10 things to do outdoors

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  • Photograph: Lela Scott MacNeil

    Rooftop Films

  • "Toms Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City"

  • Photograph: Rebecca Bullene

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • NYC Half Marathon 2012

  • Photograph: Daniel S. Burnstein

    Bike Month NYC

  • Photograph: Akira Yamada

    stillspotting nyc: queens.

  • ZogSports co-ed sports leagues

Photograph: Lela Scott MacNeil

Rooftop Films

Yankees and Mets opening days
Consider calling in sick for the Yankees' home opener against the formidable Los Angeles Angels, who snagged the off-season's highest-profile free agent in Albert Pujols. Fans eager to see a game can visit Citi Field eight days earlier for the Mets' first game, against the Atlanta Braves. The Amazin's didn't make many off-season moves, but the team may benefit from one change: the new, smaller dimensions of the stadium's outfield, which will ideally send a few more home runs into the stands. Yankee Stadium, 1 E 161st St between Jerome and River Aves, Bronx (newyork.yankees.mlb.com). Opening day: Apr 13 at 1:05pm; $15--$300 * Citi Field, Roosevelt Ave at 126th St, Flushing, Queens (mets.com). Opening day: Apr 5 at 1:10pm; $30--$325.

Rooftop Films
Now in its 16th year, this alfresco series will bring more than 200 films to locations throughout the city. Besides curating smart indie docs, shorts and features, Rooftop's organizers have a talent for procuring unique venues—past screenings have taken place on the roofs of Brooklyn Grange and Brooklyn Technical High School. To top it off, performances by buzzworthy music acts (Hospitality and Janka Nabay appeared in 2011) precede the feature. Locations, times and prices vary; visit rooftopfilms.com for more info. Begins May 11.

"Toms Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City"
The Met's Cantor Roof Garden transforms into a habitable space—sort of—as the Argentine artist constructs a series of interconnected, room-size pods that visitors can explore, with Central Park and the city skyline in the background. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St (212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). May 1--Nov 4.

Governors Island
This oasis in the center of New York Harbor will be closed on Fridays to build new parks and public spaces. But for the first time, the Trust for Governors Island will introduce extended hours on Saturdays (until 11pm), so you'll have plenty of time to explore the traffic-free grounds. Expect a familiar mix of quirky art installations, gratis bike rides and festivals celebrating everything from poetry to vintage Volkswagens. Governors Island (212-440-2202, govisland.com). Opens May 25.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
This spring, the 52-acre living museum will unveil its new 20,000-square-foot visitors' center: The eco-friendly structure, designed by New York architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, features a leaf-shaped living roof planted with roughly 100 species of flora, intended to blend in with the bucolic landscape. Don't miss Hanami, one of the season's most anticipated events, when the garden's more than 200 cherry trees bloom. 900 Washington Ave between President and Carroll Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Visitors' center: Opens May 16. Hanami: Apr 1--29.

NYC Half Marathon 2012
The annual ING New York City Marathon may be bigger, but this 13.1-mile competition is the only New York Road Runners race that shuts down traffic in Times Square. Watch 15,000 competitors snake their way through Central Park, midtown and downtown before reaching the finish line at South Street Seaport (Water St at Maiden Ln). Spectators can attend a postrace party, with performances from Shinbone Alley Stilt Band and Irish rockers Black 47. For the full route, visit nyrr.org. Mar 18 at 7:30am.

Bike Month NYC
Each year, Transportation Alternatives and several biking businesses and nonprofits collaborate to make May the most cycling-friendly time of year. The celebration starts with the New Amsterdam Bike Show (Apr 28, 29) and continues with pedal-powered events like the Brooklyn Bike Jumble (May 19), the TD Five Boro Bike Tour (May 6) and the Bike Brooklyn Beer Blitz (May 20). On the latter, a history-focused tour features a stop at a Williamsburg bar mid-jaunt. Locations and times vary; visit bikemonthnyc.org for details.

"Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City"
Four artists, including Rirkrit Tiravanija and George Trakas, were invited to create innovative proposals imagining ways to keep Long Island City's character—a vibrant mixture of residential life, art, industry and open space—for this exhibit. A small-scale version of the show has shown at the Noguchi Museum since October, but an iteration at Socrates Sculpture Park brings larger and more complex models of the artists' designs. All creations incorporate some degree of interactivity, such as Tiravanija's proposal for a community kitchen in the park and Trakas's idea for a promenade hugging the East River. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org). Free. Opens in May.

stillspotting nyc: queens.
For the latest edition of the Guggenheim's series—which invites artists to respond to the cacophony of the city with different creative projects—NYC architects Solid Objectives--Idenburg Liu have arranged self-guided tours of Jackson Heights, Queens. The jaunt begins at a kiosk near 75th Street and Broadway, where attendees will receive a map printed with several locations throughout the neighborhood. Each stop is the home or business of an area resident; once there, you'll hear stories about that person's background and transition settling into the diverse area. The two-hour treks aim to showcase the untold stories of the local immigrant communities. Locations and times vary; April 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, May 5, 6. $10, members $8.

ZogSports co-ed sports leagues
You've thought about it, now do it: Put down that PS3 controller and join an outdoor league league. ZogSports, one of NYC's biggest rec groups, hosts coed softball, soccer and touch-football leagues in the spring. Don't sweat it if you haven't swung a bat since T-ball days: When signing up, participants must assess their own skill level—from "extremely casual" newbies to jocks who've played high-school or college sports—and are then matched to a compatible division. As a bonus, teams are encouraged to retreat to a nearby bar for postgame drinks, and a portion of the bar tab is donated to charity. Locations and price vary; visit zogsports.com for details. Season begins in early March.

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Guy Felton
Guy Felton

Wonderful, wonderful ! Applause, applause !