March 2015 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, St. Patrick's Day events and our picks from theater, the arts and music

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014

With spring just a whisper away, it's time to start booking these March calendar highlights, including an art retrospective of Bjork, the Black Party and St. Patrick's Day events—and then fantasize about packing away that puffy coat.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2015

Featured events in March 2015

St. Patrick’s Day in New York

Bust out your finest green T-shirts: St. Patrick's Day 2015 is officially upon us. One of the biggest events happening every spring in New York is the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which marches along Fifth Avenue—and passes by venerable New York attractions, including St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate St. Patty's Day 2015: Read on for our guide to the best St. Patrick's Day parades, events, Irish pubs and more.

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By: Tazi Phillips

The Black Party in NYC

Polish your leather and hit the gym: It’s almost time for the Black Party, that annual celebration of all things kinky, which draws some 5,000 revelers from the city and beyond. 

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Björk

Critics' pick

MoMA celebrates the multi-faceted career of the Icelandic alt diva with a retrospective encompassing the many mediums she’s worked in: Music of course, but also art, costume design and video, among others. The installation includes an immersive “experience” in sound and film created especially for the show.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Sunday June 7 2015

Alt-J + Phantogram

Critics' pick

Leeds, England–based quartet Alt-J traffics in a distinct sound, combining clever songwriting and colorful, jazzy instrumentation with world beats and skittering drops for a quirky brand of alt pop. The band's Mercury Prize–winning debut, An Awesome Wave, made a big splash in 2012, and now the group is back with a sophomore effort, This Is All Yours.

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Madison Square Garden Monday March 30 2015

Macy's Flower Show

Critics' pick

Escape to a not-so-secret garden at this two-week floral display, this year titled "Art in Bloom." The ground level of Macy's Herald Square turns into something from Alice in Wonderland, all covered in ceiling-to-floor greenery—and then you get to the clothes! Go social.macys.com/flowershow for information on free workshops, including terrarium making and floral design.

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Macy's Herald Square Until Saturday April 4 2015 Free

Neil Diamond

Critics' pick

On his recent Rick Rubin–helmed albums, including his latest, Melody Road, Neil Diamond stripped away the schmaltzy layers that he accumulated over the decades, to fine effect. Though he's touring in support of that album, we're willing to bet that the singer may favor a more hits-based act at this show. Though Diamond has left the sequined shirts behind, don't bet on a fully austere Neil: to completely purge Neil Diamond of kitsch would be to steal his soul.

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Barclays Center 26 Mar 2015

10th Annual NYC Craft Beer Festival

Critics' pick

Just in time for the Irish festivities, get your chug on at the 10th Annual NYC Craft Beer Festival. With 75 breweries, including favorites like Abita, Finback, Lagunitas, Doc’s Draft Ciders and Kentucky Bourbon, there will be a whopping 150 beers available for the pouring. You’ll get a personal tasting glass and unlimited 2-ounce tastings, and be sure to stop by the Craft Concierge Center to ask brewery experts all the beer-related questions your local bartender couldn’t answer. 

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Lexington Avenue Armory Fri Mar 13 - Sat Mar 14

Free events in March 2015

St. Pat's for All Parade

Critics' pick

For those—like Mayor De Blasio—who are unimpressed by the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade's rather cynical decision to allow one (non-Irish) gay group to march for the last couple of years, this more intimate outer-borough promenade offers an inclusive chance to celebrate all things Emerald Isle without all the unsavory homophobia. Expect dancers, bands, puppeteers and much more. This year's marshals are activist Kerry Kennedy and actor Brían F. O'Byrne.

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Parade route 01 Mar 2015 Free

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Critics' pick

No St. Patty’s Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes its 253rd march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.) More than 2 million onlookers are expected to show up for the annual spectacle, whose 2014 grand marshal is Jack Ahern of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30.

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Manhattan 17 Mar 2015 Free

"Beautiful Beast"

Critics' pick

What is it about a body's size, shape, texture or color that compels us to look toward or away from it? Come to your own conclusions as you walk through this peculiar exhibit with works created "through the lens of the grotesque" by Judy Fox, Folkert de Jong, Elizabeth King, Kiki Smith and 12 other sculptors, in a show curated by Peter Drake. Digital projections, foam, wood and steel twist and turn to conjure a visually jarring cacophony. Be warned: You may find it difficult to look away.

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New York Academy of Art Until Sun Mar 8 Free

Macy's Flower Show

Critics' pick

Escape to a not-so-secret garden at this two-week floral display, this year titled "Art in Bloom." The ground level of Macy's Herald Square turns into something from Alice in Wonderland, all covered in ceiling-to-floor greenery—and then you get to the clothes! Go social.macys.com/flowershow for information on free workshops, including terrarium making and floral design.

