The Guide to Visiting New York City in Spring

New York City is just like every other place in the world when it comes to reawakening after the winter thaw: The days get longer, the trees start blooming and people seem happier. However, NYC has its own unique ways of celebrating the spring season, making the city a wonderful destination for spring travel. If you’re planning on visiting New York City in the spring months, here are some things to know.

Average Weather

Visiting NYC in March can be a completely different experience than visiting in April. If you come in early spring, know that there’s still a reasonable chance of snow. In fact, the average temperatures in March range from 32 to 48 degrees, and in March 2018, NYC saw nearly a foot of snowfall in Central Park. Temperatures warm up in April, with averages between 42 and 58 degrees. May, of course, is even warmer, with an average low of 53 degrees and a high of 68 degrees. While it’s more likely to snow in March, past years have seen some April snow, and both April and May can be wet with rain.

Azaleas in Central Park

Credit: Shutterstock

Clothing You’ll Need

Spring’s changeable weather means you should really think about what you pack for a visit to the city during this season. As with visiting in the fall, your best bet is to dress in layers, so you’re ready for whatever the day brings. Think casual clothing for most daily sightseeing activities, so jeans, slacks, skirts — whatever you’re comfortable in. Wear long-sleeve shirts with a sweatshirt, sweater or jacket that you can easily put on or take off and carry. Also, wear sturdy and comfortable walking shoes or sneakers; if they’re water-proof, that’s even better.

Slip a warm hat and gloves into your luggage if you’re visiting in March or early April, and bring a warm coat, too. An umbrella is always a good idea, but if you forget one, there are a multitude of places to buy them in NYC and fun ones can be a good souvenir from your vacation.

Of course, if you have fancier plans during your stay in the Big Apple, such as tickets to the opera or reservations at Eleven Madison Park or Daniel, bring fancier clothing. Check ahead on dress codes so you’re not turned away at the door.

Seasonal Activities in NYC

No place shakes off the winter blues quite like New York City, and these spring activities are a feast for sore eyes.

Orchid Show

The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show takes place from early March to the third week in April. While you can walk through and marvel at the sheer number and diversity of the orchids, there are also demonstrations, tours and how-to classes.

Orchid Show Botanical Garden

credit: Pri Ma / Shutterstock

Cherry Blossom Festival

Not to be outdone by the NYBG’s Orchid Show in the Bronx, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden hosts its Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring. In addition to celebrating the cherry trees, the festival showcases Japanese culture with assorted performances and activities. There are several other places in the city to see cherry trees in bloom, including the United Nations Headquarters.

Sakura Matsuri

Credit: a katz / Shutterstock

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival began the spring after the 9/11 attacks, as an effort to bring people back to the Tribeca neighborhood in lower Manhattan. The festival gets stronger and more popular every year, attracting world-class movies, panels, speakers and stars. Movies are shown at an assortment of theaters throughout Tribeca, and you can pick from your choice of passes and tickets.

Pillow Fight Day NYC

For something completely different, join Pillow Fight Day NYC in early April at Washington Square Park. In 2018, the pillow fight was sponsored by mattress store Mattress Firm, which afterward donated gently used pillows to a program that helps homeless children. Do good, and have fun — and have a great story to tell from your trip to New York City in the spring.

Fight Pillow

Credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock

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