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: Frank Connor

    101spring601yourhighness

    51. Watch the season's most anticipated flicks. Pictured: Your Highness

  • 101spring602rooseveltislandtram

    52. Take the tram to Roosevelt Island

  • 101spring603cyclone

    53. Ride the Cyclone

  • Photograph: courtesy of Great Jones Spa

    101spring604greatjonesspa

    54. Sweat out your winter sins. Pictured: Great Jones Spa

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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    55. Join a sports team (and hook up). Pictured: ZogSports

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

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    56. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and go to Beacon, New York. Pictured: Sculpture by Louise Bourgeois at Dia:Beacon

  • Photograph: Sarah Blodgett

    101spring607wassaic

    57. ...or Wassaic, New York. Pictured: Harlem Valley Rail Trail

  • Photograph: courtesy of Park Avenue Spring

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    58. Have a high-concept dinner at Park Avenue Spring

  • 101spring609astoriapark

    59. Walk off Italian eats in Astoria. Pictured: Astoria Park

  • Photograph: courtesy of the Brooklyn Brainery

    60. Get schooled in cool subjects. Pictured: Brooklyn Brainery

Photograph: Frank Connor

101spring601yourhighness

51. Watch the season's most anticipated flicks. Pictured: Your Highness

51. Watch the season's most anticipated flicks
This spring offers a bit of everything for moviegoers, including Terrence Malick's long-awaited existential drama The Tree of Life to The Beaver, wherein mad Mel Gibson plays a dude who talks to others via a puppet (really). And the season wouldn't be complete without a James Franco vehicle, the medieval stoner comedy Your Highness. See which films we can't wait to go to, then catch one at one of the city's best movie theaters.

52. Take the tram to Roosevelt Island
The Roosevelt Island tram from Manhattan (59th St at Second Ave, rioc.ny.gov; $2.25) resumed service last November, but now that it won't be buffeted by winter winds, you can enjoy the views down Manhattan's avenues and sweeping vistas of the skyline, and then actually explore the one-road islet without catching a cold. After your three-minute ride in one of new, shiny red cars, which hold up to 109 passengers, grab a bite alongside islanders at the diner Trellis (549 Main St; 212-752-1517) and hit up the other spots in our handy Roosevelt Island guide.

53. Ride the Cyclone
It's still here, and it's as rickety as ever. The Cyclone is possibly the least confidence-inspiring roller coaster in the world. (The stripped wooden slats could double as siding in a Manila shantytown, and the seats are pretty tough to squeeze into.) Still, this oldie is a goodie, boasting a surprisingly fast ride, a great view of the ocean and a worn-in charm you can't get at Six Flags. 834 Surf Ave at 8th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-265-2100). $8. Opens April 16.

54. Sweat out your winter sins
Spring is all about new beginnings, and there's no better place to reach catharsis than in a communal bathhouse. At the Russian & Turkish Baths (268 E 10th St between First Ave and Ave A; 212-674-9250, russianturkishbaths.com; $30), you can cycle between two steam rooms, two saunas, an ice-cold plunge pool and a sunny roof deck to get rid of those toxins. If you've been really bad, you can pay extra to be whipped with a bundle of oak leaves (platza, $35) before being drenched in ice-cold water. For a swankier detox experience, park yourself in the Water Lounge at Great Jones Spa (29 Great Jones St at Lafayette St; 212-505-3185, greatjonesspa.com; $50).

55. Join a sports team (and hook up)
If you can't summon the nerve for a pickup game in the park, try one of the sports teams organized by Chelsea Piers (23rd St at Hudson River; 212-336-6666, chelseapiers.com) or ZogSports.org, where registration is now open for coed spring sports leagues in touch football, dodgeball and other activities you probably hated in high school. Although CEO and founder Robert Herzog stresses that it's not a dating service, he brags that ZogSports has brought together dozens of engaged couples. We speculate that the rounds of friendly postgame drinks have had something to do with that. Consult this roundup for more social (and occasionally boozy) sports leagues.

56. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and go to Beacon, New York
When you've tired of MoMA's lines and photo-taking tourists, take an 80-minute Metro-North ride to Dia:Beacon (3 Beekman St at Red Flynn Rd; 845-440-0100, diabeacon.org; $10, students and seniors $7). Founded in 1974 and housed in a former Nabisco factory, the museum has a vast collection of larger-than-life modern art—including Donald Judd's steely monoliths and Louise Bourgeois's sinister sculptures—that conventional museums often can't accommodate for lack of space. Grab lunch in the caf, or better yet pack a picnic to enjoy on the sprawling grounds, perched on the edge of the Hudson River. Travel: Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon (off-peak round trip $28).

57. ...or Wassaic, New York
You'll want your Schwinn for this trip: The Metro-North Harlem Line terminates at Wassaic (visit mta.info for information on the hours when bikes are permitted on trains) and gives way to the leafy Harlem Valley Rail Trail, a biker's paradise. Pedal to quaint Millerton, where tea at Harney & Sons (13 Main St between Old Rt 22 and N Center St; 518-789-2121, harney.com) and the chance to watch glassblowing by artisans at Gilmor Glass (2 Main St at Old Rt 22; 518-789-8000, gilmorglass.com; call ahead for the blowing schedule) await. A longer journey up a steep, partially paved road to Cascade Mountain Winery (835 Cascade Rd, Amenia, NY; 845-373-9021, cascademt.com) may test just how tipsy you can be without needing training wheels. Find maps and bike tours at hvrt.org or dutchesstourism.com. Travel: Metro-North Harlem Line to Wassaic (off-peak round trip $32.50).

58. Have a high-concept dinner at Park Avenue Spring
Owner Michael Stillman, chef Kevin Lasko and design firm AvroKO have conceived an ode to the legendary Four Seasons, except that here the design, the uniforms and the very name rotate along with the menu. Spring brings a lavender-and-green color scheme, vibrant flowers and a vernal menu that's still in the works. 100 E 63rd St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-644-1900, parkavenuecafe.com). Starts Mar 22.

59. Walk off Italian eats in Astoria
Some Astorians deem Vesta (21-02 30th Ave at 21st St; 718-545-5550, vestavino.com) the best thing to have happened to the 'hood since the popular seafood joint Elias Corner. (Only it's Italian.) This perpetually packed trattoria attracts diners nightly with its modern rustic cuisine—and pasta in particular. We can't say no to the cavatappi with spicy cauliflower and bread crumbs ($11) and hearty three-meat lasagna ($15). Then stroll along Shore Boulevard, which stretches between Astoria Park and the East River, offering unparalleled views of Manhattan. Head to the span between the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges for some quiet contemplation (although it can get busy on warm, clear nights).

60. Get schooled in cool subjects
It's time to turn off that rerun of Dancing with the Stars and give your noggin a workout. At Brooklyn Brainery (515 Court St between Huntington and W 9th Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 347-292-7246, brooklynbrainery.com), you can learn about beekeeping, soda making, bookbinding and other activities ($10--$35 per course). For classes of the practical, daily-life variety, check out LifeLabs New York (Location, time and price vary; visit lifelabsnewyork.com for details), where folks can help you examine your fashion sense, improve your time-management and conversational skills, and more.

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!