Seasons in the City
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Springtime in New York City marks the return of the Yankees and Mets, as well as the start of the season for their minor league baseball teams, the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones. Public parks and botanical gardens in every borough welcome visitors with flower shows such as the Macy's Flower Show, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens' Cherry Blossom Festival and the Greater New York Orchid Show.
The St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Greek Independence Day, Cuban Day and Salute to Israel Parades, among others, make their way through the city streets in spring. And with the warmer weather comes the Five Boro Bike Tour, the nation's largest recreational cycling event. There is also the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival in Hell's Kitchen, where diverse ethnic cuisines are celebrated through food and live music.
Summer sends New Yorkers and visitors outdoors to enjoy film festivals, music, public parks and beaches throughout the five boroughs. For baseball lovers, the season continues, while tennis fans head to the U.S. Open in Queens. Starting at the end of June, beach-goers can watch fireworks on the shores of Coney Island. Jones Beach, with its open-air concert venue, is a popular destination as well as Brighton Beach with its colorful outdoor cafes and boardwalk.
Summer also is time for annual celebrations. The Museum Mile Festival features nine museums along Fifth Avenue, for a mile-long festivity of free access and entertainment. There is also the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, which highlights over a dozen barbecue cooks. The Puerto Rican Day Parade and Gay Pride Parade also are celebrated during the summer months, and the NYC Triathlon Weekend gets underway. July marks the legendary Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.
Many of New York's finest restaurants offer discounted three-course prix-fixed lunches and dinners through Labor Day as an extension of NYC Restaurant Week. Visitors also use their American Express® Card to take advantage of NYC Summer Breaks, a citywide program offering exclusive savings at almost 200 of NYC & Company's member hotels, restaurants, retailers, theaters, cultural organizations.
In September, the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera host their opening nights, while the New York Film Festival features the films of national and international directors. The following month, revelers hit the streets of Greenwich Village for New York's Village Halloween Parade.
Later in the season, visitors and locals enjoy The ING New York City Marathon, The New York Comedy Festival, the New York Chocolate Show and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Other New York City parades held in the fall include the Columbus Day Parade, African-American Day Parade and the New York Hispanic Parade.) For sports fans, it's tip-off for the Knicks' and Liberty's basketball seasons, and the New York Ranger's hockey season begins.
Winter in New York brings traditional holiday celebrations, including the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Rockefeller Center, the world's largest menorah on Central Park South and Radio City Christmas Spectacular's Rockettes. Central Park, Prospect Park and Rockefeller Center, among other rinks, offer ice skating to the public. The City is host to several winter shows including the National Boat Show, Winter Antiques Show and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. For athletes and fans Madison Square Garden hosts the Millrose Games while fashion-lovers can enjoy the release of new collections at Fashion Week. NYC Restaurant Week also offers discounted prix-fixed lunches and dinners at more than 200 of the city's top eateries.
Looking to get a head start on the holiday season? Begin your holiday shopping at department stores, craft fairs and the specialty boutiques lining the City's streets. Or bring family and friends together and take in a performance of A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker or Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.