With spring just a whisper away, it’s time to start getting serious about booking the best NYC events in March. The biggest celebration is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. But before you start looking into the best Irish pubs in the city where you can glug endless pints of Guinness, take advantage of some of the other best things to do in the winter, including events at the best NYC parks—and then fantasize about packing away that puffy coat.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2017
Featured events in March 2017
Bust out your finest green T-shirts: St. Patrick’s Day 2017 is officially upon us! One of the biggest events in is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which marches along Fifth Avenue and passes by venerable New York attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate St. Patty’s Day: Read on for our guide to the best St. Patrick’s Day parades, events, Irish pubs and more.
NYC offers a bevy of ways you can show solidarity for your sisters during Women’s History Month. New York ladies are getting in formation by hosting a series of cool events that range from nabbing beauty services at one of the best blow dry bars to an all-female jazz festival, comedy show and more. You can even attend a global protest to fight for women’s rights!
Wear white and brace yourself for four stories of rainbow delight as Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, hits NYC. Dance in kaleidoscopic ecstasy with hundreds of strangers while you get covered in tinted powders, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music. There’s no more cheerful way to usher in springtime.
If you’ve got a thing for musty old books, this is your fair, with literary works from approximately 200 vendors displayed inside one of NYC’s grandest halls. Look out for tomes dating back to the 14th century, including illuminated books of hours and other hidden gems.
Increase the ABV fun with a sampling of 200 wines from 40 New York wineries at this six-years-and-running vino tasting. Along with bottles hailing from the far reaches of New York (the Finger Lakes, the Niagara Escarpment), the two-hour event also features local artisans dishing out hors d’oeuvres like cheese and charcuterie that’ll pad your stomach so you don’t get too wine-sloshed.
Art and architectural historian Thomas Beachdel offers up insights into the museum’s permanent collection and sneak peeks of new exhibitions in these monthly evening tours. Registration is required at least 24 hours in advance and details of the tour are emailed to attendees the day before the event.
Three-and-a-half hours of tasting 300 kinds of the strong stuff? Take a deep breath; you can do this. Get into really good spirits by sampling Scotch, bourbon and whiskey from around the world at this international festival. Make a night of it by chowing down at a full dinner buffet and shaking it to live bands. However, we can’t guarantee that after a night of slugs, you’ll remember what tunes you were tapping your foot to.
Jo Firestone and her Rodney Dangerfield impersonator father, Fred, host this beloved competition, in which the first 18 individuals or duos to sign up at the door attempt to pun-up each other’s spontaneously produced word-play. Winners are determined by the “Human Clap-O-Meter” and go home with a “Mystery Box” prize.
The buzz you’ll get at this 12th annual sip fest is strictly of the caffeinated variety, but oh, what a buzz it’ll be. Savor perky pours from more than 60 nationwide vendors including Wandering Bear Coffee, Birds & Beans and Brooklyn’s Tea Dealers. Beyond downing copious samples, take part in seminars on topics ranging from coffee decaffeination, Chemex brewing and oolong comparative tasting, and head home with the childlike thrill of being utterly sober.
Now we’re getting warmer. Slurp your way through this craft-cocktail fest with drink tastings stirred by mixologists from, primarily, Queens bars like Sweet Afton and the Bonnie. Witness a cocktail throwdown to determine the best drinks of the night while you nibble SoCal-inspired bites from Pinks. Tip: VIP guests can try two samples from each vendor.
Hallelujah! It’s time to shed those winter layers—and lucky for you, there’s no shortage of delightful things to do in New York City this spring. From strolling in the city’s best parks to laughing it up at Gotham’s top comedy shows and checking out the best new Broadway shows, we have everything you need for a supremely lovely springtime.
Free NYC events in March 2017
Jeffrey Emerson, Jill Weiner and Brian Moran host this weekly night of stellar stand-up featuring a diverse range of comedians, including known names like Matteo Lane and Farah Brook and newcomers like Menuhin Hart and Melissa Diaz. The April 3 edition features Megan Walsh, Colin Lewis, Ja-Ron Young and Haley Sacks.
At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 10,000 visitors per day with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors. Our pro tip? Make sure you peruse the lineup before you go—those mouthwatering scents and the bevy of choices can make you dizzy (and the dense crowds can make you hangry).
Nothing strengthens a relationship like wading into water and having to count on your partner to keep a skinny boat afloat, so bring your dad along to kayak on the Hudson. You'll get to go out on the water for 20-minute sessions, after a brief lesson, of course, which is just enough time to bond before your arms get tired.
The Creek and the Cave gives you eight minutes to rid yourself of some of your most ghastly memories at this cathartic storytelling event. With no prompts or judges, you can finally share your secret tales of summer camp heartbreak and music festival STDs among tipsy friends and fellow shameless storytellers.
This Lower East Side flea, now in it's eighth season, hosts one of the best collections of vendors in Manhattan, with more upstarts joining the fray each week. Standouts from recent years and who have gotten their start at the fair include include Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwich.