Read more
Macy's Herald Square Until Saturday April 4 2015 Free

Super Sábado! 2014/15

Critics' pick

El Museo del Barrio's free programming every third Saturday presents gallery tours and art workshops centered around a different theme each month. This March, explore the world around you through art making and storytelling (3/15). Enter the magical world of libros at a book fair this April (4/19), and fete the return of spring with a block party blowout in May (5/17). R.S.V.P. recommended

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El Museo del Barrio Saturday April 18 2015 - Saturday May 16 2015 Free

Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day Parade

Dodge the boozy crowds of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue parade and head to Brooklyn for its street celebration of all things Irish. If you want to march, assemble at noon at Prospect Park West and 14th St. Just watching? The parade begins at 15th St and Prospect Park West, marches down Seventh Ave to Garfield Pl, then turns and proceeds along Prospect Park West. RECOMMENDED: Complete St. Patrick's Day guide

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Prospect Park 15 Mar 2015 Free

Trivia Thursdays

Critics' pick

Mona Mour hosts this weekly trivia night featuring a mixed, rowdy neighborhood crowd and boozy prizes.

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Branded Saloon Until Thu Mar 26 Free

The Sherry Vine Show

Critics' pick

New York drag institution and brilliant comedian Sherry Vine brings you her song parodies, viral videos and acid wit every week at this popular Hell's Kitchen drinkery.

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Industry Bar Wednesday April 1 2015 - Wednesday June 24 2015 Free

Secret Meeting

Critics' pick

Each week, Eli Yudin (SNL "Weekend Update" contributor) and Nick Mullen (Thought Catalog) host this stand-up showcase followed by karaoke.

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Pine Box Rock Shop Thursday April 2 2015 - Thursday October 8 2015 Free

Music events in March 2015

Keith Jarrett

Critics' pick

To put it respectfully, improvising piano titan Keith Jarrett can be a bit of a handful—pray that he’s in a good mood tonight—yet there’s a special kind of bluesy rapture that only his nakedly emotional solo flights can provide.

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Carnegie Hall 03 Mar 2015

Blind Idiot God + Oneirogen + Rhyton + Gnaw

Critics' pick

If bands like Don Caballero brought math rock into full bloom in the ’90s, Blind Idiot God, which resurfaced in 2001 after a five-year absence, had begun tilling the soil in the late ’80s. The trio's tense, surging prog-punk instrumentals, fueled by Andy Hawkins's dramatic guitar spew, made it one of the few rock bands to find a home in the early downtown scene. Here, BIG supports a brilliantly gritty new comeback disc, Before After After, the group's first recording with current drummer Tim Wyskida, formerly of Khanate. Luminaries from the local drone, psych and avant-metal scenes set the stage.

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The Paper Box 07 Mar 2015

D'Angelo and the Vanguard

Critics' pick

All you non-cave-dwellers out there certainly know the story so far: Last December, neosoul star D'Angelo shocked the pop world by not only issuing his long-awaited comeback disc, Black Messiah, without any advance notice but more importantly by bouncing back with such an engaging, immersive statement. The new songs sounded magical at an Apollo show back in February; here, catch the almighty D and his deadly live band in a more conventional big-gig setting.

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Best Buy Theater 11 Mar 2015

Meghan Trainor + Sheppard

Critics' pick

Pop-soul singer Meghan Trainor started behind the scenes in the music business, penning tracks for Rascall Flatts and Disney star Sabrina Carpenter before "bringing booty back," with her chart-dominating 2014 breakthrough, "All About That Bass." The size-savvy singer stops at Irving Plaza on the heels of her latest single, "Lips Are Movin'," and her major label debut, Title.

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Irving Plaza 13 Mar 2015

Kevin Morby + Ryley Walker

Critics' pick

The solo work of former Woods member and Babies frontman Kevin Morby embodies a dog-eared, man-on-the-road mysticism, as heard on last year’s excellent Still Life. Here, the former local touches down in the ’Burg.

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Baby's All Right 15 Mar 2015

Cold War Kids + Elliot Moss

While we still don't think that California's Cold War Kids have yet topped their anthem "Hang Me Up to Dry," the group keeps chugging along. The band plays this T5 gig supporting its latest disc, Hold My Home.

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Terminal 5 20 Mar 2015

Hozier + George Ezra

Critics' pick

Dublin singer-songwriter Hozier (real name Andrew Hozier-Byrne) has been making music for a number of years, but it was his gripping, blues-brushed 2013 tune "Take Me to Church" that ignited the internet. Things are happening pretty fast for the young singer, who recently played some sold-out Irving Plaza shows and now moves up to the Hammerstein. Catch him now and say you were there at the beginning (or close to it).

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Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) 22 Mar 2015

The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads

Critics' pick

Blockbuster concert presenter Michael Dorf hosts another one of his starry Carnegie Hall tribute shows, with the proceeds going to music education for underpriviledged kids. The big names lined up to fete David Byrne and Talking Heads include Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, hip-hop collective the Roots, Brazilian chanteuse Bebel Gilberto, Americana legend Steve Earle, jam-band mainstay O.A.R., ZZ Top guitar-slinger Billy Gibbons, singer-songwriter Beth Orton, skilled crooner Rufus Wainwright and Sleigh Bells firecracker Alexis Krauss. Expect a once in a lifetime event, to say the least.

