The unofficial start of summer is here and there are plenty of activities to help you enjoy the long weekend – rain or shine. Two festivals are happening this Saturday – one featuring a range of arts on the Lower East Side and another that’s all about family fun on Governors Island (pictured). Celebrate Memorial Day with a faux cross-country road trip activity at the Scholastic Store, take a family bike ride tour along the waterfront in Greenpoint or catch a unique magic show. Also not to be missed: Fleet Week, a true New York City tradition – it’s not all about flirting with sailors like Sex & the City would have you believe!


Fleet Week Ship Tours
US Navy, US Coast Guard and Tall Ships arrived in Manhattan on Wednesday for Fleet Week via the Hudson River Parade of Ships and now you can get on board and tour the range of vessels first hand. Get there early to (hopefully) avoid long waits. Fri., Sat., Sun., Mon., 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details

Military Day in Times Square
As part of Fleet Week 2012, this Saturday is Military Day in Times Square. Expect the streets to be covered with men in uniform and catch performances by the Navy Band NE, USMC Band and more. Sat., 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details


LES Festival of the Arts
Saturday is the best day to take the whole family to this 3-day festival featuring theater, music, dance, comedy, film, poetry, painting, photography and sculpture. Whew – that should keep you busy! You can catch kids and teens performing theater plus there is a cultural festival outside the theater on East 10th Street featuring performances, food vendors and more. Sat., 2:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Lower East Side. Free. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Americana!
Take a cross-country road trip minus the traffic and “Are we there yet?” The Scholastic Store is hosting a fun faux travel event where kids will learn wacky facts about North America, write in their own road trip diary, sing patriotic songs and create a flag collage in honor of Memorial Day. Sat., 3:00 pm. Soho. Free. Ages 4 and older. Event details.

Mario the Magician
Mario the Magician doesn’t put on the typical kids’ magic shows. Instead he brings in a vintage aesthetic and slapstick comedy (along with classic props like a top hat and bird) that will entertain the whole family – now that’s magical! Sun., 2:30 pm. Tribeca. $10/child, $20/adult. All ages. Event details.


Waterfront Family Bike Tour
Don’t forget that May is National Bike Month. This weekend pack sunscreen, water, snacks and a camera and go on a 10-mile ride along part of the planned Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway route. The guided tour will go at a family-friendly pace and include stops for water and restrooms. Sat., 10:00 am. Greenpoint. Free. All ages. Event details.

Governors Island

Governors Island Family Fest
Pack a picnic and venture over to Governors Island for a day of family fun. Listen to live music from Astrograss and The Maybelles, watch a magical theater performance from Arm of the Sea Theater, make arts and crafts, get your face painted and check out the Fleet Week maritime activities. Sat., 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Governors Island. Free. All ages. Event details.

— Julie Seguss