We’ve got so many ways to have fun this Memorial Day weekend you’re going to wish you had an extra day. Tour a ship and salute those that serve at Fleet Week, take a spin on a carnival ride at the annual Sunnyside Gardens Memorial Fair, or cruise over to Governor’s Island to celebrate opening weekend at their Family Festival. It’s the unofficial start of summer, so get out there and party!

Join us Sunday, May 24th, 2015 from noon- 4pm for the 11th Annual Family Festival on Governors Island! The Family Festival will again kick off an exciting summer of programming on Governors Island. This year’s festival will explore the intersection between the environment, conservation, sustainability, and art. Highlights include: puppet-making with Lisa Abbatomarco, hand-made Trout Crowns and Sharks Galore with NY Aquarium, story-making with Story Pirates, the Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theater’s Butterfly Boogie, Arm of the Sea’s Hook, Line, and Sinker performance, compost learning and animal care with Earth Matter, flower planting with the Trust for Governors Island, live music, face painting and tons of fun! All performances and activities are FREE to the public. The festival will take place in Nolan Park in the Island’s historic district. This bucolic setting, with open grassy areas and tall shady trees, surrounded by charming 19th century cottages, is perfect for watching performances, making crafts, playing games, and picnicking!

Photo: Governor’s Island Family Fest 


Opening Weekend: Victorian Gardens
You don’t need to leave the city to go for a spin on some carnival rides. Just head to Central Park and celebrate the opening of the Victorian Gardens, the city’s very own amusement park! Go for a ride, play some games and eat some tasty snacks. Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Central Park. $9/person for admission; $4/ride or $17/unlimited rides. All ages. Event details

DIY Magic with Mario the Magician
Abracadabra! NORY invites you to spend the morning with Mario the Magician, who will teach your kiddos the art of magic through making, creating, inventing, and imagining. Enjoy a live performance by Mario followed by a DIY magic project. Be prepared to be amazed! Sat. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Upper West Side. $35/child. Ages 5-8. Event details

Memorial Day Picnic
Have a Memorial Day picnic at the museum in celebration of citizens who have protected the United States. Bring a photograph, memento, or even a memory of a soldier who is dear to you. Share their stories on their pop-up memory mural, create an American flag, and enjoy read-aloud stories commemorating heroes. Sun. Noon-3 p.m. Upper East Side. Free with museum admission. Ages 6-12. Event details


Celebrate Fleet Week
If you’ve got a boat obsessed little one, you’re not going to want to miss Fleet Week. Starting Wednesday, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will be docking their ships in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island and you’re invited to come aboard! Play sailor for the day and tour one of the many ships. Tours are open to the public from 8-5 p.m. daily. And while these boats are parked here in the Big Apple, there’s a lot going on, from street parties to parades and celebrations. You can’t miss by heading to Time Square where there will be daily drill team performances and Navy Band Concerts. Check out the website for a complete list of events. May 25-May 31. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (for boat tours). Various locations. Free. All ages. Event details


Draw a Cityscape on the Sidewalk
People look up to see a skyline, but after this workshop, visitors to the Museum will be able to view skyscrapers by looking down. Your little architects will sketch a blueprint for a familiar building, then go outside to draw their designs in colorful chalk on the sidewalk: an instant cityscape. Must RSVP to attend. Email education@skyscraper.org or call 212) 945-6324. Sat. 10:30-11:45 a.m. Battery Park City. $5/child; free for members. Ages 4 and up. Event details

Party at the Loisaida Festival
Hit this festival to celebrate the rich Puerto Rican and Latino cultures that make up the Lower East Side. Expect lots of live music, delicious cuisine and art. And for the little ones, there is a Children’s Pavilion filled with hands-on activities, not to mention the Bio Bus is parking there for the day. Be sure to get there right at 11 to enjoy the kick off Carnival Procession and Parade. Sun. 11 a.m. Lower East Side. Free. All ages. Event details


Get Wet at the Splash Pad’s Opening Weekend
It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer, so get outdoors and enjoy one Brooklyn’s coolest summer spots. Take the kiddies to the splash pad for a day of fun in the water. Make a day of it and grab lunch or dinner, maybe even a drink, at the Blue Stone Cafe. Sat. & Sun.  10 a.m. Prospect Park. Free. All ages. Event details

DanceAfrica Bazaar
See the streets surrounding BAM transformed into a global marketplace at this annual bazaar. Featuring more than 150 vendors from around the world, offering African, Caribbean, and African-American food, crafts, and fashion. Spend the day shopping, eating and enjoying the neighborhood. Sat. at noon-10 p.m.; Sun. & Mon. at noon-8 p.m. Fort Greene. Free. All ages. Event details


Sunnyside Gardens Memorial Day Fair
Kick off your summer at this fun fair filled with carnival games, music and live entertainment and unlimited kiddie rides with the purchase of a wristband. Rides will include Bouncy Castle, Rides and an Obstacle Course. There will also be Face Painting and Arts & Crafts. Enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and delicious refreshments while you give your luck a go at raffles and 50/50. Sat. Noon-5:30 p.m. Sunnyside Gardens. Free admission (rides and food for purchase). All ages. Event details

Governor’s Island

Governor’s Island Family Fest
Governors Island opens up with a bang and a whole festival of fun for families. Featuring live theater, music, games, arts & crafts and other creative activities, this completely free event is not to be missed. Hone your improvisation skills with Story Pirates, be amazed by Mario the Magician and his inventions, show off your mad dance moves to Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets, march along with Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, unleash your inner artist with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, make your own puppet, and more. Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Governor’s Island. Free. All ages. Event details

How will your family enjoy this Memorial Day weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.

—Caitlin Dowling