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Top 5 Things to do Memorial Weekend in New York City & on Long Island

Updated on January 28, 2016
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Looking for something fun to do this upcoming memorial long weekend? There are plenty of annual events happening not too far from the New York City area: from days at the beach to the Jones Beach Air Show to live outdoor shows all over New York and long island.

1. Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park - Oyster Bay

To enjoy a more relaxing day, you can try visiting one of Long Island's many town parks such as Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park of Oyster Bay. This park has plenty to enjoy including a historical Gold Coast Mansion on property. This park is expansive and includes a greenhouse and several gardens. Throughout the year they host educational programs and hands on programs for kids. On Memorial day, however, there will be a weekend concert at Coe Hall West Portico of “Red, White & Blues” with Brass Ensemble, performed by the Chamber Players International. This event is free and there are no parking fees. The show starts at 6:00 pm Memorial Day.

The grounds are well kept and many families will come early to picnic on some of the 409 acres of grass. Be sure to bring your blanket and basket of food. This park includes many shaded areas, as well as a Park Café called Periwinkles. You are also welcome to tour the mansion onsite during your visit.

Stunt Pilots Create a Heart in the Sky - Jones Beach Air Show
Stunt Pilots Create a Heart in the Sky - Jones Beach Air Show | Source

2. Jones Beach Air Show

For some action closer to home, take a quick 25 minute drive to visit Jones Beach for their annual Air Show of amazing feats, thrills and skydivers. This year is featuring the CF-18 and other classic jets flying directly over your head or at the shore on the beach with twists and turns. The boardwalk is always full of activities for the entire family, last year featuring space rocket bouncy castles and tons of giveaways. There are plenty of opportunities to give back to our vets at this event, with collections and sponsored tables up and down the boardwalk, and truly show your patriotic stripes.

Bring a beach chair or towel and a cooler, though there is plenty of food from hot dogs to ice cream to the full Jones Beach snack bar. Be sure to come early because the closer spots go rather quickly. Don’t forget the sunscreen. The only fee for this event is parking.

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard - Horse Rescue
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard - Horse Rescue | Source

3. Belmont Lake State Park - North Bablyon

For a park with some more activities available for the family, try Belmont Lake State Park. This park is 400 acres large and has designated picnic areas as well as pavilions available for reserving. They even have grills available for use. After you enjoy your lunch, you have the option to explore the exercise trail, playground, the biking trail or walking trails. Paddle boating and row boating are also available here.

It’s located off of the southern state parkway at Exit 38 in North Babylon, which makes it close for most from all over long island and in New York City.

4. Long Island wine Country – North Shore Eastern LI

Raphael Vineyard and Winery

Why not spend the day at Raphael Vineyard and Winery out on the eastern north end of Long Island for some wine tasting, live music and pleasant atmosphere this Memorial Day? They will be hosting live music from Mambo Loco from 1:00 - 4:00pm and admission is free. A large array of wine is available for sipping in their tasting room and you can also receive a tour of the grounds sprawling acres of vines, through their tank room and into the barrel cellar. Just be sure to call ahead for a reservation.

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

One of my favorite vineyards out east is Baiting Hollow, which also is home to a number of rescue horses on their farm. You can get very close to these amazing creatures or even take a pony ride for a fee. The tastings range from sample glasses to entire bottles to split with your group. On Memorial Day there will be live music from the resident cover band playing from 2 to 6pm. They also have a wonderful food buffet with both warm meals and cold cheese platter choices. They even suggest the best wine to pair with their cheeses on hand.

This winery is a wonderful way to kick-off the summer season outdoors with some music, family and good times.

5. Brookhaven Fair- Bald Hill

This famous fair opens its doors the weekend of Memorial Day and stays open for the next three weekends. There’s plenty to see and do including flying trapeze artists, a petting zoo, and amusement rides and food. There are also a few stage shows that range of entertainment like dancing but mostly local cover bands. They also stage magic shows throughout the day and have promotional giveaways throughout the day and into the night. Note, however, that fireworks are only Saturday nights and there will not be any on that Monday’s Memorial Day. Admission is always free including all shows but it’s extra for rides. Visit their website for free coupons and discount ride bracelets.


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    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 4 years ago from Sacramento

      I don't live near New York, but these events look fun. I'd love to watch an air show from the beach. :-)