10 Ways to Spend The 4th of July This Year



Written by Andrea Diedrich

Published on June 17, 2020

Can you believe it? We are already heading into the peak of summer which means, the 4th of July is right around the corner.  For years, our day of independence involved spending time with friends and family, then heading down to your favorite spot to end the night under a sky of fireworks. Fast forward to this year, and the chances of seeing the sky lit up at parks and waterways around WNY is looking slim to none.

With that being said, we at Step Out Buffalo are here to help in the one way we know how, with some pretty cool alternatives! So, it’s not the same as fireworks but throw some good weather into the mix and there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy the 4th with you friends and family. Read on for all the ways you can still bring the fam together and celebrate. Plus, it happens to fall on a Saturday this year which means, the festivities can last all weekend long!

Note: While these activities are meant to be spent with friends and family, we recommend you keep social distancing measures in mind and to your comfort level.


lockhouse distillery

Lockhouse spritz / photo courtesy of Lockhouse Distillery

1. Make Cocktails at Home

If you’re like us, then the 4th of July must involve some boozy drinks. Looking to make some cocktails but not sure where to start? Get a lesson from the skilled bartenders at some of Buffalo’s local breweries in our Cocktails @ Home Series. For a summery beverage, go with a Lockhouse spritz, Hartman’s lavender mule, or a gin fizz from Rusty Nickel.


summer beer: orange sherbert

Orange Sherbert / Photo courtesy of NYBP

2. Grab Some Summer Beers

Maybe your idea of the 4th of July means kicking back with a good ol’ fashioned cook out. If you are looking to grab some beers to add to the mix, we know of some really good summer beer options. From an orange sherbert milkshake IPA to a S’more than friends imperial stout, crack open a cold one with these 25 Beers You Need to Try This Summer.


public art loop

Lip Service Mural

3. Take a Bike Ride 

A really easy way to see friends and family while social distancing is by going on a bike ride. Enjoy local trails with our Ultimate Guide To The Best Bike Trails In WNY or take a more historic and cultural route with our Bike There Buffalo! Tour Series.  In this series from Buffalo Bike tours, you will find different rides that delve into Buffalo’s neighborhoods including street art sightings and waterfront views.  A fun way to make this patriotic with the kiddos is by decorating your bikes in red, white, and blue streamers.


Giacomo Hotel

Street view of the Giacomo Hotel / Photo courtesy of the Giacomo Hotel

4. Go on Driving Tour of WNY

As of recently, many new murals have been popping up around WNY but, there’s also a lot of history to the region as well. If there is a part of the city that you’ve been meaning to explore, but you aren’t sure where to start, our Tour By Car Series is a good way to go. In this series you’ll find everything from places to eat to the perfect photo opportunities, all while venturing through the different regions of Buffalo.


Photo courtesy of Woodcock Brother’s Brewery

5. Make a Patio Reservation or Grab it To-Go

Patios are opening all over WNY and we are here for it! If you are looking for a low key 4th of July, why not enjoy an evening with some close friends or family with a dinner outing. Here’s the full list of Restaurant Patios Open Now. Depending on the weather, your other best bet may be indoor seating or takeout. In that case, here’s the Restaurants Open Now For Indoor Seating, Restaurants Offering Takeout and Black Owned Restaurants Offering Take-Out in WNY.


Clarence Hollow Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Clarence Hollow Farmers Market

6. Head to Your Local Farmers Market

If you plan on doing the cooking, may we suggest grabbing some produce from your local farmers market. Many of the markets around WNY are open on Saturday mornings and consist of fruits, vegetables, and meats. This is a great opportunity to pick up some meats for the grill, veggies for kabobs and fruits for a patriotic platter or dessert. See which markets are open near you with our Guide to WNY Farmers Markets.


Photo courtesy of Bflo Harbor Kayak

7. Get Out on the Water

Buffalo summers are pretty much the ideal temperature for boating. Whether you have your own way of getting on out or you are looking for another form of access, the 4th of July weekend is a great time to hit the water. Use the 14 Ways to Get on The Water Right Now  to find your best way to enjoy Buffalo’s waterfront.


Woodlawn Beach

Woodlawn Beach / Step Out Buffalo

8. Hit the Beach

Now that beaches officially have the say to be open, why not spend the 4th soaking in some rays with your feet in the sand. While there are social distancing measures that must be upheld, the beach can still be a fun destination to cool down or set up a picnic. Here are the current regulations and as for which beach you should head to, check out The Best Beaches in WNY.


photo via Transit Drive-in Facebook

9. See a Concert or a Movie 

The Transit Drive in is teaming up with Buffalo Riverworks to bring live concerts to the drive-in with their Live at The Drive series. In addition, the Transit Drive-In will continue to show movies every night throughout the summer. Grab a pizza, some popcorn, and load up your car to see a show on the 4th. West of the Mark and Two Hills “Reloaded” will be performing. Admission is $30 and the show runs from 2-5pm.


letchworth park

Photo courtesy of

10. Get Your Camping on

If you are looking for a little retreat for the weekend, you may want to consider grabbing your camping gear and heading to a New York State Park. Reservations for June 22 and forward are now open but are expected to fill quickly. If roasting some s’mores over a fire and stargazing sounds like your ideal 4th of July weekend, check out camping opportunities here.

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Andrea Diedrich</a>

Written by Andrea Diedrich

Andrea is a Content Coordinator and writer for Step Out Buffalo. By day she enjoys using her creative side and researching all things Buffalo. By night you’ll find her exploring Buffalo’s waterfront, dining with friends or catching the latest show/concert in town.
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