One of the best things to do in spring is attend one (if not all) of the many spring festivals NYC has to offer. Whether you love eating and drinking beers in the sunshine, listening to live music at one of the best NYC parks or checking out some incredible outdoor art, there’s definitely a festival on this list for you.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in spring in NYC
Best spring festivals in NYC
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.
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 such as Iron Station, Catfish and Skylark Bar while getting down to beats by the hip shaking jazz band Sabor and The Afro Latineers.
Looking to go from average moviegoer to hard-core cinephile? A ticket to Robert De Niro’s spectacular, showing buzzworthy premieres, under-the-radar docs and breakout indies, will do the trick. Some passes—priced as high as $1,250—give you unfettered access to all the events and talks but ticket prices for essential screenings ($10 matinee, $21 evening/weekend) are thankfully a lot more budget-friendly.
Transport yourself to a land of fiddles and banjos with three days of performances from bands with names like Feral Foster, Bill & Belles and plenty o’ jugs. If you feel like jamming out yourself, take a workshop to learn how to play your first few chords on the strings, or show your strength during the Banjo Toss contest.
Your feed is going to blow up with shots of this weekend-long bash that celebrates Japanese culture—so why miss out on the fun? To celebrate the end of Hanami (read: the season of Japanese flower porn), Brooklyn Botanic Garden unveils cherry blossoms at its picturesque peak for two glorious days. Get ready for a jam-packed schedule of entertainment, which includes Taiko drummers, cosplay actors, samurai sword masters, J-rock bands, stand-up comics and dance parties. There’s also food and drink for sale, and if you’re lucky, the cherry blossom trees will be in full bloom.
Art lovers flock to Randalls Island Park for this dreamy display of works from 130 international galleries—and the view of Manhattan ain’t bad either. Take the ferry or the bus over to the island (buy advance tickets online if you can), and plan to spend some serious time immersing yourself in the imaginative projects found both indoors and out.
This all-you-can-drink tasting includes more than 100 event-exclusive small-batch beers by 33 New York breweries such as Gun Hill Brewing Co., Finback Brewery and Grimm Artisanal Ales, plus a performance by a live band. Sip unlimited two-ounce pours and pick the brains of craft brewers, then choose your favorite suds from the home-brew contest and take home a glass.
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.