Happy Independence Day! On July 4, 1776, the thirteen American colonies officially declared their independence from Britain. People mark the birth of the United States by grilling burgers and watching elaborate firework displays, and Google has little fireworks go off on its search page when you type in “July 4.” If you need some ideas on how to spend your day, we’ve got some for you.

Pioneer Firecracker 5K Fun Run/Walk

Wear red, white, and blue to honor the Fourth of July during Leon Valley’s Star Spangled 4th of July Parade, Festival, and Fireworks Spectacular. The 5K fun run/walk, which starts and finishes at Northwest Little League, kicks off the festivities. Prizes will be given to the top three finishers in each group and best costumes. Children ages 12 and under race for $12, while everyone else pays $30 to race. Register for the race here.
Thursday, 7:30-9 a.m.
Northwest Little League, 6828 Poss Road

July 4 Parade and Picnic at Monte Vista

The Monte Vista Historical Association kicks off its annual July Fourth parade and picnic at 9:30 a.m. The parade assembles at Howard Street and West Lynwood Avenue, and there is a costume contest for adults, children, and pets. And for the handy folks, there’s an award for best float. The parade ends at Landa Library, where prizes will be announced and pies, hot dogs, lemonade, and ice cream will be consumed.
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Monte Vista Historical Association

GNW 4th of July Parade

The Great Northwest Community also has its own parade. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Zachry Middle School, goes down Timber Path and ends at the Great Northwest Community Improvement Association at 8809 Timberwilde Drive. Spectators are welcome to sit along Timber Path with chairs and blankets.
Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Zachry Middle School, 9410 Timber Path


Independence Day at the Alamo

The Alamo celebrates July Fourth with special living history demonstrators, photo opportunities with reenactors, firing demonstrations, and other activities. Bring the family to enjoy the festivities and learn more about Texas history.
Thursday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza

Great American Picnic

The Historic Pearl opens its park for July Fourth festivities at noon Thursday. Play lawn games, enjoy food from vendors at the Pearl, and live music from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. from the Peterson Brothers Band. The League of Women Voters will be on-site from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. registering people to vote – what better way to celebrate the United States’ birthday than by preparing for the next election? Standard-size lawn chairs are allowed, but fireworks are not.
Thursday, noon-10 p.m.
The Historic Pearl, 303 Pearl Parkway

4th of July at the Tower

The Tower of the Americas celebrates July Fourth with live music, kid-friendly activities – including a bounce house! – and eatables and drinkables. Bring money for snacks, and bring sunscreen for sun protection.
Thursday, noon-5 p.m.
Tower of the Americas, 739 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

City of San Antonio’s Official Fourth of July Celebration

The City of San Antonio brings its official Independence Day festivities to Woodlawn Lake Park on Thursday. Starting at 11 a.m., there will be live entertainment, carnival-style rides and games, and plenty of classic July Fourth food. Curious George makes a special appearance from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come hang out and get ready for the finale: a fireworks extravaganza.
Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati Ave.

Salute America’s Heroes at Morgan’s Wonderland

Morgan’s Wonderland is offering free food to its guests on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The amusement park also gives military members, first responders, and their immediate families a discounted admission of $9 per person with valid ID. Guests with special needs and children ages 2 and younger may enter for free. Tickets can be purchased online here.
Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Morgan’s Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards Drive

Kiddie Park’s Last Day

At the original location, that is. The beloved San Antonio institution celebrates the Fourth as well as its last day at its home for more than 90 years; Kiddie Park will be closing its doors temporarily to move to the San Antonio Zoo. So bring the family and wear lots of sunscreen for some screaming fun before fireworks at night. Each ride costs one ticket to ride. Ticket prices can be found here.
Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Kiddie Park, 3015 Broadway 
$2.50 and up

Blue Note Ringos

It might be the day to celebrate American independence, but the hits of the original British boy band still resonate with people around the world. Beatles feature band Blue Note Ringos brings rock ‘n’ roll to The Cove on Thursday night to accompany your burger and beer.
Thursday, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
The Cove, 606 W. Cypress St.

