Brooklyn Boro

Barbecues and beers: 10 things to do in Brooklyn this weekend

July 3, 2019 Scott Enman
Coney Island. Photo by Paul Frangipane

Ah, yes. It’s that time of the year again, when the smells of grilled meats mix with fresh gunpowder in the air.

Many Brooklynites will be escaping the city for the distant shores of Long Island or New England, but for those staying around (bless you), there’s no shortage of ways to pass the time — patriotically.

From barbecues and brewery tours to dance parties in the park, we’ve selected the top 10 events happening. And with the borough less crowded for the holiday weekend, treat it as your private urban playground.

1. Light up the night sky

Fireworks are set off from the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Julienne Schaer
Fireworks are set off from the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Julienne Schaer

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display, touted as the largest celebration in the nation, has become a staple of observing Independence Day in New York City. And luckily for Brooklynites, this year’s fireworks are returning to the Brooklyn Bridge area for the first time since 2014. Here are the best places to watch the show.

Thursday at approximately 9:20 p.m. just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Free. More info here.

2. Go Upside Down

Coney Island was transformed into Upside Down from Netflix-hit series "Stranger Things." Photo courtesy of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park
Coney Island was transformed into Upside Down from Netflix-hit series “Stranger Things.” Photo courtesy of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

If you’re a fan of the Netflix hit series “Stranger Things,” you’ll want to head down to Coney Island, which has been transformed into Upside Down in celebration of the show’s third season airing Thursday. The park’s iconic rides, like the Wonder Wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars and Carousel, have all been “stranger-fied.”

Seven days a week from noon to 10 p.m. weather permitting at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Free. More info here.

3. Dance in the park

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Photo courtesy of BRIC
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Photo courtesy of BRIC

As part of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Chicago MC Mick Jenkins and Brooklyn’s own LeiKeli47 are performing a free concert of “forward looking hip hop and soul” in Prospect Park. On supporting duty are singers Leven Kali and Joy Postell.


Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Free. More info here.

4. Tour a cultural jewel

Weeksville Heritage Center is the crown jewel of Weeksville the neighborhood. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
Weeksville Heritage Center is the crown jewel of Weeksville the neighborhood. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Take a tour of the Weeksville Heritage Center, a former independent free black community that flourished in pre-Civil War Brooklyn. Some of the oldest landmarked houses date back to the 1840s. While you’re there, be sure to explore the surrounding neighborhood, which is also called Weeksville.

Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Weeksville Heritage Center. $8. More info here.

5. Spend a night at the museum

You can get a day pass to get into the Brooklyn Museum for free with a library card, thanks to the new Culture Pass program. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
The Brooklyn Museum. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

The Brooklyn Museum hosts free art and entertainment on the first Saturday of every month. This weekend’s event, aptly titled “Visualizing Independence,” features DJs, Arabic maqam music from Brooklyn-based musicians, poetry readings, talks, film screenings and much more.

Saturday from 5-11 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum. Free. More info here.

6. Eat, eat and eat some more

Smorgasburg. Eagle file photo
Smorgasburg. Eagle file photo

Smorgasburg is oh-so delicious, but it’s oh-so frustrating to wait 45 minutes on line to get a ramen burger. Take advantage of the sparse crowds and roam Brooklyn’s iconic open-air food market unimpeded.

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in East River State Park, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Prospect Park. Free entry. More info here.

7. Fire up the grill

Park-goers enjoy Pier 5’s Picnic Peninsula, the park’s BBQ headquarters.
Park-goers enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Picnic Peninsula, the park’s BBQ headquarters.

Barbecuing is synonymous with Independence Day, so be sure to cook up some burgers and dogs. Here’s our recommendations for the best public-barbecuing areas this weekend.

Multiple locations.

8. Drink some beers

Brooklyn Brewery AP Photo/Richard Drew
Brooklyn Brewery. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Head to the borough’s iconic Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and tasting of a variety of beers. Plus, there’s a rotating collection of food trucks and vendors for when you need to soak up that alcohol.

Tours at the Brooklyn Brewery are every half hour from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Free. More info here.

9. Hit the beach

Manhattan Beach. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
Manhattan Beach. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

Grab your towel and your favorite swimsuit and head out to one of Brooklyn’s beautiful beaches, which should be less crowded this weekend. While you’re at it, be sure to pick up one of our recommended beach reads.

Multiple locations.

10. Cheer on the United States

Fans watch the world cup at the DUMBO Archway. Photo by Julienne Schaer

With a dramatic 2-1 win against England on Tuesday, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team advanced to the World Cup final for the third time in a row. Watch the match underneath the Manhattan Bridge on an 80-inch screen and root for the Yanks as they attempt to win back-to-back World Cup titles.

Is there really a better way of capping off a patriotic weekend than rooting for Team U.S.A.?

Sunday at 11 a.m. at the DUMBO Archway. Free. More info here.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter


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