SEE UPDATED CALENDAR FOR 2019 HERE.
Let's spring forward to blooming times in New York City, the best locations for witnessing spring's beginnings, and springtime events. While the occasional snow could blow through the city, we're just weeks now from callery pears in bloom and opening day at the ballpark.
|Riverside Park. Mid-April.|
|Central Park near E. 72nd St., saucer magnolia, typically end of March.|
April is usually the month when full blooms appear in New York City, and this NYC Parks website provides a handy monthly guide to the specific locations of blooming trees, flowers, shrubs, and buds.
Celebrating the great beautiful flowering crabapples, this page on the NYC Parks site explains why you can't buy and plant a crabapple today and expect it to look as beautiful as those in Central Park.
• By late March or the first week of April, the callery pears should be in bloom, providing a soft white canopy on many New York streets. These trees can withstand urban pollution, but storms can wreak havoc on them.
|Callery pear trees in bloom in front of the Rubin Museum of Art|
|High Line. Spring Cutback|
• Check out The Orchid Show, a special presentation of a dazzling collection of orchids brought to you by The New York Botanical Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road Bronx. The special show continues through April 22, 2018.
• The High Line features plantings around the seasons.
• Million TreesNYC. See how you can help this citywide, public-private program to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next decade.
• Visit the Prospect Park Alliance website for interactive guides to the park, seasonal events, and more. When visiting in person, locate the park's Audubon Center for a quick orientation.
|American Museum of Natural History. Mid-late April.|
• While many of the city's parks sponsor events for the season, Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan offers particularly good fitness opportunities in a spectacular setting. Consult the Fort Tryon Park Trust website for more information.
• While in Fort Tryon Park, visit The Cloisters. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval branch is one of the best places to see varieties of plants in bloom.
• For those seeking to understand the ecology of the city's landscapes, explore the Wildlife Conservation Society's Welikia project, the city-wide expansion of their popular Mannahatta.
• According to the Victory Seeds website, the average last frost in New York City is April 13.
• Try forest bathing in Central Park. Or locating the past in Riverside Park. Sakura Park, too, is pretty in cherry blossom time.
Spring Events for March, April, and May 2018
|Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in late April|
• Saturday, March 17, 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 79th Streets. Consult this St. Patrick's Day post that includes Walking Off the Big Apple's awesome bar and parade map, plus bonus Judy Garland song.
• March 21-25, 2018. Affordable Art Fair. Metropolitan Pavilion. Website.
• March 25 -April 8, 2018. Macy's Flower Show. Website.
|Pillow Fight Day|
• March 29, 2018 at 1:10 p.m. Home opener. Cardinals at New York Mets. Citi Field, Flushing, Queens. Official site.
• March 30 - April 8, 2018. New York International Auto Show. Jacob Javits Center.
|Easter Parade, Fifth Avenue.|
• Sunday, April 1, 2018. Easter Parade. Fifth Avenue, beginning near St. Patrick's Cathedral. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 49th to 57th Streets.
• April 2, 2018. Home opener. Rays at New York Yankees. 1:05 p.m. Yankee Stadium, Bronx. Official site.
• April 5-8, 2018. The Photography Show. AIPAD. Pier 94. Website.
• April 7, 2018. Pillow Fight Day. 3 p.m. Location TBA.
|Coney Island attractions open April 8-9, 2017.|
• Opening day, Coney Island attractions. April 9, 2018. 10 a.m. Read more on this site about Coney Island's landscape and history. Website
|On the High Line, walking toward the Whitney Museum of American Art|
• April 18 - April 29, 2018. Tribeca Film Festival. Some of the special events take place outdoors.
|Cherry blossoms on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue.|
• Sunday, April 22, 2018. 1 pm. Greek Independence Day Parade. Fifth Avenue. 64th to 79th Streets.
• April 28 - April 29, 2018. 10 am - 6 pm, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Rain or shine. Free with admission. Celebration of Japanese culture and the blossoming of the garden's cherry trees. Also, consult the garden's Cherry Blossom Status Map for opportunities to visit.
• Take a look at all the Spring 2018 art exhibitions in New York museums!
• Wednesday, May 23, 2018 #FleetWeekNYC (website with events): Parade of Ships 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. NY Harbor to George Washington Bridge. See related story for uptown viewing.
|Isham Park in Northern Manhattan. Mid-April.|
• Sunday, March 25, 2018. Palm Sunday, beginning of Holy Week.
• Passover begins at sundown on March 30, 2018 and continues for 7 days until April 7, 2018.
• Easter Sunday falls on Sunday, April 1, 2018. (note: not an April Fools' Day joke.)
First Day of Spring
• The National Weather Service can and does predict the weather, issuing long-range maps and outlooks for the months ahead. Their monthly and seasonal color maps for the upcoming months indicates that New York City will see above average temperatures, not just for spring but for most months ahead.
• Several good blogs and websites keep track of the city's animal life. Among them - Urban Hawks is especially observant of the adventures of our red-tailed hawks; The City Birder is a good source of information for birdwatching in the big city. Follow the continuing adventures of the hawks in Washington Square Park and other areas with Roger Paw.
• New York City Birding: See the home page of NYC Audubon for events, trips, classes, and programs. Also learn about Birding in Central Park on the Central Park Conservancy website.
|Birding in Central Park|
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple. Clicking on the pictures above enlarges them.