Top Things to do in NYC this Spring

By Go City Expert

With Spring time right around the corner, New York City is buzzing with great activities for the entire family. Get an early start on planning your trip so you know all the places to go with your New York Pass. Hopefully the weather will steadily get better and better, so you can enjoy New York City outdoors, on two feet. [spacer height="20px"]

St. Patrick's Day Parade

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St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC | Photo by Shannon Stapleton for Reuters[/caption] March 17 Nobody knows how to properly celebrate quite like the Irish. St. Paddy’s Day has a long tradition in New York City, due to its large Irish population and a long history of Irish immigration. This year, St. Patrick’s day falls on Friday, March 17 and kicks off with a big parade, which starts at 11am on 44th St and 5th Avenue. The whole day will be laden with celebrations and merriment, while people all over the city dress in green. The parade will end at 5pm at the American Irish Historical Society at East 80th St. After the parade, sip on some quality stout at some of the best Irish bars in NYC. [spacer height="20px"]

South Bronx Renaissance Walking Tour

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South Bronx Renaissance Walking Tour[/caption] Opens March 1 As weather finally starts getting better, it's time to get out there and experience New York City as intended, on foot. Inside Out Tours offers a variety of informative tours in some of New York's most interesting neighborhoods. South Bronx is the epicenter of New York City counterculture, and this tour takes you on a walk through its renaissance and rebirth from the derilict neighborhood to the birthplace of hip hop and street art. The South Bronx Renaissance Tour, along with other Inside Out Tours starts up again on March 1st, at 10am on Fridays. [spacer height="20px"]

Coney Island Luna Park

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Luna Park at Coney Island[/caption] Opens April 8 The legendary Luna Park in Coney Island opening on April 8th after a seemingly endless Winter hiatus. The Luna Park welcomes visitors of all ages to its adrenaline-boosting thrill rides, as well as abundant kiddie rides. Try the Steeplechase, a New York Pass team favorite, for shockingly fast acceleration that will bring tears to your eyes. Coney Island is also home to one of New York City's most popular beaches, and the famous Nathan's Hot Dogs. With the New York Pass, you get a free unlimited 4 hour wristband. [spacer height="20px"]

Bike Around Central Park

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Central Park from Belvedere Castle | Photo by Marley White via nycgo.com[/caption] Year round Biking in the Winter is not great. It's worth waiting for warmer weather and better road conditions to get out and rent a bike to ride around Central Park. There are three different bike routes of varying lengths, depending on how athletic you're feeling. Choose from routes that are 6.1 miles, 5.2 miles or 1.7 miles, for the ultimate way to explore this gigantic urban oasis. With the New York Pass, you have multiple bike rental options. Choose from Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours and Rentals, Central Park Bike Rentals and Tours or Blazing Saddles to find the bikes that best fit your needs, from cruisers, state-of-the-art hybrid bikes, to children's bikes and tandem bicycles. If you'd prefer having a tour guide with you, you can also take a guided bike tour of Central Park. [spacer height="20px"]

The High Line Tour

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The High Line | Photo by Liz Ligon[/caption] Open year-round Even though the High Line is accessible year-round, the beauty of this suspended park starts shining through in the spring. The local flora blooms with all different colors and the lush green grass provides an inviting atmosphere. Look down and see the busy streets of Manhattan as you walk along the High Line tour. Learn how the meatpacking district's factories and slaughterhouses came to be what it is today. Tour is available for free with the New York Pass. [spacer height="20px"]

Clipper City Tall Ship Cruise

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Clipper City Tall Ship[/caption] Starting April 22 The ice is finally melting and the river will be clear for sailing on April 22nd, which is when the Clipper City Tall Ship sets sail again for the season. Get your camera ready and sail the New York Harbor aboard this replica of a classic 1800s sail boat, offering unparalleled views of Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Downtown Manhattan. The boat is equipped with a full bar and helpful staff. If you're more into Gatsby-Era sailboats, take the Shearwater Classic Schooner for a chic sailing experience. [spacer height="20px"]

Mummies Exhibit at American Museum of Natural History

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Mummies exhibit at American Museum of Natural History[/caption] Opens March 20 For thousands of years, peoples around the world practiced mummification as a way of preserving and honoring their dead. Mummies brings you face to face with some of these ancient individuals and reveals how scientists are using modern technology to glean stunning details about them and their cultures. American Museum of Natural History is one of New York City's most revered centers for knowledge. Spend the perfect afternoon with your kids walking through this magnificent space, right next to Central Park. [spacer height="20px"]

Smorgasburg 2017

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Raindrop Cake, popular desert at Smorgasburg | Photo by Tim Ireland[/caption] Starting April 1 No Summer in New York is complete without making a trip to Smorgasburg. This seasonal food flea market takes place at East River State Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Each year Smorgasburg reunites New Yorkers with tons of local tastes and introduces them to new dishes from around the world. Make sure to visit Smorgasburg to experience Brooklyn's favorite summer pastime, while munching on insta-worthy classic and novelty foods. For many more exciting springtime activities for all weather conditions, check out the New York Pass and everything it has to offer. Over 90 attractions in New York City for one price, no need to put limits on your next New York City trip.

