The little green buds on trees are back and people are starting to flash a little flesh. If you’re wondering how to get “offMetro” to celebrate springtime, take a gander at these 26 activities and events, ranging from cook-offs and rooftop films to tulip festivals, an Earth Day bash, and eco-friendly kites in flight.
Brooklyn Heights | On May 19 and 20, FAD Market will return to the Brooklyn Historical Society with everything from silk-screened totes to handmade toys for kids, and locally-sourced artisanal eats. Afterwards, enjoy the Historical Society’s exhibits or take a walk through beautiful Brooklyn Heights.
Gowanus | You might not be a chimney sweep, but you will be skimming the rooftops this season with the return of Rooftop Films Summer Series which though centered in Gowanus, stretches to rooftops throughout the boroughs.
Grand Army Plaza | On rainy days, cozy up inside the Brooklyn Public Library for events for the entire family, including themed photography exhibits, old telephone directories, woodcut prints of wild fauna based in Brooklyn, and colorful trading cards.
Prospect Park | On a beautiful day, there’s nothing more serene than checking out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom Festival (April 27-28). This festival celebrates Japanese culture while promoting the beautiful display of cherry blossoms that the garden has to offer.
Park Slope | There’s nothing better on a spring day than going out, enjoying the sun, and having a few Bloody Marys. At the Bloody Mary Festival (April 7), expand your horizons and see if you can figure out which Bloody Mary you like best.
Long Island City | It’s amazing what you can do with former landfills these days. At the Socrates Sculpture Park, get a whiff of creativity at its finest when the spring exhibit is unveiled in early May. Now that temperatures are on the up and up, outdoor film screenings and free fitness classes will return.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park | The Queens Theatre is chock full of performances this spring that justify crossing the bridge including the energetic Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (April 13-14) and the family-oriented performance of Anne of Green Gables (April 28).
Greenbelt | The annual OutdoorFest celebration of all things nature in NYC kicks off with a campout on Staten Island on June 1 and 2 with yoga, trail running, survival skills, a concert in the woods and a bonfire. Hop on the OutdoorFest shuttles from Union Square to head towards a weekend that will make you feel miles away from the hustle bustle.
Richmond | Red and verde chili aficionados can prep their pots and palettes for the annual New York City Chili Cookoff (April 27) sanctioned by the International Chili Society.
Take the subway to Wave Hill any weekend this spring for a variety of family-friendly events from “Tree Ring Mandalas” (April 27-28) to “Garden Highlights Walk” (Every Thursday starting April 18). Bonus: the majority of their events are free after you purchase admission to the grounds ($8/adults, $2/children).
Find the wild side of New York City on this Woodlawn Cemetery Photography & Nature Walk (April 13) by Keith Michael of NYCWILD! Bring your camera to capture the architecture, birds, and blooming flowers.
Union Square | The Earth Day Initiative is back with Earth Day NYC 2019 and better than ever taking over Union Square with exhibitors, performances and activities all aimed at making NYC more green. Plus, celebrate Earth Day everyday with their Do Just One Thing program.
Chelsea | Park your bike on the west side of town and reward yourself with a little seafood, beer, and ping pong at the city’s favorite lightship, the Frying Pan, which will be opening again in the spring has stunning views that overlook the Hudson River.
Herald Square | From now until April 7th, Macy’s is blooming into spring with the Macy’s Flower Show. It is a free floral extravaganza that will be sure to brighten your day with its bright colors, fresh smells, and out-of-this-world displays.
Pocantico Hills | Take the train to the Stone Barns Center on any (starting April 12) for guided farm tours. Choose from the morning “Insider Tour” or the early afternoon “Family Tour”.
Albany | To see spring bloom in all its colorful glory, we’d suggest a trip to the state capital’s three-day tulip festival (May 11-12). If that’s not enough for you, there is also a 61-variety Daffodil festival in Connecticut, and Boston will show 400 types of lilacs on Lilac Sunday.
Photo: Courtesy of rmsano