It’s a busy July 4th week in New York, which served as the country’s first capital and where, in 1789, George Washington was sworn in as president at the site of today’s Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street.

Many of New York City’s greatest cultural attractions are celebrating the founding of our nation. Be sure to check out our founding fathers’ signatures on the original Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, on display at the New York Public Library for three days only. Starting during the wee hours of July 4, go on a Revolutionary War New York Nighttime Walking Tour to discover just how pivotal New York City was throughout the War for Independence.

After that tour, it’s easy to get an early spot in line to see the Statue of Liberty, which reopens just in time for Independence Day, after being closed due to damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy.

At Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic teams up with the United States Coast Guard Band for a special Star-Spangled Celebration of popular American classics. In Queens, Bria Skonberg helps celebrate Louis Armstrong’s birthday, as well as our nation’s. Yes, cake will be served (as well as Louis’ famous red beans n’ rice)!

After seeing the sights, cap the day off with Macy’s Fourth of July concert and fireworks, taking place along the Hudson River at 9 pm.

At the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturday, the theme is Remixing the American Story.

Scroll down for more activities to enjoy during the long weekend. Other summer festival performances in parks also make a “staycation” in the city good, free fun.

    NYCkidsARTS This Week: July 1-7

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    Juilliard Concert I: New Music for Mixed Ensembles

    Museum of Modern Art


    Sun, Jul 07, 2013, 8:00 pm

    The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    July 4th in New York City with the Kids

    On Independence Day and the following weekend, many of New York City's greatest cultural attractions are open to celebrate the founding of our nation. There's plenty of time to fill your holiday with arts and crafts and fun history before the fireworks go off over the Hudson River at 9 pm.

    Midsummer Night Swing: Big Band Swing Battle of the Bands: The George Gee Swing Orchestra vs. Mora’s Modern Rhythmists

    Damrosch Park


    Thu, Jul 04, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Who’s the heppest? Will it be New York favorite, George Gee, who brings his Chick Webb–inspired 12-piece combo to defend the heritage of the Savoy Ballroom? Or will it be left coast darlings Dean Mora and his Modern Rhythmists, representing Los Angeles’s mid-’60s Palomar Ballroom with its Roaring ‘20s take on swing and its focus on period arrangements? Dance Instructor: Jaime Shannon and Tony Fraser teach Collegiate Shag DJ: Adam Lee Dance ...

    American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe

    Whitney Museum of American Art



    "American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe" showcases the Whitney’s deep holdings of artwork from the first half of the 20th century by the 18 leading artists. Organized as one- and two-artist presentations, this exhibition provides a survey of each artist’s work across a range of mediums.

    Statue of Liberty National Monument

    New York

    The 300-foot-tall sculpture was designed by the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi‚ with engineering assistance provided by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, designer of another famous monument. This gift of the French people in 1886 commemorates the spirit of liberty that so defines both America and France.