San Antonio — aka Military City, USA — is getting patriotic with Fourth of July celebrations around town and beyond. Will you run a fun 5K, watch fireworks, or head to an old-fashioned Independence Day parade? Here are the best Fourth of July celebrations to attend (they're all free and take place Tuesday, July 4, unless otherwise noted).
City of San Antonio's Official 4th of July Celebration
San Antonio's official celebration is a free, all-day event at Woodlawn Lake Park with loads of activities, including a mechanical bull (this is Texas, after all); live music; and a half-mile fun walk. End your day with the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza when the sun goes down.
Independence Day at the Alamo
Even though the Alamo was the site of a different fight for freedom, it still represents the struggle for independence, making it an appropriate place to celebrate the Fourth of July. The celebration will focus on history with reenactments, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and other activities. Bonus: There will be free paletas in the Alamo Garden.
Sea World San Antonio's Fourth of July Celebration
Picnics in the park are fun, but what about a Fireworks Picnic at Sea World with a barbecue buffet and a spectacular fireworks show with the best seats in the house? If you want more of an adults-only event, spend the afternoon in the Bayside Beer Garden with exclusive lakeside seating and great views. Admission costs $24.99-$49.99.
Coca-Cola July 4th Fest at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Pyrotechnic enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that Six Flags is expecting its fireworks show to be the largest display in San Antonio. You'll have three nights to witness the magic, as the display will occur nightly from Sunday, July 2, through Tuesday, July 4. If you want early access to the rides before the park opens each day, be sure to present a can of any Coca-Cola product along with your ticket or season pass.
Monte Vista 4th of July Parade & Picnic
Dress up your kids, dogs, and friends and make your way to the historic neighborhood of Monte Vista for its annual 4th of July Parade & Picnic. Everyone is invited to join the parade, which starts at 10 am at the corner of Lynwood and Howard. The festivities continue at Landa Library Gardens, where awards will be handed out for best adult, child, and dog costumes, as well as and best-decorated float. Think bicycle, unicycle, or even stroller — the more creative you get with your float, the better your chances of winning.
Leon Valley 4th of July Festival & Fireworks Spectacular
Leon Valley puts on a big to-do in Raymond Rimkus Park for Independence Day. Grab a seat along the street to watch the parade at 10 am, head to the carnival in the afternoon, and watch the sky light up with the fireworks finale at dusk. Before all the barbecue and beverages, get your sweat on at the Pioneer Firecracker 5K Fun Run/Walk.
Commemorative Air Force Independence Day Celebration
The Commemorative Air Force of San Marcos will bring three of its planes — the B-25 "Yellow Rose," Centrix T-6 Red Tail, and an A-4 — to Stinson Municipal Airport for flight experiences and more. If you want to keep your celebration grounded, there will also be family-friendly activities, music, and exhibits to check out at the airport.
Morgan's Wonderland Salute to America's Heroes
Morgan's Wonderland recently opened the first ultra-accessible water park in the world, and, on the Fourth of July, you can bring the whole family to check it out. Military service members, first responders, and their families will receive discounted admission; those with special needs always get in free. Ride the ride, splash in the park, enjoy free hot dogs and apple pie, get your face painted, and more.
4th of July Fireworks at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens
Spend your Fourth of July surrounded by beauty both in the sky and in the gardens, where you can view the display from the nearby San Antonio Country Club. The Box Street Social will be selling delicious food from its eclectic menu, including beer and wine, but you can also pack your own snacks. Don't forget your blanket and lawn chairs. Doors are open from 7 to 9 pm; admission is $10-$12, or free for members.
Red, White & Blues
The Pearl will host a picnic; live music from Jackie Vensen, Nakia and the Blues Grifters, and Will Owen Gage; family activities; a dance contest; and hula-hoop demos. If you want to eat at any of the restaurants in the area, consider making reservations ahead of time.
Old Fashioned Fourth of July Weekend in Castroville
Castroville is celebrating the Fourth of July all weekend long. Kicking off the party is a 5K color run on Saturday, July 1. On Sunday, July 2, join in to make (or taste) the food at the annual chili and brisket cook-off, then brush off your boots and end the night dancing in the street at Houston Square. For the first time ever, there will be a drone-racing competition on Monday, July 3. The finale of the celebration will start on Tuesday, July 4, with the Old-Fashioned 4th of July Parade followed by a concert, picnic, and spectacular fireworks show in Regional Park. A carnival will run all four days at Highway 290 and Tondre Parkway.
One of the largest celebrations of the armed forces in South Texas, this event goes on "rain, shine, drought, or flood" at Pickrell Park — their words, not ours. The 42nd annual Jubilee starts with a 5K walk/run and a parade; this year's theme is Star-Spangled Spectacular. There will be entertainment, food, and more throughout the day and fireworks at night.
Random FireWorks Extravaganza
Random Beer Garden — that amazing little place in Boerne we all love because it's not only kid- and dog-friendly, but it also has 90 craft beers on tap — will celebrate Independence Day on Sunday, July 2, with a few extras like live music by Small Town Habit, eight tasty food trucks, pony rides and face paining for the kids, and more. The fireworks show begins at 9:15 pm (or when the sun goes down).
Fourth of July Fireworks in Boerne
Boerne's annual fireworks show starts just after dark on Independence Day. You can see the display from various spots throughout town, but the best place is in Boerne City Park. Bring your chairs, blankets, and snacks for this low-key event.
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in New Braunfels
Head to Landa Park for the largest Independence Day celebration in New Braunfels. Get there early, bring snacks, and enjoy live music by Kori Free and The Groove Hounds. Fireworks will shoot off at 9:15 pm.