After spending nearly a year getting sequins and glitter out of their bedsheets, NYC’s mermaids and seamen are ready to undo all their hard work. Join a packed crowd on Coney Island’s streets for an epic procession of wild floats, barely clad revelers and beachside celebrating. Now in its 35th year, the world’s largest arts parade welcomes partyers of all ages to rejoice in kitsch, camp and craft, but those who are serious about their scales can register to win iconic titles, including best sea creature, best motorized float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.
The author of the comic strip The Spirit and pioneer of the graphic storytelling form—the Eisners, known as the Oscars of comics, are named after him—Eisner defined the way we read graphic literature today. This two-floor exhibition features more than 150 pieces of original artwork from his rich career.
Music events in March 2017
As we enter a Trump presidency, head here to scream your dissent. This North-South hip-hop throwdown is sure to pack in outrage aplenty as Definitive Jux hero El-P and quick-witted Atlanta MC Killer Mike spit incisive political venom on their appropriately titled third album, Run the Jewels 3, a collection of braggadocio and cutthroat takedowns. The swirling psychedelia of L.A. beatmaker the Gaslamp Killer sets the stage.
We've waited a while for this Chicago rapper's debut since its initial announcement—four years in fact. Noname set the stakes high in the years following with standout features on songs like Chance the Rapper's "Lost" and Mick Jenkins' "Comfortable." Fortunately, last year's Telefone delivers on all its promise. An LP that inhabits joy as easily as desolation, its instrumentals ply youthful sound sources (e.g. xylophones and baby giggles), while the lyrics tread heavier-hearted waters, narrating black resiliency in the face of dispossession and exclusion. Catch the Chicago MC as she hits up the LES on her inevitable rise.
A veteran of Suicidal Tendencies and a protégé of Flying Lotus, electric-bassist Stephen Bruner now plies funky, jazzy grooves as Thundercat, in which guise his work can call to mind vintage Stanley Clarke and Bootsy Collins, as well as more recent low-end theorists Squarepusher and Victor Wooten.
Punk’s not dead, and with Brooklyn trio Slothrust, it just got a lot more fun. On their latest album, Everyone Else, the three jazz musicians celebrate loudness with furiously danceable tracks (and the odd love song) that inhabit a realm of ennui and the weird. Drums, guitar and bass evoke both Sonic Youth and death metal, but frontwoman Leah Wellbaum’s androgynously droll Nico-esque deadpan is the main attraction.
Reining in the physicality and screamo aggression, post-hardcore outfit Pianos Become the Teeth—known for its unique intersectional explorations of cinematic post-rock and brutalist punk—exhibited a suprising capacity for restraint on 2014's Keep You. It's an unexpected but much-welcome shift in the continued development of a band that deftly dodges pigeonholing.
This Swedish indie-pop band unfortunately spent the majority of its years following 2010's celebrated Clinging to a Scheme embroiled in unsuccessful legal battles with its record label rather than making music. The turmoil, however, inspired a host of darker, matured songs on the crew's long-awaited followup, Running Out Of Love, a self-described "dystopian album" that addresses the many conservative, reactionary threads circulating in the world's current political climate. This rare New York outing is the The Radio Dept.'s first since 2011—snag tickets now or risk waiting another half-decade for the lo-fi pop obscurists return.
Deafheaven dips into black metal’s battle-tested playbook—rage-against-the-void screams and vein-popping blast beats—while boasting a distinctly blissed-out guitar palette. Building on the tremolo washes, triumphant leads and genre transgressions from 2012's wildly acclaimed Sunbather, the Bay Area group’s latest album, New Bermuda, reconciles black-metal pillars such as Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger with U2’s pedal-happy supertexturalist the Edge, and instrumental rock dramatists Explosions in the Sky. Also on tap: cinematic, celestial post-rockers This Will Destroy You.
From its scrappy start on the Bay Area punk-revival scene, Green Day, the long-running trio of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool, has shown that it's possible to hit the highest heights—including the practically unthinkable, a Broadway musical—without sacrificing integrity. The band plays in support of a new disc, Revolution Radio, with power-frontwoman Laura Jane Grace's always insurrectionary punk troupe Against Me!.
Despite being one of post-rock's most foundational acts, Chicago experimentalists Tortoise have always demonstrated a penchant for stepping outside the genre's strictures, winding between electronica and improvisational jazz in its eclectic 10-minute epics. With its first album in nearly seven years, The Catastrophist, the group veers toward those latter influences, having developed the tunes from a project commissioned by the City of Chicago exemplifying its ties to the city's jazz scene.
A decade and a half since his first album, Banhart is no less wonderful and no less weird. The irresistible lead single from the singer-songwriter's latest album, Ape in Pink Marble, is a dreamily somber ode, setting hushed lines like "see you alone at the Walgreens at night" against soft guitar plucks and wind blowing in the background.