Though we’ve decided that it was a little cruel and unusual to make us spring forward (and lose that hour of sleep) when there was still snow on the ground, the calendar tells us it’s spring and we are so so so ready to believe it. Hopefully that means it IS safe to start planning some awesome fun days for when those warmer spring breezes start blowing. So, check out these 15 Fresh Things to Do to Make Spring Season Awesome . Because winter can’t stick around forever, can it?
Stuff your face. The foodie craze is poised to get even bigger with temps rising this Spring and outdoor venues adding to the quickly multiplying indoor food courts. Smorgasburg is set to reopen the last weekend in March with new additions like Canada's fave dessert "B'tarts" and 14 year old top chef Jack Greenleaf's hyped Banana Breads. And listen we know you love the Yankees or the Mets but let’s be honest, part of the reason you go to the games is for the food. Now you can sample fare from MLB stadiums around the country all without worrying about getting conked in the head by a foul ball or getting sunburned on one side of your face. The MLB Foodfest will hit New York on April 21st and will feature a menu boasting tastings from all 30 Major League ballparks. Or, class up the joint a little at the Alba Vineyard Spring Food Truck and Wine festival to be held the weekend of April 21-22. Choose from a varity of food trucks and then pair it with the perfect Alba Vineyards wine then settle in for an afternoon of music and maybe a trip back for seconds.
Go for a run. You’ve been cooped up inside for too long. Give that Peloton a break and get outside. There are races aplenty for runners of all levels and abilities. Want to commune with the animals while you race? Register for the Bronx Zoo Run for the Wild. Want to challenge yourself with a longer distance? Rock the River in the Palisades half marathon. Feel the need to do good while you’re working out? The Habitat for Humanity Race to Build is the run for you. Got a hankering for a little NYC nosh after your race? Try the GWB Challenge or the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge. Or, join a mud run or a color run or find something for the whole family at the annual Rubin Run at Kaplen JCC on the Palisades which is held Mother's Day morning and gets bigger (and better!) every year.
Kick it. Baseball isn’t the only professional sport you can watch in the spring (okay, we’re not counting hockey and basketball which seem to have a 10-month season). Cheer on your favorite soccer stars as major league soccer starts its season. Local team the New York Red Bulls are in action now and the women’s Sky Blue Football Club team’s home opener is on April 15th. Goooooooaaaaaal!
Stop and smell the flowers. Those crocuses and daffodils have hopefully poked their heads out of the ground a few times already this spring but one of these days they’re going to find the conditions appealing enough to stay. Since nothing says spring more than a daffodil, make plans to attend the New York Botanical Garden Daffodil Fest or Daffodil Fest and Earth Fair in Ridgewood. Then grab the book Daffodil for a little bedtime reading. Very few sights are as pretty as Cherry Blossoms for the few weeks they're in bloom. Celebrate that beauty at the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival (and don't forget your picnic lunch). If you’re more of a variety person, visit the 44th Annual Macy’s Flower Show where this year, the theme is “Once Upon a Springtime”. In this story, illustrated by over a million flowers in full bloom, winter is the Evil Queen and it’s up to four sisters and a flower-breathing dragon to fight against her so spring can return. We can say that we are #teamsisters for sure!
Take your pick. Sure, you can always pick up a carton of strawberries on your next trip to the grocery store, but why not pick your own instead? New Jersey isn’t called The Garden State for nothing and you-pick-it farms are dotted all over the state. Find your perfect picking spot, grab a bucket and indulge your hankering for fresh strawberries warm off the vine. Just don’t forget to save some for later. Because, shortcake.
Play all day. Right, all these events are great, but sometimes you just need to blow off steam for an hour or so before dinner. When your little one(s) need to run, these playground gems will guarantee you hours of fun (and the chance to check your email for the first time all day).
Shave and a haircut. If it’s time for you to put away your heavy coat, then it must be time for the sheep to do the same thing. Get a front row seat for the action at the Bergen County Zoo’s Sheep Shearing to be held this year on Saturday, May 5th. Or venture further afield (get it? a field?) and head to the Stone Barns Sheep Shearing Fest to be held in Pocantico Hills, NY on Saturday, April 28th. If that’s sold out, try the Stone Barns Insider Tour, an extensive behind-the-scenes view of Stone Barns with one of the farm or program staff.
Take a weekend away. Need a change of scenery? Some time to recharge your batteries, sleep in, take some me-time and remember what you liked about your significant other in the first place? Check out these stunning spots that are perfect for either a romantic weekend getaway or a splurge on the most important person in your life…you!
