Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, is here at last! New York City's big seasonal attractions open on Saturday, like local beaches, Prospect Park's Splash Pad, and the Victorian Gardens in Central Park. If it reaches 80 degrees, the city's destination playground sprinklers might be on, too. Need more water play options? Dynamic H2O, with its 16-foot interactive water table, opens for the summer at the Children's Museum of Manhattan this weekend.
While beaches are open all summer from this weekend on, events like Fleet Week, Governors Island Family Fun Day, Memorial Day in Prospect Park, DanceAfrica, and a passel of parades (the always entertaining Loisaida on Sunday, and Memorial Day marches on Monday in Brooklyn and Queens) are on tap this weekend only. There's also a floating glass museum with live demos parked in Brooklyn Bridge Park through the long weekend, and a rooftop Imagination Playground at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
This holiday weekend is also the perfect time to visit the FREE Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, the floating food forest known as Swale in Brooklyn, or The Yard, an adventure playground open for the season on Governors Island. By the way, Governors Island is debuting an ice rink this weekend! Yes, really—the synthetic ice rink will be here all season and even offer FREE weekday morning skate sessions.
Our NYC Parks and Playgrounds Guide is always a safe bet for staycations, too, as is our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for the possible rain headed our way. Unless... thinking about a last-minute getaway? We've pulled together great family day trips on Long Island, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley, as well as our favorite nearby beaches like Fire Island's Ocean Beach and those down the Jersey Shore. You might also try a day at a nearby amusement park or water park for early summer fun!
Read on for our top picks for Memorial Day weekend events for kids in NYC. Oodles of family fun can also be found in our Event Calendar, Spring Fun Guide, and our fresh-out-of-the-oven Summer Fun Guide.
However you spend the three-day holiday weekend, we hope you have a blast!