What’s open, what’s closed in Massachusetts for Fourth of July weekend

The holiday weekend may be without fireworks on the Esplanade, but there are still plenty of safe ways to celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts this weekend. Here’s a quick guide to what’s open for business, and what’s off limits for the Fourth of July:

CHATHAM, MA. – JULY 1: A shark sign warns people on Lighthouse Beach on July 1, 2020 in Chatham, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ Boston Herald)

Beaches: OPEN

Beaches up and down the coast are open to visitors, but many have put in parking restrictions to limit crowds. A few, like Manchester by the Sea’s popular Singing Beach, are restricted to resident-only access. Beachgoers also need to follow social distancing guidelines laid out by the state. Town websites and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have up-to-date information on beach parking and facilities.

Public pools: CLOSED

There’s no chance of a dip at the local YMCA: public pools are still closed to prevent spread of the virus. But if a little one needs to cool off, splash pads at city parks are open.

BOSTON, MA. – AUGUST 4: A worker spoons clam chowder onto a lobster platter 005at the Boston Seafood Festival on August 4, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Mary Schwalm/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Seafood shacks: OPEN

Never fear, lobster rolls are still here. Under Phase 2 guidelines, eateries are open for limited indoor and outdoor dining. That means people down the Cape can still have all the fried clams and french fries their hearts desire. Just don’t blame the Herald for heartburn.

Beach bars: SEMI-OPEN

If you like piña coladas, settle for ordering them at a table with food service. Bar seating and service is reserved for Phase 4 of the recovery. Popular destinations like the Beachcomber in Wellfleet are open, but serving parties up to six people with social distancing protocols in place.


Check with town and city websites, but local municipalities have by and large canceled parades to prevent drawing crowds. Some towns, like Chatham, are pivoting traditional parades to virtual celebrations.

Mini-golf: OPEN

Putt-putt is back this summer, with some changes. Courses require visitors to wear masks and use hand sanitizer. Groups must be socially distanced, and those waiting to play have to remain in their cars before their round begins. Check with individual businesses for specific guidelines.

MENDON MA. MAY 27: Jackson,7, and Kieran Burdin,6, watch the show at the Mendon Drive-in on May 27, 2020 in Mendon, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Movie theaters: CLOSED

Movie theaters are set to reopen in Phase 3, which starts Monday. However, drive-in theaters are open and popping up around the commonwealth.

Museums: CLOSED

Museums are also part of Phase 3 of the reopening, so a visit to one is off the table this weekend. However, many museums like the Museum of Fine Arts offer online experiences.

BOSTON, MA: July 1, 2020: Lisa Mcginley organizes her merchandise at her cart ‘Musically Yours’ as Faneuil Hall Marketplace merchants reopened their carts to customers after being closed since march due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Retail shopping: OPEN

In the market for a new grill or patio furniture to safely entertain this weekend? Stores are open for business, with safety protocols in place. That means masks and — potentially — waiting in line to get into a shop. Boston destination Quincy Market also reopened this week.

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