Spring Travel

What to Do in NYC This Spring

Ready to come out of hibernation? Whether you're a New York local or are planning a visit here soon, these are the hottest things to do in the City that Never Sleeps.

An avid Italophile, Laura is always on the hunt for the next great travel trends, luxury hotels, best places to eat and drink, and hidden gems. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications. She also co-wrote "New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants," an award-winning guide to the city's speakeasy scene.

See recent posts by Laura Itzkowitz

New York City, NY, USA - June 8, 2017: The Hudson Yards construction site with 30 Hudson Yards under construction, the completed 10 Hudson Yards and Eugene skyscrapers at sunset. Midtown, Manhattan

Explore Hudson Yards

A new neighborhood is rising in Manhattan and it’s set to debut—in part, anyway—in March. The largest private real estate development in U.S. history will turn a formerly forlorn portion of the West Side into a hub of activity, with residential buildings, more than 100 retail shops, the first Equinox Hotel, the Shed arts center, public parks, and the Vessel, a landmark designed by Thomas Heatherwick that will give visitors panoramic views of the city. We’re most excited about Mercado Little Spain, a 35,000-square foot dining destination by José Andrés and the Adrià brothers that promises to be like a Spanish version of Eataly, with three full-service restaurants, food stalls, bars, and a market.

shed theater interior rendering
rendering of the Shed interior
exterior of the Shed

Attend a Performance at the Shed

Located within Hudson Yards, the Shed arts center will debut on April 5th with a five-night concert series called “Soundtrack of America.” Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect, the futuristic building will have two levels of gallery space, a versatile theater, a rehearsal space, creative lab, a skylit event space, and an outer shell that can be extended to double its footprint for large-scale events. Björk’s concert series in May is already sold out, but the Shed will host exhibitions, concerts, and performances in a variety of disciplines, so you’re sure to find something you’re interested in.

New York skyline at sunset

Eat at the new Time Out Market

An abandoned warehouse in Dumbo has been reborn as the Empire Stores shopping and dining complex. It’s already home to an outpost of Shinola, the FEED store, West Elm, and Cecconi’s, and this spring the last puzzle piece will fall into place with the opening of the Time Out Market. Time Out’s first market in Lisbon is one of the city’s hottest attractions, and the new market in Dumbo is sure to be wildly popular as well. Curated by Time Out editors, the market will have 21 food stalls by the teams behind some of New York’s best restaurants, including Juliana’s Pizza, Bessou, Clinton St. Bakery, and Mermaid Oyster. Finally, Dumbo will have a top-notch place to get quick, casual eats with incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.

RELATED: The Best Hotels in NYC to Book Now 


picnic experience with Unlimited Biking
women having fun at a picnic
woman with a bike in central park

Rent a bike and have a picnic

Because temperatures are (finally) rising to a breezy 65 and the sun is peeping out, take advantage of the NYC air and tour the town on two wheels. With the city’s largest fleet of bikes and deals ranging from hourly passes to monthly subscriptions, Unlimited Biking is the go-to biking option for both tourists and New Yorkers. There are eight handy pickup/drop-off locations, so it’s easy to soar from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge. The best part: the UB folks will set up a customizable picnic stop just about anywhere with just about anything.

lobby with red seating in TWA Hotel
woman speaking on the phone in airport hotel

Photos by Max Touhey and David Mitchell


Stay at the TWA Hotel

If we could only check into one hotel in New York this spring, it would be the highly anticipated TWA Hotel at JFK Airport. Though typical airport hotels make us cringe, this one is going to be an exception. It’s all being built around Eero Saarinen’s landmarked 1962 TWA Terminal, an icon of midcentury design that epitomizes the glamor of the Jet Age. (Fun fact: scenes from “Catch Me If You Can” were filmed there.) The former reception hall will become the Sunken Lounge with cocktails by the team behind the Campbell in Grand Central and there will be six restaurants, including one by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a coffee bar by Intelligentsia, and a rooftop pool and observation deck. Expect ‘60s-inspired design throughout the public spaces and 512 rooms, which feature Knoll furniture, rotary phones, Hollywood-inspired vanities, and a Martini bar. Reservations are now open for stays starting May 15.


Book Hotels in NYC
rendering of exterior of Statue of Liberty Museum
rendering of exterior of Statue of Liberty Museum
rendering of interior of Statue of Liberty Museum with view of statue

Courtesy of FX Collaborative


Visit the new Statue of Liberty Museum

When the Statue of Liberty Museum opens in May, it’ll be the most major addition to Liberty Island since the statue itself was installed in 1885. The 26,000 square-foot building will not only tell the story of Lady Liberty in three galleries, but will also house her original torch, which was replaced in the 1980s. Visitors can climb to the top of the museum to admire expansive views of the statue and the city.

RELATED: The Best Day Spas in NYC 


art Arts + Culture Budget theater tree outdoor sky park

Attend a Performance of The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park

One of New York’s most beloved traditions, Shakespeare in the Park, will return on May 21st. This year, Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will direct a modern production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare’s comedy of errors. Free tickets to the almost nightly performances at the Delacourt Theater in Central Park are released at noon the day of the performance at the Delacourt Theater’s box office. Be sure to get there early, as the line starts to form by 10 a.m. or take your chance with the lottery at the Public Theater or by using the Today Tix app.

Installation view of Joan Miró: Birth of the World, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 24–June 15, 2019. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Denis Doorly

Check out These Museum Exhibits

A few exciting new exhibits bring fresh reasons to visit the city’s museums. The Whitney Biennial, which takes place on odd-numbered years, is “the longest running continuous exhibition in the country to chart the latest developments in American art,” according to the Whitney’s website and is a must for anyone who wants to stay plugged into the contemporary art scene. MoMA won’t debut its new wing until the fall, but it’s worth visiting to see the Joan Miró retrospective, which shines a spotlight on the visionary Spanish artist. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Museum’s blockbuster Frida Kahlo show—the largest showcase of her work in the U.S. in the last ten years—is on view until May 12.

GULLY scene
17 Blocks scene
Reality Bites movie clip

Photos provided by Tribeca Film Festival


See a Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival—one of the country’s most important film festivals—will kick off on April 24 with the world premiere of the HBO documentary film The Apollo, which chronicles the history of Harlem’s landmark Apollo Theater. The festival was founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff to spur the revitalization of Lower Manhattan following 9/11, and it’s evolved into a major happening every spring. For now, details are scarce, but the festival’s programming will be revealed in March.

orchids inside greenhouse at night
orchids up close
orchid show arches

Orchid Show at the NY Botanical Gardens

The New York Botanical Gardens’ 17th annual orchid show promises to be a show to remember. This year, it’s being presented in partnership with Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay in homage to the country’s iconic Supertrees and the Arches, a highlight of Singapore’s National Orchid Garden. There will be a series of special events, including evening dance performances, concerts by piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan, a series of talks by Tan Kheng Hua (the actress and producer who played Rachel’s mother in Crazy Rich Asians), a showcase of Singaporean designers, and special audio guides commenting on Singapore’s green building culture.

New York, NY, USA - November 11, 2018. Fountain at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Dinner at the Met

Did you know you can have dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Hidden away in a rarely visited corner of the museum, the Dining Room at the Met was formerly exclusive to museum members, but is now open to the public. And now that Chef John Fraser—the man behind New York’s only Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant, Nix—is crafting special menus for it, you’ll want to book a table stat. The restaurant is only open during museum hours, so we recommend going for dinner on a Friday or Saturday night, when the museum stays open until 9 p.m. The best part: When you leave, you’ll get to wander through the empty exhibition halls and feel like you’ve got the whole place to yourself.

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