It’s that mari-time of year, when Fleet Week NYC festivities kick off from Monday 18 with a U.S. Navy Band concert, before the ships pull into Piers 86 and 92 two days later. If, to you, Fleet Week means drunken midtown crowds and drunken out-of-town sailors, steer clear. But why be too cool, man? There are boatloads of ways to celebrate our uniformed visitors (and the cheesiness is all part of the fun). Embrace it.
RECOMMENDED: See the full Fleet Week NYC guide
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s summer films series kicks off with everybody’s favorite Navy movie (Top Gun, duh) on May 22. But you’ll get more than Tom Cruise: It screens on the USS Intrepid’s flight deck, among ships and planes. Plus, former astronaut and pilot Scott Altman, Cruise’s flight double in the film, gives a talk. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86. 7:30pm; free.
Get on deck
The Coast Guard and Navy ships docking on the Hudson are no ordinary vessels: USS San Antonio, for example, holds more than 1,000 people and can launch four helicopters at a time. Throughout Fleet Week, you can tour various ships (including the San Antonio) for free. Various times, visit fleetweeknewyork.com
Be self(ie) centered
For the second year in a row, New Yorkers are under strict military orders to take Fleet Week selfies. Snag a pic with a uniformed man or woman, and use #SelfieWithASailor to show your patriotism. It’s a great excuse to sidle up to a sailor or Marine (and the perfect justification for your self-portrait obsession).
Go to a free concert
The Navy Band Northeast will be performing a free, hour-long concert in Bryant Park on May 19. Grab some lunch to go and listen to popular standards, jazz and patriotic favorites for free during your lunch hour. Bryant Park. 12:30-1:30pm; free.