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Best NYC Events to Attend this Spring

Wondering where you can enjoy the best of NYC in the upcoming months? Take a look at the list of Spring events and activities below.

In a city as big and diverse as NYC, there’s always something to do. But, it’s not always obvious when you should be doing what. Every season has its appeal. As we enter the Spring, make sure you’re aware of all the interesting events the Big Apple has to offer. 

Nature Lovers

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (April 1-April 30)

Japanese cherry blossoms signal a time of optimism and renewal—exactly the kind of feelings brought on by the Spring! Luckily, you don’t have to fly to Japan to enjoy the beauty and calming effect of these breathtaking flowers. In April, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden blooms cherry blossoms from the beginning of the month to the very end. Visitors from all over the world welcome Spring by visiting the Garden.

A woman enjoying sprintime in NYC with the bloom of cherry blossoms. Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

The Orchid Show (February 26-May 1)

The New York Botanical Garden is also a popular attraction for flower lovers. The Orchid Show runs all the way through April and is hosted in the garden’s impressive greenhouse. Each year, the theme of the show changes. Last year the theme was “Singapore,” displaying an orchid arrangement that honored elements of the Eastern country. 

Images of the Orchid Show from 2017. Botanical Gardens

Easter Parade & Bonnet Festival (April 17)

More than 30,000 people participate in New York’s Easter Parade every year, making it one of the largest outdoor celebrations in the U.S. It’s completely free to join and takes place on Easter Sunday from 10 am-4 pm. 

The parade started back in the 1870s as a spontaneous event. Over the course of two centuries, the event has evolved into a New York tradition that now brings people together on Fifth Avenue. Participants celebrate by wearing colorful clothing and floral bonnets, parading from 49th to 57th St. 

Art Enthusiasts

Frieze New York (May 18-May 22)

Located on the Shed at Hudson Yards, Frieze New York is a can’t-miss event this Spring! The art fair features work from over 1,000 artists and 200 international galleries. Taking place in the third week of May, it’s the perfect time to be out and about in the city. 

Otis Houston Jr., Gordon Robichaux, Frame, Frieze New York 2021
Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze.

In addition to the art show, you can also sit in on panel discussions, take in stunning views of the Vessel, and immerse yourself in any of the Shed’s imaginative projects located both in and outdoors.

Free Exhibitions at Little Island at Pier 54 (Dates TBD)

Spanning over 2.5 acres covered in lush greenery, Little Island at Pier 54 is one of the city’s newest and most unique attractions. Thirty-five different tree species decorate the park, making it a calming oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle that is NYC. The park is still under construction and is meant to resemble a floating leaf on the water once completed.

Aerial shot of Little Island courtesy of Little Island

Lasting for four full weeks in the spring, the exhibitions feature live performances from musicians, dancers, poets, and comedians. The exhibitions are intended to celebrate the talent of local artists and New York’s lively spirit. The park is open from 6am-11pm and requires reservations through May 12. Check out Little Island’s Calendar of Events to find out when the exhibitions will be taking place this year. 

Foodies

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Despite many New York Latinos being of Caribbean heritage, there is still a strong Mexican presence in the city. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory at the Battle of Puebla against the French, which took place on May 5, 1862. 

The holiday is celebrated in several Mexican restaurants and bars across the city, especially in the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Walk into any of the city’s many Mexican establishments on the 5th of May to enjoy deals on tequila, margaritas, and authentic Mexican cuisine. 

You can also participate in the Cinco de Mayo Parade in Manhattan which starts on Central Park West 106th Street and ends on 96th Street. 

Bronx Night Market (April 30)

Each Spring, the city’s most northern borough hosts a cuisine and culture event for all New Yorkers to attend. You’ll find just about every kind of food at the Bronx Night Market including soul food, tamales, pastries, and vegan options.

Local performer at the Bronx Market, one of the many exciting aspects to this event. via Bronx Market

In addition to its eateries, the Night Market also hosts local merchants and live entertainment. Taking place in Fordham Plaza, the event provides New Yorkers a world-class food and culture scene at affordable prices. 

Sports Fans

Baseball Games (February-October)

Whether you root for the Mets or the Yankees, your favorite baseball team will be in town in the Spring. Home games begin as early as February and run all the way through October. Even if you’re not a die-hard sports fan, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field both offer excellent dining and draft beer selections for you to enjoy, while your loved one enjoys the game. 

Horse Races at the Aqueduct Racetrack (June 11)

If horse races are something you’d like to get into, check out the Aqueduct Racetrack at Ozone Park in Queens, NYC. Running from October through May, horse races are fit for the entire family to attend. On the second Saturday of June, you can access the racetrack from Belmont Stakes to watch a thoroughbred race—held only once a year! Purchase your tickets here.

via Aqueduct Racetrack

Patriotic Events

Memorial Day Parade (May 30)

Taking place on the last Monday of May, the Memorial Day Parade is celebrated in all five boroughs. If you’re interested in attending the largest one in the country, check out the Little Neck Douglaston Parade in Queens. Festivities commence at Little Neck and conclude at Douglaston. Manhattan has a surprisingly smaller parade that starts at the intersection of Dyckman Street and Broadway in Inwood. 

Fleet Week (May 24-May 29)

A recent New York City tradition is Fleet Week. Taking place the last week of May, the patriotic event features active military ships that are deployed in overseas missions. Hosted by the Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard, the event has only officially been celebrated since 1982. 

Fleet week poster from 2021 via Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs

Once ships are docked for Fleet Week, the crew enters the city and visits tourist attractions to interact with onlookers. The public can enjoy guided tours of the ship and even demonstrations by the Blue Angels, at designated times. 

Vivian Tejada is a freelance writer and small business strategist based out of Providence, RI. She specializes in writing SEO blogs for clients in the real estate, travel, and hospitality sectors. She’s an avid traveler who’s lived abroad in Cuba and Brazil. The best part about being a freelancer for Vivian is the ability to be location-independent and work with clients she vibes with. When she’s not working you can find her at the gym, at a family cookout, or at brunch with her girls.

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