Skip to main content

New York Spring Calendar 2019

An updated calendar for annual spring events in New York City for 2019.

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.

Blooming Times

• Central Park Conservancy's website lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of spring blooms.

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.

Spring in Fort Tryon Park, early May

• 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.

• 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 28, 2019.

Spring in Madison Square Park. Late April and early May are the best times to see the flowering trees in NYC.

• Walking Off the Big Apple's favorite annual spring walk is wandering in The Ramble in Central Park.

• 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 2019


Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in late April

• The Big East Men's Basketball Tournament, March 13-16, 2019. Madison Square Garden. (website)

• The mega-project known as Hudson Yards officially opens on March 15, 2019. The project is the largest development in the city since Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. (official site)

• Saturday, March 16, 2019 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 24 -April 7, 2019. Macy's Flower Show.  Website.

• March 28, 2019. Home opener. Orioles at New York Yankees.  1:05 p.m. Yankee Stadium, Bronx. Official site.

• March 28-31, 2019. Affordable Art Fair. Metropolitan Pavilion. Website.

Pillow Fight Day
Spring silliness

• April 2, 2019. NYC Ferry Spring schedule goes into effect. Plan your commute (official site.) See Sailing Off the Big Apple's post for more information about how to ride the ferry.

• April 4, 2019 at 1:10 p.m. Home opener. Nationals at New York Mets. Citi Field, Flushing, Queens. Official site.



Easter Parade, Fifth Avenue.

• April 4-7, 2019. The Photography Show. AIPAD. Pier 94. Website.

• April 6, 2019. Pillow Fight Day. 3 p.m. Location TBA.

Coney Island attractions open April 6, 2019.

• Opening day, Coney Island attractions. April 6, 2019. 10 a.m. Read more on this site about Coney Island's landscape and history. Website

• Sunday, April 14, 2019. 1 pm. Greek Independence Day Parade. Fifth Avenue. 64th to 79th Streets.

On the High Line, walking toward the Whitney Museum of American Art

• April 19 - 28, 2019. New York International Auto Show. Jacob Javits Center.

• April 24 - May 5, 2019. 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 21, 2019. Easter Parade. Fifth Avenue, beginning near St. Patrick's Cathedral. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 49th to 57th Streets.

• April 27 - April 28, 2019. 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.

• May 5, 2019. Five Boro Bike Tour (website)

• May 21, 2019 Shakespeare in the Park kicks off with Much Ado About Nothing. Delacorte Theater, Central Park. (website)

• May 22-28, 2019 #FleetWeekNYC (website with events): Parade of Ships May 22 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. NY Harbor to George Washington Bridge. See related story for uptown viewing. Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer season.

Isham Park in Northern Manhattan. Mid-April.

Religious Holidays


• Sunday, April 14, 2019. Palm Sunday, beginning of Holy Week.

• Passover begins at sundown on April 19, 2019 and continues for 7 days until April 27, 2018.

• Easter Sunday falls on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

First Day of Spring

• Vernal Equinox in New York City, First Day of Spring. March 20, 2019. 5:58 p.m. EDT


The Weather 

• 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 the rest of the year.


Animal Life

• 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.

A Baltimore Oriole visits Inwood Hill Park in early May.

• 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. On Twitter, follow Manhattan Bird Alert for regular updates.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple. Clicking on the pictures above enlarges them.









