Plenty of Food, Fun & Fireworks to Celebrate 4th of July in Orlando
*The information listed has been updated for 2021 based on available information. Please always confirm with the venue/restaurant prior to making plans as everything is subject to change. Some events have been canceled this year, however are still listed as they expect to return in 2022.
When you think of 4th of July in the United States, you think of Freedom. The Red, White and Blue! Proud to be an American! Then you think of Family, Friends, Food, Fireworks, and Fun! There are awesome options to celebrate 4th of July in Orlando with family and friends. Here are my best picks. Enjoy!
Where to Celebrate 4th of July in Orlando?
Disney’s Magical 4th of July Celebrations
No one does fireworks better than Disney. On July 1, 2021, evening fireworks will return to Walt Disney World Resort — just in time for Independence Day! On the Fourth of July, Magic Kingdom® Park will host its “Happily Ever After” fireworks display, while EPCOT® will have its “EPCOT Forever” show. We are lucky in Central Florida to have our pick of Disney theme parks each offering their own unique show to celebrate a Disney 4th of July. If you want to watch the fireworks but don’t want to spend all day at the park, a fun alternative is to have dinner at The Polynesian Resort’s or the Grand Floridian and watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks show from their beach area. Have dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants.
Full Day of 4th of July Fun in Winter Park
The City of Winter Park with its charming and inviting Central Park will celebrate the 26th annual 4th of July Celebration on Monday, July 5, from 9 a.m. to noon, in Central Park. The event has been modified to allow for safe social distancing; although no longer mandated by the state, festive masks are encouraged for the protection of
yourself and others. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your blankets and lawn
chairs to enjoy a morning of patriotic celebration. The festivities begin at the main stage with opening remarks from Mayor Phil Anderson and the National Anthem. The event continues with live patriotic music performed by Dr. John Sinclair and the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble, music from County/Rock/Americana artist Sean
Holcomb, and a special performance by Orange County Public School’s Top Talent finalist Elvis
Avetis. The event will also feature the Citizens of Yesteryear and include a Kids Zone in Central
Park West Meadow with carnival midway games, crafts and more hosted by the Parks &
Recreation Family Fun Program! The Electric Utility Department will sponsor FREE individual
American mini pies, cold watermelon and water (while supplies last).
In conjunction with city festivities, Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art will
celebrate 26 years on Park Avenue with its Independence Day Open House. The museum, which
is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of work by American artist Louis Comfort
Tiffany, will provide FREE admission to its galleries from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (subject to capacity
limits). Central Park located at 251 Park Avenue S, Winter Park FL. 407-599-3463. Also, in downtown Winter Park, the Winter Park History Museum, located at 200 W. New England Ave. (north end of the Farmers’ Market building), will be open with FREE admission from
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Watermelon 5K Run in Winter Park
Start your Independence Day celebrations on July 5th on the right foot with a fun Watermelon 5K along beautiful Park Avenue in Winter Park FL. The 3.1 mile run/walk race, organized by Track Shack. After the race, enjoy free ice-cold watermelon, cheer on the watermelon eating contest and let the kids run free in their own kids race. Afterward, make a day of it at Winter Park’s Central Park celebration. This is the perfect event to get your family and friends together. Located at 251 Park Avenue South, Winter Park FL.
Lake Eola Fireworks at the Fountain
The beautiful setting of Lake Eola is perfect for a relaxing evening with the downtown Orlando skyline as your backdrop. Set up a blanket or chairs along the lake and celebrate 4th of July with a spectacular fireworks and light show over the fountain. From 5 – 10 p.m. at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando, enjoy live entertainment, family-friendly fun, and food and beverages available for purchase from a variety of vendors, culminating with a patriotic fireworks finale starting at 9:15 p.m. Located at Central Blvd and Eola Drive, Downtown Orlando, FL. Free admission. Local food vendors will be available.
If you’re wondering where to get an All American meal nearby prior to the festivities, stop by one of my favorite restaurants in town, Soco, where Chef Greg Richie serves up southern comfort food taken to new levels of contemporary deliciousness. Their happy hour from 5 pm-7 pm serves up the classics. That’s what I call All American! 629 E. Central Blvd, Orlando FL. 407-849-1800.
Promenade at Sunset Walk Star Spangled Weekend Celebration
The outdoor entertainment and shopping complex anchored by Margaritaville Resort Orlando is hosting a full weekend of Independence Day celebrations. Sunset Walk’s Star-Spangled Weekend Celebration takes place Saturday July 3rd and Sunday July 4th. Activities on Saturday include live musical performances at the Promenade Plaza, an evening car show, street performers, and an artisan market. On Sunday, July 4, enjoy more free entertainment at Promenade Plaza followed by a fireworks display at 9:30pm. Margaritaville Resort Orlando will also have free entertainment Saturday and Sunday, plus fireworks viewing.
