New York City really comes alive in the springtime. The parks are in bloom, the snow has melted away, and there's a happy and warm air (literally and figuratively) that sweeps the entire island. It’s also a great time to visit, with cheaper airfare and lodging available, shorter attraction lines, and exciting new special events and shows offered daily. If you’re looking for things to do in New York in Spring 2019, 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 is 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. Check out all available New York attractions, passes, and prices. Please note, some of these special spring events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Explorer Pass.

American Museum of Natural History Butterfly Conservatory

butterfly garden
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. Explore the grounds Night at the Museum style. Study dinosaur fossils, learn about biodiversity and environmentalism, travel from Earth to space, and much more. This spring, check out the annually-available Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit, which showcases these amazing delicate creatures in a riot of color and shapes. Getting In: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass. Entrance to the Butterfly Conservatory requires an additional ticket which can be purchased on site.

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. See spring in full bloom from the very top. Zip all the way to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza for spectacular views of Central Park and beyond. Enjoy a skyline dotted by skyscrapers and greenery. Getting In: Top of the Rock tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass.

Empire State Building

Another great place to see the entire city come to life is from atop the famous Empire State Building. The Empire State Building experience is more than just an observation deck, too. As you journey from the ground floor to the top, you'll be immersed in interactive exhibits that tell the story of this architectural masterpiece. Learn how the Art Deco building has become one of the most famous in the world. Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included with New York City Explorer Pass.

Landmarks Cruise

The warmer weather calls for a ride through the harbor. Hop aboard a Circle Line Sightseeing cruise and see the iconic Manhattan skyline from the water. The Landmarks Cruise is a classic and will cover all things NYC. Float by the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and more. Getting in: Landmarks Cruise - Circle Line Sightseeing tickets are included with New York City Explorer Pass.

Luna Park at Coney Island 24-Ride Pass

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:  Luna Park at Coney Island 24-Ride Pass tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass.

Central Park Bike Rentals and Tours

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 allows 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. Getting in: Central Park Bike Rentals and Central Park Bike Tours are included with New York City Explorer Pass.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Image credit: Filip Wolak.
Image credit: Filip Wolak.
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: Brooklyn Botanic Garden tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass.

Root for the Home Team

NYC Yankee stadium (3)
One of America’s favorite springtime traditions is the return of Major League Baseball. This year, the Yankees’ home opener falls on March 28th, while the Mets’ home opener comes on April 4th. 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 game tickets are not included with the New York City Explorer Pass, Yankee Stadium Tour tickets, however, are available. Sports fans may also enjoy a tour of Madison Square Garden, tickets to which are also available on the pass.

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

New York Botanical Garden February 15th - April 19th, 2020

Photo via Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The 18th Annual Orchid Show NYC is a sight not to be missed for fans of gardening or all things botanical. (As is the rest of the NYBG's collections -- see above.) Come to the New York Botanical Garden to see the gorgeous array of various orchid specimens, arranged in ways to evoke the wild beauty of these distinctive plants. Displays are designed by Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost, who is known across the globe for his stunning work. Get excited to see some beautiful plants, and consider bringing one home, too! Getting In: New York Botanical Garden tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass. Tickets for the event are sold separately and are available online.

Macy’s Flower Show

Macy’s Herald Square Held for two weeks in March 2020 - dates TBC.

Image credit: Time Out New York.
Image credit: Time Out New York.
In celebration of the beauty of spring, the Macy’s Flower Show is back for another amazing year. Visit the iconic department store and see the displays come to life with thousands of gorgeous flowers covering mannequins and more. A must-see for plant lovers there will be several special events and talks, marvelous featured gardens, and even bouquets of the day. You'll even find floral-themed food and face-painting for the kids. Getting in: Admission to the Macy's Flower Show is free.

Tribeca Film Festival

Various venues April 15th - 26th, 2020

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock
This year marks the 19th 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. You can even get a taste of new Virtual Reality games. Getting in: the Tribeca Film Festival is a separately ticketed event.

Governor's Ball Music Festival

Randall's Island Park June 5th - 7th, 2020

Photo by Chad Batka for the New York Times
Nothing says springtime like music festivals. This iconic three-day event returns in 2020 with a fabulous lineup and plenty to see and do. Headliners for this year's concert are yet to be announced but if last year's lineup is anything to go by (think Lil Wayne, Florence + The Machine, The 1975, Major Lazer, and tons more) then this year's festival is bound to be a riot of fun! With three different stages, beer stalls galore, photo ops, and food curated by New York City's premier food blog, The Infatuation, Governor's Ball is most definitely a can't-miss springtime event. Getting in: Governor's Ball tickets are separately ticketed.

Remember to save on admission

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.

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