Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your seasonal bucket list. Let’s be honest, our 2021 bucket list has been adding up for quite some time now, especially after being cooped up for so long at home. But what exactly is open and what do you have to know before you visit? We’ve got you covered with all the spring inspo & info you’ll need to take advantage of in the new season. From merry-go-round rides in the park to tacos with a waterfront view, we’ve gathered a diverse collection of spring must-dos. Many of the activities involve getting outside as the weather gets warmer, bye snow (we think) and hello flowers! But we’ve also snuck in some indoor fun for rainy days. Get ready for an action-packed, fun-filled, and (hopefully) less screen time season with our NYC spring bucket list for families!
February 20 – April 4
Spring orchids in NYC are always a must-see! Each year, the New York Botanical Garden hosts a series of events so that you can check out these beauties and learn about how to take care of them. Bring your family and purchase a ticket beforehand because the gardens are operating at reduced capacity. $28 adults, $12 kids ages 2-12, free for members, 10 am-5 pm. 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126.
You want to get outside in the spring, but also stay healthy and safe. That’s why, in a huge space like Bronx Zoo, you can easily do both. And your kids will love checking out all the different animals that the zoo has to offer. A great way to have some educational fun, Bronx Zoo is definitely on the spring bucket list this year. Be sure to reserve a date-specific ticket in advance! $22.95 kids ages 3-12, $30.95 adults, free for members, 10 am-4:30 pm, hours change on March 27 to Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday & holidays 10 am-5:30 pm. 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460.
We’re loving the Family Putt Putt package at Turtle Cove that includes mini golf for four, plain pizza, mozzarella sticks, and water. The mini golf course is creative and fun for all ages. Everyone has to wear face coverings and social distance between holes. $39 Family Putt Putt package, or $9 adults, $8 kids ages 12 & under. Turtle Cove Golf Center, 1 City Island Rd, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY 10464-1003.
Saturdays starting April 3
Returning in early April is the well-known series for culture and cuisine: Bronx Night Market. Support local and small businesses throughout the spring and summer as you try delicious food from over 50 vendors. With iconic eats and family-friendly activities, it doesn’t get much better than this ongoing event! Reserve a timed ticket ahead of time so that Bronx Night Market can monitor social distancing and capacity. Free, 12-7 pm. 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY 10458.
Wave Hill is now open for visitors! Tickets must be purchased in advance, face coverings are required, and certain areas are still closed, but Wave Hill is very excited to welcome your family to the gardens. Weekend Family Art Projects are still virtual, but this could (maybe) shift to in-person in the spring. Have some outdoor fun with your family as you make your way through the art and nature that Wave Hill has to offer. $10 adults, $6 kids, free admission on Thursdays, Thursday-Sunday 10 am-4:30 pm. 4900 Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471.
March 27 and April 3
Before we know it, Easter will be here! With 47 acres of outdoor space, Queens Farm hosts one of the best egg hunts for kiddos in NYC. Social distancing will definitely be built in to this year’s hunt, but with so much space, the farm can accommodate a decent amount of families. Visit the farm animals, hop on a hayride, and enjoy delicious eats and treats from food vendors all day. $12/person, 11 am-4 pm with timed tickets for egg hunting. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY 11004.
Celebrate Earth Day with your family at Queens Farm! There will be plenty of fun activities for you to get crafty, creative & active as you learn about how Queens Farm celebrates Earth Day every day. This is a great way to get outside in the spring (with social distancing, of course!) and show your appreciation for our beautiful planet. Cost and time TBA. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY 11004.
Opens Spring 2021
Amusement parks can finally open up again on April 9, and we couldn’t be more excited! If you’ve been to Fantasy Forest, you know just how much fun this place is. There are tons of kid-friendly rides and timeless games like ring toss. Stay tuned to find out more about the reopening of Fantasy Forest this spring, which will surely come with social distancing and limited capacity. Free admission, $4 per ticket, 1 ticket is one ride/game, pricing deals available for purchase of more tickets including $30 weekday unlimited ride wristband, hours subject to change. 53-51 111th St., Queens, NY 11368.
