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The best things to do on Memorial Day weekend

Whether you're looking to party or just some low-key ideas to enjoy the unofficial start of summer, here's your guide to Memorial Day in NYC.
Orchard Beach is known as the "Riviera of New York City." Photo: Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks
Orchard Beach is known as the "Riviera of New York City." Photo: Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks

Get in the water

Time to leave dry land behind and get some water action on one of New York City’s amazing public beaches, opening for the season on May 27. Whether it’s crowding the sands of Coney with some local characters or checking out the newly completed Rockaway Boardwalk (now via NYC Ferry!), pools just can't compare. nycgovparks.org

Boogie down at Tiki Disco

This throwback dance party has been going on since 2009, and on May 28 Tiki Disco lands at Williamsburg’s The Well for a full day of tropical-fueled mellow vibes. The bar’s massive open-air backyard means everyone will have plenty of space to show off your best “Saturday Night Fever” moves — just don’t spill those fruity cocktails. $10, 272 Meserole St.

Surf Shack at Arlo SoHo

Barbecue on a rooftop

A cookout in the sky? Get it at the Arlo SoHo Hotel’s rooftop bar, which has transformed into the Surf Shack just in time for the warm weather. From 2-5 p.m. on May 28, they’ll grill up burgers, hot dogs and tacos along with an open bar of Vice Rose, Bulleit bourbon-spiked iced teas and lemonade, beer, plus frose and frozen Arnold Palmers. Sway to the beats of a live DJ or just sit back and enjoy the 360-degree views of the city. $65, 231 Hudson St.

Salute the women who made America

The New-York Historical Society’s grand fourth floor is now fully open, home to the first-ever Center for Women’s History. Discover how Dolley Madison’s soft diplomacy helped unite a fledgling United States, explore the story of Clara Driscoll and her team of “Tiffany girls” responsible for creating some of the famous lamp maker’s most famous designs, learn how Billie Jean King came to rule the tennis world and tons more amazing women whose stories are just getting told. Open all weekend, $20, 170 Central Park West

The Cloisters

Stay late at the Cloisters

Kick off your weekend at the Met’s medieval outpost in Hudson Heights, The Cloisters, which starts having extended hours until 7:30 p.m. on summer Friday nights beginning Memorial Day weekend. There’s always something special happening on these nights, too — on May 26, learn about the art of washed-rind cheesemaking, a process invented by beer-loving monks in the Middle Ages, with samples from Murray’s Cheese. The event is free but RSVPs are recommended. 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park

Make this the Summer of Love

Even the beautiful and daring creatures of the night who inhabit Bushwick’s House of Yes are yearning for some sunshine. On Memorial Day, they’re taking over the grounds of Ridgewood’s Odendork House for their first Summer of Love day party (noon-9 p.m.) with the same groovy tunes, circus spectacle and play spaces you know and love, plus lots of relaxed backyard fun and a pig roast. As always, costumes get you to the front of the line. Free, 21+, 1820 Flushing Ave., Queens

La Marina

Dance on the beach

Washington Heights’ premiere waterfront restaurant and bar La Marina is bringing three-time DMC world DJ champion DJ Craze and Soulection’s SoSuperSam for Heat Wave ‘17 on May 27. The party goes from 2-10 p.m., with plenty of frozen cocktails and seafood specialties like the Bermuda Fish Chowder. And if you’ve done enough dancing, there’s 75,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor bars, a shaded tree desk and beachside cabanas. $15, 348 Dyckman St.

Memorial Day in Prospect Park

The nature lovers at Prospect Park are ready to welcome kids of all ages for a full afternoon of activities on May 29. Swing by the Audubon Center anytime between noon and 4 p.m. to join in on nature exploration tours, help plant the Lefferts Historic House’s annual potato crop while learning about what life used to be like on a Flatbush farm from 1-4 p.m. ($3 donation suggested), and take spin on the 1912 Carousel’s opening day ($2 per ride). prospectpark.org

Concert in the cemetery

If you really want to be able to say you knew a musician before they were famous, come to Green-Wood Cemetery’s 19th annual Memorial Day concert by the ISO Symphony. The orchestra of youngsters (ages 12-19) will play patriotic tunes composed of some of the cemetery’s most famous residents like Leonard Bernstein beginning at 2:30 p.m. while you picnic among the rolling hills — BYO or hit up some local food vendors who’ll set up for the day. The concert is free, with ticketed tours of the cemetery after the show. Main entrance at 25th Street and Fifth Ave., Sunset Park

Eat your weight in crab

Maybe don’t eat quite that much, but the friendly crew at Peter’s will serve you all the blue carb and fixin’s you care for during their annual CrabFest on May 27. Pick a session (2-3:30 p.m., 4:30-6 p.m.), stake out your table in the spacious backyard and enjoy an hour and a half of the best seasonal seafood to start your long weekend off right. $45, 168 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg

The DL Rooftop Lounge

Meet the person you’ll celebrate with next year

You can’t afford the electric bill to stay home on summer weekends, so you better find a special someone to spend them with. A good way to start is by joining 200 other fun-loving singles at The DL Rooftop Lounge on May 28 for a dance party with fun icebreakers, live DJ, complimentary appetizers and more by Crystal’s Singles Parties8 p.m.-1 a.m., 95 Delancey St.

Sail away from it all

We could all use a little forgetting right about now. Set out to sea of Spoiled NYC's three-hour booze cruise on May 27 at 7 p.m. for two hours of an open vodka bar by Tito's (along with beer and wine), as well as a variety of hors d'oeuvres and bites by FoodKick. Must be 21+ and ready to party with live DJs as you cruise along the Hudson. Don't forget to wave to the Statue of Liberty! $65, Pier 83 at West 42nd Street, boarding at 6 p.m.