As soon as the warmer weather hits the East Coast, New York City celebrates by doing everything in its power to shift the focus outside. From art shows to food fairs, the city takes a number of its beloved activities outdoors to soak up the extra sunshine. Once the ice and chill of winter is a distant memory, you can join the city in celebrating spring by way of a number of markets and activities. The New York Daily News shared some of its ideas for appreciating the outdoors in NYC, allowing us to dream about all the wondrous things we could do this spring, so slap on your sunscreen, and follow this guide to spring in the city.
Put on Your Best Bonnet
With roots in the 1870s, the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is one of New York City’s oldest traditions. Adding a certain level of quirk and history seldom found elsewhere, the parade takes place on Easter, on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Street. From traditional to more out there hats, the masses parade around in their versions of Easter bonnets. You can either join in the parade or watch. The best spot to see the parade is the area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
It’s Time to Blossom
Known as Sakura Matsuri, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival occupies two days in the city’s calendar, featuring a wealth of music, dancing and also the chance to roam under colorful cherry trees. Every spring more than 200 cherry trees bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. From April 30th through May 1st, you can enjoy the festival celebrating the cherry blossom blooming, and also traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.
Art is Out!
New York is a city known for its museum spaces. However, when the weather is agreeable, the last place you want to be is indoors. Luckily for us all, the city takes many of its art shows outdoors in the spring. A number of temporary exhibits can be found about town like, the Two Orchids, an exhibition from German artists Isa Genzken. Guarding the entrance to Central Park, the installation features a pair of artistically created orchids measuring 28 feet and 34 feet tall. You can also mosey on over to Washington Square Park to experience the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. Held throughout Memorial Day weekend and the following weekend, the event brings artists from all over the city, country, and world to showcase their works in the park.
Find a Diamond in the Rough
It comes as no surprise that New York City is one of the great shopping destinations in the world. In the spring, you can even take your perusing outdoors at one of the city’s many flea markets. Bringing food trucks, great people watching, and perhaps your chance to find a diamond in the rough, these markets showcase a new kind of spring shopping in the city. The Brooklyn Flea market at Fort Greene opens up the first week of April. Here you can comb through more than 150 vendors and their wares. The Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is also worth a gander for its antiques, vintage clothing, and jewelry.
Barbecue – Big Apple Style
Perhaps nothing says spring like a good old-fashioned barbecue. While you might think New York is a long ways from the picture perfect barbecue scene, the city surprises with a number of barbecue events in the spring. The New York City BBQ Cookoff takes place on Staten Island on April 9th. You can either eat or compete at this event. The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is another New York City barbecue festival. Held the second weekend of June in Madison Square Park, the event identifies as a celebration of the best barbecue. Then again, you don’t even have to attend a formal barbecue festival in New York City to celebrate spring. At the Brooklyn Bridge Park, you can find several hibachi-style grills, and wooden picnic tables to host your own waterfront New York City barbecue.
Spring in New York City is one of those magical times of the year. With more outdoor fairs and festivals, it’s easy to get outside and appreciate the city under the shine of the sun.
Have you visited New York in the spring? What’s your favorite thing to do there when the weather starts to heat up?