There are many ways to celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who gave all in service to the freedoms we enjoy every day. Many people honor this day by visiting cemeteries or memorials and attending or participating in parades. Memorial Day is also often celebrated as a kick-off to the summer season with BBQs, rooftop or pool parties, and family get-togethers. No matter your preferred activity, we’ve compiled a guide for things to do in NYC and Hudson County this Memorial Day.
Things To Do This Memorial Day
Attend a Memorial Day Parade
Memorial Day Parades are happening all weekend long and are a respectful way to honor those who lost their lives while serving in the American military. Here are some parades happening across NYC and NJ:
- Kearny Parade: May 26th, 7 pm, starting at Locust Avenue and Belgrove Drive.
- Queens Little Neck Douglaston Parade: May 30th, 9:30 am, begins at 1 Jayson Avenue. This is known to be the largest Memorial Day parade in NYC.
- Brooklyn Parade: May 30th, 11:00 am, begins at 7509 3rd Avenue
- Manhattan Parade: May 30th, 10:00 am, begins at Riverside Drive and 89th Street
Go To A Museum
It’s never too late to brush up on your art and American history knowledge and thanks to the Blue Star Museums Program, free museum admission is being offered at several participating museums and galleries to American military personnel and their families all summer long. The program starts on Memorial Day and goes to Labor Day. Find out about which museums in your city are participating here.
Head to the Beach
Memorial Day also signifies the start of summer. Spend your long weekend testing out the chilly waters of the Atlantic with a quick dip. Both New Jersey and New York offer nearby beaches that are perfect for a long weekend. Coney Island or Rockaway in Brooklyn or South Beach in Staten Island are just a few examples of family-friendly, popular beaches.
See a Concert
Whether you opt to see your favorite pop singer at a stadium or prefer to lounge on the grass listening to jazz, there are plenty of concerts happening all around the city over the three-day-long weekend. Here are three upcoming music events to enjoy over the long weekend:
- Northwell Health’s benefit concert returns for its fourth annual year. This year’s concert features headliners John Legend and Jason Derulo and builds on Northwell’s commitment to celebrating and honoring our nation’s active-duty military members and their families. Happening on Sunday, May 29th, at 7:30 pm at the UBS Arena in Queens
- Enjoy the magic of the Beatles music at City Winery’s Beatles Brunch. Strawberry Fields is the ultimate Beatles brunch experience and takes audiences on a musical journey through the timeless Beatles catalog. Happening every Sunday from May 8 until July 3rd, show starts at 12:00 pm
- After a two-year hiatus, the Green-Wood Cemetery Memorial Day concert has returned. BYO picnic blanket and sit back, relax, and listen to The New York City Symphonic Band serenade at one of NYC’s best parks in Brooklyn. Happening on Monday, May 30th from 2:30 – 4:30 pm.
Watch An Outdoor Movie
Kick-off Memorial Day Weekend and Fleet Week with an outdoor movie screening happening on the roof of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Happening on Friday, May 27th at 5:00 pm, the first movie screening of the season will be a thriller action flick, Crimson Tide. Bring your own blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks! Festivities at the Intrepid will continue all weekend long and will conclude on Monday, May 30th with the museum’s annual Memorial Day Celebration.
Take a Day Trip
Take advantage of the three-day weekend and get out of the city for a day trip to remember. Spend time in nature hiking a mountain or simply strolling the main street of a town on the Hudson. Whether you’re looking for local art galleries, farm-to-table food, or antique shopping, there’s a town to cater to any interest. There are many options close to NYC and NJ that are accessible by public transport or within driving distance. To find the perfect Memorial Day weekend destination for you, read our blog on the best day trips from NYC.
Host a BBQ
Nothing heralds the start of summer better than a BBQ with freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs If your home or apartment isn’t equipped with the necessary outdoor space for a BBQ, several parks offer grilling areas for you to BBQ on-site. Check out New York’s designated grilling parks here and New Jersey’s here. Just don’t forget the paper plates and grilling tools!
Exercise for a Cause
After being held virtually for the past two years, the Staten Island Memorial Day race has returned. Join the Staten Island running association for their annual Memorial Day Flag 5K run & walk. All proceeds raised help support local non-profit organizations. Happening Monday, May 30, 8:00 – 11:00 am