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The 25 best things to do this spring

Get your jorts out, go outside and live your best life as the city warms up and gets busy this season

We did it, guys—we made it through winter to the sweet glory of spring! It’s time to stash the winter coats and strap on those overalls and explore the best spring festivals, concerts, art shows and hang out in the best NYC parks. We rounded up 25 of the most exciting events you can’t miss this season.

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best things to do in spring

Photograph: yakub88/Shutterstock.com

Madonna Worship Night

Whether you're a fan of the lace-gloved Desperately Seeking Susan Madonna, Truth Or Dare auteur Madonna or the current DGF incarnation of the Queen of Pop, you're bound to have a rapturous night getting wild to performances of the diva's greatest hits. Everybody’s free to be a Material Girl tonight!

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26 Mar 2016
Photograph: Rory Earnshaw

Jonathan Richman

Acoustic-guitar troubadour, former Modern Lover and eternal romantic Richman brings his heartfelt tunes to Brooklyn for two nights. As the seasons change, we assure you: a better place or time to hear his “Springtime in New York” simply doesn’t exist.

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Thu Mar 31 - Fri Apr 1
Photograph: Joe Fiore

Furball NYC 12 Year Anniversary

Joe Fiore's dance for the husky, hirsute set and those who love them has been happening for a decade now—so long that more than a few people who identified as twinks when it started now qualify as bears. Join over 500 men as they shed, sweat and spin all over Santos' spacious dance floor. Get creative with your dress code and let all that hair hang out.

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Sat Apr 2 - Sun Apr 3
Photograph: Paula Lobo

Ballet Hispanico

Dedicated to celebrating the creativity of the Hispanic diaspora, Ballet Hispanico marks its 45th anniversary with a Joyce season that includes its signature work, Perdo Ruiz’s ebullient Club Havana (2000), as well as Ramón Oller's Bury Me Standing and the New York premiere of Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s colorful. The matinee on April 9, En Familia, is aimed at family audiences.

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Tue Apr 5 - Sun Apr 10

The Bloody Mary Festival Brooklyn

Trick out your brunch-time cocktailing at this afternoon fest hosted by the tomato-and-vodka–obsessed Bloody Mary Liberation Party. Sample six inventive pours from Kings County watering holes including Cobble Hill’s Travel Bar, Park Slope’s Iron Station and Greenpoint’s Lucky Luna, winner of the Best Bloody in 2014, while getting down to beats by local legend DJ Shakey.

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10 Apr 2016
Photograph: Michael Alexander

Kathy Griffin

Grammy winner Griffin cranks out chatty and gossipy stand-up specials at a ridiculous rate and pops up anywhere she can embarrass Anderson Cooper (especially on New Year’s Eve). Her newest show, "Like A Boss," will continue her tradition of taking down celebrities, including the, ahem, big personalities of this election cycle. Trump beware.

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10 Apr 2016

Everybody Wants Some

It’s 1980. Summer comes to a close as a gang of college baseball players assemble at their Texas university to break in the team—and, of course, to break as many rules as possible. A beautiful, hilarious, deeply relaxed film about male bonding, Richard Linklater’s latest is glorious, ranking right up there with his masterpieces Dazed and Confused and Boyhood.

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Sing Street

John Carney, the writer-director of Once, returns with a valentine to '80s pop and the Irish kids who embraced it. Anyone who's ever started a band will find these tuneful teens and their dorky Duran Duran-inspired music videos impossible to resist.

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Photograph: Sean and Yvette Photography

Camille O'Sullivan

Irish chanteuse O'Sullivan throws herself into songs with startling intensity, and her 2014 concerts at the Irish Arts Center were nothing short of spellbinding. Happily, the Irish Arts Center is bringing her back for a two-week encore, during which the alt-cabaret star will weave a dramatic tapestry from darkly glittering songs by such artists as Radiohead, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Jacques Brel and Nick Cave.

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Wed Apr 6 - Sat Apr 16
Photograph: Alberto Oviedo

Miami City Ballet

The pride of Miami makes its first bow at Lincoln Center with an April 13 gala, featuring works by George Balanchine and Alexei Ratmansky. Two programs alternate on subsequent days: the first includes pieces by Balanchine, Ratmansky and Twyla Tharp; the second comprises pieces by Balanchine, Justin Peck and Liam Scarlett.

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Wed Apr 13 - Sun Apr 17
Photograph: Hibbard Nash

Martha Graham Dance Company

The venerable modern-dance company 90th-anniversary season includes several Graham classics (including 1936’s Chronicle and 1947’s Night Journey), as well as the premieres of three works commissioned for the company by Marie Chouinard, Mats Ek and Pontus Lidberg. The music is played by the Mannes Orchestra.

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Thu Apr 14 - Mon Apr 18
Photograph: Courtesy Fly You Fools

Fly, You Fools!

The irreverent goons behind Hold Onto Your Butts and the director of the Harry Potter parody show Puffs present this "shot-for-shot" reenactment of the gloriously dramatic The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Expect wigs, prosthetic ears and arrows to fly as this four-person crew plays out scenes of hobbits eating, dwarves fighting and a glowing eyeball screaming.

