Spring in New York is full of excitement. When the sun comes out, the flowers start blooming and the weather warms up, New Yorkers can shed their winter blues and head out to NYC parks, NYC street fairs and food festivals in NYC. Plus, get revved for spring's biggest events below.
Cherry blossoms bloom in NYC based on each year's weather, but they usually begin in earnest by late March. With the warm winter in 2023, we're already seeing some cherry blossoms start to arrive in early March.
The best outdoor art in NYC this spring
New York City is full of free outdoor art that you don't even have to go to a museum to see. Sculptures, murals and photographs can be found in its parks, sidewalks and on its buildings!
Best of all, it costs you nothing to pay a visit. Below, find the best outdoor art in NYC to brighten up a spring day.
Free trees from New York Restoration Project
Starting April 15 through May, the New York Restoration Project—a local non-profit that plants trees, renovates gardens and takes care of green spaces around town—is giving out 3,500 free trees to New Yorkers across all five boroughs.
To get your hands on one of the free trees, register in advance on this website, where you'll also get to browse through the current list of distribution dates, times and locations.
Women’s History Month
NYC offers a bevy of ways you can show solidarity for your sisters during Women’s History Month. New York ladies are getting in formation by hosting a series of cool events, from comedy shows to workshops and more.
The Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden
The Orchid Show at The New York Botanical Garden this year explores the healing power of the natural world through dynamic designs by landscape artist Lily Kwong.
Your ticket will get you daytime access to The Orchid Show, plus all the rest of NYBG's outdoor gardens and collections. If you want to visit after dark, check out Orchid Nights where you can admire the flowers under the twinkling lights of the conservatory with music in the background and a cocktail in hand.
NYBG’s Orchid show runs through April 23, 2023.
The Macy’s Flower Show
Revel in forthcoming warm weather at the annual Macy’s Flower Show 2023. NYC will be budding with blooms all over, but nothing beats roaming the sweet-smelling foliage that suddenly appears at one of the city’s best department stores: Macy’s Herald Square.
This year's show runs from Sunday, March 26 through Sunday, April 10.
Governors Island Egg Hunt
Talk about having an egg-ceptional good time.
On April 8 between 10am and 4pm, the Trust for Governors Island and the Friends of Governors Island are hosting the first giant egg hunt of its kind, where participants will look for the 10,000 wooden painted eggs hidden all around the island.
Completely free to attend, the all-day event will include an Island-wide scavenger hunt that anyone can join, several smaller egg hunts tailored to specific age groups, plus a magic show, arts and crafts activities, a puppet program and food and drink offerings.
Queens Night Market
It’s hard to get good food on the cheap, but for seven years, Queens Night Market has prided itself on offering the city’s best eats for just $5-6.
The foodie festival will return on April 15 and runs on Saturday nights through the summer at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Museum of Failure
The traveling Museum of Failure, which "brings together over 159 products and services that were a total flop but also paved the way for other great inventions," is officially opening in New York on March 17 and tickets to the experience are already available right here.
The destination will stay open at 220 36th Street in Industry City through May 9.
Walking through the space will take you about an hour, during which you'll come face-to-face with the toothpaste brand Colgate's (pretty hilarious!) beef lasagna frozen TV dinner, Donald Trump's board game, a Harley Davidson perfume and a bottle of Coca-Cola BlāK (the coffee-flavored coke that launched in 2006), among other products.
The Affordable Art Fair
Got a wall to fill? This walk-around expo brings more than 70 galleries under one roof to display painting, sculpture, photography and other artistic media. It runs from March 22-26 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.
Don’t let the name fool you: If you’re coming to buy, you should be prepared to spend in the range of three or four digits; to qualify as "affordable," the original artworks must be priced below $12,000. The least expensive works start at $100. Even if you can’t find something within your budget, you'll still get to check out pieces by a bunch of amazing artists.
If you're coming with children, take advantage of the fair's stroller hours on Saturday, March 25 when the show opens early for parents and their little ones. On the other end of the spectrum, the fair also offers Art After Dark on Thursday, March 23 (6-9pm).
