What To Do For Memorial Day Weekend in New York City
NEW YORK CITY — The unofficial start of summer is not a weekend to be eaten up by chores, errands and obligations. Take this three-day weekend as an opportunity to set the tone for your entire summer by attending exciting events that will leave you feeling ready for the hot months to come.
Take the highway to the danger zone
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this holiday is meant to serve as a remembrance for the veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. All weekend, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will celebrate the armed services with a variety of events. The annual free screening of “Top Gun” that was scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. has been cancelled due to the weather but the other Memorial Day activities on the Intrepid will culminate with a Commemoration Ceremony at 11 a.m. on Monday.
Follow up those activities with some pomp and circumstance at one of the many Memorial Day parades, all of which start at 11 a.m. on Monday: the Allied Veterans Memorial Day Parade at Cypress Avenue between Myrtle Avenue and Madison Street in Queens, the Memorial Day Parade at Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 130 Street and Beach 94 Street, the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade at 87th Street and 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge and in Inwood at Dyckman Street and Broadway.
Stroll a street fair
The weather is just right for a street fair — warm enough to be inviting but not so hot that you’re as cooked as the roasted corn and kebabs. If you’re in Queens, you can hit the Greenpoint Avenue Festival on Saturday, the Flushing Festival on Sunday and the Broadway Astoria Festival on Monday.
Manhattanites can hit up the Annual Murray Hill Neighborhood Festival, the Waverly Place Festival or the Lexington Avenue Spring Festival on Saturday. They can follow it with the Annual Spring Jubilee on Lexington Avenue or the Annual Liveable West Side Festival on Sunday. On Monday the Astor Place Block Party will take place between Broadway and Lafayette Street on Astor Place.
Make a run for it
After indulging in delicious street foods, feel the burn at one of the many organized runs happening in the city. Up in the Bronx, the Van Cortlandt Track Club will have a run on Saturday at 8 a.m. Staten Island’s Memorial Day 4 Mile Run will take place on Monday at 9 a.m. For an admission fee of $20, run or walk from Midland Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard and compete to win one of the many age categories. An Ice Cream Social Run will also take place on Monday on Roosevelt Island. A 5 and 10k course run around the island will begin at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. respectively for an entry fee of $30.
Get Arrested… Development
An extra day off? Big deal. Compare that to the comeback of a beloved Fox sitcom to Netflix that was seven years in the making and you’ll quickly reprioritize. French bistro Three Letters in Clinton Hill will be serving a special “Arrested Development”-themed menu in honor of Sunday’s premiere of all 15 new episodes. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, a prix-fixe menu begins with the “Lucille Bluth Breakfast” — vodka with a side of toast — followed by cornballs, hot ham water, mayonegg, Chicken Gene Parmesan with club sauce, Carl Weathers Stew and Ike & Tina Tuna. For dessert there's frozen bananas and ice cream sandwiches, of course. Videology in Williamsburg will begin Arrested Development Bingo nights starting Wednesday, May 29. And then you can always throw your own “Arrested Development”-themed party.
Hear the band play
Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is as gorgeous a burial ground as there ever was, especially in the spring when the towering trees bloom. Enjoy the fauna while being serenaded by works of the cemetery’s “permanent residents” Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Leonard Bernstein and many others, performed by the ISO Symphonic Band. Reserve a spot for the cemetery trolley tour that begins right after the 2:30 p.m. concert.
Later on in the day, the New York Philharmonic will perform Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 in D Minor at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Tickets are first come, first served and will be handed out at 6 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert.
Hit the beach
Hurricane Sandy be damned. The city parks department maintains 14 miles of beach property and all of it has been restored and is ready to enjoy on May 25 when they officially reopen to the public.
Take the kids out
If the city's street fairs don't seem as kid-friendly as you'd like, the Memorial Day Fair at Sunnyside Park in Queens should prove to be more suited to your little ones. Carnival games, bouncy houses, face painting and plenty of kid-friendly crafts are available from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday in the park.
Terrified of the day that you'll have to have "the talk" with your little one? Why not give them a few hints about what's to come by taking them to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on Sunday, where they can observe the annual mating rituals of the local horseshoe crabs. Tour guides will bring guests out to the beach at Broad Channel, where they can watch the crabs lay eggs while a variety of shorebirds swoop in looking for a meal.
Or, just drink
The bar is the perfect place to kick back and revel in your 72 hours of unbridled freedom. Check out our roundup of Williamsburg rooftop bars and the best rooftop bars citywide where you can sip cocktails in the sun, so long as the weather cooperates.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect that the Intrepid Museum has cancelled their Friday night screening of "Top Gun" which will be rescheduled for a later date.