83°Partly Cloudy
  • Seth

    We just moved here and live south of Columbia Heights. I hear Cardozo school is a great spot to watch the fireworks. Does it fill up quickly?

    • JohnH

      I went to Cardozo once because I heard great things……but for me at least, it wasn’t that great at all. Basically every one just stands around and crowds together in a small parking lot that “overlooks” the city (it’s not like everyone picnics on the football field). And then people are constantly moving around to get a better view and then stand in front of you, etc. And you’re far enough away that the fireworks aren’t that impressive…..might as well just watch on TV. (There were also cranes obstructing the view).
      The fireworks ARE incredible in DC. While I would never recommend to anyone to go to the actual mall unless you really enjoy crowds, going to spots closer to the mall that aren’t in the security zone is a good option. Across the Potomac along the bike path is a great option too.
      Cardozo was just “meh” to me. But I’ve seen the fireworks rather close up before to where it’s just not as good of an experience. If you really don’t care that much then it’s fine, but it’s not that great of an experience, imo. More of a wham, bam, thank you….Sam?

  • DF

    Used to live in Columbia Heights so we’ve been to Cardozo once for the Mall show. Just moved to Petworth and told the neighborhood puts on a great show so we’ll stick around here for that. Went to the Mall once. It was drizzly, couldn’t get past Constitution, and it sucked. Never again.

    • Anon

      The Soldier’s Home opens their grounds to the neighborhood and has a family-friendly festival. Great view of the fireworks on the Mall from up on the hill overlooking the golf course. https://friendsofsoldiers.org/2016/06/14/celebrate-the-fourth-of-july-at-the-soldiers-home-heres-the-schedule/

      • We’ve gone to this the past 3 years. It is fantastic.

      • DF

        My in-laws will be here and that sounds great. Thanks for the tip!

      • Anonymous

        Did they move the viewing location since a few years ago? When I went, it was a fun neighborhood celebration, but it was not a “great” view of the Mall fireworks.

        • They haven’t moved it. The viewing location isn’t the greatest, but I would rather deal with that than the Mall crowds. Plus the activities and entertainment is great since we have a toddler, and keeping her busy/in one spot for hours to hold our place on the Mall would be torture.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah I agree that the Soldier’s Home is great for so many reasons, whether you have kids or not. But if viewing the fireworks is very important to your 4th of July experience it’s not a great choice. It’s more about the activities and the neighborhood vibe than the fireworks show.

      • textdoc

        I had forgotten about this — thanks for the reminder!

  • dcd

    We are very fortunate that good friends have an awesome roof deck for watching fireworks. We’ve been there every year except one for 13 years. In the early days, before everyone had kids, there were more people, it went longer, everyone was drunker. Now, it’s a little more subdued, but the best sight is all the kids sitting on their parents’ shoulders to see the fireworks. Plus, we get a great view of the neighborhood fireworks, as well as municipal and country club shows for miles around. One of my favorite days of the year.

  • Nancy

    Watching from building roof! Made a move last year and now have a great view of the monument. Exciting & looking forward to it.

  • SaraEP

    Yeah Cardozo is where it’s at. I’ll be there if it’s not raining!

  • skj84

    This year I’m out of town, but I haven’t willingly watches the fireworks on the mall since I was a kid(worked at a restaurant downtown for years and would watch from the patio) I did Meridian Hill park 2 years ago, but got there too late to get a good view. Last year I just watched A Capital Fourth on TV. Honestly that was my preference.

  • Cleveland Park runner

    The mall is a must-do at least once. The crowds are terrible and you have to get there crazy early to get a good spot, but it’s so quintessentially DC. There’s nothing quite like watching fireworks set to the 1812 Overture, preceded by washed-up musicians playing on the mall.

  • also anon

    Our neighborhood near Fort Totten has great neighborhood fireworks. I’m hoping people set them off Saturday and Sunday though since the evening of the 4th looks like it will be rain!

  • Cam

    There wasn’t a choice for “I don’t care about the fireworks and won’t be watching.” Guess I’m a July 4th Grinch?

    • MRD

      No, you’re not the only one. I find the neighborhood display in Petworth rather nerve wracking. Especially hate those horrendously loud big boom dealies that kids like to detonate at oh, say 2:00 am, shaking the windows and setting off alarms. We’ve moved to another neighborhood and I hope it’s quieter.

      • +1. I stay indoors at home partly to be in an A/C filled, bug-free zone, and partly to be here in case some neighbor accidentally sets my property on fire.

        • textdoc

          Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, although I feel like I ought to get back to watching the fireworks at some point.
          I like big organized fireworks displays. Not keen on the amateur stuff, especially since it sounds like the invasion of Baghdad in my neighborhood every July 4th. (awaits remark accusing me of “hating fun” and telling me I should move to Reston)

          • dcd

            I don’t know if that would help. Last night in Bethesda there were a lot going off at 10:00 or so. They were in that grey area where you can’t tell if they were a small organized display, or a truly impressive private party. Many Americans love setting off fireworks – it seems to transcend race or SES. I do with they’d keep them confined to the 4th, and not make it a week-long celebration, but it is what it is.

