Staying in town for Memorial Day weekend? Don’t worry – there are plenty of fun activities to keep you and the kiddos busy. Fleet Week and the festival’s ship tours are back this year. The Queens Botanical Garden is hosting a World’s Fair train show that is not to be missed. Plus, you can go to a beach campfire, see birds of prey and catch a new exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Have a happy long weekend!
Cloisters Family Festival: Falcons and Friends
Visit the Cloisters this weekend to learn all about hunting birds during the Middle Ages as well as the meaning of birds in art and culture. Programs include a self-guided hunt and a presentation of live birds of prey. Sat. & Sun., 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Fort Tyron Park. Free. Ages 4-12. Event details.
Jazzed Exhibit Opens at CMOM
Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan this weekend to see the new exhibit Jazzed! The Changing Beat of 125th Street. Created in partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, this new multimedia exhibit features an intimate jazz club where you’ll listen to Ella Fitzgerald, a theater where you can lear to do the stair dance, and a chance to meet Duke Ellington in the ballroom. Daily live piano presentations and weekly live performances by jazz musicians and dance companies help showcase the genre. Fri., 10 a.m. Upper West Side. All ages. Event details.
Fleet Week Ship Tours
US Navy, US Coast Guard and Tall Ships arrive in Manhattan via the Parade of Ships down the Hudson River on Wednesday, May 21 and after that you can get on board and tour the range of vessels first hand for free. Get there early to (hopefully) avoid long waits. Lines may be capped at 3 p.m. Note: Strollers are not permitted on the ships and there are steep ladders and narrow passageways so carrying small children may be difficult. Thurs.-Mon., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details.
More than 200 vendors from around the world will transform the area around BAM into a global marketplace. You’ll find goodies from African, Caribbean and African-American cultures including food, crafts and fashion. Plus, family entertainment includes crafts, face painting and guest artists. Sat.-Mon.,12 p.m. Fort Greene. Free. All ages. Event details.
Eat S’mores on the Beach
Pack up your blanket, beach chairs and s’mores ingredients and head to the beach. A National Park Service park ranger will be hosting a campfire night at Jacob Riis Park, complete with a sing along. Fri., 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Jacob Riis Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Catch a Train Show at Queens Botanical Garden
The Queens Botanical Garden is pulling out all the stops when it comes to commemorating the World’s Fair anniversary with its World’s Fair Train Show. On May 24-26, working G-scale model trains will make their merry way through an outdoor display that includes a miniature of the Unisphere. As well, the whole family will be able to choo-choo on a motorized trackless train around select areas of the park. On May 24, festivities will also include food and crafts vendors and a 4 p.m. concert by John Yao’s Big Band, a 17-piece ensemble playing old-time hits. Sat.-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Flushing. Garden admission plus $5 per train ride. All ages.Event details.
How will you be celebrating the weekend?
— Julie Seguss
Image courtesy of Queens Botanical Garden