Memorial Day in New York 2025

Memorial Day in New York

Memorial Day in New York is the day that honours all the people who died serving in the military. It’s always held on the last Monday of May, so in 2025, Memorial Day will fall on May 26th. Memorial Day coincides with the start of the summer season, so it is not just a day of reflection but also a celebration. There are many events going on in the city on that Monday and the weekend before, known as Memorial Day Weekend.


What can you do on Memorial Day in New York?

Because Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season (the summer solstice is not until June 20th), beaches re-open. If you explore one of New York’s most unique places, Governors Island, on Memorial Day, you will be treated to free live music and other entertainment for kids.

Many New Yorkers leave the city and venture outside for activities like going to one of the bigger out-of-town beaches. They also spend time with their families and barbecue. However, staying in New York to appreciate one of the city beaches can also be a lot of fun. For example, in addition to Coney Island opening up on Memorial Day, the New York Aquarium (same location) also re-opens: a great activity for the whole family. If you are still looking for fun things to do at Coney Island, check out Luna Park and ride the world-famous Cyclone!

Tips for Memorial Day

Feel like just taking a walk outside in the warm weather? Then head over to the Brooklyn Bridge, which also celebrates its birthday on this same weekend. Another fun New York tradition is Fleet Week, the annual visit of the U.S. military sea services to the city. So, it’s a great time to say hello to a sailor! Not only are the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines walking the streets, there are air shows and many other events taking place. Want to see more? Then, check out the Intrepid Museum on Memorial Day for related events.

When is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday of May so the date changes each year. In 2025, Memorial Day will be on May 26th.

Why is it called Memorial Day?

Initially, Memorial Day was a day to honour the Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, this changed into a day to honour all men and women who died at war or during military service. Prior to World War II, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day.

What can you expect on Memorial Day?

During Memorial Day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honour those the deceased. Also, the American flag is hung at half-mast.

Memorial Day is becoming less of a day of remembrance because it also marks the start of the summer season for cultural events. Many people choose to spend this day, and the weekend prior to Memorial Day, with their families, having picnics and going to sporting events.

A tradition for the fashion world is that on this day wearing white becomes acceptable again, until Labor Day. Only a few people still follow this and white is now worn throughout the year. This “rule” was coined by the rich who claimed: “white is for weddings and for resorts, not for dinner in the fall”.

Memorial Day in New York - Coney Island Boardwalk Memorial Day in New York - Governors Island

What is Memorial Day?

On Memorial Day, all men and women who died whilst serving in the American armed forces are honoured. Read more here.

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