28 Festivals, Foods and Cultural Happenings to Check Out This Spring
It feels like it's been winter for approximately 17 years. That may be a *slight* exaggeration, but we think we speak for all our fellow New Yorkers when we say: It's about damn time spring showed its flowered face. Here's everything you need to eat, see and do this season.
1. We’re still a few weeks away from cherry blossom season at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (according to this bloom-tracking map), but it’s always all too brief, so start planning your pink-tinged Instagrams now.
2. How could we not be intrigued by a beer fest called Pastrytown? Hosted by Other Half Brewing (March 16 at Industry City), the focus is brews made with dessert-worthy ingredients like chocolate or Cinnamon Toast Crunch (!). Lest you be disappointed in the absence of actual pastries, there’ll be food from spots like Supermoon Bakehouse and Four & Twenty Blackbirds.
3. Whether you celebrate Purim or not, you’re definitely going to want to pick up some of Breads Bakery’s hamentaschen. The traditional buttery, triangular pastries—which come in both sweet (chocolate, apple) and savory (labneh and za’atar, pizza) flavors—are only available for the month of March.
4. Get schooled in self-care at the New York City Wellness Summit (March 19), which features talks on everything from fitness trends to the science of sleep.
5. If sugar and Instagram are two of your greatest loves, Dessert Goals (March 23 and 24) promises all the photogenic treats your heart desires (like cheesecake bars on a stick from Baked and ice cream–stuffed doughnuts from Stax).
6. The Macy’s Flower Show (March 24 to April 7) goes intergalactic this year, with a space-inspired theme, “Journey to Paradisios.” That means a botanical spaceship and other sci-fi creations.
7. Pick up limited-edition posters, featuring artists like Frank Stella, Cindy Sherman and Robert Indiana, at the pop-up Print Shop at the MoMA Design Store (open through March 25).
8. Give your apartment walls something to do other than fail to block the sound of the neighbor’s TV by picking up some new pieces at the Affordable Art Fair (March 28 to 31).
9. There’s no crying in baseball, but there are mimosas at Nitehawk Cinema’s brunch screenings of ’90s classic A League of Their Own (March 30 and 31). P.S. It’s part of the theater’s ongoing series highlighting female filmmakers.
10. Downtown Brooklyn’s food mecca, Dekalb Market Hall, just got even better: It opened an entertainment venue, Dekalb Stage (hosting music, trivia and more), and a cocktail bar, Understudy. Keep in mind this is all in the same complex as Alamo Drafthouse, Target and Trader Joe’s…so yeah, you could basically live here.
11. Sunshine and chirping birds not really your thing? Indulge your more macabre sensibilities at The Oddities Flea Market, popping up at Brooklyn Bazaar April 6 and 7. (Think taxidermy, skulls, medical ephemera, jewelry and more.)
12. Everyone’s already talking about the latest production of King Lear, a gender-blind rendition starring the legendary Glenda Jackson in the title role—so you’d best go see it while you can (pun intended).
13. When your favorite cheese shop opens a comfort-food spinoff, good things are bound to happen. The new Murray’s Mac & Cheese features signature bowls like Carbonara and French Onion, or you can customize your own with toppings that include a whole ball of burrata. (Don’t think. Just do it.)
14. Catch dancer superhuman Misty Copeland at her TimesTalk on April 8, then see her in American Ballet Theatre’s spring tenth-season (opening May 13), which features Jane Eyre and the dessert-themed Whipped Cream.
15. Take a deep dive into what democracy really means during the Onassis Festival 2019 (April 10 to 28), featuring talks, music and performances that explore the political system’s Greek origins, its current state and its future.
16. The new season of Queer Eye drops today, so once you’ve cried your way through every episode, grab a ticket to see Jonathan Van Ness on his solo comedy tour, April 12 at Radio City Music Hall.
17. We’ve missed you, outdoor-market weather. Celebrate its return at Hester Street Fair’s 10th-season opening day, April 13.
18. Or head uptown to snack your way through lobster rolls and barbecue at the NYC Food Truck Fest, hosted by Upper West Side market Grand Bazaar NYC.
19. Did you binge Fleabag on Amazon back in 2016? Catch creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who, btw, also developed a show called Killing Eve) in the original one-woman play that inspired the series, at Soho Playhouse through April 14.
20. Leave it to New Yorkers to turn the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival (April 21) into a delightfully wacky spectacle of over-the-top headwear.
21. Let’s all go to the movies—specifically, the Tribeca Film Festival (April 24 to May 5). We’re looking forward to The Apollo (a documentary about the Harlem institution), Ask Dr. Ruth (about everyone’s favorite nonagenarian sex therapist) and a 25th-anniversary screening of Reality Bites (which makes us 100).
22. Already thinking about summer? Get a head start by booking a room at the new Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina in Montauk, opening in May.
23. The annual Frieze Art Fair (May 2 to 5) is one of our favorite cultural happenings of the season, bringing the work of 1,000 artists from some 30 countries to Randall’s Island.
24. If sipping rosé on a boat is on your spring to-do list, La Nuit en Rosé (May 10 and 11) is here to help.
25. Do you and your mom share a love of 72 percent dark? Take her to 92Y’s Chocolate Fest, which happens to fall on Mother’s Day (May 12).
26. Head uptown for the weeklong Harlem EatUp (May 13 to 19), which includes a chef dinner series benefiting Citymeals on Wheels and a festival in Morningside Park, complete with tastings, a marketplace and live culinary demos.
27. Celebrate Queens’ diversity—with food—at the borough’s massive festival, World’s Fare, May 18 and 19 at Citi Field.
28. And just like that, Shakespeare in the Park is back, kicking off with Much Ado About Nothing on May 21.