Now that Spring is here, many of us are eager to get out on the town and enjoy the milder weather, longer days, and blooming plant life. From film and music festivals to tastings, talks, and cultural events, NYC has plenty of interesting options to choose from. These events range from family-friendly to 21+, and cover pretty much every price point. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening around NYC over the next two months:
Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden
4/9 and 4/16, 6:30 – 9:30pm
$35 non-members / $25 members
Enjoy the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show with a complimentary Ginger Vanilla Fusion cocktail, inspired by the Vanilla planifolia orchid. Learn about the history of orchid collecting and NYBG’s collection and rescue efforts among a backdrop of thousands of orchids. Advance tickets are recommended, as the NYBG’s Orchid Evenings usually sell out.
Tribeca Film Festival
4/14 – 4/24, various times
$10 (individual matinee tickets) – $1,250 (all-access pass)
Established in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival is made up of 10 days packed with film screenings, panel discussions, musical performances, and more. This year’s program includes Q&As with Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, J.J. Abrams, Jodie Foster, and Baz Luhrmann, among others. You can opt for an all-inclusive pass, or buy tickets to individual screenings and events, all of which have been added to the schedule on the festival website.
Artexpo New York
4/14 – 4/17, various times
$20 adults/ $15 students & seniors
Artexpo New York brings publishers, galleries, and collectors together with hundreds of artists, both new and established. With over 25,000 art enthusiasts in attendance each year, Artexpo hosts over 400 exhibitors showcasing prints, paintings, sculpture, photography, and other original artwork. Industry buyers can receive complimentary tickets and members of the public can purchase theirs on the Artexpo website.
TechDay New York
4/21, 10am – 5pm
Free to the public
TechDay connects job seekers, investors, early adopters, and the press with over 550 innovative companies. Attend live demos, pitch your ideas in the Shark Tank, and network with industry leaders from companies like Intel, General Assembly, and Namely.
Holi Hai Festival
4/30, 11am – 6pm
Free to the public
Also known as the Festival of Colors, Holi Hai is a celebration of the coming of spring with roots in the Hindu faith. Participants gather to dance and cover each other in colors which represent happiness, love, and freedom. Musical performances and food will accompany this afternoon of messy, joyful fun. All nationalities and ethnicities are welcome to participate in this celebration, which will take place in the Dag Hammerskjold Plaza in Midtown East.
Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
4/30 – 5/1, 10am – 6pm
$25 adults / $20 students & seniors
2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom festival, also known as Sakura Matsuri. This annual celebration includes over 60 events and performances to celebrate traditional and modern Japanese culture. Advance tickets can be purchased on the BBG’s website.
Othello at the Met
5/2 and 5/6, 7:30pm
Director Bartlett Sher’s production of Verdi’s Othello returns for a second run at the Metropolitan Opera, with Aleksandrs Antonenko and Željko Lučić reprising their performances in the roles of Othello and Iago, respectively. Performances run through May 6, and tickets are available online starting at $27. Whether you’ve been meaning to revisit the Met or have never seen a performance there, Sher’s production is the perfect excuse to make it happen.
5/3 – 5/17, various times
Free; some events are paid
NYCxDESIGN brings together design, commerce, culture, and education with over 500 events at 228 venues across the city. Spanning across all disciplines of design, this citywide celebration includes exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, and open studios, most of which are free to attend. Event listings are available on the NYCxDESIGN website.
Frieze New York
5/5 – 5/8, various times
$10 – $45
The bespoke structure which houses Frieze New York covers 250,000 square feet and is full of the world’s leading galleries, curated selections, commissioned pieces, as well as a series of talks and food from the city’s best restaurants. Tickets are limited and usually sell out, so get yours as soon as possible.
Five Boro Craft Beer Fest
5/6, 6:30 – 8:30pm
$75 – $85
Local and out-of-state brewers will serve over 100 craft beers – some of which have never been tasted before. Enjoy catering from Astoria Bier & Cheese, John Brown Smokehouse, and others along with live music to go with your unlimited 2oz tastings. Proceeds will benefit GrowNYC, a non-profit dedicated to improving the city’s environment. Tickets are available now via Eventbrite.
