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The best things to do during Fleet Week

Get patriotic and celebrate the sailors’ return to NYC at these amazing Fleet Week events at New York attractions

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

While you search for NYC events in May, don’t overlook the best things to do for Fleet Week in NYC. When nearly 5,000 members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard dock in New York, they bring with them all sorts of maritime-themed fun. So instead of going to the city’s best beaches for Memorial Day, spend time cozying up to a guy or gal with these great things to do during Fleet Week.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Fleet Week NYC 

Things to do during Fleet Week in NYC

Parade of Ships

The U.S. Navy is hardly known for its subtlety—and every year they make an entrance that's hard to miss. Fleet Week kicks off with a "parade of ships," during which massive aircraft carriers, giant warships, historic vessels and fighter jets cruise down the Hudson River. Take a picnic lunch and watch the impressive show from any of the parks along the water. After the parade, the ships will dock in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island where they’ll be open for public tours from 8am until 5pm for the rest of the week. 

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24 May 2017

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Fleet Week Welcome Party

Hey, sailors: what better way to kick off Fleet Week than with shots of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum? The liquor brand teamed up with the USO of Metropolitan New York to host an awesome (and free!) bash to thank you for your services. Boogie to a live DJ and enjoy a rockin' performance from Alabama Shakes aboard the Intrepid. 

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Until Wed May 24

Fleet Week Times Square Flash Mob

It’s Fleet Week in NYC, so celebrate the big Naval arrival with panache at this one-hour dance party. Join the always-wild Svetlana and the Delancey Five as they play big, brassy swing jams for your jiving, jitterbugging and lindy-hopping pleasure, right in the middle of Times Square. Serve your best Jean-Paul Gaultier sailor look to slay the night.

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Until Fri May 26
Fleet Week at the Intrepid

Fleet Week at the Intrepid

The Intrepid pays homage to veterans with a full week of events. Visitors can learn how recycling helps the armed forces and about the naming of naval ships in one of the many presentations. There's a movie screening of Top Gun on the Flight Deck, a Theater of War performance and a Meet the Pilots session with astronauts or aviators. Plus check out interactive displays that allow you to examine WWII artifacts used by pilots for safety in a flight. For more information, head to the museum's website

U.S. Navy Aviation Demonstration

U.S. Navy Aviation Demonstration

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's…oh, yeah, it's a plane, but it's a really cool, super fast Navy plane! During Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps show off their state-of-the-art fighter planes, jets and helicopters in aviation demonstrations and flyovers around the city. These free and open-to-the-public events start May 25 throuh May 29. Check the schedule for the times and locations.