101 things to do in NYC in spring 2012

Your guide to New York's vernal pleasures.

  • Photograph: Courtesy www.flickr.com/Gary Soup

    51. Chow down at Red Hook ball fields

  • 52. Explore Jackson Heights with the Gugg

  • Photograph: Beth Levendis

    53. Commune with hops-heads. Pictured: The Bronx Brewery

  • Photograph: Dino Perrucci

    54. Check in with the Allman Brothers

  • Photograph: Joshua White /JWPictures.com; courtesy Tom Sachs studio.

    55. Check out the Red Planet at Tom Sach's "Space Program: Mars"

  • Photograph: Andrew Hinderaker

    58. Visit a recently revived institution. Pictured: South Street Seaport Museum

  • Photograph: Getty Images

    59. Make a trip to Jersey to cheer on the Red Bulls. Pictured: Thierry Henry

    59. Make a trip to Jersey to cheer on the Red Bulls. Pictured: Thierry Henry

  • Photograph: Steve J. Sherman

    60. Welcome the country's top orchestras to town. Pictured: Spring for Music

Photograph: Courtesy www.flickr.com/Gary Soup

51. Chow down at Red Hook ball fields

51. Chow down at Red Hook ball fields
Bypass Ikea's meatballs and head for the locally renowned Latin-food vendors that set up shop on the Red Hook ball fields from mid-April through the fall. Among the South American delicacies on offer are Salvadoran pupusas from Solber Pupusas, winners of the 2011 Vendy Cup. Red Hook Recreational Area, Clinton St at Bay St, Red Hook, Brooklyn (redhookfoodvendors.com). Sat, Sun 10am--9pm. Opening mid-April; check the website or follow @RedHookFoodVend for updates.

52. Explore Jackson Heights with the Gugg
For the latest edition of the Guggenheim's stillspotting nyc 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, visit stillspotting.guggenheim.org for more information. April 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, May 5, 6. $10, members $8.

53. Commune with hops-heads
A welcome addition to the New York tasting scene, the NYC American Craft Beer Festival makes a splash, bringing 75 domestic breweries, including the Bronx Brewery and Oregon's Rogue, to the Lexington Avenue Armory. About 150 beers will be available to try at this sudsfest, with a strong emphasis on limited-release and seasonal brews. If you can't get tickets, choose from these one-off beer events or these recurring tastings and tap takeovers. 68 Lexington Ave at 26th St (nyccraftbeerfest.com). Mar 3 12:30--4pm, 6--9:30pm; $55--$125.

54. Check in with the Allman Brothers
The Southern-rock legends have been trucking through NYC for a yearly stint at the Beacon Theatre since 1989. The March tradition continues with a ten-show run, pegged to the 40th anniversary of the band's live double LP Eat a Peach, the last release to feature founding member Duane Allman before his death in 1971. Undoubtedly, the band will dig into an extended "Mountain Jam" for the late slide guitarist. 2124 Broadway at 74th St (212-465-6500, beacontheatrenyc.com). Mar 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25 at 8pm; $50.99--$150.99.

55. Check out the Red Planet
Rejoice, all ye manned-spaceflight nerds: Artist Tom Sachs is stepping into the void left by the cancellation of NASA's shuttle program with "Space Program: Mars." Sachs and his 13 assistants will fill the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with a cosmic spectacle, featuring mission control, launch platforms, exploratory vehicles and a martian landscape. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-616-3930, armoryonpark.org). Tue--Wed, Fri--Sun noon--7pm; Thu noon--9pm. $12, seniors and students $10, children under 10 free. May 18--June 17.

56. Marvel at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's new green roof
This spring, the 52-acre institution 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. 900 Washington Ave between President and Carroll Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue--Fri 8am--4:30pm, Sat--Sun 10am--4:30pm; $10, seniors and students $5. Opens May 16.

57. Get a sneak peek at future movie hits
Indie-film fans, rejoice! Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival returns to downtown Manhattan for its tenth year, drawing cineastes to its screenings, panels, talks and other events. This year's lineup has yet to be released, but expect the quality to be high: Last year's program included some of our favorite films of 2011, such as The Trip, Higher Ground and The Guard. Before heading to this year's activities, check out our handy roundup of the best places to eat and drink nearby. Locations, times and prices vary; visit tribecafilm.com/festival for details. Apr 18--29.

58. Visit a recently revived institution
After being closed for nearly a year because of financial troubles, the South Street Seaport Museum reopened for business in January. Visitors can see artifacts from the museum's vast collection of maritime items, as well as a number of installations that examine the city's history. Among the new exhibits are "Occupy Wall Street: A Photographic Document," featuring images of protestors by more than a dozen photographers, and "Manahatta: Manhattan in 1609," based on Eric Sanderson's research into 17th-century New York. South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St at South St (212-748-8600, seany.org). Wed--Sun 10am--6pm; $5, children under 9 free.

59. Make a trip to Jersey to cheer on the Red Bulls
The MLS season begins in March, and New York's team is hoping to redeem last season's disappointing fall to the L.A. Galaxy in the conference semifinals, starting with its first home game against the Colorado Rapids (Mar 25 at 4pm). One to watch: French striker Thierry Henry, who returned from his sojourn in the English Premier League, having proven he can still compete with the best. The impressive 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena rarely reaches capacity, so unless you prefer to put your feet up on the chair in front of you, join the boisterous flag-waving, scarf-swinging supporters clubs in the South Ward section behind the goal. Check the Empire Supporters Club (empiresupportersclub.com) website for MP3s of songs and chants to learn before you go. Red Bull Arena, 600 Cape May St, Harrison, NJ (newyorkredbulls.com). Schedule varies; see website for details. Tickets start at $20.

60. Welcome the country's top orchestras to town
One of the most exciting additions to last season's classical calendar, Spring for Music was a weeklong series featuring some of North America's most innovative regional orchestras. Top-notch performances, illuminating program choices and an affordable price tag made this a winning combination. For the second edition, orchestras from around the country shower listeners with everything from Shostakovich oddities and a Kurt Weill symphony to Terry Riley's electric violin concerto and a program pairing Messiaen and Debussy with new music for traditional Chinese instruments. Carnegie Hall, 154 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-247-7800, carnegiehall.org). May 7--12 7:30pm; $25.