Mark your calendars for this 5K and 3K Family Run/Walk at Queens Zoo! There will be costumed characters, music, trivia, refreshments, and, of course: free zoo admission. The two courses run throughout the zoo, and there will be social distancing measures in place to assure your health and safety. All adult participants have to fundraise $35 by April 4, and the money will go to supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society. Ticket prices vary, 8 am 5K, 10:30 am 3K. 53-51 111th St, Corona, Queens, NY 11368
Opens March 27
Rent a boat (or two!) for your family to spend the day on the lake. Wheel Fun Rentals offer pedal and double pedal boats for up to four people. Especially as the weather gets warmer in April, this is a great activity for the whole family to do together. Rental prices vary. North Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY.
Opens in Spring 2021
We couldn’t be more excited about this Pier 55 island in a river! Little Island is a public park that brings together nature and art so you can take a break from urban life in NYC. And stay tuned for performances by NYC artists and entertainers through Little Island’s “Perform in the Park” programming. We’ve been patiently waiting for the unveiling of this new NYC oasis, so grab your family and get ready for a brand new outdoor experience this spring. Pier 55 at Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10014.
This iconic carousel is a must-do for spring time in NYC. Your little ones will love the brightly-colored animals and you’ll love the adorable photo you get of them on the ride! With cabaret music and an elegant, French classical style, this merry-go-round is one of a kind. After a few rides, take a stroll through Bryant Park together as a family. $3 per ride, $20 for a 10-ride discount card, March-May open daily 11 am-7 pm. Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018.
A top attraction in Central Park, Belvedere Castle has charmed families for years. Your kids will get a kick out of this magical-like beauty — especially as they get to climb up the spiral staircase inside! Enjoy breathtaking views from multiple levels of the Castle, and spend the rest of the day exploring Central Park. Free, 10 am-5 pm. Mid-Park at 79th, New York, NY 10024.
We all know the saying: “April showers bring May flowers”. 2020 and 2021 may be very different years, but some things never change. On those rainy days when you can’t go outside but don’t want to be cooped up yet again in your home, head on over to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Choose from two new family tours that include dancing & music, storytime, art-making, scavenger hunts, free play in exhibits, personal activity kits, and more. Reserve your adventure ahead of time because all visitors are required to have a timed ticket and there is limited capacity. $15 per ticket, Wednesday-Sunday 9:30 am-4:45 pm. The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024.
When it’s dark and rainy outside, The Color Factory is just what you need to brighten up your day. This colorful sensation that swept NYC off its feet in 2018 has since been surprising us with new and exciting exhibits, color palettes, and immersive experiences. Be sure to have your phone ready, because this is one of the most Instagrammable places in NYC. Note that there are lots of COVID-19 safety procedures in place including masks and social distancing, and you must purchase a ticket beforehand. $35-$38 adults, $25-28 kids ages 3-12, free for ages 2 and under, Thursday 9:30 am-5:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 9:30 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-3:30 pm. 251 Spring St, New York, NY 10013.
Eager to get outside this spring? So are we! That’s why, the High Line had to be on our spring bucket list. The High Line is currently open with a free timed-entry reservation system on weekends and limited capacity for social distancing. But on weekdays, you don’t need a reservation. Check out some of the best views in NYC, like the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook, and immerse yourself in history, nature, and art for the day. This is also a great way for your kiddos to use up some of that seemingly never-ending energy they have! Monday-Friday 7 am-7 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm. Enter at Gansevoort St, 23rd St, or 30th St, with exits throughout.
Looking for a sugar rush? Well nobody does sugar like the Sour Patch Kids Store in Greenwich Village. Wall to wall, you’ll find sweet and sour treats that are sure to make any little one excited. There’s even a Sweets Bar that whips up creations like milkshakes, over-the-top ice cream cones, sweet and sour cotton candy, and more — all Sour Patch Kids-inspired, of course. Make your spring extra sweet this year! Open daily, 12-8 pm. 665 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.
Don’t skip out on celebrating Lunar New Year with your family at Brookfield Place! In partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Studio Brookfield Place is putting on one-of-a-kind live performances with advanced registration required. Friday sessions will be dance performances, and Sunday ones will be music. March 5, 12, 5-7 pm and March 7, 14, 1-4 pm. 230 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281.
