Happy 4th of July, Boston!

Of all the holidays to live in Boston, this is certainly the one! Our independence from Britain began here 240 years ago. In fact, Massachusetts was the first state to officially declare the 4th of July a holiday, in 1781.

Boston has a great deal to offer this weekend in terms of celebration. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

1) Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!

This event is far more than its name boasts. In addition to the famous fireworks over the Charles River at 10:30pm, several high profile performers, including Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, will perform. The show at The Boston Memorial Hatchshell starts at 8:30 pm and is completely free! While arriving around 4 pm may be necessary if you’re set on ideal seating, don’t worry—there’ll be speakers lined up down the Charles Esplanade so you can still hear the concert, even if you might not be able to see too well. Check out more information on the show here.

2) Harborfest!

Boston Harborfest takes place all weekend long leading up to the 4th — from whale watching in a high speed catamaran to walking the Freedom Trail to witnessing 18th Century chocolate making and printing demonstrations. The 35-year-old tradition also includes the annual grand opening ceremony at Faneuil Hall. Check out the full schedule of events here.

3) Paint!

Though our Newton location will be closed for the holiday weekend, our Newbury Street location is hopping with classes Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Come paint our Boston specific masterpieces: Colorful Boston Common, Boston Mass Sunset, Hazy Boston Sunset, or Sunset Sailing Along the Charles. Check out our full schedule and view samples of the paintings here.

Oh, and if you were with us in Newton painting wooden 4th of July door signs last Saturday, don’t forget to hang them up! Happy 4th!