Star Spangled Sanford
Walking around Historic Downtown Sanford, or “Sanfording” as the residents call it, always makes for a fun day. On July 4th, visit your favorite local restaurants and breweries followed by evening fireworks over Lake Monroe just after sunset (7pm). The show will be set to music and will last for about 20 minutes. sanfordfl.gov
All American Dining at Area Restaurants and Resorts
Thoughts of 4th of July celebrations immediately bring to mind a Backyard BBQ so this list would not be complete without a tribute to this All American Summer tradition. These fantastic Orlando Resorts and Restaurants are offering their best version of this BBQ Tradition and treats:
- Houndstooth Kitchen in Maitland City Centre is offering their 11 hr house-smoked pulled pork with house red and white BBQ sauces, Coca-Cola collards, smoked Vidalia onion baked beans, creamed corn and cowboy caviar among other yummy sides. Call to order 321-972-9925, dine in or get take out Friday, July 2nd and Saturday, July 3rd.
- Smoke & Donuts offers awesome BBQ Party Bundles with oak-smoked meats, sides, sauces, and fixins’ for 4-6 or 8-10 people. Choose hot & ready to serve or ready to reheat on your schedule. More than 10? Pick a Foundation Pack! Pick up at their College Park catering kitchen. Visit smokeanddonuts.com anytime to place your orders for summer BBQing!
- The Ravenous Pig, Orlando’s award-winning swine-centric restaurant in Winter Park celebrates July 4th with “Heat & Eat BBQ Baskets” to make celebrating at home easy and delicious! Or dine in the restaurant. Reservations available 407-628-2333. Located at 565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL.
- Local chain 4 Rivers Smokehouses and Catering will be open on the 4th of July holiday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Active Military, Reserve Military, Veterans, and First Responders receive a free classic BBQ sandwich on Independence Day. A 10% military discount is also offered on an ongoing basis. For more information about 4 Rivers Smokehouse Summer specials and happenings, visit 4RSmokehouse.com
- Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park is the place to go for your patriotic chocolate treats! You’ll find 4th of July themed Rice Krispies balls, squares, pretzels, flags, and more! They will be opening at 9am on the 4th of July so stop by as you enjoy all fun activities at Central Park and along Park Avenue.
- Orlando World Center Marriott Independence Day celebration will feature live music, a nighttime laser show, daily activities, and fireworks. An overnight stay is not required, but visitors will otherwise have to pay for parking or have it validated by an onsite restaurant. Dine at Siro Urban Italian Kitchen or the Lobby Lounge.
- Craft Beer & BBQ is always a winning combo for 4th of July weekend. On Saturday, July 3rd, Smokemade Meats + Eats BBQ pop-up brings their Central Texas-style smoked meats, sides and desserts to Whippoorwill Beer House in The Milk District, starting at 5pm. Pre-Order by Wednesday 6/30, 11:59 pm and pick up at the pop-up if you want to celebrate at home.
Kissimmee’s Monumental 4th of July Celebration
*Event canceled in 2021
Spend the evening at Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park along Lake Toho celebrating America at the Monumental 4th of July Celebration! Dance through the decades enjoying live music from various bands including Doug E. Fresh, C+C Music Factory, the Gerry Williams Band and more. The KUA Kids Power Zone with interactive games, a beer garden, food vendors and a spectacular fireworks display over the lake. Festivities around the lake from 5pm-9:30pm, Fireworks show at 9:10pm, July 4. Free parking and admission. Located at 250 Lakeshore Blvd, Kissimmee FL.
Red Hot & Boom Concert & Fireworks in Altamonte Springs
*Event canceled in 2021
Start celebrating a day early at Red Hot & Boom, one of the biggest 4th of July events in Central Florida. On July 3rd, you and 100,000 of your closest friends will enjoy top musical acts, fun activities for the kids and a spectacular 25 minute fireworks show set to Patriotic music in Cranes Roost Park. Event starts at 4pm, but I suggest getting there early to claim your spot along this beautiful lake. Fireworks show starts at 9:30pm. Located at 27 Cranes Roost Blvd, Altamonte Springs, FL. 407-571-8863. Parking and admission is free. As food and drinks are an important ingredient of any celebration, various local food vendors will be set up around the lake. You can also pack your own picnic in a soft cooler as no wheeled coolers are allowed. (ready my tips for creating an epic picnic)
Did I miss your favorite place to celebrate 4th of July in Orlando? That’s why this is a Top 9 List instead of Top 10. There may be a great place that I don’t know about and want to add to my list, so please share in the comments below.
I hope this list inspires you to get together with your family and friends and celebrate life and freedom regardless of where you live or where you are from.
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Happy 4th of July!
Cheers to America!