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How to Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | July 2, 2015 8:18am
 Celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with your family close to home. 
UWS Fourth of July Events
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UPPER WEST SIDE — While watching the fireworks may be a great activity for the nighttime this Fourth of July, there's plenty to do during the day before the show begins.

Here's a rundown of the best happenings on the Upper West Side this holiday weekend.

Independence Day Scavenger Hunt
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
170 Central Park West

The New-York Historical Society is offering an all-day Independence Day Scavenger Hunt in which participants track down important objects and replicas related to the American Revolution. 

The Hudson River Ramblers
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
170 Central Park West

The Hudson River Ramblers — a duo clad in Revolutionary War dress, whose aim is to bring that historic period to life through songs, performances and storytelling — will be at the New-York Historical Society this Independence Day.

They'll share the story behind "Yankee Doodle," sing songs and share stories about Paul Revere and George Washington.

Enjoy Homemade Ice Cream
Noon - 4 p.m.
170 Central Park West

Ice cream has a long history in the U.S. The Founding Fathers and Mothers even had ice cream as a treat. The New-York Historical Society is offering demonstrations on how to make ice cream from scratch and letting everyone get involved in hand-cranking it. During the process, visitors will learn about old ice cream recipes and explore an 18th-century ice cream maker — and of course they'll get to eat some, too. 

Note: Museum admission is free Independence Day for visitors 18 and under.

Create Your Own Fireworks
212 W. 83rd St.
10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
12:15 - 2 p.m.

For kids 4 years old and younger, the Children's Museum of Manhattan is offering drop-in art sessions letting kids make their own red, white and blue interpretations of fireworks. 

Independence Day American Dream Quilt
212 W. 83rd St.
2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Kids 5 years old and up can contribute to a giant quilt that expresses what "freedom and happiness means to you." Parents need to sign up for this class in advance.

Spiders Alive
Central Park West and 79th Street
10 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.

While spiders don't have much to do with celebrating America, they will capture kids' attention. The American Museum of Natural History is reopening its popular "Spiders Alive" exhibit, which features 16 species of spiders and two types of scorpions, as well as other creatures. The exhibit delves into everything about how spiders live and breed, as well as their anatomy. There will be live spiders to explore.

Tickets to the exhibition, which include general admission, are $27 for adults, $22 for students/seniors, and $16 for children.

Later on, but before the fireworks start...

West Side Community Garden Picnic
6 p.m.
West 89th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues

The West Side Community Garden is hosting a free picnic, with the opportunity to bring your own dish to share or to enjoy the hamburgers and hot dogs organizers will be barbecuing on site. There will also be soda and wine provided.

Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing
6 p.m.
Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park at Amsterdam Ave. and West 62nd Street

Celebrate one of America's greatest music genres at Lincoln Center's dance party, featuring Dr. K's Motown Review. There will be group dance lessons and live music, as well as a silent disco. Tickets are $17.