Hamptons Shmamptons. Memorial Day weekend in the city is one of the best times of the year for families. Our suggestion? Spend one full day on Governors Island, then pick from the many cultural and, OK, not-so-cultural (slime convention) happenings for the other two:
1. Amble around the joyful, beautiful resting place of many veterans—Green-Wood Cemetery—on Monday and stay for the annual Memorial Day Concert at 2:30 p.m., featuring the New York City Symphonic Band playing the music of some of Green-Wood’s famous residents: Leonard Bernstein, Fred Ebb, and Louis Moreau Gottschalk. This is not a solemn event; families are welcome to frolic and picnic.
2. Take the kids to see The Prom, one of our writer’s favorite uplifting musicals of the season (yep, she liked it better than Hadestown) for tweens and teens. Slurp preshow ramen at Ippudo West Side.
3. Settle in for a picnic dinner on the lawn at Bryant Park and watch a female actor play Hamlet as a woman in Hamlet: Princess of Darkness (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Related: Have you heard the theory that Shakespeare might have actually been a woman?
4. Make and buy all manner of slime—glitter slime! bubble slime! floam slime! crunchy slime!—at Sunday’s East Coast Slimers Convention at Aviator Sports Center in Brooklyn. Apparently, kids have favorite Instagram “slimers” and they can meet them here, plus compete in slime competitions. This is your life now.
5. DanceAfrica returns to BAM for its annual celebration of movement, film, and music that tell important stories about racism, history, and social justice. Even if you don’t make it to one of the performances (it’s safe to say most kids aren’t big modern dance fans), be sure to stroll through the weekend DanceAfrica Bazaar, when the surrounding streets come alive with a food festival and fashion marketplace emphasizing African design, cuisine, and arts.
6. NYC beaches open for swimming on Saturday! Spend the day at Rockaway Beach with our eat-drink-shop-splash itinerary.
7. Or bike to a beach! We detailed our favorite NYC bike routes—complete with cultural and culinary pit stops—that end at the Coney Island boardwalk, Jones Beach, the East River “beach” in Dumbo, and more.
8. If you have guests in town for the long weekend, the Brooklyn Bridge Anniversary Family Tour might be the perfect way for them to see an iconic NYC sight and keep the kids engaged. Saturday’s event, from 10 a.m. to noon, includes model bridge building, engineering games, and an informative group walk across the span from Brooklyn Bridge Park to downtown Manhattan, where a dim sum brunch might be in order.
9. Stay up late for an outdoor movie under the stars. On Saturday, choose between Christopher Robin at William F. Passannante Ballfield in Manhattan at 8 p.m. and Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse at Frederick B. Judge Playground in Queens at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, Love Jones (best for teens) is playing at Habana Outpost at 8 p.m., and Mary Poppins Returns screens at Yellowstone Park in Queens at 8:30 p.m.
10. Feminist families—that’s all of us, right?—will gather for the Mamapalooza festival on Pier 1 in Riverside Park (at 70th Street) for live music from bands with a cause all day, plus sun gazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association. Enjoy an early dinner afterward on the water at the Boat Basin Cafe. Perfect day!