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Carnegie Hall 23 Mar 2015

Action Bronson

Critics' pick

Nasal-voiced, 315-pound Albanian-American phenom Action Bronson is steeped in New York hip-hop culture in a way that few are. Apparently the Queens native has also ripped a few pages from the pro-wrestling handbook, once body-slamming a fan who jumped onstage uninvited. Expect Bronson to come out swinging, celebrating his major-label debut, Mr. Wonderful, out Mar 24.

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Terminal 5 24 Mar 2015

Neil Diamond

Critics' pick

On his recent Rick Rubin–helmed albums, including his latest, Melody Road, Neil Diamond stripped away the schmaltzy layers that he accumulated over the decades, to fine effect. Though he's touring in support of that album, we're willing to bet that the singer may favor a more hits-based act at this show. Though Diamond has left the sequined shirts behind, don't bet on a fully austere Neil: to completely purge Neil Diamond of kitsch would be to steal his soul.

Read more
Barclays Center 26 Mar 2015
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Arts events in March 2015

Björk

MoMA celebrates the multi-faceted career of the Icelandic alt diva with a retrospective encompassing the many mediums she’s worked in: Music of course, but also art, costume design and video, among others. The installation includes an immersive “experience” in sound and film created especially for the show.

Read more
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Sunday June 7 2015

"MoMA PS1 and Bob & Roberta Smith Invite You to Throw Your Art Away"

Critics' pick

Are you an artist who's finally had it with being ignored by the art world? Are you someone who has been given a work of art that you know perfectly well is without value, and may even be ugly as far as you're concerned? Are you an artist who's actually successful to some degree, but are embarrassed by an earlier work? Well, London's Bob and Roberta Smith (a.k.a. Patrick Brill) have a solution.

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MoMA PS1 Until Sun Mar 8

The Last Ship

Critics' pick

Longtime rocker Sting tries his hand at the Broadway musical with this semiautobiographical tale set in the working-class seaside town of Wallsend. An ambitious young man leaves his roots behind but finds himself caught in the wake of his past. Joe Mantello (Wicked) directs a fine cast that includes Michael Esper, Jimmy Nail and Sally Ann Triplett.

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Neil Simon Theatre Until Sun Mar 29

"The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World"

Critics' pick

Though tedious arguments persist that painting is dead, the medium has been happily thriving where it counts most: In the hands of artists. But while it's true that there's plenty of painting around to compete with the installation and conceptualist fare stuffing galleries these days, it's also the case that many contemporary painters have either internalized the painting is dead position in some way, or relied on installation strategies to contextualize their work.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Sunday April 5 2015

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Critics' pick

Based on the 2003 best-seller about an autistic teen’s search for the killer of his neighbor’s pooch, this stage thriller comes to Broadway on a wave of acclaim from England. The adaptation is by the prolific Simon Stephens, and the spectacular staging is by Marianne Elliott (War Horse).

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Ethel Barrymore Theatre Until Thursday December 31 2015

"Madame Cézanne"

Critics' pick

Although Paul Cézanne’s wife was his most frequently painted subject, she’s been given short shrift by art historians, who have tended to focus on the artist’s still lifes, landscapes and figurative studies of bathers. As a remedy, the Met gathers paintings, drawings and watercolors, featuring Hortense Fiquet (the spouse in question) from its collection, as well as from others in Asia, Europe and the United States.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Until Sun Mar 15

More events in March 2015

Rites XXXVI: The Black Party

Critics' pick

The Black Party weekend culminates in this all-night and most-of-the-next-day celebration of debauchery. Make sure to dress the part (the code: whatever makes you feel sexy), and be prepared to have your mind blown by sexy-steamy performances and DJ sets. This will be the first Black Party since its longtime home of Roseland shut down in 2014.

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Location TBA 21 Mar 2015

Hold On to Your Butts

Critics' pick

The hilarious shot-for-shot live remake of Jurassic Park returns to the PIT for 15 nights following its sold-out run in September that received rave reviews. It even made it onto our top 10 comedy shows list of 2014's.

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Peoples Improv Theater Monday March 30 2015

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Critics' pick

No St. Patty’s Day in NYC would be complete without staking out a spot at this parade, which makes its 253rd march up Fifth Avenue. (The event is even older than the United States; it was started by a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army in 1762.) More than 2 million onlookers are expected to show up for the annual spectacle, whose 2014 grand marshal is Jack Ahern of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30.

Read more
Manhattan 17 Mar 2015 Free

Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink

Critics' pick

This sizable outdoor rink is open to the public Friday through Sunday and has a roof to prevent winter snows and spring showers from raining on your Ice Capades moves. And since Riverbank State Park overlooks the Hudson, you’ll have nice views of the river and the George Washington Bridge. Through March.

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Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink Fri Nov 21 - Sun Mar 15

St. Patrick’s Day in Irish New York

If the traditional St. Patty’s parade is too much for you, check out the lower-key, lower-Manhattan walking tour, themed especially for St. Patrick’s Day. Walkers will explore NYC's former “Little Ireland” district, learn about the incredible contribution Irish immigrants made to the overall history of the city, and understand why this day is more popular in New York than it is in Ireland. Note: the meeting point will be in front of St. Paul’s Chapel.

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St. Paul's Chapel Sat Mar 14 - Sun Mar 15

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