NY Spring Wine Festival
5/7, 2pm – 5pm or 7 – 10pm
$84 – $199
Taste over 150 fine wines with hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, and artisan food samples while enjoying live contemporary jazz at NYY Steak, a world-class restaurant known for its steaks and seafood alike. Choose from the afternoon or evening session, and opt for a VIP ticket if you want access to exclusive wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres in the VIP suite. Purchase your tickets for either session online in advance to gain entry.
Bayou n Brooklyn Music Festival
5/13 – 5/15, times and ticket prices TBA
This festival brings Louisiana talent together with local bands for a weekend of Cajun and Zydeco performances, dance lessons, workshops, and food. Tickets will be available online as the festival gets closer, and attendees will also be able to purchase them at the door. The evenings tend to sell out, so once the schedule is posted, you’ll probably want to reserve your spot as soon as possible.
Lower East Side Festival of the Arts
5/27 – 5/29, various times
Free to the public
This self-proclaimed free-for-all of theater, music, dance, comedy, film, and art is a yearly tribute to the artists who have lived and worked on the Lower East side throughout New York’s history. A schedule of performances and more information will become available on the Theater for the New City’s website as the festival approaches.
World Science Festival
6/1 – 6/5, times and ticket prices TBA
The World Science Festival aims to spark curiosity in the general public through discussions, debates, interactive explorations, performances, and outdoor experiences throughout the city. Tickets will become available on the festival website in the coming weeks, and you’ll be able to purchase them onsite as well. More information on this year’s program will be added to the website soon.
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Times and ticket prices vary
New York City’s largest jazz festival will celebrate its sixth year of bringing big-name performers to intimate venues across the city. Past headliners include Questlove, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, and Aretha Franklin. This year’s performers include Al Kooper, Arturo Sandoval, and the Joshua Redman Quartet, with more to be announced. A schedule with links to purchase tickets can be found on the Blue Note website.
6/4, 9am – 4pm
$23 – $45
Sample the world’s best coffees, learn various brewing methods, and attend classes and talks so you can learn to taste like the experts do and brew like a pro. Hear from top experts in the world of coffee, and win prizes in the CoffeeCon raffle. Purchase your tickets online and check the festival website for a schedule of classes, labs, and speakers.
6/6 – 6/12, various times
Many events are free; badges are available for $75 – $280
Northside Festival is broken up into three components: Music, Innovation, and Content. Over 400 artists will play on outdoor stages and in beloved indie venues across Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. The Innovation component features panel talks, keynotes, pitch competition, and networking events for those interested in tech, entrepreneurship, and design. Screenings, Q&As, meet & greets, and roundtable discussions make up the Content component of the festival. Tickets can be purchased or reserved for individual concerts, and badges will get you into all public events and will provide exclusive access to the Innovation and Content portions of the festival. Badges are onsale now, and a schedule of events (with RSVP links) will become available on the festival website shortly.
Jazz Age Lawn Party
6/11 – 6/12, 11am – 5pm
$35 – $5000
Travel back in time – and bring your period-appropriate attire – to enjoy dancing, Prohibition-era cocktails and food, and outdoor fun on Governor’s Island. Bring blankets or lawn chairs for when you want to take a break from all the reveling, and purchase gourmet food onsite or pack a picnic, depending on your budget. Or, if you want to be extravagant, you can rent a VIP tent that comes with bottle services and unlimited food and drink. This event has sold out each year, so if you plan on attending, buy your tickets now.
Museum Mile Festival
6/14, 6 – 9pm
Free to the public
For one day a year, all the museums along Fifth Avenue open their doors from 6 – 9pm for free as part of a mile-long block party and celebration of visual art. Originally conceived as a way to raise public awareness of what New York City’s museums have to offer, Museum Mile Festival has grown into a tradition that draws thousands of visitors from around the world each year. The festival kickoff takes place on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 14 at 5:45pm. A map and schedule of events is available on the festival website.
Whether you’re looking to learn something new about your favorite beverage, discover some new music, or check out one of New York’s many cultural institutions, there’s sure to be something on this list to pique your interest.