When To Go Outside For Manhattanhenge

There are all kinds of interesting things to see in New York City, but if you happen to be in Manhattan over Memorial Day weekend, you have to check out the semiannual sunset phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge. What time is Manhattanhenge 2016, you may be wondering? This rare event only takes place for a few minutes, so you're going to want to make sure you don't miss it.

Manhattanhenge is a two-day "event" that happens twice a year in New York City, when the setting sun is perfectly aligned with Manhattan's cross streets running east and west. The first Manhattanhenge of 2016 just so happens to fall during Memorial Day weekend — expect to see the sun's rays peek through Manhattan's streets Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30. According to the American Museum of Natural History, Manhattanhenge will occur at 8:12 p.m. on both nights, and depending on where you are standing, you will get to see the spectacular sunset light up the streets in a way that is basically meant for Instagram. New Yorkers may act like they've seen everything and that nothing surprises them anymore, but this is one sight that is truly breathtaking. If you're able to step outside to see it, definitely do so. I mean, these photos speak for themselves:

Gorgeous, right? On May 29, people who are standing on Manhattan's clearer cross streets will see the sun as a half disk sink down into the sky. But, head out on May 30, and you'll see the sun appear in full. Guess you're just going to have to check it out both nights to get the full effect, huh?

Manhattanhenge strikes twice this summer, by the way. The second Manhattanhenge of 2016 will be July 11 and July 12, and will occur at 8:20 p.m., in case you're unable to make it outside this weekend. As for the best places to watch Manhattanhenge in action? The American Museum of Natural History suggests finding a spot as far east as you possibly can, while looking west. The bigger streets are where you're going to have the most visibility — think 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th Streets.

Of course, pretty much all of Manhattan is going to be outside doing the same thing tonight, and that sight is almost just as impressive:

Foot traffic at a complete standstill outside Grand Central Station? Now that is definitely not something you see in these parts very often.