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Author: I LOVE NY Staff
Macys 4th July 2015 - Photo by Barry Schwartz
Credit: Barry Schwartz

New York State is known for iconic celebrations around the 4th of July. While this year will be different, many regions will host colorful displays for those in the local area with social distancing requirements, as well as virtual events for those who prefer to stay home. The biggest of all the shows, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City, will go on in a different format this year, with a patriotic score and tributes to first responders. The Macy’s show also offers the chance to see world-class fireworks from the comfort of your living room, as it will be broadcast on NBC stations from 8-10 pm EST on July 4. Here is a sampling of ways to celebrate the 4th locally and safely across New York State. Make sure to call ahead or check each venue's website or social media pages for availability and changes to programming​. 

Cradle of Aviation Museum -- Photo by Jennifer Baxmeyer

Path Through History Weekend is a showcase of New York State's rich and fascinating history, featuring hundreds of events happening at historic and cultural destinations throughout the state. This year, Path Through History Weekend has turned into two weeks of exciting online events where you can discover the people and places that shaped American history right at home and learn about hidden gems you might want to visit on a future trip to New York. The events take place between June 15 and July 4, and are listed in alphabetical order by region below. …

National Comedy Center

This Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, honor your dad with a gift from New York State. From a taste of the Adirondacks to grooming products from the Catskills to wines from Long Island, there are fantastic gift ideas for every type of dad. Even if you are unable to physically be together with him, you can still send a meaningful gift as a reminder of times together or to create inspiration for a future trip. Check out the following New York State Father’s Day gift ideas ready for order and delivery.

Cheese pizza pie

New York is the birthplace of some of the most iconic food items in the world. From Buffalo wings to New York cheesecake to Thousand Island dressing, culinary creativity has always thrived here. As a result, many amazing food items are available at restaurants and food specialty stores around the state. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to pick up a dish in person—many of New York’s best-known food items are available for order online and delivered straight to your door, in most cases anywhere in the United States. Feeling hungry for New York? Get started here! 

A photo of cider in a Nine Pin Coder Works glass next to some red apples

This Mother’s Day, surprise your mom with a meaningful gift from New York State. From award-winning wine and a beautiful candle to breakfast in bed or jewelry with a story, choose the gift that’s perfect for your mom—one that’s evocative of an experience you enjoy together. Check out the following Mother’s Day gift ideas that you can order and have delivered to delight your mom with a New York treat this May 10. 

A picture of a person kayaking in the Ausable Chasm River

With breathtaking waterfalls, pristine lakes, and sandy beaches, New York State features many spectacular, scenic locations. Whether you’re working remotely, learning from home, or enjoying more screen time these days, download your favorite photo from the list below. Simply click on the links to video conference– and mobile-friendly version of each photo and right click to download the image, then go to your favorite video conferencing tool that allows for backgrounds, and look for a "virtual background" option under the Preferences tab (remember to uncheck the "mirror my screen" option so the image isn't reversed). Now set the photo you select as your video conferencing background, or as the home screen image for your desktop computer or mobile device, to remind you, friends, and colleagues of the beauty of New York, and to inspire future travel ideas! 

A photo of homemade pop tart pastries from Whitman Brewing
Credit: @whitman_brewing on Instagram 

There are countless ways to support local businesses in New York State while staying safe at home. With so many restaurants offering both curbside takeout and delivery, what better way to support your favorite spots than with the #NYRestaurantChallenge? Simply post a pic of your takeout on your social media accounts using the hashtag #NYRestaurantChallenge. Whether it’s trying a new spot, ordering from your favorite local restaurant, or placing a craft beverage pick-up order, be sure to support and share your New York eats and drinks. Top submissions will be shared on I LOVE NY's social media channels. …

Exterior of Buffalo City Hall in New York
Credit: @buffalophotoblog on Instagram

From blockbuster hits to creative indie productions, filmmakers and TV producers often turn to New York State for distinctive locations. The thousands of movies and shows filmed here every year feature some of the state’s most impressive attractions, giving viewers the chance to experience New York from the comfort of their own homes.  Want to stay connected to New York State and watch high-quality entertainment? Check out the list below to find out where you can stream these comedies, dramas, inspirational films, and television shows that all have one thing in common—New York! 

Wild Walk in Tupper Lake in NY

New York State is home to many world-renowned museums, cultural institutions, zoos, and more. Due to coronavirus restrictions, these incredible attractions are temporarily closed, but many can still be explored online from the comfort of your own home. Below is a list of New York State's best online events, virtual tours, webcams, and livestreams. This list will be updated regularly, so check back when you need inspiration, whether it's taking a 360-degree tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame, visiting a cuddly animal on a zoo livecam, browsing a world-class art collection, or practicing deep breathing in a livestream yoga class. (Events are noted with dates in bold.) You can also find exciting virtual reality and 360-degree videos on the I LOVE NY app.