Here Are 25 Lovely Things to Do This Spring in New York

Those are flowers.
Those are flowers.
Photo Credit: gigi_nyc via Compfight cc

We're all guilty of trying to will spring to get here already, but when the season finally begins in earnest we'll already be daydreaming about trips to the beach in July. Between figuring out which jacket to wear (the light one? the lightest one? no jacket at all?), make room for these interesting events happening this spring in New York — some are familiar traditions, while others will happen for the first time in 2015. All are worthy reasons to leave your apartment — and bring the light jacket and an umbrella. It's still spring, after all.

March 22: Go to the Macy's Flower Show Between March 22 and April 4, beautiful, ornate flower arrangements overtake the ground floor of Macy's in Herald Square, an annual spring tradition for the past 41 years. You can check out the schedule of events — like floral-arranging demonstrations and Paint Nite, presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art — or you can just wander the ground floor and smell the flowers.

March 29: Gorge on Mac and Cheese Ahhh, springtime — the flowers are in bloom, the temperatures are rising, and the mac and cheese is bubbling away on the stove. Or something like that. Anyway, a mac-and-cheese-tasting competition can hardly make the changing of the seasons worse, can it? On March 29, Time Out New York hosts the Mac Daddy, with six chefs vying to win the title for best mac and cheese. Sign up for a one-hour time slot between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Openhouse Gallery in the section of town just above Little Italy. Eat, drink, vote.

April 1: Tour the Brooklyn Botanic Garden The city may have been blanketed in snow recently, which we admit is both bogus and sad, but the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is already seeing spring flowers. Like, honest to God, brightly colored blossoms, guaranteed to dissipate that seasonal affective disorder before you brutally murder your housemates. Go on garden-wide guided walks starting on April 1, or visit any day but Monday (it's closed).

April 3: Look at Cars That You as a New Yorker Won't Actually Own Lovers of shiny new cars or women posing next to shiny new cars can catch a glimpse of both at the annual New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. From April 3 through 12, the century-old automotive exhibition will unveil new models in the industry, from a 2016 Hyundai Tucson with a tailgate that opens automatically when the driver approaches to a dramatic Nissan Maxima and a rear-wheel-drive Cadillac sedan. While you might not ever own a car as a New York City resident, it's still fun to look, right?

Here Are 25 Lovely Things to Do This Spring in New York
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival. Photo: Phil Kline/

April 5: Hop to the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival You can make like Judy Garland and head to the annual Easter Parade, the only New York event that would rival any royal wedding in the silly-hat department. One of the city's oldest traditions, the parade began in the 1870s. If you feel like putting on your Sunday best, the parade runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 5th streets.

April 8: See the Dance Theatre of Harlem After almost a year of touring the United States and abroad, the Dance Theatre of Harlem will be returning home for only four performances at the New York City Center. You can expect perennial favorites like renowned choreographer Robert Garland's Return, which is set to music by James Brown and Aretha Franklin, and the late dancer Ulysses Dove's Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, once characterized by Princess Christina of Sweden as a "Mass for our time." New performances include Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux made by New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine, and award-winning choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie's Vessels, which showcases a "highly aerobic stream of steps" that are "deliberate" and "exuberant." Check out the programs on April 8, 10, and 11 (afternoon and evening).

Eat these. It's a sign of spring.
Eat these. It's a sign of spring.

Mid-April: Eat Harvested Fiddleheads New Englanders and residents of Appalachia have known and jealously guarded the secret of fiddleheads for years. The young sprouts of ferns, with their vaguely insect-like appearance, taste a little like asparagus. But they're better! If only because they're only around in the spring. Any fancy food market should stock them, so follow the bearded, ear-gauged crowds to the nearest Whole Foods and pick some up. Garlic, butter, and a sauté pan, that's all you need.

April 11: Welcome Back the Long Island City Flea Back for a third year, this underrated flea market is "curated with the diversity and spirit of Queens in mind." Choose from art, baked goods ("fresh fruit buckle cakes"), handmade jewelry, photography, and more.

See the best mascots in professional sports at Citi Field.
See the best mascots in professional sports at Citi Field.

April 13: Meet the Mets Attention, New York City transplants from California, the Midwest, the world! If you've been burned by the hypocrisy of your home congregation, there is a welcoming community in Queens who will embrace you with open arms — and Shake Shack. They worship men with godlike beards, and while they can't promise eternal salvation, they should at least finish above the Marlins. So even if you'd had to joke that "the Ny Mets are my favorite squadron!" as a way to deflect attention from your utter lack of baseball knowledge, this year you should fully convert to United Church of the Mets. And remember, the best thing in the world is the train to the game. The home opener is Monday, April 13, against the Phillies (a 1:10 start, so make a day of it), and on April 24, the Mets go to the Bronx, where the team that's forced to deal with A-Rod will play them in a three-game series.

Mid-April: Return to the Sheep Meadow This sward in Central Park is indisputably the best picnic area in the city, ringed as it is with stunning skyline views. From 11 a.m. to dusk you'll be able to spread a blanket, avoid the crowds and the noise (it's a designated quiet zone), and soak in the sunshine, assuming this winter ever ends.

More events are on the next page.

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