Note: These are 2019 events, all have been cancelled for 2020 (as far as we know. Please choose a new destination from our Massive Summer Bucket List.
Thanks to Sarah’s Science camp for sponsoring our Fourth of July for East Bay Families guide. Independence Day is a Thursday this year. Many camps and businesses will be closed for the holiday. Sarah’s Science camp is open July 1-3, but closed on July 4-5, and offers a pro-rated price for the short week. Read on for things to do with kids to celebrate July 4th, 2019.
Our sponsor Sarah’s Science Camp has weekly openings through August 23 in Berkeley and Oakland and invites your child to come have a BLAST! Campers make and take home a fun science project each day while exploring complex science topics. Some highlights this summer include robots, machines, catapults, knights, princesses, furry forest critters, and more!
East Bay fireworks shows
We'll be honest: we've missed a whole lot of fireworks with our kids because the start time is always after 9 pm. However, there's more fun to be had on the Fourth of July than just fireworks. A daytime festival in a park, followed by a nap and a BBQ makes a great Fourth. If your kids can handle the late night, however, here the places to go in the East Bay:
Berkeley Fireworks Show
Pack low chairs and blankets and find a grassy spot at the Berkeley Marina. Fireworks over the Bay begin at 9:30 pm. You can also see the fireworks from many places along the frontage road parallel to 80, and even from the Berkeley Hills, from where you might see both the Berkeley fireworks show and the ones in San Francisco.
When: 9:30 pm on July 4
Oakland As Fireworks Games
Though not on July 4, there will be fireworks after the As game on July 3 as well as several other nights throughout the summer.
Where: Oakland Coliseum
More details about Oakland As fireworks games >>
San Pablo Fireworks Show
Multi-cultural live entertainment, food, and games at this free festival, followed by fireworks after dark.
Where: El Portal soccer field, San Pablo
When: Beginning at 5 pm
Moraga Commons 4th of July Event
A full day of fun at this lovely park in Moraga, from a pancake breakfast to a dog parade, and plenty of other activities and food. The evening ends with a 9:30 pm fireworks show.
Where: Moraga Commons Park
When: Pancakes start at 7:30 am; Fireworks start at 9:30 pm
Annual Third of July Celebration (Richmond)
Another “Fourth of July Eve” show! Fireworks, food, and fun are what this event is all about. Celebrate with the Richmond community at Marina Bay Park from 5:30 pm-10:00 pm to enjoy music and the youth play area (for a fee) until the night sky explodes with color during 20-minute fireworks display at approximately 9:15 pm.
Here are 10+ other things to do with kids in the East Bay on Thursday, July 4, 2019:
July 4 events in Alameda
Alameda's Mayor's Parade
More than 30,000 people watch this parade and there's a kid's area with attractions to fill the day. Line up starts as early as 8 am! A 5k takes place at 9 am that morning, too.
When: 10 am
Where: Check out the route through 3 miles of Alameda >
Coast Guard's Festival
New this year, following the parade, there will be live music, food trucks, and activities and games for kids.
When: 12-4 pm
Where: Pier 3 at Alameda Point
Alameda South Shore Center Festival
There will be live music and unspecified kids activities.
Where: South Shore Center, Alameda
When: from 3pm to 5pm.
July 4 events in Albany and El Cerrito
Albany Pancake Breakfast at Memorial Park
The opening event to the all-day Memorial Park celebration, this breakfast is hosted by the Lion's Club and will fuel you for the day.
When: from 9 to noon
Where: Memorial Park, Albany
Albany's Green, Red, White and Blue Festival
Festivities include a reptile show, a Diaper Derby, and tons of activities for kids. Pack a picnic and stay all afternoon.
When: 12 pm to 4 pm
Where: Memorial Park in Albany
July 4 events in Berkeley
Berkeley Marina 4th of July Celebration
This huge 4th of July festival includes bouncy houses in all shapes and sizes, canoe races, fun performances, a petting zoo.
When: 12 pm to 10 pm
Where: Berkeley Marina
Berkeley Fireworks Show
Pack low chairs and blankets and find a spot on the lawn. Fireworks over the Bay begin at 9:30pm.
Tilden Park, Berkeley
The Carousel and Steam Trains will both be running (opposite ends of the park).
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley – SOLD OUT
First-of-its-kind spectacular party with science activities and fireworks viewing at 9:15. Food trucks and live music, too. Fees are $20 to $25. There will be road closures once the party starts. Details about July 4th at the Hall >
When: 6 pm to 10 pm
Where: Lawrence Hall of Science
Where to spend July 4 in Fremont
Fremont Fourth of July Parade
Begins at the Library and heads toward Capitol via Paseo Padre. This parade is so big it has its own app!
When: 10 am
Where: Route map through Fremont>
July 4th events in Oakland
Open on the Fourth from 10 am to 5 pm — check out the new gondola!
Piedmont Park Parade and pancakes
Pancakes and parading ends with festivities in the park.
When: Parade begins at 11 am; pancakes in Veteran's Hall start at 8 am.
Where: Route from Highland Avenue and Park Way to Piedmont Park
Thanks again to Sarah’s Science day camp (where my children have gone every summer for ten years!) for sponsoring our Fourth of July guide for East Bay families. Both Berkeley and Oakland locations of Sarah’s Science camp are set outdoors in beautiful parks where wonderful counselors blend science and nature studies with traditional summer camp activities like hiking, arts and crafts, and swimming. Campers go home dirty, tired, and excited to share their creations and what they learned.