Happenings Guide Spring 2024

Happenings Guide Header

Street fairs, musical festivals, parades, parks in bloom: It’s impossible to be bored in New York City in the springtime. And it’s almost impossible to narrow down just 25 must-see, must-do events for the season—but we did our best!



Uncle Vanya credit: broadwayworld.com, High Fidelity credit: consequence.net, The Music of Crosby, Nash, and Stills credit: musicof.org, The Welkin credit: patch.com, The Governors Ball credit: governorsballmusicfestival.com

1. Uncle Vanya

April 2-June 16 | Lincoln Center Theater

 Steve Carell makes his Broadway debut as the title character in this new translation of Anton Chekhov’s famed play about passion and dissatisfaction. Joining him are Emmy nominee William Jackson Harper, L.A. Drama Critics Circle nominee Alfred Molina, and Tony winner Anika Noni Rose.

2. An Evening with John Cusack and Screening of “High Fidelity”

May 10 | The Town Hall

For many music fans, list makers, and romantics, “High Fidelity” is more than a movie; it’s a window into their soul. If that includes you, you’ll want to attend this one-night-only screening presented by the film’s star, John Cusack.

3. The Music of Crosby, Stills and Nash

May 13 | Carnegie Hall

 Shawn Colvin, Rickie Lee Jones, Grace Potter, and Todd Rundgren are among the performers scheduled to cover songs by Crosby, Stills and Nash in the 19th annual “Music of…” benefit supporting music education for underserved youth.

4. The Welkin

May 16-June 30 | Linda Gross Theater

Described as a feminist take on “12 Angry Men” set in rural 18th-century England, Lucy Kirkland’s play is making its U.S. debut in this production by the Atlantic Theater Company. Sandra Oh stars.

5. The Governors Ball

June 7-9 | Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Post Malone will be a headliner on the first day of this three-day, three-stage festival, with The Killers doing the honors on Saturday and SZA on Sunday. Among the dozens of other performers are Yung Gravy, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sabrina Carpenter, Reneé Rapp, and Don Toliver. As if the musical lineup weren’t enough of an attraction, Governors Ball is also noted for its eclectic lineup of food vendors.


100 Famous Views Of Edo credit: wikipedia.org, Somewhere To Roost credit: folkartmuseum.org, Frieze New York credit: frieze.com, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion credit: metmuseum.org, Jenny Holzer: Light Line credit: twitter.com/Guggenheim

 1. Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo (Featuring Takashi Murakami)

 April 5-August 4 | Brooklyn Museum

Utagawa Hiroshige’s ukiyo-e print series “100 Famous Views of Edo” is not only one of the most prized works in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection but also one of the most celebrated sets of woodblock prints in the history of Japanese art. The full set is going to be displayed for the first time in 24 years. Accompanying the prints are a series of paintings that contemporary artist Takashi Murakami made in response to Hiroshige’s works.

2. Somewhere to Roost

April 12-May 25 | American Folk Art Museum

 The more than 60 paintings, textiles, sculptures, and photographs in this exhibit represent the artists’ interpretations, both literal and figurative, of home. The works range from 19th-century watercolors to lively quilts to thought-provoking references to incarceration and housing insecurity.

3. Frieze New York

 May 1-5 | The Shed

More than 60 galleries from over two dozen countries will be displaying contemporary artworks at this year’s Frieze New York. The art fair also includes a special section, Focus, dedicated to emerging and under-appreciated artists. Those unable to attend in person can visit the online “viewing room,” which will open a week before the actual fair.

4. Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion

May 10-September 2 | The Met Fifth Avenue

The immersive qualities of fashion go beyond stepping into a gown or donning a jacket, as this exhibit by the Met’s Costume Institute aims to show. Some 250 garments and accessories dating as far back as the 17th century will be displayed amid light projections, soundscapes, and other multimedia technologies to reinforce the relationship between fashion and nature. As for the “sleeping beauties,” those are items too fragile to be placed on mannequins that will be displayed in innovative ways.


5. Jenny Holzer: Light Line

May 17-September 29 | Guggenheim Museum

In 1989, the Guggenheim hosted a Jenny Holzer retrospective in which her “truisms” and other written messages literally illuminated the museum’s famed rotunda. Thirty-five years later, the Guggenheim presents a “reimagination” and update of the original installation that will again display scrolling multicolor texts along all six of the museum’s ramps.



Head In The Clouds credit: MLB Instagram, 18th Annual Dance Parade and Festival credit: Dinara Khairova, Tribeca Festival credit: tribecafilm.com, Museum Mile Festival credit: Joe Buglewicz, Cats: The Jellicle Ball credit: dance-enthusiast.com


1. Head in the Clouds

May 11 and 12 | Forest Hills Stadium

 Korean girl group (G)I-dle, Japanese hip-hop artist Awich, and Filipino-American singer/songwriter Lyn Lapid are among the performers at this festival dedicated to contemporary music by Asian artists. Asian food plays a big role too, with vendors offering everything from Korean fried chicken to sugarcane juice.

