101 things to do in New York City in the spring

The weather's fine---get outside and do something.

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  • Photograph: Robert Benson

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    91. Give flowers a standing ovation at "The Orchid Show: On Broadway." Pictured: Moth orchid

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    92. Clear your mind with a gentle stroll on Commerce Street

  • Photograph: Dan Dealy

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    93. Mosh with teenagers at the Bamboozle. Pictured: Headliner Lil Wayne, performing at Jones Beach

  • Photograph: Anna Lee Campbell

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    94. See some skin with Eiko & Koma's work Naked

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    95. Dance to Mario music at Blip Fest

  • 96. Splash about on the water with the Downtown Boathouse

    96. Splash about on the water with the Downtown Boathouse

  • Photograph: courtesy of Sperone Westwater

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    97. Scope out an LES gallery... Pictured: Twine by Emil Lukas at Sperone Westwater

  • Photograph: Hae-In Kim

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    98. ...or take in the nabe's LES history. Pictured: A Lower East Side History Project tour

  • Photograph: courtesy of the artist and the Bonni Benrubi Gallery

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    99. Spend a weekend with photography's greats at the AIPAD Photography Show New York. Pictured: "Tent-Camera Image on Ground: Rooftop View of Brooklyn Bridge", by Aberlado Morell, 2010

  • Photograph: courtesy of Central Park Conservancy

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    100. Stage a pickup game in Central Park. Pictured: North Meadow Recreational Center

  • Photograph: Ernesto Santos

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    101. Learn ptanque in Bryant Park

Photograph: Robert Benson

101spring10x1NYBGorchids

91. Give flowers a standing ovation at "The Orchid Show: On Broadway." Pictured: Moth orchid

91. Give flowers a standing ovation
The New York Botanical Garden is pampering the prima donnas of the plant world to perform in their Broadway--themed Orchid Show. The arrangements are inspired by the Great White Way, and include set pieces like a grand chandelier partially influenced by the Al Hirschfeld Theatre's Art Deco light fixture, featuring moth, cane and dancing-lady orchids in an exhibit-stealing turn. River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Tue--Sun 10am--6pm; $20, seniors and students $18, children 2--12 $8, children under 2 free. Mar 5--Apr 25.

92. Clear your mind with a gentle stroll
When the throngs of people in the Village gets to be too much, slip off the main drag and amble along the block-and-a-half length of Commerce Street, a teeny tree-lined West Village lane that feels awfully secluded from the rest of the neighborhood, especially since it winds in a way that few city streets do. If you need any further comforting, stop by Milk & Cookies Bakery (19 Commerce St between Seventh Ave and Bedford St; 212-243-1640, milkandcookiesbakery.com) for a chocolate-chip treat ($1.95).

93. Mosh with teenagers
If there's one place to go this spring that will make you feel old, it's the teenager-packed emo and hip-hop circus that's the Bamboozle (thebamboozle.com). Suck it up—you don't have to deal with acne and curfews—and enjoy a stellar lineup of rappers Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Waka Flocka Flame; legendary rockers Mtley Cre and Grammy winner Bruno Mars. New Meadowlands Stadium, 50 NJ-120, East Rutherford, NJ (201-559-1300, newmeadowlandsstadium.com). Apr 29 at 6pm, Apr 30 at 2pm, May 1 at noon; $30--$130.

94. See some skin
That's dance, art and performance duo Eiko & Koma's skin to be exact. The pair will present their work Naked at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, a living installation in which they will be on view, nude, four to six hours a day for two weeks. Stop by for a minute or stay for the whole session, and get familiar with Eiko & Koma's body of work with an accompanying video retrospective. 450 W 37th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (646-731-3224, bacnyc.org). Mar 29--Apr 9; free.

95. Dance to Mario music
Artist collective 8bitpeople and multimedia performance-art group the Tank bring back their Blip Festival for its fifth installment of chip music and video art. What the hell is chip music, you ask? It's dance tunes formed from the 8-bit sounds you used to find on the NES or Sega Genesis. And we only just got the Mario music out of our heads. Eyebeam, 540 W 21st St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-937-6580, eyebeam.org). May 19, 20, 21; $TBA.

96. Splash about on the water
The Downtown Boathouse launches its kayaks onto the Hudson on May 14, offering free 20-minute paddles in safe, roped-off areas of water by their three boathouses, so you don't need to have any paddling experience. You can often cool off after a long, hot day of work with weekday-evening sessions, in addition to weekends. Pier 40 at W Houston St; Sat, Sun 9am--6pm; select weekdays 5--7pm, see website for details * Pier 96 at 56th St; Sat, Sun 9am--6pm; select weekdays 5--7pm, see website for details * 72nd St at Henry Hudson Pkwy; Sat, Sun 10am--5pm * (646-613-0375, downtownboathouse.org). Free.

