You know the saying, “New York City is the city that never sleeps.” As a proud New Yorker, I can attest that there’s always something to do and somewhere to go anytime of day or night. As a husband and father of two, I am always looking for family events to attend with my wife and daughters. Next month, I’m looking forward to getting outside and enjoying the beautiful springtime weather in May. Here are some of the activities that I’ll be keeping in mind.
Sakura Matsuri and the Cherry Blossom Festival at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
First up, this weekend there’s “New York City’s rite of spring” or so the Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is known. Not only is it the garden’s annual cherry blossom festival but it’s also a celebration of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Check out the event details online for tips and advice. For example, the organizers recommend that you avoid peak hours by arriving early in the day or later in the afternoon. Additionally, you can skip the long lines by your tickets in advance. There’s a full schedule of performances on both Saturday and Sunday that include taiko drumming, martial arts, Japanese folks dance, tea ceremonies and more.
If you’re a boat lover or a sailing enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. For the first time in nearly 100 years, the New York Harbor will see some of the action from America’s Cup, the historic match race between sailing yachts. You can watch the race in real time at The Event Village at Brookfield place, a waterfront plaza that is open to the public.
Celebration of Blues Legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Also at Brookfield that weekend, there’s a free music event celebrating legendary gospel/blues guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe. If you don’t know Tharpe by name, you’ve surely seen her Rock-and-Roll imprint. She influenced everyone from Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry to Keith Richards. Click here for more information.
The Butterfly Conservatory
When it comes touring NYC’s many museums, there’s one can’t-miss experience: The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. Says Time Out New York: “There are more than 18,000 known species of butterflies, and five families. Meet gems from three of those families, including the Pieridae (white and sulphur), the Papilionidae (black and yellow swallowtails) and the Nymphalidae (psychedelic-colored longwings) as they fly around in a vivarium compound.” The last day to visit the conservatory is May 29th.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Art the end of the month, on Memorial Day weekend, you’ll want to visit the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. Hundreds. The heart of Greenwich Village transforms into a hub of creativity feature artists and artisans of all kinds displaying their crafts, paintings, sculptures, photography and jewelry. The event website specifies that this is a “sidewalk show, not a street fair” so it’s a true organized display of works of art. The exhibit began in 1931 by Jackson Pollock, who in a time of particular financial hardship (he needed money to pay his rent) removed several of his paintings from his studio apartment and set them up on the sidewalk for sale. Eight-five years later, the exhibit retains its spirit by celebrating artists who are selected as exhibitors by a jury of fellow artists, based on slides of their work being submitted. The exhibit is free and many of the pieces are one of a kind.