Catch a show. But how will you ever decide? Headed into the city? Revisit high school with the new Tina Fey show Mean Girls. Or, learn how to say “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” with Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Or, stop by Spongebob, Once on this Island or the brand new Frozen. Use our new favorite website Broadway Roulette for tickets at prices that will make you think maybe you should see two shows. Want to stay closer to home? BergenPAC offers up unbelievable shows at amazing prices and in an accessible and convenient location. Upcoming shows include David Sedaris, Good night Construction Site, Anderson Cooper, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and PJ Masks Live. Or, prepare to be amazed by the new Cirque du Soleil show ZOLTA, now playing at the Meadowlands.
Take them back to the earth. You know your kids love to get their hands dirty. So why not use that to your advantage? Stop by a children’s farm this spring and get your hands in the dirt. Or feed some animals. Spend some time seeing where they grow the food that ends up on your table. Best bets? Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, the baby animal tour at Alstede Farms in Chester, Special Needs Goats who love to snuggle at beyond adorable Goats of Anarchy, or the Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris where kids can see exactly how livestock was raised a century ago. Farms not your thing? A visit to a children’s garden might be just the ticket. Try the Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich Village, the HSBC Children’s Garden in Queens or the Voelker Orth Museum Victorian Garden.
Get festive. Spring music festivals abound. Two that are definitely worth checking out are the Exit Zero Jazz Fest held the weekend of April 20-22nd. Headliners include Chris Botti, The Baylor Project and Joey Alexander. Plus, mark your calendar for the New Jersey Folk Festival to be held on April 28th at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. This annual folk music and cultural festival will focus on Native Americans in New Jersey and will feature live music and dance performances, crafts and food as well as children’s activities and heritage demonstrations.
Let them eat EVERYTHING. Psst. There’s a Chelsea Market & Highline Food Tour. We repeat. There is a Chelsea Market & Highline Food Tour. So put down that last box of Thin Mints and get going. For two hours, you’ll tour bakeries, delicatessens and dessert havens then finish up with some Ample Hills Ice Cream. The best part? You’ll be walking so you won’t have to worry about the eating. Oh, and don't even think about hitting NYC without visiting insta-famous bakery Flour Shop - serving the must-have cake of the moment (and don't forget pics or it didn't happen).
Go Behind the Scenes. Ever wonder what happens backstage at a Broadway show? The Disney on Broadway Behind the Magic Experience might answer some of those questions for you. Start your tour at the New Amsterdam Theater where you’ll learn the history of the building and hear about how Disney shows on Broadway have been brought to life. Then, take either a backstage tour or a tour of the prop studio all while learning more about the history of Broadway. We’re not sure if you’ll really learn how on earth Aladdin’s magic carpet flies but we know you’ll have a zip-a-dee-do-da day!
Fill your life with art. What is it about viewing art in the open air? Something about it feels so celebratory and fresh. So be inspired at the Montclair Spring Art Walk where, on May 18th, over 50 merchants will be highlighting art and artists throughout the downtown area. Or, head to the Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival on Sunday, May 6th featuring fine artists, children’s activities, crafters and food. Lots and lots of food. Mark your calendars for Frieze New York scheduled for May 3-6 on Randall’s Island where you will be able to view and buy art from more than 1,000 leading artists and attend talks and new artist commissions.
But wait, there’s more. You can never go wrong with an outing to The Cloisters and if you haven’t been, go! Your kiddos will get to run around and you’ll get your fill of medieval architecture and art. Want to keep it in Jersey? Grounds for Sculpture is the ticket. Roam the extensive grounds and take in breathtaking sculpture by both established and emerging sculptors. Also this spring, the NYBG will take you to the tropics with Georgia O’Keeffe’s Visions of Hawai’i. Want something more concrete? How about the David Bowie exhibit open now through July 15th at the Brooklyn Museum? We bet it will be Modern Love at first sight.
Amuse the kiddos. Sure you’d rather head to Six Flags or The Met, but how is that fun when your kids can’t yet hit the minimum height requirement for all the good rides and or you’re not sure how to explain the Roman antiquities? Downsize your fun at Diggerland, Storybook Land, or Land of Make Believe. No loop-de-loops or 7 story plunges here but who needs that when you can operate heavy machinery, see your favorite stories come to life. Or head to the Children’s Museum of the Arts where kids create alongside working artists. And while you’re at it, don’t miss the Dimenna Children’s History Museum at the New York Historical Society where kids get 350 years of New York and American history through character-based pavilions, interactive exhibits and digital games. You’re going to need more than a weekend to hit all these hot spots!