Spring is an ideal time to plan a trip to New York. The temperature is more moderate than in the winter and summer months and the days are getting longer. In addition, the outdoor calendar kicks off, so you can enjoy a full range of concerts, shows, movies and street markets in parks and gardens.
On the other hand, practically all of spring is still considered low season and the city is not crowded with tourists as at other times of the year, so you can move around comfortably without having to waste time waiting in long lines to get into museums and attractions.
This article includes the best things to see and do in New York, but don't miss the best that spring has in store for the city:
1. Stroll through the New York Botanical Garden
What better way to kick off spring than to enjoy the New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, which houses an ancient forest, the Bronx River and several gardens.
To comfortably visit this botanical garden, you have a free little train that makes a tour of the park and you can get off at all points of interest where you want to make a stop.
What you will see at the Botanical Garden
- Enid A. Haupt Conservatory: A wrought iron greenhouse that houses tropical plants and cacti, as well as temporary exhibits.
- Mertz Library: Located north of the garden is one of the largest botanical libraries in the world.
- Leon Levy Visitor Center: A center where you can find seeds and plants, as well as botanical books and decorative accessories for your home.
- Ponds: This botanical garden has several ponds on which water lilies, water lilies and lotuses float.
2. Enjoy movies at the Tribeca Film Festival
If you travel in April you can enjoy the Tribeca Film Festival, which organizes a host of activities and special events for lovers of the seventh art.
The festival was promoted by actor Robert de Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal after the 9/11 attacks in order to boost activity in this neighborhood of the city.
3. Spend a dream day in Central Park
Spring is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to enjoy all there is to see and do in Central Park: strolling, renting a bike or having a picnic are some of the favorite activities for New Yorkers at this time of the year. The trees and plants are in bloom and the scent of the park delights all who visit.
If you go with the little ones, you can also visit the Central Park Zoo, where you can see penguins, grizzly bears, white leopards, lemurs, red pandas and sea lions; ride the carousel, which has been in operation since the late nineteenth century and is one of the most impressive merry-go-rounds in the U.S. because of its size; or look for the largest carousel in the world. Or look for the most famous statues in Central Park such as Alice in Wonderland, William Shakespeare, Christopher Columbus, Simon Bolivar or the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
And in Central Park you can also enjoy the large number of lakes in Central Park such as The Pond, Harlem Meer or Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. That it is one of the best parks in New York is clear, but if you have the chance, do not hesitate to visit Bryant Park or Battery Park.
4. Take advantage of the sunny days to take a helicopter ride over New York City
Surely this is something you've never tried before and what better place than New York to try it for the first time. A totally different way to enjoy the skyscrapers and views of New York City along the Hudson River.
These flights offer spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, and Manhattan's most popular skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building.
And if you need more information about this experience, check out this article about helicopter rides in New York.
5. When the temperature rises, enjoy a cruise along the Hudson River
An ideal activity for spring is to enjoy a cruise on the Hudson River. These boats usually have an open-air deck that at other times of the year is scary to approach but in spring with the sunshine and light of these days will allow you to make some dreamy pictures.
The best Hudson River cruises cover different itineraries and depart at different times. There are some dinner cruises on the Hudson that are also a great plan if the temperatures are mild at nightfall.
But let me tell you that from the water you will have a totally different and unique image of certain sites such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, or the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, if you do it after dark you will have a spectacular view of the New York skyline.
6. Be sure to go to the Museum Mile Festival
In the month of June is celebrated since 1978 in New York one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year, the Museum Mile Festival. It usually coincides with Tuesday and from 6:00 p.m. the entrance is free in the museums of Fifth Avenue.
Which New York Museums participate in the Museum Film Festival? El Museo del Barrio, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), The Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Neue Galerie, the Museum of African Art, the National Academy of Design.
In addition, the Museum Mile Festival also includes other parallel activities such as live music, face painting...
7. Fight at Pillow Fight Day
This is one of the most peculiar events in New York City, the Pillow Fight. This meeting gathers annually on the first Saturday of April in Washington Square Park thousands of citizens and tourists who even dress up for the occasion.
