New York City really comes alive in the springtime. Everyone is shaking off the chills from winter weather, the parks are in bloom, and the waterways resume their bustling.
It’s also a great time to visit, with cheaper airfare and lodging available, shorter attraction lines, and exciting new special events and shows being offered daily.
If you’re looking for things to do in New York in Spring 2017, check out our list of some of the best activities and attractions, including…
- Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit at American Museum of Natural History
- Top of the Rock Observatory
- Clipper City Tall Shop Sail
- Luna Park at Coney Island
- Cherry Blossom Season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- and more!
Save on Springtime Activities in New York
Regular admission to a number of these attractions are available on the New York City Explorer Pass®.
Choose as you go from popular attractions and save up to 50% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special spring events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Explorer Pass.Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com
Explore the American Museum of Natural History
In addition to being one of our favorite museums in the entire city, the American Museum of Natural History is also a great place to visit (over and over again) because of their spectacular line-up of special exhibits.
This spring, check out the annually-available Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit, which showcases these amazing delicate creature in a riot of color and shapes.
Getting In: Admission to the American Museum of Natural History is available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.
See Spring Bloom from the Top of the Rock
While the city’s natural landscapes are slowly starting to come to life, it’s kind of hard to get the right perspective on nature from the ground.
So head up to the Top of the Rock for some stellar views of the blossoming Central Park and the vibrant city surrounding it.
Hop Aboard a Cruise
Since the slowly warming weather brings with it more temperate waters, many of NYC’s cruises and boat tours are now resuming operations from their winter hiatus.
You can find everything from historic sails on a Tall Ship to an exhilarating speedboat ride, now available for spring. Or, if you prefer a cruise more geared towards sightseeing, there are a number of wonderful options to choose from.
While most cruises will be available beginning in April, it’s always a good idea to check the operating schedule of your desired cruise before setting your heart on it.
Getting In: Clipper City Tall Ship tickets and BEAST speedboat tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®. There are many other cruise options as well, so be sure to check out our full offerings.
Play Around at Coney Island
Whether you’re traveling with kids, or just feel like a kid at heart, a trip to Coney Island is a must for springtime visits to New York. There’s something magical about wandering this iconic amusement park at all ages, and there are plenty of fun rides to enjoy, too!
Enjoy unlimited rides on most park attractions, stroll the boardwalk, snag some cotton candy, and just enjoy the warmth and sunshine of spring.
Getting In: Admission to Luna Park at Coney Island is available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.
Ride a Bike Through Central Park
The return of warm(ish) weather to NYC means that people are bringing their bikes out in force.
Join in with an easy bike rental and pedal through the always lovely Central Park to enjoy the emerging flowers all around you.
If you want to explore beyond the park, another popular route takes you across the Brooklyn Bridge.
There are often guided tours you can join as well, which allow you to explore the city without the pressure of figuring out where to go on your own, and deciding whether or not there’s really a bike lane ahead of you.
Marvel at Cherry Blossom Season
There are few things as lovely as these delicate, exotic blossoms. Fortunately for you, you don’t need to travel thousands of miles to Japan to see these amazing trees for yourself.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an astonishing collection of cherry blossom trees that bloom in splendor each spring. Roam the gardens and marvel at their beauty – with camera in hand, of course!
They even have a cherry blossom tracker you can use to see when the trees will be at the point of peak bloom, so you can plan your trip around a certain date.
Getting In: Admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.
Root for the Home Team
One of America’s favorite springtime traditions is the return of Major League Baseball.
This year, the Yankees’ home opener falls on April 10, while the Mets’ home opener comes on April 3. It’s always a ton of fun to take in a game with the whole family, and NYC fans will be cheering right along with you.
So whichever team you support, there’s some exciting early season baseball to enjoy during your next NYC trip! Want to see more of Yankee Stadium? Take a tour!
Getting In: Baseball tickets are not included with the New York City Explorer Pass®. Yankee Stadium Tour tickets, however, are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.
Sports fans may also enjoy a tour of Madison Square Garden, tickets to which are also available on the pass.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 17, 2017, 11:00 am
St. Patrick’s Day is major enough to inspire its own event posting, but here we’ve grouped it into spring events to make it easier for your planning purposes.
There are few cities in the US that take St. Patty’s day as seriously as New Yorkers, with their massive Fifth Avenue parade and holiday extravaganza that goes off each year.
The New York City St. Patricks’ Day Parade is the oldest and largest celebration of its kind in the world, first held in 1762!
About 150,000 marchers join with over 2 million spectators to create one fantastic, family-friendly experience, so don’t miss out if you’re in town on the holiday!
Getting In: It’s free to watch the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Other Local Spring Events
Macy’s Flower Show
Macy’s Herald Square
March 26 – April 9, 2017
In celebration of the beauty of spring, the Macy’s Flower Show is back for another amazing year.
This year’s them is “America the Beautiful,” and is designed to evoke the beauty in landscapes across the country, from mountains to prairies and beyond.
There will be several special events and talks, marvelous featured gardens, and even bouquets of the day. A must-see for plant lovers.
Getting In: Admission to the Macy’s Flower Show is free.
Tribeca Film Festival
April 19 – 30, 2017
This year marks the 16th anniversary of the amazing Tribeca Film Festival, one of the city’s best-beloved events of its kind.
In addition to dozens of film screenings at theaters across the neighborhood, the festival also offers special events, Tribeca Talks panels, interactive installations, live music, and much more.
This year, Snapchat Shorts is a new category for film submissions, so you social media mavens will really get a kick out of it.
Getting In: Admission to Tribeca Film Festival events is separately ticketed and is not included with the New York City Explorer Pass®. For more information, please visit the event website.
Bacon and Beer Classic
April 29 – 30, 2017
What’s not to love about a festival that combines bacon, beer, and sports?
This year’s Bacon and Beer Classic, held in the iconic Citi Field, is bound to be a fabulous event for the discerning drinkers and diners.
Sample over 50 original bacon-inspired or infused dishes from chefs across the city.
Try over 100 craft beers and ciders from local breweries. Engage in massively fun games like a giant jenga or bungee run. Strike a funny pose in the photo booth. The fun is practically endless.
Getting In: Admission to the Bacon and Beer Class is separately ticketed and is not included with the New York City Explorer Pass®. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.
Remember to Save on Admission
Did we miss anything? A few things to do in New York in the spring, including some special events, other seasonal activities in April, May, and June.
Please note, the spring events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.
We hope you consider adding some of these fun ideas to your spring vacation itinerary.