          • skj84

            They we’re probably the ‘official” Bethesda Fireworks. I could see them from the end of my street when I lived in Chevy Chase, and they usually were a few days before the 4th.

          • textdoc

            When I lived in Adams Morgan, there were sporadic amateur fireworks… but in northern Park View it’s like an almost constant stream of pop-pop-pop.
            “It is what it is” — Perhaps, but only because D.C. allows the sale of fireworks.

          • Cassie

            @dcd, That was probably either Columbia or Kenwood CC’s fireworks, depending on what part of Bethesda you’re in.

          • Nathan

            The vast majority of neighborhood fireworks being set off are definitely not legally sold in DC.

          • textdoc

            Nathan — Where do people obtain the illegal fireworks? Do the licensed fireworks stands put the legal stuff on display and then sell the illegal stuff under the table?

          • Nathan

            I don’t know if the stands are selling the exploding, arial, illegal variety of fireworks, never checked. But its pretty easy to get the in PA. Maybe WV as well.

      • Jm

        We live in Petworth and are renting a cheap hotel room West of the park to escape the mayham.

    • FridayGirl

      +1. It’s a Monday night, too. If it was a weekend and not raining I’d be more interested. I entered the lottery to watch from my roof (yes, we have a lottery — because occupancy limits, ugh) so if I am allowed to go up and watch I will but I’m not going out of my way this year.

    • Truxton Thomas

      I like setting off fireworks in the street but have never really understood the fascination with fireworks displays. We’ll probably watch from our roof, but I would just as soon be inside.

    • ET

      I don’t go watch them. I live on the Hill and can smell the residuals from the Mall fireworks ( and sometimes the sound a few min. after the go off) as well as the amateurs in the neighborhood setting them off.

  • Effie

    Fireworks in your neighborhood: friends, family, personalized food menu, drinks, Netflix, pets free to roam and play, space to stretch out your arms and legs, control over custom firework display
    Fireworks at the Mall: tourists, crowded metro/streets/stopped traffic everywhere, no room to stretch, weird smells, cant bring the furry pets, will take forever to get home
    hmmm.. tough choice

    • textdoc

      “pets free to roam and play” — Every year after July 4th, there are postings about dogs who were outdoors, got spooked by fireworks noise, and ran away.

  • navyard

    I go out to Virginia to a relative’s house. We watch great fireworks from their back yard. I travel OUT when the crowds are coming in, and after the fireworks, I drive back IN when everyone is driving out. Zero traffic. Thank god there are not reversible lanes (yet) where I drive or everyone would be screwed. Not a fan of large crowds or security corrals.

  • Will be watching from our roof, has a good view of all the surrounding area displays as well. The Mall is cool once, after you’ve seen it you know it’s not worth the madness after.

  • Accountering

    Heading to my office to watch from the roof. Andie and I are going to bike down, bring a six pack, and enjoy!

  • sasindc

    The amateur shock and awe freelance fireworks in Columbia Heights are terriflying. I expect a roman candle to crash through my 5th floor window, or my building to burn down or every year.

    • KenyonDweller

      Yeah, if you have a strong stomach and roof access in Columbia Heights, it’s really something to behold.

  • Nathan

    Watching from our roof deck in Bloomingdale. I always pull up the live stream of the Mall concert to play in the background to accompany the show.

  • KenyonDweller

    I’ll be watching the Mall fireworks from my usual spot, which is absolutely the best time in town. I’d tell you where, but then I’d have to kill you because it’s top secret.

    • textdoc

      Don’t tantalize us like that!

  • Philippe Lecheval

    I’ll be watching them on TV.

  • stacksp

    Driving up to 13th st to watch fireworks near Cardozo. Probably at the top of the hill near Clifton

  • stacksp

    Ft Lincoln is under used and offers a great view of the fireworks by the way. Usually just a few folks having their own bbq and kicking back beers amongst other things while watching the fireworks

    • James

      Now that they built the townhomes across from the park I’m not sure how good the view will be anymore.

  • TAWL

    Georgetown waterfront park is a good place to watch the fireworks. I did that for two years and it was nice.

    • Anon

      I kind of like watching from the Yards Park. It’s not the usual fireworks experience– they’re all pretty far away, often too far to even hear– but you can see a few different shows going off at once and the area is quiet and peaceful.

  • Anon Imus

    The people here proudly boasting that they stay inside on July 4th are just the absolute worst. It’s one thing if you do it, it’s another thing to feel the need to let everyone know that you’re a shut-in

  • Newish

    Are the neighborhood displays legit or just people in the streets setting off their own firework stashes? Somewhat new to the area and haven’t been around for a 4th in the city yet…


Subscribe to our mailing list