This massive pillow fight starts around 3:00 p.m. and lasts about a couple of hours until the attendees are exhausted from beating their pillows and cushions against those around them. One rule: no one may attack a person who is not equipped with a pillow or cushion.
This event is also considered a charity event because the pillows can later be donated to homeless shelters.
8. Easter in the city: take part in Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival
Another particular spring event is Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, the New York Easter Hat Parade, which takes place on Easter Sunday. At this gathering, which starts around 10:00 a.m. and ends around 4:00 p.m., participants parade with their best headdresses and hats along Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street.
This parade is a New York tradition that dates back to no less than 1870. Don't hesitate! Put on your hat and join the parade, and if not, stand next to St. Patrick's Cathedral and you'll have a prime viewing position.
9. When the sun shines, head up to the SUMMIT Observation Deck
And what better time of year to go up to SUMMIT than in spring. It's true that this observation deck is ready for all seasons of the year, as it has two glassed-in interior floors, but there's nothing like being able to go outside on a clear, warm day to enjoy spectacular views of New York City in style.
What to see at SUMMIT
- From this observation deck, which offers an almost 360º panoramic view, you will be able to see some of New York's most famous landmarks such as Central Park, Bryant Park, the Empire State Building and even the Statue of Liberty.
- The Ascent glass elevator, which takes visitors up to a height of 368 meters on the outside of the building.
- The Levitation glass cubes, which protrude some 324 meters high and allow visitors to walk above the streets of New York.
10. Browse the flea markets for curiosities
In the months of April and May starts the season of flea markets in New York. I recommend that if you have the opportunity, don't miss it:
- LIC Flea & Food: Located in Queens, you can enjoy this flea market every Saturday and Sunday from April. Craft beers, food and antiques are some of the things you will find at LIC Flea & Food.
- Brooklyn Flea Williamsburg: On Saturdays starting in April, this craft and antique flea market opens on the first floor of the Williamsburg Hotel.
- Brooklyn Flea Dumbo: Every Sunday starting in April, you can stroll through the various stalls at Brooklyn Flea Dumbo.
- Smorgasburg in Prospect Park: Also, every Sunday from April onwards, you will be able to taste different dishes at Smorgasburg.
- Queens Night Market: Since the end of April, this market is held every Saturday where you can enjoy live music while you browse through craft and food stalls.
- Smorgasburg in Williamsburg: In this market, every Saturday starting in April you will find a wide range of food.
11. Visit Macy's Flower Show
Macy's Flower Show is a free exhibit that takes place in mid-April and early May to showcase the season's floral trends.
In addition, this event includes parallel activities such as live music, lectures and activities to do in New York with children.
What is the spring temperature in New York?
The temperature in New York City in spring is ideal. In April it is still cold, but if you dress warmly it is quite bearable to walk around, and May and June are very pleasant months to make outdoor plans. In addition, the days are getting longer.
- April: The thermometer registers temperatures between 5 and 15º C.
- May: Temperatures are between 13 and 22º C.
- June: The thermometer rises registering minimum temperatures around 18-20º C and maximums of 25º C.
When does the sun rise and set in spring in New York?
Spring is characterized by longer days, more hours of sunshine and a fuller schedule than at other times of the year:
- New York in April:sunrise at 6 a.m. and it starts to get dark from 7:30 p.m. onwards.
- New York in May: sunrise before 6 a.m. and it starts to get dark around 8 p.m.
- New York in June: In June, sunrise is around 5:30 a.m. and dusk is around 8:30 p.m.
How to pack your suitcase for spring travel in New York?
To dress in spring in New York you should wear several layers as there are days that can wake up very warm and it is enough to go in short sleeves, but, on the contrary, another may be necessary to wear a sweater, in addition to a jacket.
And you should keep in mind that rain is very common to be surprised.
What items should not be missing in your suitcase?
- Comfortable and waterproof footwear
- Raincoat or poncho
- Foulard for colder days
- Short sleeve or tank tops
In this article you have read some interesting plans for your trip in spring, but in case you will travel in summer, autumn or winter, I leave you the guides of the best things to do in summer in New York; what to see and what to do in autumn in New York and what to do in winter in New York.