Hip-Hop: Conscious, Unconscious
The hip-hop we know today—the kind that sells out arenas, racks up Grammy awards and gets major radio airtime—grew from DJing and breakdancing in New York City.
A new exhibition at Fotografiska, the photography museum in the Flatiron District, traces the genre’s evolution from its early days to today through 200 powerful photos by 57 photographers. "Hip-Hop: Conscious, Unconscious" runs through May 21 celebrating hip-hop as the influential genre turns 50 years old.
Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style
Kangol hats, Dapper Dan jackets and Timberland-inspired Manolos get the spotlight in this new exhibit about hip-hop style at The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology.
"Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style" is now open through April 23, 2023 in Chelsea. The free exhibit celebrates the birth of hip-hop and its influence on fashion over the past five decades. With more than 100 garments and accessories, it's the largest and most comprehensive exhibition to explore this revolutionary and influential style.
The free exhibit is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon to 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The steady stream of Stephen Sondheim revivals continues as the estimable Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford headline the latest Broadway incarnation of Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s 1979 killer-cannibal musical. Directed by Hamilton's Thomas Kail, the production uses Jonathan Tunick's original 26-piece orchestrations to do justice to the show's razor-sharp score; the large cast includes Ruthie Ann Miles, Jordan Fisher, Maria Bilbao, Jamie Jackson and Stranger Things kiddo Gaten Matarazzo.
Can musical comedy help heal America's cultural divide? We're all ears. Tony-winning book writer Robert Horn (Tootsie) and Grammy-winning Nashville songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally collaborate on this modern American fable about an insular farming community that turns to a city slicker for help in a time of crisis. Veteran stager Jack O'Brien (Hairspray) directs; the cast includes John Behlmann, Alex Newell, Kevin Cahoon, Caroline Innerbichler, Andrew Durand, Grey Henson and Ashley D. Kelley.
The color of the year for 2023: Pantone's Viva Magenta, a hue evoking bravery, optimistic celebration and self-expression without restraint.
Now you can immersive yourself in the energy of that purply-pinkish-red tone at ARTECHOUSE's newest technology-driven experiential art experience called MAGENTAVERSE. The multi-sensory exhibit is open in Chelsea through May 29.
I'll Have What She's Having: The Jewish Deli
Warning: You’re bound to feel hungry after exploring this exhibit at New-York Historical Society Museum & Library all about Jewish deli culture. Pastrami sandwiches, knishes, bagels, pickles and babka all get their due in “I'll Have What She's Having: The Jewish Deli," a show that's both delightfully fun and deeply meaningful.
The exhibition examines the important role of the Jewish deli through the immigrant experience, during World War II, as a refuge for Holocaust survivors, in pop culture and today. It's on view through April 2, 2023 at the historical society on the Upper West Side.
Banksy in New York: Defaced
Did you know that back in 2013 England-based street artist Banksy led a month-long residency in New York dubbed “Better Out Than In,” showcasing over 80 original works?
Through May 14, fans of the elusive artist will get to browse through some of that work in a new tribute to the residency set to open at 378 Broadway by White Street.
Expect to dive into Banksy's relationship with New York while admiring some of his most recognizable pieces at "Banksy in New York: Defaced." Among the authenticated works on display will be “Girl with Balloon” from his stencil mural series and the giant sculpture “Mickey Snake.”
Sleep No More
To untimely rip and paraphrase a line from Macbeth: Our eyes are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth all the rest. A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at the bedazzling and uncanny theater installation Sleep No More.
Your sense of space and depth—already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don—is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor. The show is a true astonishment, turning six warehouse floors and approximately 100,000 square feet into a purgatorial maze that blends images from the Scottish play with ones derived from Hitchcock movies—all liberally doused in a distinctly Stanley Kubrick eau de dislocated menace.
Candlelight Concert: A Tribute to Taylor Swift
If you didn't score tickets to an upcoming Taylor Swift concert, shake it off with one of these TSwift candlelight tributes. At Candlelight Concert’s A Tribute to Taylor Swift, you'll hear the pop icon's biggest hits performed live by a local string quartet in a gorgeous candelit venue. You can really get into the music at these hourlong shows—singing, clapping and dancing are encouraged.
Shows will be held at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn on April 28 and May 27.