This pop culture-inspired, Black-owned ice cream shop is one of our top picks for spring treats. The shop focuses on combining the best locally sourced ingredients in New York to create new and delish ice cream flavors. Our favorite is Truffle Shuffle, chocolate ice cream with mini chocolate chips and chocolate-covered marshmallows — yum! Fun fact: the founder, Mikey, has created custom flavors for celebs like Hillary Clinton and Jay-Z. East Village: Thursday-Sunday, 2-10 pm, 199 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009. Harlem hours TBA, 2500 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030.
Manhattan’s only 18-hole mini golf course is ready for your family in Tribeca. With 13,000 square feet, waterfalls, streams, ponds, bridges, sand traps, caves, and more, this course will not disappoint. We recommend calling ahead for availability. Monday-Friday 12-5:30 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-5:30 pm. Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10013.
Opens in Spring 2021
It wouldn’t be spring without Coney Island, and lucky for us, Governor Cuomo announced that amusement parks can open at 33% capacity starting April 9! Temperature checks and pre-purchased tickets will definitely be in effect, so make sure you check in on availability ahead of time. Have you missed Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Luna Park as much as we have? Then head on over for a day of fun and games on Coney Island.
No spring bucket list is complete without an outdoor dining experience at Tacocina. As the weather gets warmer, head over to Domino Park for lunch at this taco stand that serves up creative and classic eats. With a waterfront view and plenty to do at Domino Park before or after your meal, your family will obsess over this trendy Brooklyn spot. Sunday-Thursday 11 am-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 11 am-11 pm. 25 River St, Brooklyn, NY 11249.
Parks are always a go-to for some spring fun in the sun, and Prospect Park is top-notch. During Nature Playtime, your family can explore the Park’s nature through creative play. Simply pre-download the Nature Playtime Spring Activity Card and start walking! Activities may include checking out insects, exploring “leaf litter,” and nature-inspired arts & crafts.
January 29-March 28
Operating at 25% capacity with masks required, Puppetworks is now open, and they’re ready to entertain your family! If you kiddos love the movie Aladdin, then they’ll definitely obsess over this puppet performance, suggested for ages 3 and up. The show runs through March 28, so you have plenty of time to call and make a reservation. $11 adults, $10 kids, Wednesday-Friday 4 pm, Saturday-Sunday 12:30 pm and 2 pm. 338 6th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
As Brooklyn’s ONLY intersectional feminist indie bookstore & coffee shop that is Afro-Latinx owned, we 10/10 recommend a visit to this special place. Whether you’re looking for new books, new friends, or a new community, this Brooklyn gem has you covered. Bring your kiddos for a fun day at the bookstore where they can pick out new reads that celebrate diversity, inclusion, and representation. And don’t miss out on the oh-so-many events, including Zoom and IG Live talks with authors. Tuesday-Friday 9 am-3 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm. 724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216.
On a sunny day, pack up sandwiches and snacks, and head over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a family picnic. There are picnic tables at Piers 2, 3, and 6, the Pier 5 Picnic Peninsula, and the beautiful Picnic Grove. Picnic tables and grilling areas are first come, first serve.
Wednesdays – Sundays, 11 am – 6 pm, Feb. 26 through Sept. 5
Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS, has bridged the worlds of art, pop culture and commerce for 25 years. KAWS: WHAT PARTY is featuring more than 100 works of his, ranging from graffiti to furniture. Tickets are available for purchase online.
CAMP has reopened, and we are so excited to return! Crafts and activities have certainly changed to keep your kids healthy and safe, but all of the same educational fun has stayed the same. Visit CAMP in-person this spring for arts & crafts with individually-wrapped craft kits, socially-distant tables for play, and rotating themes that will surely keep your kids entertained. Sunday-Friday 11 am-5 pm, Saturday 11 am-6 pm. City Point, 1 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Opens March 27
We can’t get over how adorable these bike rentals are at Marine Park. For families with little ones, these family unit bikes are perfect for a spring outing. The Deuce Coupe sits two adults and two kids, while the Double Surrey can fit up to six people (four pedal) and two little ones in the basket. Choose which bike is best for your family and get pedaling! Rental prices vary. Marine Park, between East 33rd St and Stuart St, Brooklyn, NY.
Sure, you could have done this in the winter, but it’s much more fun when it’s not freezing outside. Make your way from one side of the bridge to the other, and don’t forget to take cute photos of your little ones with this stunning, Instagrammable backdrop. Check out Brooklyn Bridge Park after your walk!