There’s always a lot to do in NYC every weekend, and with beautiful spring sunshine and temperatures predicted, it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the cherry blossoms, live music in Riverside Park, the rides in Coney Island, the Kusama exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden, plus new museum exhibits, a FREE shredding event, and so much more.
We’re exhausted already from the possibilities, and the weekend has barely started.
It’s cherry blossom season in NYC parks.
Ride the world famous Cyclone and Deno’s Wonder Wheel, one of the world’s largest ferris wheels. Coney island is back for the season..
Advance timed reservations are required for the rides.
KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is the first-ever comprehensive exploration of the artist’s lifelong fascination with polka dots and with the natural world, at the New York Botanical Garden.
The exhibit includes monumental sculptures, paintings and other artifacts across the Garden’s 250-acre landscape, including material that has never been displayed publicly before. Plus, of course, one of the artist’s famous Infinity Rooms.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter got a preview, and can report that the exhibit is truly magical, especially against the blooming cherry trees and dogwood, and there are still plenty of orchids left over from the recent Orchid Show.
Open on Weekends
Will reopen on weekends starting this Saturday, April 10, with comprehensive new safety precautions, advance online ticketing, changes to the way guests explore the building, and new activities in the exhibits.
Opening Today, Friday, April 16
Rising sea levels affect us all, and this new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York explains it all, opening now to coincide with Earth Day next week.
In Rising Tide: Visualizing the Human Costs of the Climate Crisis, Dutch documentary photographer Kadir van Lohuizen illustrates the dramatic consequences of climate change across the world through photographs, video, drone images, and sound. Experience the effects of rising sea levels in Greenland, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Fiji, Amsterdam, Panama, Miami, and our own neighborhoods here in New York City.
- Open Friday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm.
- Purchased timed tickets here
Earth Day is April 22.
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Free on Saturday
Shred-A-Thon And Clothing Drop-Off Alert!
Round up all the old clothes and unwanted documents that are collecting dust and bring them to the Downtown Alliance’s dual shred-a-thon and clothing drop-off.
A shredding truck will securely dispose of and recycle all your sensitive documents, tax receipts, junk mail and old bills.
The Alliance’s partner Wearable Collections is providing a bin to collect all dry, used clean clothing including shoes, sneakers, belts and hats, as well as household items such as linens, towels and handbags.
9am to 1pm at Fulton Street, between Cliff and Gold Streets
Every weekend is a good weekend to support our local NYC restaurants by eating out or taking out, and supporting our local NYC businesses by shopping with them instead of the national chains, especially right now.
Starting this weekend, restaurants and bars can stay open until midnight, one hour longer than before.
Indoor dining continues at 50% of capacity. Be sure to make reservations
- New Jersey and Connecticut are at 100% indoor dining capacity.
- Long Island, Westchester and Rockland are at 75% dining capacity
NYC movie theaters are open again, with reduced capacity, up to 50 people per theater.
See our list of what’s playing, and which theaters are serving popcorn and other snacks, and which theaters open later in March.
The Queens Drive-In is back, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, with films to please the entire family.
Holiday Express Toys and Trains at New York Historical Society
Who doesn’t love trains?
This magical wonderland is an annual tradition, that normally continues through mid-Febrauary. Since this is not a normal year, the popular exhibit has been extended through April 21.
Kids of all ages to enjoy the toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection, Holiday Express from a bygone era.
The installation includes a variety of toy train stations dating from the turn of the 19th century to the World War II era, showcasing the evolving designs of American and European toymakers. New to the display this year are Marklin’s Onion Dome Station and Grand Station (1904–08).
Visitors are greeted by animations and fun facts about the toys on nearby screens, and kids will be delighted by a specially created bench inspired by a sleigh in New-York Historical’s collection.
- Timed entry tickets are required.
- New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
- Through April 21
In these days of increasing hate crimes, it’s more important than ever to see what hate can do.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is a massive exhibit of more than 1,000 artifacts and photos from more than 20 countries, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan.
More than one million innocent souls were murdered in Auschwitz, including more than 250,000 children, in a twisted government policy of racism and anti-Semitism.
Auschwitz is a testament to our cruelty to fellow humans and asks the questions – how did this happen, can it happen again, what would I do.
Look for the cattle car at the entrance, like the cattle cars that transported human beings to Nazi extermination camps.
- Timed admission tickets are required
- Museum of Jewish Heritage
- Through Sunday, May 2
Free on Sunday
Remembrance of the Rwanda Genocide Kwibuka 27
As they discuss memory, healing, and the role educating the next generation has played in their relationship with trauma.
