The Complete Guide to Presidents’ Day in New York 2022

Presidents’ Day is one of the oldest American holidays. In fact, it’s been celebrated in some form in the United States since 1796!

The day, which was originally intended to celebrate George Washington’s birthday, does tend to move around. What few people know is that George Washington’s birthday actually depends on the calendar you’re using – according to an old-style calendar, he was born on February 11th, while our more modern calendar has him born on February 22nd.

The end result is the same: a federal holiday, meaning you’ll have an extra day to spend some time in New York exploring. So let’s see more about how to enjoy Presidents’ Day in the Big Apple.

What is Presidents’ Day?

First, let’s dive into what the holiday actually means to Americans, and then to New Yorkers. Though officially called Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday intended to honor all of those who have served in the office as president of the United States.

Originally held on February 22nd every year to honor the first president of the United States, George Washington, it is now held on the third Monday of February each year, where the date ranges from February 15th to February 21st. Though the official name of the holiday varies from state to state, it is largely intended to celebrate two of the most important presidents in American history – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

When is Presidents’ Day 2022?

This year, Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day falls on Monday, February 21st, 2022.

What to Expect on Presidents’ Day in New York

Because Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday, government buildings will be closed and their official functions will be suspended for the day.

Where to Eat And Drink On Presidents’ Day In New York

Given the current health requirements, you can dine in at restaurants in and around the city. Since it is a holiday weekend, it is likely that the restaurants and bars will remain open, though it’s important not to rely on what their hours say on Google. Give them a call – or check their social media – to confirm when restaurants will be open on Presidents’ Day weekend in NYC.

New York’s Connection To Presidents’ Day

New York state is one of six states to still call Presidents’ Day “Washington’s Birthday.” In comparison, almost half of the state governments have renamed this day honoring the presidents to Presidents’ Day – or some combination of Lincoln and Washington.

In New York, public schools are closed from February 21st to February 25th for their Mid-Winter Recess.

In addition to those modern connections, 5 former US presidents were born in New York, and it is the final resting place for 6 presidents, including the nation’s youngest (Theodore Roosevelt) and longest-serving (Franklin D. Roosevelt).

Traveling to New York City On Presidents’ Day

Due to the holiday, certain parts of the city will be calmer on Monday, February 21st, 2022 then they might be during a normal workweek. The financial districts near Wall Street, for example, will likely have the day off, which could make for easier exploration (though it might be like the thrilling energy of a typical business day).

Many museums will be open, including the Met Museum, which is now open 7 days a week. It’s always a good idea to confirm the schedule beforehand, and even to buy tickets in advance, to make sure you get to see each of the cultural sites you’re excited about.

With weather temperature averages in the high 30s and low 40s and a lack of other big tourist draws during this time, this could be the perfect weekend for you to come visit NYC!

The Best Things to Do on Presidents’ Day in NYC

Looking for the best events and things to do on Presidents’ Day? We’ve got you covered!

  1. 01

    Enjoy the Day in Central Park

    Midtown Manhattan

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    Central Park in Winter

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    Central Park should not be missing from any Things to Do in New York in winter! The green lung of the city turns into a true winter wonderland during the cold season. It is therefore also a popular destination for New Yorkers. Stroll through the park under snow-covered trees and let yourself be enchanted by the play of lights on the frozen water surfaces in the evening.

    Walking through Central Park in the cold is magical! If there’s snow, it’s even more amazing.

    If you want to be more adventurous, start in Harlem and walk down Central Park towards Midtown. Too often we catch ourselves starting on Fifth Avenue at the Plaza Hotel in Central Park. There is so much more to explore than just that part of Central Park.

  2. 02

    Spend the day with your family at the Brooklyn Children's Museum



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    The Brooklyn Children’s museum was founded in 1899 and was the first museum developed only for kids. With many permanent exhibitions and attractions, there is always something to see or do here. Overall, it’s a great place for family outings with the young ones.

    Children are encouraged to play and experience numerous activities and exhibitions.

  3. 03

    Start your day with a Brunch Cruise


    bateaux brunch cruise new york

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    Brunch is a weekend ritual in New York, and on this morning cruise, you’ll experience a classic Big Apple brunch while sightseeing simultaneously. Depart in the morning from Chelsea Piers; your vessel offers all-glass viewing areas. As you wend your way past sights like the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and more, you can also enjoy dishes from the extensive onboard buffet, plus bottomless coffee, mimosas, and tea. Live jazz music will add to the trip’s festive feel.

    My tip: These are the Best Brunch Cruises in NYC Right Now

  4. 04

    9/11 Memorial

    Financial District


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    Ground Zero has now become a place for quiet reflection. With two huge pools to commemorate the lives lost during 9/11 the beautiful memorial attracts people from far and wide. NYC will never forget 9/11 and the memorial is the perfect embodyment of this spirit.

  5. 05

    Classic Harbor Line: Architecture Yacht Cruise


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    The architecture boat tour takes you around Manhattan in 2.5 hours. On a 30 meter long wooden ship in the style of the 1920s you can relax and learn a lot of interesting facts about the many small and large buildings of the city. The tour is