Spring means the return of flowers, with cherry blossom viewing at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the vibrant flora of the Macy's Flower Show; other familiar arrivals include the Tribeca Film Festival, now in its 17th year, and the Mets and Yankees season openers.
Among the newcomers this season are a series of Rubin Museum exhibitions and events centered around the future; two Justin Timberlake performances at Madison Square Garden; a display of Stuart Weitzman's classic footwear at the New-York Historical Society; and a look at photographs that filmmaker Stanley Kubrick shot as a teenager in the 1940s. For details on these and many other spring happenings, read on.
New York International Children’s Film Festival
MAR 6— MAR 18
Helping to redefine the idea of "kids' movies" since 1997, the New York International Children's Film Festival shines a light on some of the most unique, engaging and thought-provoking independent films (as well as previews of some big-budget Hollywood flicks) for young people. From obscure animated shorts to full-length, live-action dramas, the festival has offerings in nearly every genre, and for kids of all ages and backgrounds. Screenings (at a half-dozen venues around town) routinely sell out, so you'll want to order your tickets well beforehand; the lineup is set in January
The Orchid Show
MAR 6— APR 22
Each year, thousands of luscious blooms fill the Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Belgian florist Daniel Ost designed this year’s “living sculptures” for the 16th year of the event. A stroll through this gorgeous display is the perfect way to warm up on a brisk day; or on select evenings throughout the run of the show, enjoy tours and special performances.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
MAR 17, 2018
Whether you hail from the Emerald Isle is of no consequence—on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone can lay claim to being at least a little bit Irish (even the City’s bagels and beer, which go green for the occasion). The parade itself lays claim to being the oldest (it was first held in 1762) and largest of its kind in the world. So clad yourself in kelly green and watch bagpipers, marching bands and assorted revelers from near and far as they march up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street. The parade starts at 11am and typically ends by 5pm.
Dekalb After Dark: A Late Night Eating & Drinking Party
MAR 17, 2018
Visit Brooklyn’s largest food hall after dark for a late-night eating and drinking festival at this one-night only event. Beginning at 11pm and going until 2am, Dekalb Market Hall keeps its doors open well after normal business hours for night owls to enjoy off-menu goodies from more than 20 of its top vendors, including Katz’s Deli, Dulcinea, Arepa Lady, Fletcher’s BBQ and Ample Hills. The event is for guests 21 and over, with live music and other surprises.
MAR 21— MAR 22
A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra’s swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of peak Michael Jackson, making magic night after night with a crack big band.
David Bowie is
MAR 6— JUL 15
The late, great David Bowie is the subject of this Brooklyn Museum exhibition, which provides “unprecedented access” to the musician’s personal library, including such artifacts as costumes, handwritten lyric sheets, photos, videos and original album art. The hundreds of objects on display chronicle Bowie’s expansive creative life; from his teenage years spent in England, to his long career as a pop superstar and cultural touchstone, and finally his last 20 years living in New York City. This multimedia installation features continuous audio, video and animations that coincide with the various items on display.
Hanami: Cherry Blossom Viewing
APR 1— APR 30
Few events herald the birth of spring like a shower of luminous pink petals falling softly from hundreds of cherry trees. Cherry-blossom viewing, known as hanami, is a centuries-old Japanese custom, a springtime occasion for merriment and the contemplation of life's beauty and transience. You can partake in this tradition at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, home to scores of flowering varieties for public enjoyment. Guided tours focusing on the blooms are held on Wednesdays during the April viewing season, though the more-frequent garden highlights tours will touch on them as well. The month culminates in celebration of the brilliant blooms with Sakura Matsuri, a festival of Japanese performances and cultural happenings, on April 28 and 29.
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival
APR 1, 2018
Each year on Easter, celebrants don festive finery and show off their very best bonnets along Fifth Avenue. Immortalized by Irving Berlin (with some help from Judy Garland and Fred Astaire), the pageant is a New York City tradition that stretches back to the 1870s. Starting at about 10am and continuing until 4pm, the parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street. The best place to watch is from the area around St. Patrick's Cathedral; better yet, bring your bonnet and join the parade.
Tribeca Film Festival
APR 18— APR 29
The Tribeca Film Festival—launched after 9/11 to promote the cultural and economic revival of Lower Manhattan—provides a platform for innovative filmmakers to present their latest work alongside some major movie premieres too. The 2018 program will feature films of all stripes: crowd-pleasing blockbusters-to-be, provocative documentaries, foreign films, shorts and a cornucopia of panel discussions and lectures. There are also sections of the festival devoted to TV and online programming and experiential works, including virtual reality and multimedia projects.
American Ballet Theatre Spring Season
MAY 14— JUL 7
The American Ballet Theatre sets up shop at the Met Opera this spring with events like the ABTKids program on May 19 (a one-hour session introducing little ones to the art form), a Gala on May 21 (with the world premiere of Afterite by Wayne McGregor), plus performances of Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Richard Strauss’ Whipped Cream.
Frieze New York
MAY 3— MAY 6
This international art fair, which takes place annually in May, features contemporary painting, performances and photography from more than a thousand artists and over 200 of the most forward-thinking contemporary and modern art galleries from around the globe. The fair commissions artworks for the grounds in addition to hosting panel discussions and lectures from leading artists, art theorists and critics, and food from some of the best restaurants in the City. It all happens inside a bespoke serpentine white tent on Randall’s Island.
MAY 29— NOV 17
Imperfections and signs of wear are usually not highlighted as part of museums’ fashion exhibitions, but FIT puts them front and center in this show. Visitors can take a look at a collection of unfinished and distorted garments, examining the role they play in the fashion world—especially when it comes to the intentionally deconstructed look many fashion designers have embraced over the years.
Memorial Day Parade
MAY 28, 2018
Memorial Day isn’t just an excuse for springtime sales and a three-day weekend—it is, first and foremost, a time to honor those citizens who’ve served the United States in times of war. The City honors our fallen heroes with parades all over the five boroughs. The Little Neck–Douglaston parade in Queens is reputedly the largest. You can also follow Brooklyn's Memorial Day Parade (150 years old and counting), which begins at 78th Street and Third Avenue. In Manhattan, head uptown for a smaller parade in Inwood, which begins at Dyckman Street and Broadway.
Shakespeare in the Park
MAY 29— AUG 19
Shakespeare in the Park is a consummate New York City institution that has drawn more than 5 million people since it was first staged in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater in 1962. Each summer the Public Theater presents two shows, with free tickets distributed in the park and other locations around the City. This year, Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs Othello, an intense drama of war and race that runs from May 29 to June 24. Things turn lighter with a musical adaptation of the fanciful Twelfth Night, directed by the Public Theater's artistic director Oskar Eustis and Kwame Kwei-Armah, who also conceived this new adaptation as part of the theater's Public Works project. It runs from July 17 to August 19.