As the saying goes, “spring is in the air.” Shed your winter overcoats and get out to see the trees blossoming, flowers emerging and leaves turning green. Springtime is a great season to visit New York City. Traveling in groups is loads of fun and there are so many attractions to choose from!
US Coachways has the perfect vehicle waiting for you, and now is the time to start planning – whether you’re taking students on a field trip or enjoying a day trip or night out on the town with family and friends.
New York City Spring Highlights
New York Botanical Gardens
The New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) is fantastic to visit any time of the year, but springtime is a magnificent season for daffodils, cherry trees blossoms and other flowers.
Mother’s Day Weekend is May 11–12, 2018 and you can treat mom to a weekend garden party, bird walks and a world of plants at NYBG. Special activities await you, like music, games and picnicking and you can always take in a delicious meal at the Hudson Garden Grill.
May 18 begins the Georgia O’Keeffe and Hawai’i exploration through the landscapes and paintings of renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Theresa Papanikolas, Ph.D. will curate the event and other distinguished guests will join her to discuss the powerful influences in natural surroundings that inspired O’Keeffe as she connected with people, plants and places.
Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit
What could be more in keeping with spring flowers than butterflies? Wonderfully beautiful with their colors, intricate designs and grace, butterflies at the exhibit delight visitors of all ages.
At the American Museum of Natural History, the Butterfly Conservatory Exhibit lasts through May 28, 2018. You can learn all about the anatomy, evolution and conservation of butterflies. View them resting on lush green, tropical plants and see them flutter through the air. They feel safe and at home in this natural habitat and when you’re least expecting it, a butterfly may even land on you. The conservatory features over 500 butterflies that represent over 100 species. They come from countries all over the world, such as Brazil, Kenya, Thailand and Australia.
New York is a city of festivals in springtime. And its festivals certainly run the gamut. You have ethnic festivals, technology and film festivals and a multitude of food and beverage festivals. It seems like there’s a festival for everyone. Here are just a few to check out in May:
Latino LGBTQ Festival. From May 9-20 the Latino LGBTQ festival called FuerzaFest highlights the theme” ART on the FRONTLINE” and will feature films, short plays, dance, panel discussions, art exhibitions and networking events.
TechDay. The entire tech community comes out for TechDay, including industry leaders, investors and new startups. The event features 500 startup exhibitors, talks, live demo stages, fireside chats and opportunities to pitch to Shark Tank. The festival is held at Pier 94 and more than 20,000 people have registered to attend. May 10 is the date to remember.
Creative Film Festival. Put on by Columbia University, the film festival premieres shorts, screenplays and teleplays produced by Masters students in the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program. Lincoln Center is hosting the event on May 10.
Bronx Week. From May 11 – May 20, you can get to know the Bronx through a borough-wide celebration that includes a parade, the Bronx Ball and a food and arts festival. There will also be a concert performed by local artists.
Jazz Gala. The Made in New York Jazz Gala is an annual event where the jazz masters converge on New York to celebrate their passion — jazz. In fact, you’ll see jazz musicians from all over the world, more than 55 countries.
Taco Takeover. This taco and tequila tasting promotes itself as a “fiesta-val” experience and is for guests 21 and over. It features an unlimited open bar, serving tequila cocktails and beer along with tacos and best dishes from local Mexican chefs. The event is happening at the Brooklyn Expo Center on May 12.
Caribbean Musical. Don’t miss the musical production Jamaica at the Harlem Repertory Theatre on May 12. This is the show where Lena Horne became a Broadway hit and is a story about an island girl who dreams of escaping to NYC and finding her true love.
Japanese Festival. Japan Day @ Central Park takes place at the Central Park Bandshell on May 13. Enjoy music, dance performances, karate demonstrations, sword fights, origami, Kabuki face painting and calligraphy. Traditional Japanese fare along with cooking demonstrations and sample tasting are also attraction you don’t want to miss.
Festival of the Arts. The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts showcases music, dancing, film, poetry, theater and visual arts at the Theater for the New City during May 25–27. You’ll see hundreds of well-known and emerging artists in dynamic performances that are full of diversity.
African Festival. During May 25–28, the country’s largest African dance festival takes place, called DanceAfrica. Along with celebrating the spirit and music of South Africa, it acknowledges the centennial birthday of Nelson Mandela and his contributions to freedom. Rejoice in the rhythm and movements of African culture performed by a number of dance companies and groups at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in the Peter Jay Sharp Building.
Puerto Rican Festival. The date is May 26 and the place is the 152nd Street. Set in the Bronx, and known as the 152nd Street Cultural Festival, the event kicks off with a parade and celebrates Puerto Rican culture with its live music, comedy, art, dancing and traditional Puerto Rican fare. This is a family friendly festival and children will enjoy the story telling, face painting and crafts at the children’s pavilion.
Top of the Rock Observatory
NYC Explorer Pass lists the top 10 things to do in New York City during springtime. Top of the Rock Observatory is one of them.
How would you like a bird’s eye view of Manhattan’s midtown and Central Park? It doesn’t get better than the Top of the Rock Observatory. This rooftop observation deck of Rockefeller Center is three tiered and sits on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors. You’ll get a panoramic view of the Big Apple from 850 feet up in the sky.
Clipper City Tall Ship Sail
Clipper City Tall Ship Sail also made the top-ten list. Step back into time aboard a historic clipper.
You’ll depart form Downtown Manhattan and see stunning views of New York Harbor landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island. A six-man crew hoists the sails and an experienced captain stands at the helm of this schooner that spans 158 feet.
Its mast stretches 12 stories high. With the wind billowing in its massive sails, the boat will take you under the Brooklyn Bridge and through New York Harbor. The clipper was modeled after plans loaned from the Smithsonian Institution for a Civil War lumber schooner.
Guests can enjoy a full-service bar with reasonably priced drinks along with sodas, coffee, tea and snacks.
Luna Park at Coney Island
Coney Island is a favorite New York pastime and tradition in its own right with its rides, games and shops. The famous Cyclone, Sling Shot and Thunderbolt will have you screaming at the top of your lungs, and these are just a few of the many rides to enjoy. Tamer rides for young children include the B&B Carousel and Mermaid Parade.
Enjoy dining on the beach at a boardwalk restaurant and munch on fried shrimp while you sip on a frosty margarita. Or indulge in a traditional Coney Cone made from homemade gelato. People of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities enjoy Coney Island.
Reasons to Leave the Driving to a Professional
People shy away from driving in New York City and for good reason. The traffic. The pedestrians. The bicycles. Driving in the city is a traffic nightmare. Many locals don’t even own cars.
US Coachways can provide you with the right vehicle for your Big Apple excursion, and there’s plenty to enjoy when you leave the driving to a professional:
No driving hassles. Say goodbye to bumper-to-bumper traffic hassles and searching for parking. Professional drivers know best routes, deal with parking and drop you off right in front of wherever you’re going.
No drinking and driving worries. Everyone in your party can have a few drinks and there are no worries about designating a driver. You’re in safe hands from the time you leave to the time you return home.
No waiting for others to arrive. With a group of people, unless you all ride together, there will always be stragglers. Whether caught up in traffic or losing their way, someone in the party is bound to lag behind. When you’re out to have a good time, do it the right way. Leave the driving to a professional.
Charter Your Vehicle Today
US Coachways provides services to travelers around the nation. We look forward to helping you plan the details of your trip. For customized service, call our toll-free number at 1-888-340-9122 and speak with one of our representatives.