5 Fun (Free!) Things to Do Memorial Day Weekend in NYC

  • 01 of 06


    Aircraft carrier Intrepid Air and Space Museum
    ••• Mario Tama / Getty Images News

    In town for the unofficial kick-off to summer? Make the long three-day weekend count in Manhattan with one of these fun—and entirely free—goings-on that are sure to make your Memorial Day memorable indeed.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Fleet Week at the Intrepid

    Fleetweek Intrepid Air and Space Museum
    ••• Mario Tama / Getty Images News

    Go beyond the barbecue and beaches to get to the real meaning of Memorial Day, thanks to Fleet Week, anchored on events unfolding at the Intrepid Museum.

    This annual event serves to honor U.S. military service men and women, with a jam-packed lineup of presentations, activities, and more. On Friday evening, catch an outdoor screening of Top Gun. Take a look at the Intrepid's website for the weekend's schedule. In the past, there have been opportunities to meet NASA astronauts as well as a patriotic Memorial Day commemoration ceremony that includes the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag, the playing of Taps, a ceremonial wreath laying, and a 3-volley rifle salute. All events are free. Learn more at ​intrepidmuseum.org

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    New York Philharmonic Memorial Day Concert

    NY Philharmonic
    ••• Hiroyuki Ito / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    Snag a seat (tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis) for this free annual concert at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Tickets for the hour-long concert by the New York Philharmonic will be distributed starting at 6 pm on the day of the performance. If you can't get a seat, not to fret: You can listen to the audio broadcast simulcast on the adjacent Pulpit Green. nyphil.org

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Governors Island Opening Weekend

    Governor's Island
    ••• Ben Hider / Getty Images Entertainment

    Governors Island is a great place to spend a day. Visitors to the island can opt to ride bikes, take in arts and cultural exhibits, play mini-golf, and much more all season long. The island has found different ways to observe Memorial Day throughout the years. In 2017, visitors can enjoy the Rite of Summer Music Festival on Saturday followed by Family Fun Day on Sunday. Be sure to check the website for more information. govisland.com

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

    Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
    ••• Rebecca MB. Pearson / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

    This twice-a-year event happens every Memorial Day weekend (and the weekend following it), showcasing works by NYC-area artists and artisans around the Washington Square area. Swing by to check out contemporary paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and more, either to browse or to buy. wsoae.org

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

    Theater for the New City
    ••• Courtesy of Theater for the New City

    This "multicultural cavalcade" presents a free lineup of theater, music, dance, comedy, film, and art. Presented by the Theater for the New City, the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts pays tributes to the artists of the Lower East Side and East Village, both past and present, with live performances, poetry readings, cabaret, and more. theaterforthenewcity.net