Survivors Celine Uwineza (Kigali) and Maritza Shelley (New York) invite us to find common ground between communities that have survived genocide.
This annual event is presented by Temple Emanu-el in partnership with The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village and the Genocide Survivors Foundation.
- Sign up here for free tickets to this Zoom event, 2pm to 4pm.
As of April 1, New York dropped its quarantine requirement for visitors.
If you need a Covid-19 test, find one by zip code or address on the official NYC location finder site, or text “COVID TEST” to 855-48.
There are now Covid-19 vaccination sites open 24/7 in each NYC borough, plus additional sites.
NYC vaccination sites, including those at hospitals and pharmacies, are by appointment only. No walk-ins are accepted at any time.
Museums Opened Recently – Plan a Visit
The famous aircraft carrier on the Hudson River is again welcoming visitors.
The Intrepid is a National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War.
Explorer Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle, plus historic aircraft collection on the flight deck and in the hangar deck.
New spaces and experiences include the bomb elevator and the ship’s pilot escalator.
Hayden Planetarium at AMNH
The iconic Hayden Planetarium Space Theater is open again, with its newest Space Show, Worlds Beyond Earth,
Narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, the show about outer space features immersive visualizations, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system.
It’s all in state-of-the-art 8K on the most advanced planetarium projection system in the world.
AMNH is scheduling a full day of FREE online events for Earth Day on April 22.
The new museum is now open.
There’s space enough for some works to be displayed for the first time. and for the museum’s signature The Progress of Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, to be shown together in its entirety for the first time in the Frick’s history. The installation also debuts new acquisitions.
NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter got a preview tour just before the museum opened. Here’s my review: it’s fabulous.
Full information about new exhibit formats and ticket information here.
The band is back. Put on your dancing shoes, or just your listening ears.
David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Heritage Band has returned to Riverside Park this week for live concerts of classic music from the 30s, 40s and 50s, several days a week.
The band performed regularly last spring, summer and fall, and I’m happy they are back, now that the weather is warm enough not to freeze the fingers of the musicians.
Performances are FREE, but since these musicians have been out of work for more than a year, you are encouraged to drop a few dollars, or purchase one of their CDs.
Concert location is Riverside Park Promenade, at 84th St.
As many of you know, I’m a swing dancer, and I LOVE this band and also the opportunity to dance outdoors. Look for me on the dance “floor”.
This weekend’s schedule is Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 2pm.
Several NYC museums have brought back free admission for certain days and times.
The Rubin Museum of Art offers a collection of art, sculptures and tapestries from India, Nepal, Tibet, China and other Asian nations.
Free Friday Nights are a great time to explore, but timed entry tickets go quickly.
All gallery tickets become available for reservation two weeks in advance.
- FREE Friday nights are 6pm to 10pm
The Guggenheim Museum of Art
- Pay-what-you-wish Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 6pm
- Reservations are required.
This is a great time to be a tourist in your hometown.
More staycation suggestions
Smell the flowers:
The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Queens Botanical Garden are all open.
Take a cruise:
The Staten Island Ferry is a 20 minute delight, even in winter, with picture postcard views of the Statue of Liberty, and it’s FREE.
Take a hike:
High Line, the popular elevated park is now open its full distance, from 14th to 30th Street, with FREE timed reservations for social distancing.
Make reservations here to visit the High Line.
Welcome NYC’s newest park, Pier 26 on the Hudson River.
This is the city’s first park focusing on ecology, with an elevated walkway over the Hudson, landscaped walking paths, open green lawns, areas to interact with local wildlife, and plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the view, including to enjoy a sunset.
Weekend Street and Bridge Closures
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation list so you don’t get stuck in traffic or are forced to make a humongous detour.
Alternate Side of the Street Parking
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation updates so you don’t get a ticket.
Anytime – Virtual Jazz Concerts
Sadly, the iconic jazz destination Birdland has closed, due to financial issues caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, and this popular weekend jazz concert is no longer available.
However, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is streaming concerts on its Facebook page, including concerts by Arturo O’Farrell and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Anytime – Streaming Now
Live From from Lincoln Center:
The renowned Metropolitan Opera, continues to live stream operas each night of the week, FREE.
Each stream becomes available at 7:30 p.m. EDT and remains accessible for on-demand viewing until 6:30 p.m. the following day.
Find more things to do this weekend
Friday, April 16, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th St.
Riverside Park Promenade @84th St
New York Historical Society
Museum of Jewish Heritage