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: Etienne Frossard

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    11. Have a flashback at a Spring Fling party

  • Photograph: Kent Miller Studios for Macys

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    12. Experience the Macy's Flower Show

  • Photograph: Liz Kuehl

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    13. Lick ice cream. Pictured: vanilla soft-serve covered in Trix cereal from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

  • Photograph: courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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    14. Imbibe atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Photograph: provided by The Book of Mormon

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    15. See Broadway's newest attractions. Pictured: Matt Stone (left) and Trey Parker whose The Book of Morman takes polygamy jokes to new heights.

  • Photograph: courtesy of Petite Abeille

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    16. Have brunch outdoors. Pictured: Petite Abeille

  • Photograph: ourtesy the artist and Friends of the High Line.

    17. Experience Gallery Week. Pictured: Kim Beck, Space Available. Beck gives a...

  • Photograph: courtesy of the New Museum

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    18. Rock out at museum parties. Pictured: Get Weird at the New Museum

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

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    19. Go thrifting at Brooklyn Flea

  • Photograph: Monica-Lisa Mills

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    20. Play soccer

Photograph: Etienne Frossard

101spring201springfling

11. Have a flashback at a Spring Fling party


 

11. Have a flashback at a Spring Fling party
Brooklyn Bridge Park is an ideal spot to catch a view of Manhattan and revel in the season's greenery. Stretch your legs and tap into a deep well of nostalgia at the park's annual springtime bash, featuring an egg toss, an egg roll and relay races that'll bring you back to second grade. At the very least, you'll get to listen to live music and enjoy watching actual minors participate in the aforementioned activities. Enter at Furman St at Old Fulton St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (brooklynbridgeparknyc.org). Apr 23 at 10:30am; free.

12. Experience the Macy's Flower Show
Immerse yourself in a rainbow-colored, heavily perfumed oasis at this garden expo, where you can see more than 30,000 varieties of flora at Macy's Herald Square. Covet Martha Stewart's superior domestic skills at a table-setting display, featuring her housewares line; learn about 18th-century gardens at the Williamsburg Pleasure Garden (that would be Virginia, not Brooklyn) as you meander about on your own; or take a free 20-minute guided tour (every 30 minutes, 11am--4pm). 151 W 34th St at Seventh Ave (212-494-4494, macys.com). Mar 27--Apr 11; free.

13. Lick ice cream
Nothing makes you feel like summer's just around the corner quite like the season's consummate frozen treat: ice cream. Ignore any lingering winter chill and kick back with a cone from one of the purveyors in our ice-cream guide, like a vanilla soft-serve covered in Trix cereal from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

14. Imbibe atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Enjoy a killer view of Central Park from the top of the Met at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, where you can relax with a cocktail (previous libations include the "Sacred Heart," with pomegranate juice and vodka) and gaze at the green expanse below. While you're at it, you may as well see some art—although the annual rooftop installation hasn't yet been announced, you can mosey downstairs to see "Room with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century," opening April 5, an exploration of the motif of open shutters in European painting. 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St (212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). Tue--Thu, Sun 9:30am--5:30pm; Fri, Sat 9:30am--9pm; Suggested donation $20, seniors $15, students $10, members and children under 12 free.

15. See Broadway's newest attractions
You may have heard about a superhero musical opening this spring, a little something called Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. While it attends to its well-publicized problems, you'll want to check out Broadway's newest crop, like Matt Stone and Trey Parker's The Book of Mormon, taking polygamy jokes to new heights, and Daniel Radcliffe's latest vehicle, the revival of 1961's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Tony Kushner is back in bold form with a multilayered saga ambitiously titled The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. Read our entire roundup of rookie plays.

16. Have brunch outdoors
Start your weekend off right with a sunny alfresco brunch in the bi-level garden at Perch Caf (365 Fifth Ave between 5th and 6th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-788-2830, theperchcafe.com), where you can get your protein with the bird in a nest (a fried egg set inside a piece of sourdough toast and a side of bacon, $5). Sidewalk seating at Petite Abeille (401 E 20th St at First Ave; 212-727-1505, petiteabeille.com) offers prime people-watching on First Avenue, while at Meatpacking spot Paradou (8 Little West 12th St between Greenwich and Washington Sts; 212-463-8345, paradounyc.com) the outdoor garden is a pleasant place to enjoy unlimited mimosas as part of the brunch prix fixe ($29--$45 per person depending on group size). Browse more options in our outdoor-brunch guide.

17. Experience Gallery Week
Give art its due at New York Gallery Week, in which dozens of art spaces in Chelsea and beyond open their doors for tours, artist discussions and film screenings from May 6 to 8 (newyorkgalleryweek.com). On May 6, see artist Kim Beck talk about her new piece on the Highline, Space Available (Bumble and Bumble Hair Salon, 415 W 13th St between Ninth Ave and Washington St, third floor; R.S.V.P. at 212-206-9922, thehighline.org; 6:30pm; free).

18. Rock out at museum parties
Skip the club and head to a museum, for culturally diverse soirees that will simultaneously expand your mind and let you dance the week away. Alongside favorites like the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays (200 Eastern Pkwy between Flatbush and Washington Aves, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org; first Saturday of each month; free) and the Rubin Museum's K2 Friday Nights (150 W 17th St at Seventh Ave; 212-620-5000, rmanyc.org; Fri 6pm; gallery admission free, event admissions vary), First Fridays at the Bronx Museum provides an evening of entertainment (like smooth jazz from pianist Valerie Capers's ensemble on March 4) and a chance to browse exhibits free of charge (1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St, Bronx; 718-681-6000, bronxmuseum.org; first Friday of the month 6pm; free). The New Museum's Get Weird series (235 Bowery at Prince St; 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org; dates and admission varies, see website for details) lets you do just that—with funky performances by bands like psychedelic Australian rockers Naked on the Vague (April 14). For a comprehensive list, see our museum parties guide.

19. Go thrifting at Brooklyn Flea
Add Williamsburg to the top of your flea-market destination list, as Brooklyn Flea expands to a new location south of East River State Park on April 3. While the usual warm-weather outpost at Fort Greene will open the same month (176 Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; Sat 10am), the new spot will feature the fair's wide breadth of vendors and artisan street food (including Asia Dog and Brooklyn Soda Works)—with the bonus of a skyline view. 27 North 6th St at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (brooklynflea.com). Sun 10am.

20. Play soccer
Spend a day kicking around a soccer ball or join a pickup league to get in on some sporting action. Long Island City's Water Taxi Beach provides a perfect sandy spot for a casual match, but if you want to get more serious, set time aside on Sundays for Brooklyn Pickup Soccer's coed games, or scour all of the best places to play soccer in NYC.

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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!