The Fourth of July is the most patriotic day of the year, and you can pack those star-spangled daylight hours with a wide variety of Independence Day fun.
You’ll want to end the day, of course, watching fireworks. The annual Astoria Bank July Fourth Fireworks at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh begin at 9:30 at the park’s Central Mall (Field 4). About 100,000 spectators are expected to watch the annual oceanfront display, to a soundtrack including Whitney Houston’s version of “America the Beautiful,” and Taylor Swift’s cover of “American Girl.”
Before and after the big sky show, here are suggestions for an activity-filled Fourth beginning just after sunrise.
6:30 a.m.: Patriotic pancakes
Start your Fourth of July frolics by digging into a stack of buttermilk flapjacks piled with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. These are served through July 12 at various International House of Pancakes (IHOP) locations.
9 a.m.: House tour
William Floyd, whose former estate in Mastic is now part of the Fire Island National Seashore, was one of four New Yorkers who signed the Declaration of Independence. Take a stroll on the estate grounds before a free guided tour of his home, Old Mastic House. A new exhibit features silverware, clothing and illustrated children’s primers dating from the 1600s to the 1900s. A special 10:30-11:30 a.m. July 4 program, titled “He Dared to Sign: William Floyd,” tells of Floyd’s heroism.
INFO Grounds open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with guided tours every 30 minutes 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 245 Park Dr., Mastic Beach; 631-399-2030
10 a.m. Parade of American Flags
Learn about our nation’s history through its most fiercely guarded symbol with a quick walk. The story is told on a path bordered by 100 national, state, territory and local flags, beginning with Colonial period. Admission is free.
INFO 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with guided tour at 11 at Heritage Park, 633 Mount-Sinai Coram Rd., Mount Sinai, 631-509-0882
11 a.m. See the summer White House
Daylong activities recall the era when Teddy Roosevelt of Oyster Bay — Long Island’s only U.S. president — gathered friends and family for a Summer White House Fourth of July. Put on your favorite patriotic attire, enjoy live music, pony rides and a re-enactment of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and even meet Teddy himself in the guise of impersonator Jim Foote.
INFO 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Oyster Bay with satellite parking and free shuttle service for the day from East Woods School in Oyster Bay Cove and Oyster Bay High School; 516-922-4788, nps.gov/sahi
Noon: Picnic at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow
The 930-acre park was named for Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army 5-star general, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and 34th president from 1953 to 1961. It’s also home to an extensive Veterans Memorial. For picnickers, dozens of picnic tables and barbecue grills are spread throughout the park under shady trees. Those at Field 3 are available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to officials. Roving ice cream trucks, concession stands, mini-golf and playing fields perfect for sack races and ballgames provide ingredients for a Normal Rockwellesque Fourth.
INFO $10 parking nonresidents, 516-572-0347, nassaucountyny.gov
2:30 p.m.: Old Bethpage Village Restoration Parade and Ceremonies
The parade caps Old Bethpage’s daylong 1861 Independence Day Celebration, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It features traditional fanfare, including military drills, brass bands and fiddle players.
INFO $10 ($7 ages 5-12), 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage, 516-572-8400, obvrnassau.com
5 p.m.: Red, white and blue cocktail
Refresh with the Mexican cantina Cabo’s Italian ice cocktail is an All-American strawberry, blueberry and piña colada concoction.
INFO $10 for 16 ounces, 3 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre 516-255-0065, caborvc.net
8:30 p.m. “Jaws” (1975) outdoor screening
If you’re not in the mood to fight “Independence Day: Resurgence” crowds, sink your teeth into “Jaws.” The monster-movie classic was the first Fourth of July weekend blockbuster when it was released in June 1975. The plot, featuring a character based upon Montauk shark hunter Frank Mundus, concerns a summer resort dealing with a toothy problem as Independence Day approaches. Enjoy the movie, popcorn, cocktails and barbecue on the dock on Huntington Harbor.
INFO 117 New York Ave., Huntington, 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com
9:30 p.m.: Fireworks
Of course, fireworks abound around Long Island on the Fourth — the largest being at Astoria Bank July Fourth Fireworks at Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh. But other sizable shows are scheduled to go off in Farmingville, Glen Cove, Montauk, Port Jefferson and Valley Stream.