Popular posts from this blog

North Towards Autumn: A Day Trip on the Metro-North Hudson Line

The peak of autumn colors in New York City tends to fall sometime in the days following Halloween, but those anxiously waiting leaf change can simply travel north.  Near Beacon, a view of autumn colors from the Metro-North Hudson line One way to speed the fall season is to take the Hudson line of Metro-North north of the city and watch the greens fade to oranges and yellows and the occasional burst of red.  Autumn light in Hastings-on-Hudson Weekends during the month of October are ideal times to make the trip. The air tends to be crisp with bright blue skies, and the Hudson River glimmers like a mirror in the light of autumn. As the Hudson line hugs the river for much of the distance north, the train ride alone provides plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. Try to grab a window seat on the river side of the train car for views of the Palisades and the bends of the Hudson Highlands later in the trip.   Autumn leaves on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Hastings Still, October is a gr

Early Voting in Washington Heights, and A Walk

Early voting for the 2020 federal election in New York began on Saturday, October 24 and continues through Sunday, November 1. The weekend was overcast and autumnal, with the bright yellows of fall on display. In New York City, thousands of New Yorkers turned out at the 88 early voting locations and waited in long lines, many stretching around the block.  A line to vote in Washington Heights. The line stretched around the block multiple times. Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn were two of the well-known sites, but most voting places were typical neighborhood places such as schools, churches, and hospitals.   The scene outside the entrance to the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, one of the early voting locations in Washington Heights. In Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, two early voting locations were within a short walk of one another, causing some confusion for voters emerging from the 168th Street subway station. The Columbia Universit

The Lonesome Metropolis: A Walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center

As New York City reopens, why do the attractions of the great metropolis still look mostly deserted on a summer morning? A morning walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center sought to address this question. As it turns out, there are several adequate explanations. But for what happens next, there are no right answers. Grand Central Terminal, 9:40 am. Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Many neighborhoods outside of tourist New York are still buzzing along. While some residents of wealthier neighborhoods have largely decamped to mountain cabins, beach houses, and other second homes, the less wealthy have nowhere to go and may still be working. Just visit Washington Heights or Corona or Flatbush, and you’ll see sidewalks full of shoppers and summer evening street partiers. Those who fled the city remain only a fraction of the total population.   Grand Central Terminal, 9:40 am. Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Other renowned parts of the city such as City Hall and Brooklyn Bridge have been fr

NYC Re-openings and Travel Advice

What will open, and how will you get there? This list will be updated following official announcements. UPDATED October 10, 2020.  Many favorite local destinations have now reopened.  Hand sanitizer dispenser at the Marble Hill station of Metro-North's Hudson line Openings  - General Information and Popular Destinations    • Restaurants: Consult this NYC Department of Transportation map  (updated link) for restaurants currently open in NYC. Starting September 30, NYC allowed indoor dining at 25% capacity. • As of September 25, outdoor dining in NYC has been extended FOREVER. • The  9/11 Memorial  reopened on Saturday, July 4. Visitors must wear masks and keep social distancing practices. • (update) Libraries: NYPL. T he library will allow a grab-and-go service at 50 locations.   • Governors Island reopened July 15 with advance reserved tickets.  • The High Line  reopened on July 16, with several rules and limitations in place, including timed entry passes - available July 9. Entra

The Season of Owls

 A walk in Inwood Hill Park. The days following the holidays and the first of the year make a good time to check in on life in the winter forest. I have a forest just down the street from me in Inwood Hill Park in Northern Manhattan. There, a vast old growth forest still stands. A Barred Owl faces the setting sun in Inwood Hill Park in Northern Manhattan. A few weeks ago, someone on a local Facebook page posted a snapshot of a Barred Owl, and I was keen to go looking for it in the park. I didn't find the owl on the first day, but the next day I saw it. A handful of birder enthusiasts were already on the scene and kindly pointed it out high up in the pines. What a beautiful creature!  A stand of White Pines provides the habitat for the Barred Owl. The owl is in this picture. I know, hard to see.  Since my first owl visit, everyday life during the otherwise dreary post-holiday doldrums has taken on a finer aura. I have returned several times, each taking a different path up to the o