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Peoples Improv Theater , Flatiron Saturday July 30 2016
Photograph: Courtesy of Joshua Lewis

Bacon and Beer Classic

Winter’s over and it’s time to break those resolutions—what better way than a no-holds-barred blowout featuring 30 bacon-stuffed dishes and more than 100 craft brews? For three hours, stuff your face with porcine plates from restaurants like Bareburger and Tres Carnes while guzzling beers and ciders from breweries both local (Gun Hill Brewing Co., Original Sin Hard Cider) and far-flung (Anchor Brewing in California, Harpoon Brewery in Vermont).

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Fri Apr 22 - Sat Apr 23
Tribeca Film Festival 2014

Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro and Co.'s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers. We've got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to Tribeca Film Festival 2016: our personal must-see picks, movie screenings, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and oh-so-much more.

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Wed Apr 13 - Sun Apr 24

Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival

New Yorkers come out en masse to celebrate the sweet arrival of spring at this annual festival. The two-day affair marks the end of Hanami (the Japanese seasonal tradition of blossom appreciation) and includes a cosplay fashion show, bands playing traditional tunes, dance performances and, of course, all those pink-and-white petals.

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Sat Apr 30 - Sun May 1

Five Boro Craft Beer Fest

Head to Bushwick for this evening beer bacchanal, highlighting new and limited-release craft brews from more than 40 producers, including hometown staples like Other Half Brewing in Carroll Gardens, Finback Brewing in Ridgewood and Barrier Brewing Co in East Rockaway. Your tickets is good for limitless two-ounce tastings of beer, pub grub catered by local eateries (Mekelburg's, Astoria Bier and Cheese), plus live music courtesy Philadelphia rock outfit Stolen Rhodes.

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06 May 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Graham Carlow

Frieze Art Fair

One of the city’s most-hyped alfresco attractions returns to Randalls Island Park, where tens of thousands wander through innovative works from elite galleries around the globe. The details of this year’s fair are yet to be announced, but you can expect highly Instagrammable public works, hands-on DIY projects and unique interactions with artists and their works, like last year’s rides in a rowboat made of salvaged materials and sessions in massage chairs mounted on giant paintings.

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Thu May 5 - Sun May 8
Photograph: Courtesy Doug Van Sant/Insomniac

Electric Daisy Carnival

This neon-soaked, bass-thumping, laser-filled weekend is New York’s version of Coachella—without all the wannabe fashionistas. This year’s party, “Insomniac,” takes over Citi Field with dozens of EDM’s best DJS, including Afrojack, Zedd and Kaskade. When you’re not dancing your face off, take a trip on full-scale carnival rides, check out performances from aerialists and explore giant art projects.

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Sat May 14 - Sun May 15
Photograph: Brad Elterman

Mac DeMarco

Puckish indie-pop songman Demarco is a goof, but don’t let his prankster persona fool you into thinking he’s not a seriously talented songwriter. Demarco's fans are devoted and legion and plenty will be using these two breezy rock shows as a gateway drug to summer fun just on the horizon.

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Sun May 15 - Mon May 16
Photograph: Hannah Beth King

Long Day's Journey Into Night

A powerhouse cast takes on Eugene O’Neill’s heartbreaker of a play, about the colossally dysfunctional Tyrone clan. Expect great acting from Gabriel Byrne, Michael Shannon and Jessica Lange.

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Sun Apr 3 - Sun Jun 26
Photograph: Courtesy MoMA/William I. Koch Collection

“Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty”

Nothing says spring like Impressionism, and no one does Impressionism like Edgar Degas. The capture-the-moment freshness of his style is on full view in this show of prints and mixed-media works on paper.

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Sat Mar 26 - Sun Jul 24

Isa Genzken, Two Orchids

Treat yourself to a dose of flower power with the German artist’s monumental sculptural ode to spring blossoming outside the entrance to Central Park.

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Doris C. Freedman Plaza , Upper East Side Until Sunday August 21 2016
Photograph: Jason Mandella; Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

“Rachel Harrison: Perth Amboy”

A miracle forms the basis for this found-object and cardboard installation inspired by the story of the Virgin Mary’s appearance in the window of a New Jersey house in 2001.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) , Midtown West Until Monday September 5 2016
Photograph: Autumn de Wilde

Shuffle Along or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

The great stage director George C. Wolfe (Caroline, or Change) stages a behind-the-scenes look at a 1920s musical with an all-black cast. The cast is a doozy: Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter. Tap genius Savion Glover gets them up and dancing.

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Fri Mar 18 - Sun Oct 9
Photographer: Matt Beard


Cirque du Soleil has had plenty of engagements in and around New York, but this is the first time the global phenomenon has tried to plant a show on the Broadway landscape. We shall see if this eye-popping mix of cabaret, acrobatics and design will fly on the Great White Way.

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Lyric Theatre , Midtown West Until Saturday December 31 2016

See New York's best events by month

Our New York events calendar

If you're looking for a fantastic event to attend today, this weekend or in the coming months, look no further than our events calendar for 2015.

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March 14 & 15 - The Seed : MARKET

Launched as the first and only pop-up market in Manhattan where every month 50+ exhibitors with plant-based, cruelty-free and eco-friendly products and services will be sampling and selling. In addition, for March there will be several yoga classes available. An, every month a different charity benefits.

At The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St., New York City

Details: http://theseedexperience.com/market/