LOWER MANHATTAN — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer — and the official kick-off for a host of fun, seasonal Downtown events, activities and markets.
Here’s a look at some ways to enjoy your long weekend in Lower Manhattan:
Get your bikes ready — Governors Island's summer season begins May 25. The Island, open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., will host a special family festival from 1 to 4 p.m on Saturday that includes arts and crafts, musical and theatrical performances, as well as harbor education for kids. Also this weekend, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Open Studios program will let visitors peek into the Island's artists-in-residences’ work spaces. The Island’s “Shipwrecked!” exhibit, which catalogues the history of maritime disasters in NYC’s harbors, kicks-off Saturday, as does “Better than Jam” — a handmade crafts market. Both the market and the exhibit will be open throughout the season; the Open Studios program will be available on select weekends. Check out the island’s website for more information about the summer season.
South Street Seaport
Sandy-devastated South Street Seaport begins its transformation into a hub for summer fun this weekend. Brooklyn Flea’s two bars, as well as its rotating selection of food vendors, are open for business starting Friday. Food stands setting up shop this long weekend include: Asia Dog, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Brooklyn Oyster Party, Brooklyn Soda Works, Landhaus, Milk Truck Grilled Cheese, Pizza Moto, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Rice & Miso Everyday, and Fonda. Kelvin Natural Slush Co. will also be serving up alcohol-spiked, and virgin, icy treats for the entire season. The vendors and bars will be open seven days a week, Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Sat from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Seaport’s other “Sea/Change” programming, including pop-up shops in shipping containers, movies, and art events will also start this weekend.
Seaport developer Howard Hughes Corporation has set up a huge screen and stage at the intersection of Fulton and Front Streets for a weekly outdoor movie screening and concert.
Though the eight-week movie series officially starts in July, they’ll be showing a movie a night for the long weekend — Big on Friday, Iron Man on Saturday and Sleepless in Seattle on Saturday. Movies start after sunset.
An art installation along Canon's Walk will also open on May 25, kicked off with a DJ set and artists performances at 6 p.m.
East River Esplanade
Walking the East River Esplanade this weekend — if the weather holds out — is another way to feel like summer is just on the horizon. Newly revamped Pier 15's just-opened cafe and bar, The Watermark Bar, offers drinks, food and a fantastic views.
Getting out onto the water is a great way to feel like you're actually getting away for the weekend — even if it's just for a couple of hours. Several tour operators with boarding docks downtown including New York Water Taxi and Circle Line offer a variety of sightseeing tours around the waters of New York City. For a water voyage that also gives you a trip into the past, several operators, like Manhattan By Sail offer jaunts in historic ships. The South Street Seaport Museum's 1885 schooner, the Pioneer, also just launched its sailing season.
The cobblestoned slice of FiDi's Stone Street that's populated with bars and restaurants has its seasonal, long outdoor tables up and ready for use. Enjoy some drinks and eats on the charming 17th century street — said to be one of the oldest in New York City.