2. 18th Annual Dance Parade and Festival

May 18 | Sixth Avenue and 17th Street to Tompkins Square Park

 Some 10,000 dancers are expected to perform more than 100 styles of dance during this celebration, which culminates with the four-hour, five-stage DanceFest at Tompkins Square Park. In addition to performances, the festival includes dance lessons, competitions, and plenty of opportunities to move to the beat of local DJs.

3. Tribeca Festival

June 5-16 | Various sites

The core of what originated as the Tribeca Film Festival remains its film screenings—this year, 249 feature and short films will be shown. But there’s much more as well. This includes premieres of TV series and podcasts, live performances by comedians and musicians, multimedia and immersive experiences, and panels with industry heavy-hitters. The final three days include De Niro Con: screenings, an interactive fan experience, discussions, and more honoring film legend and festival co-founder Robert De Niro.

4. Museum Mile Festival

June 11 | Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Streets

 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the International Center of Photography, and the Museum of the City of New York are among the nine museums offering free admission during this year’s festival. The stretch of Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic as well, making way for   musical performances and street entertainers.

5. Cats: The Jellicle Ball

June 13-July 14 | Perelman Performing Arts Center

The Ballroom culture of the LGBTQ+ community inspired this reimagining of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” itself inspired by T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” Arturo Lyons (aka NY Father Icon Arturo Miyake-Mugler of HBO Max series “Legendary”) and Omari Wiles (creative director of dance company Les Ballet Afrik) choreographed the competition-style restaging.


Uptown Night Market credit: timeout.com, Cocktails Through the Ages Mixology Class credit: Ambitious Studio/Rick Barrett, Ninth Avenue International Food Festival credit: live2seehk, New York Rum Festival credit: newyorkrumfest.com, Manhattan West Food Festival credit: theinfatuation.com


1. Uptown Night Market

 April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, and October 10 | 12th Avenue and 133 Street

On the second Thursday of each month through October, beginning at 4 p.m., the space beneath the arches of the Harlem Viaduct becomes a cornucopia of food vendors selling everything from roti to brownies. You’ll find sellers of jewelry, soaps, and other items, plus live music.

2. Cocktails Through the Ages Mixology Class

May 15 | City Winery

Have you ever wondered what cocktails were popular among Victorian imbibers or longed to imbibe the same sophisticated drinks as Nick and Nora in “The Thin Man”? This class, led by two City Wintery mixologists, will let you create and taste cocktails from a variety of eras, paired with bites to complement each drink.

3. Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

May 18 and 19 | Ninth Avenue from 42nd to 57th Streets

Tacos and bubble tea, paella and pizza, escargots and ice cream: If it’s tasty, you’re apt to find it here, at the city’s oldest continuing food festival. There will be two stages with international music and dancing to complement the global food and beverages, so get ready to eat, drink, and be merry.

4. New York Rum Festival

June 8 | 100 Sutton St., Brooklyn

Here’s your chance to not only sample a gamut of premium rums but also learn more about the making of the beverage, the differences among rums from various countries, and how to optimize your imbibing experience.

5. Manhattan West Food Festival

 June 14 and 15 | Manhattan West Plaza

The eight-acre, six-building complex that is Manhattan West is home to a number of restaurants and bars. During its inaugural food festival you can savor food and drinks alfresco from a number of these hot spots, priced at cost and accompanied by live DJ performances.


TD Five Boro Bike Tour credit: photo credit: Tod Seelie/Bike New York, Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show credit: nytimes.com, Wonderland Curious Nature credit: nybg.org, The Mermaid Parade credit: Brian Lin/Wikimedia, Pride March and PrideFest credit: queerforty.com

 1. TD Five Boro Bike Tour

May 5 | Citywide

Pedal your way from downtown Manhattan up to the Bronx, down through Queens and Brooklyn, and over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to Staten Island, where you can recover in the VIP lounge with a well-deserved lunch. Or cheer the bikers on and enjoy the music and dance performances at stages along the route.

2. Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

May 11, 13, and 14 | USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Celebrating its 148th anniversary, the Westminster dog show is more than some 3,000 canines, representing over 200 breeds, trotting around a ring to show off their good looks. The first day spotlights agility and obedience training and includes a special exhibition of dock diving, spotlighting dogs who love to make a splash.

3. Wonderland: Curious Nature

May 18-October 27 | New York Botanical Garden

Enjoy your own adventures in Wonderland as you explore this immersive experience inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. Along with a 12-foot-high White Rabbit made of plants, larger-than-life kinetic mushrooms, and an all-white chess game, there will be scavenger hunts, exhibits about mind-altering plants, art installations, otherworldly botanical displays, and of course, tea parties.

4. The Mermaid Parade

June 22 | Coney Island

A true “only in New York” event, this fantastical fete pays homage to the Mardi Gras parades held during Coney Island’s heyday. Along with costumed merfolk vying to be crowned King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, there will be marching bands, dancing groups, floats, antique cars, and all sorts of other wildly artistic and imaginative participants.

5. Pride March and PrideFest

June 30 | Fifth Avenue and 25th Street to Greenwich Village

Sometimes referred to as a parade, the Pride March typically includes floats and performers, but it’s as much a civil rights demonstration as it is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. Along with the march, there’s the PrideFest street fair, a kaleidoscopic gathering of booths selling and offering samples of food, drinks, and gear along with free performances.

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