The time has come to fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and celebrate the U-S-A!
And we’ve got you covered from the booming start to the dazzling finish with over 20 places to get out your oohs and ahhs.
Aliso Viejo – Live music, food and beverages for purchase, kids’ arts and crafts, free face painting and bounce houses, a homemade apple pie contest, and a fireworks show at dusk. 6-9:30 p.m. Free admission. Grand Park. www.avca.net/events.php
Anaheim – Firecracker 5K/10K, a patriotic parade, Yankee Doodle dog show, food, entertainment and fireworks. Parade begins at 1 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m. Free admission. Canyon High School and Peralta Park. www.anaheimhillscommunitycouncil.org
Brea – Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, followed by the annual fair featuring live entertainment, a kiddie parade, food, games, exhibits, a teen fun area and a marketplace craft area. Breakfast, 7 a.m.; fair, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; swimming at the Plunge, 11 a.m. Free. Swimming, $2. City Hall Park. www.ci.brea.ca.us
Gather the family and friends, tune into their specially curated Spotify playlist, look towards the skies over Doheny State Beach, and experience this patriotic extravaganza synchronized to a captivating musical score. Walk into the park any time during the day with no fee charged. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Show, 8:45 p.m. Dana Point Harbor. www.dohenystatebeach.org
Fireworks Dinner Cruise – See the fireworks and beautiful harbor lights from the 95-foot Dana Pride! Enjoy dinner before watching the fireworks. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Boat departs from Dana Wharf Sportfishing, in the harbor in front of Turks. www.danawharf.com/4th-of-july
Ocean Institute – Board the R/V Sea Explorer to enjoy a sunset cruise and fireworks with appetizers and desserts. Recommended for ages 5+. 7:30-10 p.m. Call for admission and registration. www.oceaninstitute.org
Fillmore – Take a train ride through Heritage Valley and enjoy a BBQ tri tip and chicken dinner onboard. The train returns for a fireworks show hosted by the City of Fillmore. Train boards, 6 p.m.; departs at 6:30 and returns at 10 p.m. Adults, $75. Youth (4-12), $45. Child (2-3), $25. Reservations required. Fillmore & Western Railway. www.fwry.com/holidaytrains.html
Fullerton – Enjoy live music, entertainment, food booths, activities for all ages, and a special aerial fireworks show at 9 p.m. 5-9 p.m. Free admission; nominal fee for food and activities. Fullerton Union High School Softball Field. Lemon St. and Berkeley Ave. www.ci.fullerton.ca.us
Huntington Beach – A hometown festival in Pier Plaza features food, music, exhibits and family activities. Enjoy a parade down Main Street at 10 a.m. and fireworks over the ocean at 9 p.m. Pancake Breakfast, 7-10 a.m. 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Parade bleacher seating, $15-20; VIP fireworks pier seating, $10. www.hb4thofjuly.org
Irvine – Food, music, raffle prizes and a spectacular fireworks show. Enjoy gourmet food trucks, activities for the kids and a live music performance. Stadium seating available or bring low-backed chairs and blankets for seating on the football field. Gates open, 3 p.m.; fireworks, 9 p.m. Adults, $15; kids (12 and under), $10; 2 and under are free; family pass (2 adults and up to 4 children), $50. Irvine High School Stadium. www.cityofirvine.org
La Habra – Fireworks, live bands, raffles, a kids’ zone with carnival games, inflatables, balloon art and face painting, plus food and craft vendors. 5-9 p.m. Adults, $5-7; kids (3-12), $3-5. Pre-sale wristbands are available at the community center through July 1. La Bonita Park.
4th of July Parade – Lake Forest presents its 27th annual parade, looping from El Toro High School and back. This year’s theme is “United We Stand.” Pancake breakfast, 7-10 a.m.; 5K Run/Walk, 7:30 a.m.; parade step-off, 10 a.m. Free. www.lakeforestparade.com
Ride with Etnies Skatepark: Help build and ride the skatepark float in the City’s 4th of July parade. Bring your skateboard and ride along in the parade. All participants must wear a helmet, and will be treated to post-parade pizza and drinks. 8:30 a.m. – noon. Call the skatepark if you’d like to help build the float. Free. www.etniesskatepark.com
The Great American 4th of July Bike Parade – Hundreds of local kids decorate their two-wheelers and ride two miles out-and-back on the sunny beach boardwalk for this old-fashioned parade! Patriotic speech, and costume contest begin at 9:30 a.m. Free. Meet at 1 S. Granada Ave. at Ocean Blvd. www.justinrudd.com/bikeparade.html
Aquarium of the Pacific – Celebrate Independence Day with the red, white, and blue fish at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Families will be able to enjoy the ambiance of the Aquarium at night and get a fish-eye view of the Queen Mary fireworks display. 5-10 p.m. $14.95 per person. Free for kids ages 3 and under and Aquarium members. www.aquariumofpacific.org
All-American 4th of July. Celebrate Independence Day in style, come early and spend the day exploring the ship; listen to live music, enjoy family-friendly entertainment and get front and center to the giant fireworks extravaganza. Also, carnival games, a parade, dancing, strolling performers, and more. Cabana and private booth/table rentals available. Wednesday, 2-10 p.m. (fireworks, 9pm). Adults, $44 ($49 day of); kids (4-11), $24 ($29 day of). VIP passes also available for $99. Food, refreshments and some activities are additional. www.queenmary.com
Tustin – Pack a picnic and blanket or come early for a seat in the bleachers. Operation Warm Wishes will be collecting non-perishable food items for disadvantaged and homeless vets. Activities, 6:30 p.m.; fireworks, 9 p.m. Free. Tustin High School Football Field. www.tustinca.org/depts/parks/events.asp.
Los Alamitos – Enjoy a fireworks spectacular at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos to honor the men and women of the military with a food court, vendor booths and a Kids’ Fun Zone. Lawn chairs and blankets encouraged; Dogs, BBQs and alcohol prohibited. 4 p.m. $5 per vehicle. Adults over the age of 16 must present photo ID to be admitted to the base. www.cityoflosalamitos.org
Mission Viejo – Live entertainment, rides, craft vendors, food and game booths. Noon; fireworks, 9 p.m. Free admission. Shuttle operates around Lake Mission Viejo. Olympiad Road between Marguerite Pkwy. and Melinda Road. www.mvactivities.com
Newport Beach – Live music, a redneck rodeo, All-American holiday buffet and spectacular fireworks display. The all-day event is geared towards families seeking a safe holiday on a waveless beach with plenty of activities for those of all ages. 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.; fireworks, 9 p.m. Visit site or call for price information. Newport Dunes. www.newportdunes.com
Santa Ana – History walk, sports zone, kids’ zone, live entertainment, food, canon exhibit and recognition of our military and armed forces, plus a spectacular fireworks show. 4-9:30 p.m.; fireworks at 9 p.m. Free to attend. Centennial Park. www.santa-ana.org/parks
Yorba Linda – Family activities, food vendors, DJ entertainment, a Kids’ Fun Zone and after-dark fireworks show. Activities, 5 p.m.; fireworks, 9 p.m. Veterans Park. www.yorbalindaca.gov