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Top 10 Things to Do this Spring in New York City!

Ahhh… Spring. That magical time of year when New Yorkers come out of hibernation, trade their parkas for short sleeves, and roam tree-lined streets filled with the sweet sounds of songbirds and ice cream trucks. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a life-long resident, here’s our guide for an epic Spring of ’24 in the city that never sleeps.

10. Seize the seas

When temperatures reach the 70s, the best way to take in the city’s stunning skyline is on a boat. There’s no denying that New York can get claustrophobic, but the open waters of The Hudson and East Rivers are serene enough to put anyone at ease. Circle Line Cruises and New York Water Taxi are reliable mainstays for a classic double decker ferry experience. Manhattan by Sail and Saga Sailing are great options for anyone hoping to sip champagne on a wind-powered clipper. Captain Dave at New York Harbor Tours offers fantastic private motorboat rides with customizable routes and a relaxed BYOB policy. For a more active experience, The Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26 in Tribeca is the ultimate spot to see the Statue of Liberty from the comfort of a kayak. 

NYC Skyline from Hoboken Ferry | NYC Skyline from Hoboken Fe… | Flickr

9. Stop to smell the roses

Need a break from the concrete jungle? Nothing says “Spring is Here” like a satisfying whiff from a blossoming bouquet. While all five boroughs offer fantastic floral displays, here are a few must-sees: Spanning 250 acres, The New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx is the largest urban garden in the United States. Built upon an abandoned railroad track, The High Line’s diverse floral arrangements have the cutting edge architecture of The Meatpacking District and Chelsea as their backdrop. Prospect Park’s Brooklyn Botanical Garden features the first Japanese-inspired garden in the country and is known for its Sakura Matsuri Festival each spring. Built around a former 19th century mansion in The Bronx, the gardens and river views at Wave Hill are so tranquil, you might even forget you’re in New York City. 

Japanese Garden of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Brooklyn, N ...

8. Shakespeare in the Park

What happens when you combine big-name actors with free theater amid the excitement of New York City? Shakespeare in the Park, of course. Creative adaptations of The Bard’s classics have been delighting New Yorkers since 1954 and have been managed by The Public Theatre since 2002. Since the festival’s home base of Delacorte Theatre in Central Park is undergoing renovations, Spring of 2024 will bring smaller scale productions of “A Comedy of Errors” to parks and plazas across the five boroughs. Still, Shakespeare in the Park is the ultimate taste of old-timey razzle dazzle for the low price of Free 99!  

Central Park | William Shakespeare Statue This full-standing… | Flickr

7. Eat on the street

After being cooped up all winter, there’s no better way to enjoy a bite of the big apple than with the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair. Backyard gardens and sidewalk cafes are a staple of springtime dining in the city (30th Avenue in Queens, Smith Street in Brooklyn, and Cornelia Street in the West Village provide a multitude of al fresco options.) Every spring, The Queens Night Market, the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, and Smorgasbord (located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn) serve up a wide range of global flavors outdoors. If that’s not enough, more than 5,000 food carts operate daily in the five boroughs. Our favorites can be found on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Sixth Avenue in Midtown, and Hanover Square in The Financial District.

Feast of San Gennaro, Little Italy, New York City | Sausage … | Flickr

6. The Bronx Bombers

Little known fact: Baseball was invented in New York

Well known fact: The New York Yankees are the most successful team in the history of Major League Baseball

Sure, springtime in New York offers plenty for sports lovers. The Knicks, Nets, Rangers, and Islanders all offer a memorable taste of indoor arena excitement. But to really embrace the beautiful weather, nothing is more quintessentially New York than heading up to The Bronx, ordering a hot dog and a beer, and cheering for America’s favorite team with views of the 6 train zooming into the sunset. Yankees fans are just as excited for newcomer outfielder Juan Soto as they are for another season of grand slams from Aaron “All Rise” Judge. 

Yankees Images | Free Photos, PNG Stickers, Wallpapers ...

5. Lights, Camera, Action!

Los Angeles may be known as Tinseltown, but New York is no slouch when it comes to the big screen. Held every spring in Lower Manhattan, the Tribeca Film Festival has been showcasing indie cinematic talent since 2002, when it was conceived by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff to combat the profound effects the September 11th attacks had on the vitality of Lower Manhattan. At $60 for a day pass, visitors have access to an expansive variety of activities across Tribeca, including storytelling events, art, concerts, games, immersive programming, and over 600 film screenings. Consider it a no-brainer for any film buff visiting the city this spring.

Tribeca Film Festival | larryosan | Flickr

4. Shop til you drop

Spring is the ultimate season for shopping in New York. When the warm weather arrives, so do thousands of local vendors at Bryant Park Spring Market, Bronx Night Market in Fordham, Brooklyn Flea in DUMBO, Grand Bazaar on the Upper West Side, and the Hester Street Fair in the Seaport District. Once the snow melts, the ultra-fashionable streets of Soho truly come to life. Bargain hunting along Canal Street is a rite of passage for New Yorkers, one that is infinitely more enjoyable with sunny weather. Also, what do you think happens to all those winter clothes left unsold after the hordes of tourists leave Fifth Avenue every Christmas? They sell them in the spring for much cheaper. 

Prada (Shopping in the 5th Ave - New York) | Sergio Calleja (Life ...

3. Outdoor art galore

New York is home to over 800 museums and galleries, but once the weather warms up, the best place to get your art fix is right on the street. The most exciting new addition to the skyline is British artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light, on display now until December 2024. Spanning six acres across Freedom Plaza, this massive undertaking features roughly 19,000 illuminated fiber optic spheres that change color as viewers walk through the installment’s winding paths. Longtime outdoor art favorites in the city include Arturo di Modica’s Charging Bull (aka the Wall Street bull,) Tony Rosenthal’s Alamo (aka the Astor Place cube,) Fritz Koenig’s The Sphere, which miraculously survived the 9/11 attacks, George Segal’s Gay Liberation, a dedication to those who participated in The Stonewall Riots, and of course Emma Stebbins’s Angel of the Waters, the crown jewel of Central Park since 1873.

astor place cube | Dan DeLuca | Flickr

2. Look at them fly 

It’s Superman. No, It’s a plane. No. It’s… A bird! It’s no secret that The Ramble in Central Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, but any local ornithologist will tell you that hidden gems for eavesdropping on the daily lives of our feathered friends can be found all around town. Located smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic Flyway, New York is home to hundreds of species of migratory birds, and spring is the best time of year for checking them out. From common species like sparrows and starlings to more exotic breeds, such as owls, hawks, and even bald eagles, be sure to take a guided tour through notable birdwatching enclaves such as Queens’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, The Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and Mount Loretto Unique Area on Staten Island. Who would have thought New York City had more than just pigeons?

Male Scarlet Tanager - National Parks Gallery - PICRYL - Public ...

1. Cycle the Streets

Helmet? Check. Water bottle? Check. Freshly-tuned Cannonade hybrid from Unlimited Biking? Most definitely! New York has over 650 miles of bike lanes, the same distance as a trip from Manhattan to South Carolina. Guided tours are a wonderful way to learn about your surroundings. Full day rentals allow you to really experience the city as a local. Some of our favorite dedicated cycling paths in the city are The Hudson River Greenway, The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, The Bronx Greenway, Governors Island, Ocean Parkway, The East River Loop, Coney Island, Prospect Park, and of course, Central Park. No trip to New York in the spring is complete without some exhilarating fun on two wheels. For everything bike-related, Unlimited Biking has got you covered. 

New York Highlights Bike Tour - Unlimited Biking

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and see all that NYC has to offer this Spring! Happy Travels!

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