The City Turned Inside Out: A Walk from Battery Park to Fulton Street

While the cast of HAMILTON sings “The World Turned Upside Down,” New Yorkers could easily hum along to “The City Turned Inside Out” this summer. (not a real song) Where once a city’s important work took place indoors - within the soaring office buildings, famous restaurants, legendary museums, and storied performance halls, the COVID-19 epidemic has literally turned the residents outdoors.  New landscaping in Battery Park At least it’s summer in the city, when spending time outdoors is common and pleasant enough. Still, the city remains strange this summer of 2020.  Shade plants like hosta thrive in Battery Park. The Statue of Liberty is in the distance. With the absence of tourists, and with office workers connecting virtually from home, many of the city’s main attractions aren’t attracting many visitors. A walk from the Battery to Fulton Street on a pleasant Thursday afternoon bore this out.  Statue Cruises is still sailing. It’s uplifting to at least find plants that are alive and

Walking It Off: Coping with Holiday Stress During the Pandemic

When I began this series, “Pandemic Posts from the Pause: New York City in the Age of Coronavirus” in March of 2020, I could see the first young greens of spring from my window. New Yorkers were told to stay home then and away from others. As someone who enjoys walking in the city, I knew that I would need to sacrifice many things this year. I was not going to give up walking. I quickly figured out that I could safely go to Inwood Hill Park near my house and wander the trails in the old forest. In March, I could breathe in the spring air away from others. There was little else to do during those early days of the “pause.” New Yorkers suffered greatly at the beginning. In a few months we were able to get the numbers down and to manage some semblance of human interaction, at a distance and masked.  Now, with the beginning of the holidays, the city and nation faces the existential threat of the virus’s return, the political assault on democratic norms, and the ongoing threat of the clima

An Early Autumn Walk in Central Park: 2020 Edition

This week, the singer Diana Krall released a cover of “Autumn in New York,” the standard by Vernon Duke. An accompanying video , filmed in New York by Davis McCutcheon and directed by Mark Seliger, portrays the city in moody yet beautiful black and white tones. Beyond the lack of autumn colors, the film shows the empty streets of the pandemic city. The mood riffs on the underlying melancholy of the song’s lyrics, that the fall season “is often mingled with pain.” Approaching The Mall in Central Park  When I think of autumn in New York, I automatically imagine walking in Central Park in the vivid colors of the season. The images here, from a meandering one-mile stroll this past Saturday, show only a hint of autumnal glory but reflect more conventional representations of both the season and the song. Yet, walking in Central Park at the beginning of autumn is tinged for me with a hint of sadness, or truthfully, with some anxiety about the coming months. The Mall in Central Park I hadn’t v

A Weekend Walk on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Imagine strolling from town to town near the eastern shores of the Hudson River, walking a well-trodden path lined with trees and stately architecture and with easy access to cafes, local shops, and train stations for an easy ride home. Imagine a weekend when the sun is bright and the sun is warm, and many other people - but not too many - are out enjoying the same weather and the same stroll. Such were the pleasures on a recent Sunday, in the latter part of this unseasonal winter, along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail not too far north from New York City. View of the Hudson River from the Keeper's House The Old Croton Aqueduct, the system that once delivered fresh water from the Croton River to New York City, was a huge and complex marvel of engineering. The trail sits on top of the aqueduct system. This post describes a walk along just a section of the trail, the one that begins at the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry and ends in Irvington. Recommended purchase - a map det

Facing the Dark Ages

A close look at The Met Cloisters Update: The Met Cloisters reopened on September 12, 2020. See the museum's website for ticket information. The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 82-year-old home for its medieval collection in Fort Tryon Park (known as The Met Cloisters in recent years, the result of rebranding), dominates Northern Manhattan like a mystical fortress, like some object of a mythical quest. From nearly any direction, it’s easy to see the tower with its sandy-colored walls, double-arched windows, and Mediterranean style tile roof. Walking south on Broadway north of Dyckman Street , the way of everyday serfs and pilgrims going to market, the otherworldly sight of the imposing structure can transform an otherwise pedestrian journey.  View of The Met Cloisters from the northeast Culture and architect critic Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), reviewing the museum’s opening in 1938 for his regular column in The New Yorker, didn’t care much for the tower, but that was his