bde’s guide to spring in NYC

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The Jefferson Market Garden in the West Village.

 

The season for fresh starts and fair-weather fun has arrived – spring in NYC. Read our top choices for where to go and what to see:

 

EXPLORE OUTDOORS

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts Sakura Matsuri each year, which celebrates Japanese culture and honors the tradition of appreciating the cherry blossom season. Held April 29th and 30th, the festival is packed with musical performances, a fashion show and flea market, cultural workshops and artful presentations. Alternatively, plan a more personalized visit during peak bloom using the garden’s cherry blossom tracker.

The New York Botanical Garden presents works of art by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly beginning April 22nd, with 20 inspiring installations situated throughout the garden grounds. Go for CHIHULY Nights to enjoy the artwork along with entertainment, shopping and themed cocktails.

Celebrate Prospect Park’s 150th anniversary with light bites and specialty cocktails at the Party for the Park spring fundraiser (May 14th), volunteer with the Prospect Park Alliance and REI at the It’s My PARK! Day (May 20th) and sample the city’s best eats at Smorgasburg every Sunday.

Looking for more outdoor endeavors? The 14th annual Jones Beach Air Show is another springtime classic.

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Springtime cherry blossoms

 

MARKET HOPPING

The Queens International Night Market is a must for those searching for unique goods, as the open-air expo features up to 100 independent vendors. The NYC Artisan Bazaar on April 30th is worth a visit as well, with 100% of the profits donated to local public schools. Curated and hosted by the Grand Bazaar NYC, the marketplace will have rare crafts, home décor, jewelry, art and more.

Love the Brooklyn Flea market? Stop by the new location in Williamsburg at the East River State Park.

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Springtime shopping

 

CONTEMPORARY ART

Check out the Whitney Biennial for thought-provoking modern art. Pause for a drink at the rooftop Studio Café or brunch at Untitled on the museum’s first floor, and if you’re craving something sweet, head to nearby Ample Hills Creamery to try the famed Ooey Gooey Butter Cake ice cream.

If you haven’t done so already, visit the Brooklyn Museum for Marilyn Minter’s Pretty Dirty exhibition mentioned in our winter guide. This emotional exploration of beauty, femininity and desire is still on view through May 7th. Georgia O’Keeffe’s Living Modern exhibition is another Brooklyn Museum high point. End an art-filled afternoon with pizza at Speedy Romeo, within walking distance from the museum.

A/D/O in Greenpoint features the Utopia-Dystopia exhibition, a multi-channel video installation exploring the role design plays in a tech-supported society. Swing by The Met rooftop to see Adrián Villar Rojas’ unique plaster-cast dinner party installation and the Costume Institute’s Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between exhibit.

Art aficionados also can’t miss Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island Park from May 5th-7th. View and purchase pieces from more than 1,000 of today’s best artists and experience unique cultural programming all weekend. Additionally, the annual Collective Design fair is May 3rd-7th at Skylight Clarkson Square.

 

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The Brooklyn Museum

 

CINEMATIC HIGHLIGHTS

Movie buffs take note: Tribeca Film Festival is back starting April 19th. Our top picks: I Am Heath Ledger and Shadowman. The festival’s screening of The Godfather will also involve a cast reunion. For films under the stars, Rooftop Cinema Club shows movies at Yotel in Manhattan or OfficeOps in Williamsburg. We recommend the classics: Donnie Darko & Dirty Dancing.

Quad Cinema, the historic Greenwich Village theater, reopens on April 14th after a multi-million dollar renovation. Go for the intimate, private screening vibes and for the cinema’s classic repertoire.

 

EATS & ENTERTAINMENT

Stop by the Harlem EatUp! Festival May 15th - 21st, a four-day celebration of Harlem’s sights, cuisine and culture.

Another great alternative for a springtime culinary experience: indulge in unlimited bacon and craft beer at the Bacon & Beer Classic at Citi Field. Held April 29th – 30th, this festival offers a taste of the best craft beer from regional breweries and bacon-infused dishes from local chefs.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Jacques Torres Chocolate Museum – schedule a session in advance to make your own chocolate with a professional chocolatier.

Bacon and Beer Classic

The Bacon & Beer Classic at Citi Field.

 

For more springtime inspiration in our city, we love the Instagram accounts of travel + lifestyle blogger Christine Amorose Merrill and content creator Tamara Peterson. Need some more ideas for the top spring events, restaurants, museums and shopping? Stay tuned for our guide to NYCxDESIGN.

 

Let us know your favorite warm weather activities @bdebytes!

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