5 Must-Do Spring Family Activities in NYC

Celebrate Spring and Go Green!

Spring has officially arrived! True, the vernal equinox was about a month ago, but with 20 degree weather jumps every other moment, today’s warmer temperatures and blossoming trees could be our signal that we have full reason to skip in the streets and revel in the New York City sunshine. It’s time to welcome the season by taking advantage of all that our city has to offer. Here are my top five family activities for spring 2013: added bonus, almost all of them are outdoors!

1. Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden: April 27– April 28, 2013, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. *Tickets should be purchased in advance via http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/351365


Celebrate the cherry blossoms blooming and learn about all types of Japanese cultural activities. There will be dance and music performances, all types of art workshops (if your children like manga, they’re in for a treat!) and instrument making, plus much more. If you just want to explore the gardens and take in nature’s wonders, enjoy a guided tour.

2. Wave Hill


Take a trip to Riverdale, Bronx and enjoy the breathtaking, sprawling gardens. The last time I visited Wave Hill there were a variety of activities happening for both children and adults. Engage in an art activity such as creating a kite, take a guided  nature walk, or learn at one of their workshops, such as “Reptiles and Amphibians of the Lower Hudson Valley” on 5/25/13.

3. Earth Day 2013 at Grand Central Terminal, April 20-22, 2013, 10am-6pm *FREE


Happy Birthday to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan! While there are many events scheduled to mark its 100th year, the bustling terminal turns into a huge Earth Day party this weekend. There will be activities for children and live performances. Have the family learn about sustainability together and implement the lessons at home!

4. Spring Kids Fest at Madison Square Park 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue
Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:30am-1:30pm *FREE


Sunshine, live music, activity tables, and food! What more could you ask for? A collaboration between Time Out New York Kids and the Madison Square Park Conservancy, this event is always fun for children and adults alike!  Madison Square Park is centrally located near several subway lines (F, N, R, 6) or a quick walk from the hub of Union Square.

5. Go on the Carousel and Read Outside at Bryant Park


Only a few blocks away from the frenzied Times Square and Grand Central Terminal you will find the oasis of Bryant Park – full of tables and seating, and most importantly a carousel! Your children can ride antique style toads, bunnies, and horses while taking in the park scenery. There is also a small kids’ “Reading Room” with colorful chairs and a variety of books. No need to pack snacks since there’s a ‘witchcraft’ outpost!

Enjoy the season and don’t forget my art teacher’s tip: Have your child bring a sketchbook and pencil to draw outside and write about the favorite part of their day! It makes for great dinner conversation too!

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Christina Soriano is an artist and art teacher in New York City. For more infomation follow her on twitter @sorianodesigns  or visit www.christinasorianodesigns.com

 

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