July 4th celebrations wouldn’t be the same without the bright, glittering lights of fireworks against a night sky. However, lighting anything more than a simple sparkler inside the city limits is illegal, not to mention somewhat dangerous. Better to watch a professional fireworks show, and this year, there are plenty of incredible options in and around Austin. We rounded up some of the best places to celebrate our country’s patriotic holiday with fireworks displays sure to wow the whole family.


The Star-Spangled Fest

The Star-Spangled Fest is the quintessential Austin July 4th celebration. Head down to Vic Mathias/Auditorium Shores for one of the biggest fireworks displays on our list. Get there early to check out local food trucks, a vendor’s market, lawn games and activities. Bring a few lawn chairs and a picnic blanket to set up and serve as your home base. Local musicians will perform at 5:00 pm and the Austin Symphony takes the stage at 8:45 pm. Fireworks start at 9:30 pm so plan on a late night out. If you’re feeling brave, take a kayak out to Lady Bird Lake and see the fireworks show from there. The event is free, but if you want a more enhanced experience, several types of VIP access tickets are available for purchase on the event website.


Round Rock Frontier Days

If you want to start the party early, head to Round Rock for Frontier Days. The annual Sertoma Independence Day Parade starts at 8:30 am. Arrive early to pick a spot along the 1.5-mile route that stretches along Mays Street between Mays Crossing and Highway 79. Get ready to see floats, giant inflatables and plenty of red, white and blue. At noon, head over to Old Settlers Park to ride carnival rides, watch a pepper-eating contest, and even cheer on the Swifty Swine Racing Pigs. If you’re a history buff (or the parent of one), be sure to check out the Sam Bass Shootout Reenactment for a taste of Texas history. Grab food and more at the vendor’s market before choosing a spot for the fireworks show.



Independence Day Festival at The Hill Country Galleria 

The Independence Day Festival at the Hill Country Galleria opens at 4:00 pm on July 4th and offers over 40 vendors set up along the streets of the Galleria in addition to the resident shops and boutiques. Parking and admission are free, and your kids will have a blast getting their faces painted by complementary artists, riding carnival rides and playing water games. The Galleria has plenty of restaurants and even more food vendors coming in for the event, so there is an option to fit everyone’s taste buds. Set up your lawn chairs and picnic blankets to watch live music performances and take in the fireworks show that starts at dusk.



Red, White and Buda

If you’re looking for a small-town celebration, head to Main Street in Buda for their annual Red, White and Buda Independence Day Celebration. The event, which takes place along Main Street and in nearby Buda Amphitheater and City Park, runs from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm. Enjoy live music, check out local vendors and watch a bike parade. Set up your chairs in front of the amphitheater to watch the music and settle in for the fireworks show. Check the map, and plan ahead for traffic delays as some streets will be closed for the parade.



Volente Beach Fireworks Show

If you already have plans on July 4th, but you still want to watch a spectacular fireworks show, you’re in luck! Volente Beach Fireworks Show is happening on July 3rd. Although the water level in Lake Travis isn’t as high as we’d like, you can still rent a boat and watch the fireworks from the water. Let your anchor down for what is sure to be a one-of-a-kind experience. If boating isn’t your thing, you can still see the show from the mainland by visiting Volente Beach. Make a day of it with a trip to Volente Beach Waterpark. The waterpark has a fun pirate ship water feature, slides, pools and a beach area. Enjoy food at the restaurant or from a food trailer nearby before you settle in to watch the show.



Catherine Michalk is a native Austinite, writer and mom of three. You can follow her family’s adventures at www.catherinemichalk.com


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