Flaunt your best florals and prepare for sunshine — spring has arrived. From garden parties to flower festivals, we have found the best things for New York City’s winter-weary locals and visitors to do this season.
Spring is in full bloom during the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Held on April 28 and 29, the festival is one of the most anticipated on the calendar. The buds reach their peak during the celebration, guaranteeing a picturesque sea of pink plants in addition to a packed itinerary of nearly 60 events honoring Japanese culture, from tea ceremonies to musical performances.
And if you haven’t already, take a trip to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to see The Orchid Show before it closes on April 22. The showcase features a series of installations by Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost. We particularly love the exhibition’s evening hours (the last is on April 20), when adults can enjoy cocktails along with live music and dance performances among the lush floral arrangements. Try the Dancing Lady, a signature sip created just for the event by Edible Bronx’s head mixologist.
Once the orchids leave town, the Garden Art and Antiques Fair will take up temporary residence at the New York Botanical Garden (May 3 through 6), filling the space with a gorgeous display of rare floral species and exquisite garden ornaments.
Go on an Eggventure
Embark on an “Eggventure” in the city. Open through May 21, The Egg House on the Lower East Side is a multi-sensory pop-up, complete with Instagrammable installations and egg-themed treats that’s cooked up with a similar culinary spirit as the buzzed-about Museum of Ice Cream.
The quirky experience shows you the journey of an egg named Ellis who lives in NYC. Commemorate your visit with a souvenir from the gift shop, which is filled with all sorts of “eggcessories.”
Back on the High Line Again
Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors before it’s 98 degrees and you can’t bear to be without air conditioning. Stroll the incredible High Line, the West Side’s 1.45-mile elevated park, and end your walk with a visit to a groovy new 1960s-tinged bar, The Woodstock.
Named after the legendary music festival, the trendy spot specializes in reasonably priced ($10) and fun-named (Lucy in the Sky, Helter Skelter) cocktails. Nibble on Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pies from Nino Coniglio (of the famous Williamsburg Pizza) and peruse the trippy art (including several original Salvador Dalí paintings) that lines the walls.
Explore uncharted waters at the American Museum of Natural History’s “Unseen Oceans” exhibition, open through January 6. Take a virtual deep-sea dive and immerse yourself in a world of biofluorescent species and marine ecosystems you never knew existed. When you do come up for air at the AMNH, don’t miss the gallery’s popular annual butterfly exhibition, on display through May 28.
For another equally impressive adventure into the depths, pick up tickets to National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square. Thanks to groundbreaking interactive technology, you’ll be brought face-to-face with virtual dolphins, sharks, humpback whales and even a gigantic Humboldt squid, all without ever having to get wet.
Eat Right, Feel Right
Freds at Barneys New York Downtown brings a brand-new Conscious Beauty menu to its glamorous crowd of ladies who lunch. Developed in partnership with plant-based wellness brand Moon Juice, the new dishes are designed to leave you feeling amazing, both inside and out.
Start with the Conscious Cocktail (a blend of mezcal, Campari, grapefruit juice and Moon Juice Beauty Dust), which replenishes sleep-deprived skin, before having one of Freds’ famous oversized salads.
Or, stop by for breakfast and kick-start your day with an order of Toast with the Most, challah French toast sprinkled with Moon Juice Power Dust, topped with bananas, almonds, almond butter and syrup.
Celebrate with a Stay
In true Big Apple fashion, New York has plenty of ways to partake in the social event of the season — the wedding of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle on May 19 — in style.
Viceroy Central Park’s A Royal Stay is an over-the-top package filled with weekend accommodations for four in a Penthouse Suite; a Rolls-Royce Phantom hotel airport transfer and a full, in-suite English breakfast and afternoon tea service. On the big day, get dolled up with Nomi in-room beauty styling services and then enjoy a private in-suite viewing of the regal nuptials complete with English-themed cocktails. After the ceremony, a private chauffeur will take you and your friends to see the New York sights at your leisure.
With all the talk of princes and princesses, we can’t forget about the queens. Mother’s Day is May 13, and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Loews Regency New York Hotel is helping you spoil your special someone with the Pampered on Park Avenue package. The deal gifts your loved one with a hot stone massage, a revitalizing facial and two cocktails in the chic Regency Bar before she retires to a stylish art-deco-inspired room for a sumptuous stay.
And on the actual holiday, the whole family can gather in The Regency Bar & Grill for a fabulous Mother’s Day brunch that will come complete with half bottles of bubbly to get you in a festive mood.
Visit Art Fairs
When you’re done with spring cleaning, it’s time to redecorate — and what better way to liven up your space than with one-of-a-kind works of art? For a contemporary vibe, check out Frieze New York, taking place on Randall’s Island from May 3 to 6. In addition to the chance to shop for pieces from more than 1,000 artists, you’ll experience a curated program of talks, performances and never-before-seen commissions.
The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit has more of a folk-style feel to it, with hundreds of tented vendors lining the roads from East 13th Street to West Third. The show takes place twice a year, with the spring edition running over Memorial Day weekend (May 26 through 28). Both of these events offer great opportunities to see unique pieces from around the world and, maybe, meet the artists, too.
Take in a Sunshine-Filled Show
Jimmy Buffett’s jukebox musical Escape to Margaritaville is making a splash this season on Broadway. The Marquis Theatre extravaganza is set in an island paradise and the plot is as light and breezy as you’d expect a show about cocktails and cheeseburgers to be. The performance is made infinitely more fun after a few drinks from the full-fledged tiki bar in the lobby.
If you’ve got a crew of youngsters in tow, embrace the spring awakening with a special performance of Eric Carle’s beloved classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The show, done at Union Square’s DR2 Theatre, successfully adapts four Carle favorites, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and 10 Little Rubber Ducks, using colorful puppets and actors.