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Best things to do in spring in NYC

The sun will come out—eventually! Our guide to spring in NYC has flower shows, outdoor fests and cultural musts.

Frieze Art Fair New York
Photograph: Graham Carlow
By Jennifer Picht, Miles Raymer and Collier Sutter |
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Once the weather warms up, these unmissable things to do in the spring in NYC will give you an excuse to spend some time soaking up the vitamin D. As the flowers begin blooming, New York will be booming with delightful events held in NYC parks as well as NYC street fairs and food festivals in NYC. Plus, get revved for spring's biggest event: the opening of Time Out Market New York in Dumbo.   

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the NYC event calendar for 2020

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Best things to do in spring in NYC

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Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden
Things to do, Exhibitions

The Orchid Show

Things get super tropical at New York Botanical Garden just in time for spring. The theme for the 17th annual flora festival is The Orchid Show: Singapore. The display features thousands of orchids in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. As usual, there will be special Orchid Evenings during which visitors can enjoy the attraction after dark and see the Supertrees, including a gorgeous display of lights, among the orchids. There will be alcoholic beverages and snacks for purchase, as well as live entertainment. 

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Things to do

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month in NYC means it’s time to attend some incredible panels, movie screenings, parties and more hosted by badass females that are making New York a better place to be. Many of these lady-led affairs are considered the best NYC events in March, so get your tickets, blast your favorite feminist songs and go to show your support for women everywhere. You can also get involved by volunteering at women's shelters or donating to nonprofits like Planned Parenthood. 

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Sakura Matsuri
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do, Festivals

The Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival

Witnessing the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s picturesque cherry blossoms is just the icing on the millennial-pink cake when you attend the always crowded Sakura Matsuri. Taiko drummers, samurai-sword masters, J-rock bands and stand-up comics grace the festival’s two stages. You’ll also find a Japanese tearoom, an art gallery, and a mini flea market that hawks mouthwatering Raaka Chocolate, wall scrolls, silk wraps and a profusion of pretty flowers.

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Macy's Flower Show 2013: The Painted Garden
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Things to do, Exhibitions

The Macy’s Flower Show

New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike flock to this floral-filled exhibition, where jaw-dropping arrangements decorated to fit a specific theme are on display for two weeks. The subject for 2019's installment at the megachain’s Herald Square location is Journey to Paradisios. Translation? It's a cosmic dream offering revelers an out-of-this-world representation of outer space. Flower arrangements are designed to show off the "mystery of the cosmos," so we imagine there will be nods to comets, stars, planets and more astrological wonders.  

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Frieze Art Fair New York
Photograph: Graham Carlow
Art

Frieze New York

Aesthetes will happily hop on a ferry or bus to Randall’s Island Park for Frieze New York, an expansive art festival that features displays from 200 international galleries. You have all day, so get immersed in the imaginative indoor and outdoor projects, check out the panel discussions, gawk at the new, Daniel Birnbaum–curated exhibition of virtual-reality artwork and soak in those breathtaking Manhattan views.

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Tribeca Film Festival 2005
Photograph: Brian Palmer
Movies

The 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: 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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Little Dragon at Governors Ball 2015
Photograph: Dominick Mastrangelo
Music, Rock and indie

Little Dragon

Brooklyn Steel, East Williamsburg

Expect a dreamy dance party from this Swedish quartet, which pits the agile singing of Yukimi Nagano against a languid band with an electronic edge. The band celebrates the release of its first new record in three years, New Me, Same Us.

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Courtesy The Bloody Mary Festival
Things to do

The Bloody Mary Festival

Industry City, Greenwood

Trick out your brunchtime cocktailing at the 7th Annual addition of this fest for the tomato-obsessed. During the event, going down this year at Brooklyn's Industry City, you'll sample inventive pours from participating hotspots including: Lobster Joint, Crave FishBar, Dos Caminos, The Ryerson, Black Swan, The Farmer's Touch, Maria's Bistro Mexicano, Catfish, Due West, The Grayson, The Wilson, Demitri's Gourmet Mixes, Toma Bloody Mary, The Pickled Chef, The Murph's Famous Bloody Mary Mix and Vermont Fermenters. Guests will have the chance to taste them all before voting for their favorite via the “People’s Choice Award," and in the meantime, a panel of industry judges will also select the “Best Bloody Mary in New York City.”  A ticket in gets you unlimited bloody marys spanning sweet, spicy, tangy and salty, and yes, that sounds like a challenge to get your moneys worth (drink responsibly!). There will be also be a NYC bagel bar and other food and drinks onsite to sample. You can pick from two sessions to attend, one from 10:30am-1:30pm and the second 3:00pm-6:00pm. General admission tickets will cost you $52.50 and early entrance VIP tickets are $65.50.

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@r.ace.me/Richard Acevedo
News, City Life

Bronx Night Market

Tthe Bronx Night Market not only brings amazing eats, it celebrates all that the incredible northernmost borough has to offer, and it has officially announced their opening weekend date to kick off their third bustling season. On Saturday, May 2, you can cruise uptown to the weekly fete which runs between 4 and 10pm. Every year there's thumping live music, performances, local merchants, and Bronx-based vendors, serving up tamales, soul food, latkes, ice cream, pastries, elotes and vegan creations. This season welcomes new vendors to the mix such as Mao's Baos, Rooster Boys, Wowfulls, Bolivian Llama Party, Fried Lasagna Mama, El Lechon de Negron, Osicala NYC among others. Photographer: @r.ace.me/Richard Acevedo Don’t fret, there are still loads of vendors back by popular demand from last year too, like The Bronx Burger Co, The Fried Kitchen, MozzArepa, Chavas Empanadas, ChefBoyarnetty, DownEast Lobastah, Crabman Mike, La Braza, Wah Gwaan, Mixto Tacos, to name few. After you've snacked, hit the onsite beer garden to loosen up with beer from their rotating list of New York State craft breweries and wait for tunes to start. It will run weekly through October. 

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Tokimonsta
Music, Dance and electronic

TOKiMONSTA

Elsewhere, Hell's Kitchen

An alum of L.A.'s famed Brainfeeder label, producer Jennifer Lee touches down in Bushwick to air her psychedelic hip-hop and skittering electronic beats. Expect new tunes here from her latest, Oasis Nocturno, which, if the music video to the first single "Fried for the Night" is any indication, promises to be an especially vivid, technicolor affair, rounding out her bold production with effective vocal features.

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More things to do in spring

Us
Photo: Claudette Barius
Movies

Nine conversation starters for this spring’s movies

You know how it goes: Everybody’s already seen the hot new movies and (show-offs) have their opinions pre-sculpted. You could always talk about Game of Thrones again. Or complain about your salad. But we say be bold. Bring up these nine questions. Embrace your inner film geek. Here are the burning issues that will spur the most discussions this spring. Who knows? You might even love the films, too.

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Pelham Bay Park
Photograph: David Rosenzweig
Attractions, Parks and gardens

The best NYC parks

NYC parks offer verdant green spaces to relax, get some sun, have a picnic and more. Here are our favorites.

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Major spring events guide

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Events by month

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013
Photograph: Amy Beckerman
Things to do

NYC events in March

Make the most of the last month in winter by partaking in the best NYC events in March including St. Patrick’s Day

Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do

NYC events in April

Check out our picks for the best NYC events in April including awesome outdoor events at NYC parks and great festivals

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Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do

NYC events in May

Plan your month with our events calendar highlighting the best NYC events in May 2019 including major holidays

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