Fourth of July weekend may be more subdued on Long Island this year — the fireworks extravaganza at Jones Beach is canceled, as are most municipal parades — but there are still socially distant ways to enjoy the holiday:
The Southampton Fresh Air Home Fund's annual benefit and fireworks show is a long-running July 4th tradition. While the fundraising picnic is off, the organization is still sponsoring a fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 3 that can be seen for miles around. Launched from a barge in Shinnecock Bay it's visible from both sides of the water, from Coopers Beach to the west side of Shinnecock Inlet. Use the public parking lots along Dune Road, which do not require permits after 6 p.m. Tune into 104.7 WELJ-FM for the live soundtrack simulcast. Rain date: July 5.
The Museum of American Armor is hosting a socially distant parade on Saturday, July 4 featuring vintage military vehicles from its collection on the grounds of Old Bethpage Village Restoration. You'll need to buy a ticket in advance, $25. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and cars must be parked by 10:15. Families must remain with their vehicles during the procession. Details and tickets at OBVRnassau.com.
Drive-in movies are enjoying a resurgence this summer, with pop-up screenings happening in vacant parking lots and public parks all over Long Island. On July 4, Bayville Adventure Park hosts holiday dinner and drive-in screening and of "Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest" at 8 p.m. It's $70 per car, which includes a $50 food voucher to order from the theme park's on-site restaurants during the show (bayvilleadventurepark.com).
GET OUT ON THE WATER
Long Island's party boat cruises — sunset sails, sightseeing tours — aren't fully operating yet, but about a dozen fishing boats that make up the Captree Fleet at the state park in Babylon are running half-day fishing trips for those hoping to reel in fluke, stripers and sea bass. IT's best to make a reservation as boat capacity is reduced to account for social distancing. Tickets are about $50-$60 and include use of equipment and bait (captreefleet.com).
In Freeport, the Capt. Lou Fleet is back with bottlenose dolphin and humpback whale-spotting cruises. The next is scheduled for noon on Sunday, July 5. The four-hour trip departs from the Nautical Mile is $65 ($55 ages 12 and younger) and you'll need a reservation, too (516-623-5823, captloufleet.com).
SMELL THE ROSES
The expansive grounds at Old Westbury Gardens reopen July 1 for visitors to roam its landscaped gardens, now blooming with roses, hydrangea, clematis, astilbe, delphinium and hollyhock. You'll need to pre-purchase a ticket for timed entry (and bring a mask to wear when you can't stay clear of others). There's a recommended route that steers visitors on a one-way tour through the ornate Walled Garden and Rose Garden. Alas, the grand Westbury House remains closed, so you'll have to settle for appreciating the exterior of the grand Gold Coast estate from its great lawn ($12 adults, $7 ages 7-17; 516-333-0048).
Firecracker-themed 5k runs aren't happening over the holiday weekend as they normally would in communities such as Massapequa and Long Beach. But you can keep the spirit up and partake in a virtual run organized by the Bellmore Striders. "Striders Independence Virtual Day Run" is a four-mile run-walk you do on your own — any location — and then self-report your time by July 11. Virtual registration is $20 via bellmorestriders.com or elitefeats.com. There's also a 1-mile fun run for ages 12 and younger ($12). Info at 516-652-3555.
Compiled by Lynn Petry.