Memorial Day weekend is first and foremost a time to honor the brave men and women who have served our country at home and around the globe. It's also a great opportunity to enjoy special, summer-time activities. From parades to concerts and games, there is no shortage of things to do in New York City this long weekend. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Hop the ferry for family fun

Hop the ferry for family fun: Celebrate the
Hop the ferry for family fun: Celebrate the seasonal reopening of Governor’s Island with a fun-filled family extravaganza. There’ll be live music courtesy of The Maybelles, Astrograss and Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra, performances by Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, face painting, carnival games, a bouncy house and crafts from the Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost. May 24 from noon-4 p.m., FREE; governorsislandalliance.org (Credit: Flickr / @ziopaopao)

Hit the beach

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of
Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of beach season in New York City, and there are plenty of sunbathing and swimming spots open for public recreation. Head to Fort Tilden, Brighton Beach or Coney Island to people watch, Rockaway Beach to surf and Orchard Beach to observe its range of wildlife. Lifeguards on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. Oh, and because this is very, very important, here's what to eat. (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

Take in a ballgame

During Military Appreciation Day at Citi Field, the
During Military Appreciation Day at Citi Field, the Mets will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a matinee full of activities and special tributes, including the first pitch from U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard service members and special discounts for military members. May 26 at 1:10 p.m., tickets starting at $15; 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., 718-507-6387, mets.mlb.com. (Credit: Getty Images / Elsa)

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Sounds of the military

The Northeast Navy Showband and U.S. Fleet Forces
The Northeast Navy Showband and U.S. Fleet Forces Brass Band will perform concerts in Herald Square along with the U.S. Coast Guard Drill Team. May 23 from 5:30-8 p.m., FREE; Broadway and 34th Street, fleetweeknewyork.com. (Credit: Facebook / Navy Band Northeast)

Concert in the cemetery

Bring a blanket and settle in for a
Bring a blanket and settle in for a Memorial Day concert at Green-Wood Cemetery from the student-manned ISO Symphonic Band, performing the works of some of the cemetery's permanent residents, such as Fred Ebb, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Leonard Bernstein. A trolley tour will follow the concert. May 26 at 2:30 p.m., FREE; 500 25th St., Greenwood Heights, 718-210-3080, green-wood.com. (Credit: Flickr / @wallyg)

Memorial Day tradition

The New York Philharmonic’s annual free Memorial Day
The New York Philharmonic’s annual free Memorial Day concert at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is a favorite in the lead-up to summer. This year’s program features Carl Nielsen's “Helios Overture” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5.” Tickets are handed out starting at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis and go fast, so line up early if you want a spot. May 26 at 8 p.m.; 1047 Amsterdam Ave., 212-875-5656, nyphil.org. (Credit: Flickr / @mindus)

Intrepid ceremony

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts its annual Memorial Day commemoration ceremony to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The ceremony includes the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag, the laying of ceremonial wreaths, a three-volley rifle salute and the playing of Echo Taps. May 26 at 11 a.m., FREE; West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, intrepidmuseum.org. (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Support a parade

New York City honors our fallen heroes this
New York City honors our fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend with parades in several boroughs. The Little Neck-Douglaston parade in Queens is reputedly the largest and starts at Northern Boulevard and Alameda Avenue on May 26 at 1 p.m. You can also follow Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade (going strong for 147 years), which begins at 87th Street and Third Avenue in Bay Ridge on May 26 at 11 a.m. In Manhattan, head uptown for a smaller parade in Inwood, which begins at Dyckman Street and Broadway on May 26 at noon. (Credit: Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Inc.)

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Walk to remember

The two-mile Memorial Walk Tour through Central Park
The two-mile Memorial Walk Tour through Central Park will look at how different generations of New Yorkers viewed the park as a place to remember veterans. May 26 from noon-2 p.m., FREE; meet behind the Maine Monument (Merchant's Gate at Columbus Circle), centralparknyc.org. (Credit: Getty Images / Joe Corrigan)

Coast Guard demo

The U.S. Coast Guard will perform a search
The U.S. Coast Guard will perform a search and rescue demonstration in the water at Pier 92 for visitors to see the branch in action. May 25 from noon-12:30 p.m., FREE; 711 12th Ave., fleetweeknewyork.com. (Credit: Flickr / @killahkazx)

Ship tours

The general public is invited to tour Navy
The general public is invited to tour Navy ships docked at piers in Manhattan and Staten Island. Now through May 27 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., FREE; Pier 92, 711 12th Ave.; The Sullivans Pier, 305 Front St. in Staten Island, fleetweeknewyork.com. (Credit: CS MUNCY)