Memorial Day Weekend Guide

For those of you staycationing in New York this holiday weekend (and why wouldn’t you, with so much stuff to do?), check out our listings for a few of the events happening around Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens:

Today Show’s Toyota Concert Series Kick-off
Friday, May 27, 2011
Featuring Rihanna
Rockefeller Plaza at 49th Street
Price: First com, first view starting at 6 a.m.

Memorial Day weekend not only unofficially marks the beginning of summer, it marks the beginning of the concert summer series for morning network shows. In this case, the Today Show kicks off its Toyota Concert Series with the musical stylings of three-time Grammy award-winning R&B artist Rihanna. Fans can view and hear Rihanna through the large window at Rockefeller Plaza on a first-come first-view basis starting at 6 a.m.


Broadway Performances at Fleet Week
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
West 46th and 12 Avenue, Pier 86
Friday, May 27th, 12:00 – 1:00
Price: Free with museum admission

Memorial Day also marks the beginning of Fleet Week, when active military ships dock and the city suddenly sees a plethora of sailor caps and bell bottoms. Broadway honors people in uniform by performing at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. This year, numbers from Jersey Boys, Chicago, Mamma Mia, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Catch Me If You Can, Rock of Ages and Anything Goes are included. In addition to getting a taste of Broadway, there will also be performances by the cast of Rain, the Statue of Liberty band and the U.S. Coast Guard band, if you care to stick around for the rest of the day. There are also various musicians playing at the Intrepid throughout the Memorial Day weekend, and there are also civilian tours of active military ships.


Czech and Slovak Festival
Saturday – Sunday, May 28 – 29th, 2011, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
2919 24th Avenue
Astoria, NY

If you’re looking to get your drink on AND enjoy some Czech and Slovak food and culture, you could do worse than visit the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden this weekend. Featuring a variety of beers, food (I can personally vouch for the potato pancakes and fried cheese) and music and dance performances, this is an event worth the 20 minute N train ride from midtown.


Family Festival at The Cloisters
Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, 12:00-4:00 p.m. (check schedule for English and Spanish program start times)
The Cloisters Museum and Gardens
99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Fort Tryon Park
Price: Free with Museum admission

If you have children ages 4 – 12 itching to do something fun this Memorial Day Weekend, check out the Family Festival at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. The theme for this year’s gallery activities is “Heroes and Heroines,” and features a self-guided art hunt, crafts and storytelling. The program is offered in both English and Spanish.


8th Avenue Festival
Sunday, May 29th, 2011
8th Avenue, 39th Street to 49th Street
Brooklyn, NY
Starts at 10:00 a.m.

Brooklynites (or wanna-be’s) jonesing for multi-ethnic food, rides, games and shopping all in one fair should visit this ten-block festival in Sunset Park. In addition to the usual festival festivities, you may even be able to go home with a pet, thanks to North Shore Animal League’s mobile adoption service. If getting a glimpse of a fireman does it for you, the FDNY will be giving fire safety demonstrations as well.


New York Philharmonic Memorial Day Concert
Monday, May 30th at 8 p.m.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
Price: Free, first come, first served

On Memorial Day, the NY Philaharmonic will be playing Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony (Eroica) at Upper Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. If you get there too late to snag a seat inside, you may be able to hear the music from the Pulpit Green, depending on the weather.


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