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Things to do in New York City: Spring events and attractions

Mark your calendar with our top picks for places to go and things to do in New York City this spring


About time to end your winter hibernation, isn't it? Spring is on the horizon—things are blooming, presumably, and New York is a tulip of possibility. In terms of things to do in New York City (thingamabobs, you could say), we've got plenty. The season's offerings include a newly revamped Brooklyn Bridge Park, edifying talks at the New York Public Library and two museum debuts honoring a pair of New York fashion icons (those would be Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham).

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best things to do in spring

  • Museums

In 1968, the legendary New York Times photographer set out to explore the idea of fashion as cultural history in a photo essay titled "Facades." More than 40 years later, 88 original prints from the project—featuring elaborate vintage attire culled from thrift shops and modeled in front of iconic NYC locations—offer as much insight into fashion as they do to Cunningham himself.

TD Five Boro Bike Tour
  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours

May is Bike Month; time to take your two-wheeled steed out of the corner of your living room and hit the pavement once more. If you love cycling but have a horror of navigating New York traffic, join Bike New York’s annual trans-city cyclathon. As the name suggests, this 32,000-strong ride spans all five boroughs in the course of 40 miles and five bridges. And thanks to a partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, each and every one of those miles is automobile-free.

  • Museums
  • Fashion and costume

The Metropolitan Museum of Art may be known for its paintings and ancient treasures, but fashion is increasingly what brings crowds to the institution. Nearly 700,000 people came to the stunning “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” retrospective in 2011, making it one of the most-visited exhibitions in the museum’s history. Last year’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” was a more modest success, as 450,000 people clamored to see a replica of CBGB’s grotty bathroom. With more fashion-focused visitors than ever, the timing is perfect for the museum to open its revamped Costume Institute on May 8. It’ll be bigger and better—and thanks to a particularly helpful benefactor, it’ll be known by a new moniker: the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

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