Plan the perfect NYC Memorial Day weekend

In New York, Memorial Day weekend gives a wide array of options, but with a little planning, you can get the absolute most out of every minute.

The city skyline viewed from a ferry with an American flag in the foreground.
Time to plan your Memorial Day escape? Image credit: Chris Barbalis/Unsplash

Whether you’re a long-time resident or just passing through, we’re happy to offer a few suggestions of things to do in the city, and we’re also on hand to offer seamless transitions from point A to point B, a reliable New York chauffeur service that will help you to maximize every moment. 

Head to the Hamptons

Perhaps you’d enjoy escaping the bustle for a weekend. The best way to get there is with a private chauffeured ride with Blacklane. Did you know Blacklane isn’t just for rides in the city? If you haven’t already, download the Blacklane app to be able to book city to city rides to the Hamptons with just a few taps. 

While you’re at it, check out our research on how the time you choose to leave could save you up to 1.5 hours of driving time.

Memorial Day events

One of the best known Memorial Day events is the Brooklyn Memorial Parade. It is a parade that honors the sacrifices of military personnel who have died in service to the United States. The parade is a way to pay tribute to the fallen heroes and to thank them for their service to the nation. During the Brooklyn Memorial Parade, bagpipes are played as a way to honor the Scottish and Irish soldiers who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces. Another tradition during the parade is the artillery gun salute. An artillery gun is fired as a sign of respect for the fallen soldiers, and to commemorate their service to the nation.

The largest parade in the nation will be the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which regularly draws around 10,000 people. While the walk can be a little long – don’t fear! The route is regularly dotted with restaurants that offer the opportunity for some sustenance, and time to reflect. 

Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art walking around, sitting, and viewing art.
Get your art fix at MoMA. Image credit: Alex Palmer/Unsplash

Museums and galleries

Despite it being one of the first weekends of warmer weather, Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been a time when many people enjoy a visit to their local museum or gallery. In New York, your options are almost endless.

As the home to some of the most famous and renowned museums in the world, New York will entice the more cultured among us to almost every different corner of the city. It’s not really possible to experience even a fraction of New York’s museums and galleries over a single three-day period, so work out in advance which ones appeal the most to you. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is perhaps one venue that needs no explanation, the site of some of the world’s most exquisite exhibitions and pieces. It is home to an incredible variety, from Native American artworks (dating back to even before colonization) to Art Deco masterpieces to the wonders of Picasso. In a city with so much to offer, this museum is perhaps one of only a few universal “Must-Sees”.

The Guggenheim sits as an example of one of the most iconic examples of 20th-century architecture on the planet, and its entire existence has served at the forefront of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Early Modern, and contemporary art. A trip here is worth the effort, while its central location (just across from Central Park) means you can picnic in peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Take a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Image credit: Rhythm Goyal/Unsplash

Parks and greenery

Perhaps no city on earth (rightly or wrongly) is more associated with dense urbanity as New York, with imposing skyscrapers and seemingly endless city blocks stretching as far as the eye can see. But it is eminently possible to find a corner of peace and quiet, even here. 

Everyone knows Central Park, perhaps the most famous city park on earth, but the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens beats it for beauty and interest. Manicured lawns and fields of blooming, colorful flowers make it an ideal visit during this time of the year. Pack some lunch, a nice camera and some sun cream to guarantee yourself a picturesque day – ideal for families and smaller groups. 

Just across is Prospect Park, designed by urban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux – responsible also for Central Park. The Long Meadow and Nethermead offer some spectacular opportunities for lazily whiling away the hours, while the wooded area is dense enough to give the brief feeling of being in some primordial forest, rather than the middle of teeming Brooklyn.

However you choose to spend your time in New York this coming Memorial Day Weekend, Blacklane is on hand to expedite your travels and offer a degree of efficiency and autonomy not really possible with the public transit system. 

Book your trusted New York car service in advance of your trip, and you’ll have access to a locally-knowledgeable and experienced chauffeur – so be sure to ask them for some tips on what to see and do while you’re in town.