Spring Into Action: Outdoor Activities

Outdoors & Recreation

by Annemarie Dooling, Time Out New York contributor, 03/16/2011

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Bask in the shade of cherry trees
During Hanami, the
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual cherry-blossom flowering, more than 200 trees will sprout gorgeous posies, covering the garden’s Cherry Walk in a white and pink canopy. Once the cherries reach their peak bloom, frolic at the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival, a weekend-long celebration of Japanese culture, featuring martial-arts demonstrations and live music. You’re guaranteed to see at least one overzealous anime fan in an outrageous costume. Hanami: Apr 2–May 1; $8, seniors and students $4, children under 12 free. Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival: Apr 30, May 1; 10am–6pm; $TBA.

Enjoy the expanded Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Manhattan-skyline views, free Wi-Fi and proximity to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory are just a few of the reasons that people flock to this Dumbo outdoor space, which opened last year. Now the park gets even bigger, with new lawns and three sand volleyball courts, both at Pier 6. In the summer, Empire-Fulton Ferry Park will reopen, featuring Jane’s Carousel, a restored merry-go-round from 1922. Daily 6am–1am; free.

Ditch the multiplex
More than ten venues throughout the city will transform their roofs into movie theaters during Rooftop Films’ 2011 season. The festival, which prides itself on showing independent films at unconventional locations, will partner with IFC, SXSW and IndieWire to host a number of events, including a video-game-themed screening with Kill Screen magazine. Locations, times and prices vary. May 13–Aug 19.

Gawk at contemporary art and sunbathe on a mini-beach on Governors Island
The Army and Coast Guard base turned bucolic public space opens on Memorial Day weekend, and will play host to a plethora of cool things to do in 2011, including the annual Figment NYC art festival (June 10–12) and Water Taxi Beach Governors Island (opening in June). May 27–Sept 25.

Cruise around on the Water Taxi
Grab your swim trunks and your flip-flops before you take a ride on the New York Water Taxi, which begins its expanded Statue of Liberty/Downtown Express service in May. The new route operates seven days a week (stops along the route include South Street Seaport and Fulton Ferry Landing), and your ticket lets you board the vessel as many times as you want throughout the day. And any method of getting around the city that lets us gaze upon the skyline rather than sweltering in the subway tunnels gets our seal of approval. Boarding locations vary. Begins May 1; $25, children $15.

For more fun outdoor spring activities, visit Time Out New York.


related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    New York Water Taxi
    89 S. St. Seaport
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    1000 Washington Ave.
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11225

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