Bravo! An Evening of Song and Dance

Enjoy San Antonio’s cultural heritage at the Arneson River Theatre on Thursday with Bravo! The show offers traditional folkloric performances, singing, live music, and contemporary dance. General admission is free, though donations are always welcome. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance starts at 8 p.m.
Thursday, 8-9:30 p.m.
La Villita Historic Arts Village, 418 Villita St.

Stars, Stripes, and Lights

The River Walk will be decked out in patriotic colors through Sunday, so head over for the perfect picture way to commemorate Independence Day. The River Walk Artisan Show will be open Thursday through Sunday for people to browse local artisans’ wares. Shoppers can visit the show from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Wednesday-Sunday, 8 p.m.-midnight
The San Antonio River Walk, 110 Broadway 

Freedom Fest at Historic Market Square

Market Square rings in Independence Day with an expanded offering of vendors, artists, kids activities, and live local bands. 2018 Latin Grammy winner Roger Velasquez and the Latin Legendz will perform on Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. Find details about Market Square’s celebration here.
Market Square, 514 W Commerce St.

Art in the Park

Kids can enjoy free Art in the Park at Hemisfair’s Central Games Plaza on Friday evening. Activities include painting, balloon making, music, and face painting. There will also be snacks and drinks available for purchase.
Friday, 7-9 p.m.
Hemisfair, 630 Nueva St.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 

A tale as old as time, now at the Woodlawn Theatre. Watch Disney’s version of the classic fairytale where Belle meets the Beast, a prince trapped under a spell with a deadline in the form of a slowly wilting rose. Students and children can get $10 tickets for Friday’s performance with the code “STUDENT.” Buy tickets here.
Friday, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road

Monster Jam

If you like really, really, really large vehicles doing cool tricks, Monster Jam heads back to town on Saturday. Crowd favorites return for the show, including Grave Digger, Max D, and El Toro Loco. Find tickets here.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Tardeadas at the Plaza

Enjoy food, live music, dancing and more every First Saturday at the Plaza Guadalupe.
Saturday, 6-10 p.m.
Plaza Guadalupe, 1327 Guadalupe St.

Free Screening: Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse

The Oscar-winning animated movie comes to Mission Marquee Plaza for a free screening on Saturday evening. Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, bug spray, and anything else you might need for an outdoor movie. Pets are welcome. Venue opens at 7 p.m., and the movie starts after sunset.
Saturday, 7-10 p.m.
Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave.

Yoga + Brunch at the Good Kind

Black Swan Yoga is hosting a free yoga class to the Good Kind on Sunday morning. Bring a yoga mat, water bottle, and wear comfy clothes. Yogis can also stick around for brunch after class, but that part isn’t free.
Sunday, 9 a.m.-noon
The Good Kind, 1127 S. St. Mary’s St.

Family Day Superheroes!

The San Antonio Museum of Art hosts its Family Day on Sunday. Bring the kids and learn how to make power cuffs, collage a superhero splash page, emboss a superhero icon, and make more art inspired by the museum’s “Men of Steel, Women of Wonder” exhibition. Children ages 12 and under can participate for free.
Sunday, noon-3 p.m.
San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave.
Included with museum admission

Summer Film Series: Thelma & Louise

Gender stereotypes who? Thelma & Louise – starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon – run from the law across the American Southwest in this classic film being shown as part of the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s summer film series. Andrew Patrick Nelson, a professor from Montana State University-Bozeman and the curator of the series, will lead a lecture starting at 1 p.m., and the movie starts right after. There will be free popcorn, as well as food truck fare and beer for sale. The lecture and movie are included with museum admission; buy tickets for the museum here.
Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St.
Included with museum admission

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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.