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Suz Pathmanathan

10 Things to Do This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday created to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. The holiday marks a time of reflection, solidarity and unity and a true celebration of life. So whether you call New York home or you're simply visiting for the holidays, here are 10 tips and suggestions for this Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day Parade

There's nothing like a parade in New York City: there's a reason why these parades are broadcast all over the world. While this parade might not receive the same kind of attention as the New Years or Thanksgiving Day parades, this is still a great (and free) event to take in with the family.

It takes place on Monday. The largest of the parades, in Queens, starts at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard at 2 p.m. The 151-year-old parade in Brooklyn, that begins at 78th Street and 3rd Avenue at 10 a.m, is the most historic parade in the U.S.

Empire State Building

There's nothing like a visit to the Empire State Building. Whether you've done it before or this is your first time, a view from the observation deck on the Empire State Building is well worth it. Memorial Day weekend marks the kick-off of the summer travel season, so visits will greatly increase. Take in the view now, while it's comparatively quieter.

Glow Party NYC Memorial Day Weekend

If you're a night owl and looking for a destination to dance Sunday night into Monday morning, the Glow Party NYC Memorial Day Weekend is where it's at.

The party takes pace at the Sound of Brazil on 204 Varick Street. You can RSVP for free until 11.30 p.m. the night before (visit for that). There are also complimentary glow sticks offered at the venue. After all, it wouldn't be much of a glow party without your own personal glow stick.

There's no cover charge to enter until after 12 a.m.

Memorial Day Fair

Here's a great activity for you and the entire family. It takes place the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend and runs from 12-5 p.m.

Located at the Sunnyside Gardens Park, you'll find a collection of live Americana music, a magician, live performers and all kinds of other acts. There are arts and craft vendors, small rides for young children, and plenty of food for you to enjoy. When you want to get outside of the city and have a bit of fun in the sun, make sure to check out the Memorial Day Fair.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

Memorial Day in New York is a day of remembrance, so try and make some time to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It is a somber location, yet an important one.

The beautiful location where the former Twin Towers once stood is a reminder of what the country has been through and solidarity in the face of crisis. Both the memorial and the museum are free to enter.

Memorial Day Weekend Rooftop Day Party

Cocktail drinkers and free-spirited dancers unite. The Memorial Day Weekend Rooftop Day Party is exactly what you're looking for, particularly if you're not looking to stay out too late.

This event takes place on Sunday and runs from 3-10 p.m. You'll find the day party at Hudson Terrace, 621 W 46th Street. There is a $10 cover charge to enter (you can purchase tickets ahead of time at Live DJ.s will be performing and there is complimentary Hennessey for the first hour of the show (so get there early).

This is an event for 21+

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

New York City truly looks good from every angle. While you may have seen it countless times from within, have you ever seen it from the water?

The Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise shows off the iconic NYC skyline and gives you a full two-and-a-half our tour of the Island of Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. The tour will be guided so you can listen to the history of the city as the cruise traverses the water around New York City.

Memorial Day at the Museum at Children's Museum of Manhattan

There are a number of events taking pace at the Children's Museum of Manhattan (212 W. 83rd Street) over the course of the weekend. You can take part in crafting a sculpture that will be dedicated to departed loved ones. You can also take part in the Star-Spangled Wind Chime event, where you will make your very own Memorial Day wind chime.

These events are for children five years of age or younger. It is a drop-in event, so you don't need to RSVP your spot (although it is a good idea to show up early to make sure you get a good seat). The statue sculpting begins at 10 a.m. (and you can stop in at any time up to 5 p.m. throughout the weekend). The wind chime event is on Monday and runs from 1-1:45 p.m.

Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours

Looking to be a bit more active this Memorial Day Weekend? Why not head out to Central Park and book a two-hour bike tour. It's a fun way to explore the park and, with a guide, you'll learn about the park's extensive history.

Top of the Rock Observatory

Think of this as the opposite of the Empire State Building view. The Top of the Rock is located in the Comcast Building and gives you a perfect view over Central Park and of the Empire State Building. Take in the panorama of the city an hour before sunset to see the buildings in daylight clarity. Then watch the sky's palette change and the city sparkle in darkness as the sun dips away.

These are just 10 of the best options for what to do in New York this Memorial Day weekend. Chances are, you'll find something that fits your needs, whether you're visiting with the family or you live in New York and just want something out of the ordinary to do.

Looking for more things to do? Check out our blog on The Statue of Liberty Museum?

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