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
Escape to the tropics at the 16th annual orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden. This year’s display showcases installations by floral artist Daniel Ost, who specializes in large-scale geometric, illuminated sculptures. Come for the stunning Instagram photo, stay for the cocktails and live music on select evenings. $20 per person
Row, row, row your boat gently around the lake in Central Park for a tranquil afternoon in the city’s most iconic green space. When your arms get tired, stop by 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
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. You can find the 100-plus vendors in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. Better wear your stretchiest pants. Free
Hey, batter batter! Usher in the start of baseball season at Citi Field with the New York Mets, or hightail it up to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to cheer on the New York Yankees. 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 $15
When Luna Park at Coney Island opens for the season, it’s a sure sign that summer is on its way. Starting March 24, 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. $69 for an all-day pass
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
Talk about a blast from the past. Inspired by the iconic 1964 New York World’s Fair, the organizers of LIC Flea and Astoria Flea and Food are staging a massive festival on the Citi Field parking lot this spring. Like the original, the modern-day World’s Fare will celebrate diversity through food and culture. Visitors can sample eats from over 100 vendors, take in live performances from local bands and check out art installations like a 6-foot Unisphere made of LEGOs.
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 17 years. Movie buffs won’t want to miss their chance to see the groundbreaking films at this year’s festival, including the documentary The American Meme with Paris Hilton and bone-chilling horror flick Cargo. $12 for a matinee, $23 for evenings and weekends, $40 for special events
This 172-acre island off Manhattan officially opens for the year on May 1, offering a convenient day trip for New Yorkers hankering for a summer escape. 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
As if you needed another reason to enjoy the gorgeous May weather, it’s National Bike Month. Rent a cruiser and bike down the Hudson River Park Bikeway, the busiest path in the United States. Start at West 59th St and wind your way all the way down to Battery Park for a scenic and athletic afternoon. $8.17 per hour