Staying in town this Memorial Day weekend? Count yourself lucky. Being stuck in the city is way better than being stuck in traffic, or — worse yet — in a Hamptons club, waiting for your friend to stop talking to that bro in the pink shirt so she can give you a ride back to the timeshare. Here’s over a dozen things you can do this weekend, starting with the next best thing to a cat cafe. Have a groovy weekend — we’ll be back here Tuesday.
1. Hang out with cats
Happy Meow Day! This is the place to be if you couldn’t get into Manhattan’s bonkers cat cafe: Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. in Silent Barn’s yard, you can pet cats that are up for adoption, watch still more feline antics in a cat video booth, get your nail did with cat decals, and buy all sorts of feline merch.
2. Boat out to Governor’s Island
The East River Ferry resumes its runs on Saturday. Schedule here.
3. Catch a Rooftop Film
The al fresco film series continues its run with a series of NYC-based mini docs on Saturday and, among other shorts, a documentary about Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm on Sunday.
4. Ride the beer bus to Rockaway
The NYC Beach Bus, which throws in a beer with its rides, resumes its runs to Rockaway, where the concessions have reopened with a couple of newcomers.
5. Go Smorging in Jones Beach
Why settle for Williamsburg’s riverfront food fest when you can now experience it seaside? With ping-pong and bocce!
6. Or go Smorging upstate
The annual Mysteryland festival makes its US debut at the site of Woodstock, with Smorgasburg offering the beer and grub.
7. Follow a roving BBQ smoker to some local breweries.
East Village gastropub Jimmy’s No. 43 is taking its summer BBQ rig to a couple of local breweries this weekend. Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m., it’ll serve up slow-cooked pork, mushrooms and grits, biscuits and gravy, pork tacos and more at Gun Hill Brewing, Co., in the Bronx. Sunday, it’ll be at Singlecut Beersmith‘s Inaugural BeerBQ in Astoria.
8. Celebrate Loisaida
The weekend-long Loisaida Festival — featuring poetry readings, documentaries and talks about LES activism, and public theater — culminates Sunday with a street festival on Avenue C. See the full program for the 27th installment here.
9. And celebrate the Lower East Side in general
And Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., the Lower East Side Cultural Festival — part of a larger Festival of the Arts — brings food trucks, vendors and performers to East 10th Street, at First Avenue.
10. Take a trip to Honduras
Brooklyn band Honduras will cross the bridge to play songs off its new EP at Mercury Lounge on Sunday. The band goes on at 10:30 p.m., after sets from Elliot & The Ghost, The Montauk Project, and Glass Curtains.
11. Or visit Taipei
The annual Passport to Taiwan cultural festival takes over Union Square North on Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. There’ll be performances, art, giant inflatable religious figures(!), and what you really care about: food from local purveyors like Coco, TKettle and more. The organizers promise intestines with noodle and a “Dracula popsicle.”
12. Check out some new restaurants before they’re mobbed
While everyone’s away for the weekend, you might actually be able to score a table at the new location of Miss Lily’s (we waited for an hour when we went) or at Andrew Carmellini’s new one, Bar Primi.
13. Do free yoga outdoors
As part of the 50 Kent Festival, the Open Space Alliance is offering a free yoga class Sunday at the waterfront lot at 50 Kent, between N 11th and 12th Streets in Williamsburg. Bring your own mat; the class starts at 4 p.m.
14. Take in Kara Walker’s epic Domino installation
If you haven’t already seen it, do go experience Kara Walker’s “out of this world” installation in a soon-to-be gone warehouse on the Domino refinery site.
15. Shop for fresh kicks
Brooklyn Gold takes over The Living Gallery in Bushwick with a three-day sneaker expo featuring vendors from the tri-state area. open Friday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Admission is $15 but there’s free wine.