97. Scope out an LES gallery...
We all know Chelsea is a go-to spot for gallery-hopping, but the Lower East Side has developed its own vital arts scene. Start with mega gallery Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-999-7337, speronewestwater.com; Tue--Sat 10am--6pm), which boasts a Lord Norman Foster--designed building and a blue-chip roster of artists—Evan Penny and Emil Lukes are on display until March 26. For four more places to check out on the LES and its environs, take a look at these cool NYC galleries.

98. ...or take in the nabe's LES history
In addition to its vibrant present-day environs, the 'hood has a rich heritage, which the Lower East Side History Project reveals in its clutch of weekly tours. Guided by born-and-bred New Yorkers, you can explore areas of the greater LES like the Bowery (Sun 11am), Alphabet City (Mon 11am), the East Village (Wed, Sat noon) and Chinatown (Sun 2pm). Those who like their history bloody should take the Mafia (Thu, Sat 2pm) or Jewish Mob (Sun noon) tours, but for those on the side of the Wisconsonians fighting for collective bargaining there's the Women Movers & Shakers Tour (Mar 23, 24 at noon), which commemorates the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, an important touchstone of the labor movement. Various starting points, visit leshp.org for details. $20.

99. Spend a weekend with photography's greats
Shutterbugs will be able to cast their eyes on famous vintage photographs at the AIPAD Photography Show New York (aipad.com), an annual expo for 70 of the world's top fine-art photography galleries. Unless you're planning on splurging on something for your wall, treat the show like a traveling museum show and feast your irises on works by Diane Arbus, Alfred Stieglitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson and many more. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-616-3930, armoryonpark.org). Mar 17, 18, 19 11am--7pm, Mar 20 11am--6pm; $25, students $10, four-day ticket $40.

100. Stage a pickup game in Central Park
If you've got energy—but no money—to burn, head to the North Meadow Recreational Center with your crew to pick up a free field-day kit (requires deposit of ID). You'll find Wiffle balls and bats, as well as Frisbees so you and your brahs can play the ultimate sport. Midpark at 97th St, enter at Central Park West and W 97th St (212-348-4867, centralparknyc.org). Mar: Tue--Sun 10am--5pm, Apr--June: Tue--Fri 10am--6pm; Sat, Sun 10am--5pm.

101. Learn ptanque in Bryant Park
You may think it's a haughty version of bocce ball, but you'd be wrong. Get the inside track on the game with a free lesson from a member of the La Boule New Yorkaise club (labouleny.com) at the Bryant Park courts. Just stroll up and find the instructor in the club's T-shirt and they'll school you on the basic rules in around 15 minutes. You're free to stay and play with their equipment as long as you like (although it does get busy during lunch) and receive further insights on strategy and tactics. Gravel courts at the corner of Sixth Ave and 42nd St (212-768-4242, bryantpark.org). Starting Apr 18 Mon--Fri 11am--6pm; free.

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Users say

11 comments
Heidi
Heidi

This really helped me a lot

SBU Philosophy & Art Conference and Exhibition
SBU Philosophy & Art Conference and Exhibition

The 5th Annual Stony Brook University Philosophy and Art Conference & Art Exhibition taking place in Manhattan at the AC Institute in Chelsea on March 30-31. The Masters program in Philosophy and the Arts at Stony Brook University in Manhattan focuses on intersections of art and philosophy. In an effort to encourage dialogue across disciplines, we offer this conference and concurrent month-long exhibition as an interdisciplinary event and will present participants working in a variety of fields and media to respond to this year's topic: Still Life? Dr. David Wood, Keynote Speaker Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University Artist Speaker Reynold Reynolds, Berlin-based experimental filmmaker March 30-31, 2012 The conference is free and open to the public!

maweejik
maweejik

This is an awesome list! New York is one of my most favourite cities. Like Paris or London, I can spend all day wandering the museums. I'm trying to get my site off the ground here, as I think this is a community that would really appreciate it. It's a labour of love on my part, so I'm hoping for good things. The goal is to be able to meet up with others to go and do some of this cool stuff, when you are new or just looking to meet other people. Check it out, it's www.maweejik.com, and just started this week. If you think it's a cool idea, share with your friends, so I'll have a million people to do stuff with next time I'm in town :)

TONY
TONY

Glad you like, Codina --- we'll post 101 things to do in the summer in early June. Stay tuned!

codina
codina

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! ive been looking for a guide like this for awhile, im new to the city and want to explore so this is great!!! will there be some strictly summer stuff too?

Anonymous
Anonymous

#80, Beer For Beasts, was on MARCH 26, NOT May 26...

Amy
Amy

re: #5, are the Staten Island Yankees having a home-opener this year?

Anonymous
Anonymous

1 out 101 done. Yes! haha. See ya'll at the others.

Ace5O
Ace5O

I'm going to try to do as many of the 101 as possible, and I will be chronicling my experiences on my blog. I'm putting down the controller for awhile, leaving my man cave and hitting the streets of NYC. Check it out, and if you've done any of these things already, I'd def be down for some insider's tips. Thanks for all the suggestions TimeOut NYC!