleboard or canoe on Lady Bird Lake.
Insider tip: Go down to Congress Avenue early to find parking and make a day of it, check out the small shops, and grab lunch or snacks at the food trailers until it’s time for the show. Be sure to take a blanket or something to sit on if you plan to watch from the actual shores. For complete details, you can visit the event website here.
The event is free.
Fireworks With a Side of Drive-In Movie at Doc’s Drive-In (Buda)
If you are looking to make a whole night of the fireworks (date-night maybe?), check out Doc’s drive-in this weekend. The fantastic thing about this event is that you can catch it either Saturday, July 3rd, or Sunday, July 4th. The drive-in will have a fireworks show and concert right before showing the action movie “Independence Day” and “The Sandlot” on different screens, so you can choose your own theme for the night. Live music will begin at 7 pm on both nights, with Fireworks after sunset at 9 pm and the movies will begin at 9:30 pm. You can find tickets at: www.docsdriveintheatre.com.
Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Show (Kyle)
If you live south and don’t want to deal with the large crowds that the city of Austin fireworks show brings, you can head further south to catch the fireworks show hosted by the city of Kyle. The show begins at 9 pm and the display will last for about 30 minutes.
You can view the fireworks from the parking lot at Hays CISD Performing Arts Center at 979 Kohler’s Crossing and the paved parking lot at the intersection of Kohler’s and Kyle Parkway. Be sure to bring chairs to sit in or a blanket to throw down in your SUV or truck if you have one. More information can be found here.
Pflugerville Pfirecracker Pfestival at Typhoon Texas (Pflugerville)
If you live north and a trip across the river is like driving to a foreign country, the next few events are for you.
The city of Pflugerville will host a fireworks show as part of the Red, White, and BOOM! Festival at Typhoon Texas. The fireworks show will begin on July 4th at 9:30 pm and can be seen from Hendrickson High School, Stone Hill town Center, and the Costco on 1901 Kelly Lane. The display is set to last 20 minutes.
Additional events will be hosted by the festival from July 2-4th. For more information visit the Typhoon Texas website.
Round Rock Sertoma Independence Day Parade and Frontier Days (Round Rock)
One day earlier and just a little further North, the city of Round Rock is hosting their annual “Independence Day Parade and Frontier Days” celebration on Saturday, July 3. This is an all-day event that begins with a parade at 8:30 a.m. on Mays Street and continues into Old Settlers Park for “Frontier Days” at 12 p.m. The “Frontier Days” event at the park will feature carnival rides, racing pigs, and free ice cream.
A fireworks show will begin at sunset and will be followed by live music. For more information, you can visit their website here.
Fireworks at the Dell Diamond (Round Rock)
If you are up for a little baseball but don’t want to miss the fireworks shows, the Round Rock Express game at the Dell Diamond is the place to be.
The Express will play the Sugar Land Skeeters at 6:05 p.m. The games typically end with a fireworks show, and the team has said that this fireworks show will be the biggest of the season. You can get more information and tickets here: www.milb.com/round-rock.
Bastrop Patriotic Festival (Bastrop)
For all the Central Texans who live East, Bastrop might be a good spot for you. Bastrop is hosting its annual Patriotic Festival, this Saturday from 8 a.m. until 9:15 p.m. at Fisherman’s Park, located at 1200 Willow Street.
This is an all-day free all-day event that will include a 5K run, eating contests, games, a petting zoo, and fireworks. The fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m. For more information, you can visit their website.
Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival (Bee Cave)
If you are in the mood to shop and live in West Austin, the Hill Country Galleria is a great place to catch the fireworks. They will be hosting their Independence Day Festival from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.
The event will include live music, shopping, dining, and a fireworks show. Be sure to bring a blanket or a chair to view the fireworks from the grassy lawn. The event is free and open to the public. Visit their website for more information.