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Your ultimate spring in NYC bucket list

You won’t want to miss these dynamite events and things to do in the spring, from the Macy’s Flower Show to Smorgasburg

Photograph: Whitney Lawson

Is there anything more joyful than the first sunny spring day after a gray and gloomy winter? Make the most of the season with our ultimate NYC spring bucket list. With so many top spring art shows to attend and things to do outside in gorgeous NYC parks, your calendar will be full from March through June. Leave plenty of time for drinking at rooftop bars in NYC—you’ve got to enjoy the lovely spring weather while you can.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in spring in NYC

Your ultimate spring in NYC bucket list

Peep the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Escape to Thailand at the 15th annual orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden. This year’s display celebrates the vibrant vanda variety, and you can expect kaleidoscopic floral displays in the shape of elephants, traditional pavilions and more. Come for the stunning Instagram photo, stay for the cocktails, Thai dance performances and live music on select nights. $20 per person

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09 Apr 2017

Take in the exhibits at the Whitney Biennial

The Whitney hasn’t actually put on its much-discussed biennial for three years. In 2014, the museum moved downtown to its new Meatpacking location and had to postpone the show. It's back this year, featuring works from 63 artists as a snapshot of what's new in contemporary American art. Whether you love or hate it, the biennial will surely have every critic and culture vulture in town buzzing. $22 per person

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Until Sun Jun 11

Go boating in Central Park

Row, row, row your boat gently around the lake in Central Park for a tranquil afternoon in the city’s most iconic green space. Once your arms get tired, stop off at the Loeb Boathouse for some refreshments, or pick up the bike rental included in your ticket to explore more of the park. $53 per person

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Wander through the Macy's Flower Show

For two weeks every spring, Macy’s Herald Square location transforms into a paradise of posies. We’re not talking about one measly arrangement either: The department store usually fills the entire first floor with flowers. This year’s exhibition—the 43rd—will be carnival-themed, and we can only hope to see ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and tilt-a-whirls made out of blossoms. Free

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Until Sun Apr 9

Chow down at Smorgasburg

First, Smorgasburg gave us the ramen burger, then the crystal clear raindrop cake. No word yet on what this year’s viral food sensation will be, but we’re willing to bet you’ll be able to get it at the massive food fair in Brooklyn. Starting April 1, you can find the 100-plus vendors in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. Better wear your stretchiest pants. Free

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East River State Park , Williamsburg Saturday August 26 2017 - Saturday September 30 2017

Cheer on the Mets or Yankees

Hey, batter batter! Usher in the start of baseball season at Citi Field when the Mets host the Atlanta Braves for the first game of the year on April 3 or wait until the Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays at home a week later. Plus, cheering on the home team is a great excuse to chow down on all the hot dogs, peanuts and beer you like. Tickets start at $84

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Ride the Cyclone at Luna Park

When Luna Park at Coney Island opens for the season, it’s a sure sign that summer is on its way. Starting April 8, you can ride the iconic Cyclone and high-flying Air Race to your heart’s content once again. When you get tired of the rides, refuel with classic fair food like Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and giant pretzels or try your hand at the deceptively tricky carnival games. $30 for an unlimited ride wristband

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Catch a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival

Founded by Robert DeNiro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, the Tribeca Film Festival has become the destination for cutting-edge cinema over the last 16 years. Movie buffs won’t want to miss their chance to see the 98 films at this year’s festival—78 of which will be world premieres. $10 for a matinee, $20 for evenings and weekends, $40 for special events

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Until Sun Apr 30

Check out the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival

Though the pale pink cherry blossoms might be the big draw, this weekend bash celebrates nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, from the tea ceremony to samurai masters. Snack on goodies from local food vendors while jamming to J-rock bands and Taiko drummers. Your feed will be blowing up with photos from this scenic celebration—why not join the fun? $25 per person

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30 Apr 2017

Explore Governors Island

The 172-acre island off Manhattan opens one month early this year—on May 1—meaning New Yorkers will be able to experience spring on Governors Island for the first time ever. Check out the latest public art installations, take a walking tour of Fort Jay or just laze away the afternoon in a hammock. $30 per person

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Governors Island
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Need somewhere romantic to take a date?

The best spring date ideas in NYC

When the sun peeks through the clouds and the temperatures finally climb above freezing, it’s time to call up your sweetie and bust out our list of spring date ideas

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By: Annalise Mantz