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The Couple’s Guide To Memorial Day Weekend 2019

By: Rachel Clayton

This very important weekend is charged with both starting off summer and denoting when you’re really allowed to start wearing white. It also inspired those who can swing it to get out of town. But don’t fear if you’re stuck in the city and stressed about having a good time. Here are ten of the best things to do this Memorial Weekend in New York City. 

The Ten Best Things To Do This Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day Concert at Green-Wood Cemetery
500 25th Street, Brooklyn

For the twentieth year in a row, this free outdoor concert is taking place—this year at Green-Wood Cemetery for the very first time. This year it will feature the ISO Symphonic Band and Orchestra. The concert will feature local residents such as Fred Ebb and Paul Jabara in addition to honoring Leonard Bernstein. It’s a great way to soak up music and the sun with very wholesome vibes. Though it is free, RSVPs and donations are encouraged.

greenwood cemetery memorial day concert nyc
Credit: Greenwood Cemetery
Kings County Memorial Day Parade
78th Street and Third Avenue, Brooklyn

Another great free activity and perhaps the most iconic NYC Memorial Day activity is this parade, which beats out the Manhattan parade on this day with it’s 152 year history. Grab a spot along the route to see performances from local high school bands, salutes from the NYPD and FDNY, and antique fire trucks. You and your date can follow the parade through Brooklyn or see it kick off and explore Bay Ridge, depending on how amped up you get by a 21 gun salute.

brooklyn memorial day parade nyc
Credit: Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade
Dope BBQ 2019
52-19 Flushing Avenue, Queens

Start your day off right by going hard the Sunday night before at Dope BBQ 2019. This high energy cookout meets concert is hosted by The General Public and promises to be a banger. On the line up is Trey Songz along with local talent like DJ Olivia Dope and Proper Edakit. There’s free barbeque as long as it lasts, so get there early to fuel up for your dancing. Oh, and speaking of dancing, expect lots of it with a lot of energy. The BBQ goes down at Knockdown Center in their backyard space, so you’ll be blessed with a cooling night air.

dope bbq nyc
Credit: The Knockdown Center
YES Memorial Day Party at House of Yes!
2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn

Attendees to this yearly party know that it’s like any Brooklyn backyard party, except ten times wilder and weirder. This party starts during the day and goes into the night, so you can get that free RSVP in and start your day drinking before dancing the night away. There’s barbeque and vegetarian options available for purchase in addition to their usually inventive cocktails. Just be prepared to wait in a long line as they make the best of their limited backyard space.

yes memorial day party nyc
Credit: House of Yes!, Eventbrite
Annual Philharmonic Memorial Day Concert
Cathedral of St. John The Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, Manhattan

If you’ve been debaucherously drinking all weekend and want some culture, then take a date to this yearly concert, which offers a chance to see the NYC Philharmonic orchestra for free. Located at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, this performance gives you an hour of Beethoven and Shostakovich. Grab a ticket as seating is first come, first serve and enjoy beautiful music in a beautiful (and cool) setting.

ny philharmonic memorial day concert
Credit: NY Philharmonic

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599 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn

If waiting for an event with a cover isn’t your thing, bring your long weekending self to Elsewhere any time you feel like celebrating. This rooftop bar in Bushwick has an outdoor stage perfect for vibing and dancing to whoever’s in the DJ booth. The space has a very DIY, chill vibe so you can wear your cutoffs and still have club-level fun without worrying about a dress code. Best of all, if you need something to soak up your drinks you can load up on Chinese food at the downstairs Bushwick Mission Chinese.

elsewhere nyc
Credit: Elsewhere
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
East 13th Street and University Place, Manhattan

Contrary to the title, this art fair is held along the eastern side of Washington Square Park, but don’t let that slightly confusing detail keep you from visiting and any point during the weekend. One of the more chill events this weekend, this event allows you to take a sunny stroll and see a mix of New York and internationally renowned artists. They have everything from fine art to craft jewelry on display, so it’s great for those more discerning and people who can appreciate a colorful beaded earring.

washington square outdoor art exhibit nyc
Credit: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
The Freedom Party
158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan

To start the weekend off right, head to Friday night’s Freedom Party at Le Poisson Rouge. This party will cost you a Jackson for you and a lover, plus transport you 10-40 years into the past. That’s right, it’s a throwback party generously including bops from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Helmed by DJ Herbert Hollar, this dance event brings out hundreds who want to get down to the best pop, R&B, rock, and house from those eras. Come to sweat it out or relive your youth, but make sure to turn a throwback look—it’s practically required.

freedome party nyc
Credit: le poisson rouge, Eventbrite
Top Gun on the Intrepid
Pier 86, Twelfth Avenue at 46th Street, Manhattan

For those of us worn out by work looking to turn the long weekend into a looooong rest, there’s a cozy movie night that still gets you out of the house. Held at the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, this event puts you on the flight deck of an actual airplane to watch one of the most iconic movies about flying. Bring whoever your Goose is and plan to arrive in advance of the 7 pm screening time on Friday night to get a good spot and check out the flight deck, which is pretty interesting all on its own.

the intrepid summer movie series nyc
Credit: Twitter
The Roller Wave: Roller Disco
House of Yes!, 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for something different this Memorial Day weekend, beat the heat and embrace the wave at the Roller Disco. Located at House of Yes! (because, where else?) this recurring roller skating party is hosted by Studio50 H, who will keep you rolling and grooving. What better way to get your drink on and also hit your cardio goals for the weekend? Don’t fret if you don’t have a pair of skates lying around, you can rent a pair for just $10 on top of the $15 admission. Just make sure your hand isn’t too sweaty for the ever-romantic couples skate.

roller disco nyc
Credit: House of Yes!, Eventbrite

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