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Twilight view of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock, New York.
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Top of the Rock vs SUMMIT One Comparison

Ever since King Kong first swatted planes like flies from atop the Empire State Building, the Big Apple has been obsessed with creating towers that reach ever further heavenwards. As a result, nearly a century after that iconic movie first astonished audiences, the Manhattan skyline is liberally dotted with skyscrapers of 1,000 feet or higher (though the Empire State Building remains resolutely within the top 10, fact fans). All of which means New York isn’t short of an observation platform or six, all vying for your dollar with their superspeed elevators, interactive displays and dizzying 360-degree views across the city and beyond. Our Top of the Rock vs SUMMIT One Vanderbilt comparison takes a look at two of the best... Top of the Rock Name: Monikers don’t come much more literal than Top of the Rock. You’ll find this stunning observatory on floors 67-70 of The Rockefeller Center. In other words at the, um, top of the Rock. Age: Considered one of the most impressive projects of the Great Depression era, The Rockefeller Center was built and opened in the 1930s. Top of the Rock opened at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza way back in 1933. What is Top of the Rock? One of the oldest observation platforms in town (second only to the Empire State Building, which beat it by a mere two years), Top of the Rock boasts 360-degree views of the Big Apple and beyond from the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Top of the Rock: Vital Statistics  Height: 850 feet (260 meters). Number of floors: Rockefeller Plaza has 70, the Top of the Rock experience is on floors 67, 69 and 70. Elevators: 60. Top of the Rock’s Sky Shuttle elevator takes less than a minute from bottom to top. Visitors: around 2.5 million every year. What’s the Top of the Rock Experience Like? The Rockefeller Center – aka 30 Rock – is a glorious, skyscraping work of art in its own right. Feast your eyes on this piece of iconic Art Deco eye candy before heading inside for more Instagram-feed-filling snaps of the Joie Chandelier, a sparkling confection that soars three stories through the Grand Atrium lobby and contains no less than 14,000 crystals. Suitably bedazzled, it’s time to step aboard the Sky Shuttle to speed skywards for the main event. And what an event! We’re talking 360-degree views across the entire city to Long Island, New Jersey and even – on clear days – as far as Connecticut. This is also where you can find some of the finest Empire State Building views in town, as well as spotting Central Park, the Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Yankee Stadium and more. There are indoor and outdoor spaces, with some of the very best views to be had from the 70th floor’s panoramic outdoor terrace. Drink it in at your leisure; there’s no time limit on your visit. Fascinating Top of the Rock Fact of the Day The architectural design of Top of the Rock is intended to mirror that of a grand 1930s ocean liner. Try not to get seasick! Top of the Rock Fast Facts Opening hours: 9AM-11PM daily, year round. Last entry is at 10.10PM. Tickets: general admission to Top of the Rock is included with a New York Pass, which also gives you access to over 100 more NYC attractions. Alternatively, you’ll find various ticket options at the Top of The Rock website. Closest transport links: multiple subway services call at 47th-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center station. There’s also discounted parking available at Rockefeller Center SP+ garage at 25 West 48th Street. But how does Top of the Rock compare to SUMMIT? Let’s find out... SUMMIT Name: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Or just plain old SUMMIT to its friends. Age: A relative newcomer to the NYC skyscraper scene, this humongous wedge of glass, steel and concrete opened to the public in September 2020, with SUMMIT following in October 2021. What is SUMMIT? Well, if the marketing blurb is to be taken at face value, it’s three levels of immersive space that will, amongst other things, ‘reset your senses’, help you ‘escape the boundaries of perception’ and see you ‘break through to a new realm’. In short: it’s a thrilling immersive experience in the sky; a futuristic take on more traditional observation platforms like Top of the Rock, the Empire State Building and the One World Observatory. SUMMIT: Vital Statistics  Height: The One Vanderbilt building is 1,401 feet (427 meters) tall and its SUMMIT observation platforms are a dizzying 1,100 feet (336 meters) above Madison Avenue. Number of floors: 93. Elevators: 42. Visitors: SUMMIT welcomed 1.4 million visitors in its first year (up to October 2022). What’s the SUMMIT Experience Like? Where to begin? The standard ticket includes several extraordinary experiences. There’s a trippy art installation in four different ‘chapters’ by Kenzo Digital, in which mirrored walls and ceilings reflect you, the sky, the clouds, the city skyline and everything else to infinity. Interact with floating silver balls and see your own face take shape in the clouds. Meanwhile, Levitation sees brave souls step out into glass boxes that hover a knee-trembling 1,100 feet above Madison Avenue. Yikes. Steady your nerves with a drink at Après, where the wraparound outdoor terrace affords views stretching for up to 80 miles, before deciding whether to opt for the ultimate add-on experience. Called ‘Ascent’, this part of the SUMMIT journey involves traveling a further 120 feet above the observation platforms inside – wait for it – a glass-bottomed elevator. Nerves of steel are essential! Fascinating SUMMIT Fact of the Day One Vanderbilt’s elegant facade is made mainly from glass and terracotta tiles. The tiles are the same as those used on the ceiling in the adjoining Grand Central Station; a respectful nod to the old from the new. SUMMIT Fast Facts Opening hours: 9AM-midnight, year round. Last entry is at 10PM. Tickets: there are several booking options available on the SUMMIT website. Closest transport links: the entrance to SUMMIT is located on the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal. Top of the Rock vs SUMMIT: Which Should You Visit? If it’s just great views you’re after, Top of the Rock does the job for significantly less dollar than you’ll have to part with for SUMMIT’s all-singing, all-dancing multisensory experience in the sky. If, however, you like a slice of immersive action and some properly scary sky-high experiences alongside your city views, SUMMIT may well be the one for you. Save on New York Activities and Attractions Save on admission to 90+ London attractions with The New York Pass. Check out @NewYorkPass on Instagram for the latest top tips and attraction info.
Stuart Bak

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