New York City (NYC) is casting aside its thick winter coats for the warmth of Spring with a calender of colorful events, both outdoors and indoors. Residents and visitor will be spoiled for choice with free to premier springtime activities from theater, the arts, music, festivals and parades. March is a big design month with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show back for another round. In sports, there is the New York Red Bulls Home Opener. Taylor Swift will be performing in Prudential Center and the NYC Craft Beer Festival is back with approximately 75 breweries from across the country. With plenty to enjoy in NYC, here's a list of the top 8 things to do in March for everyone, young and old, singles and families.
New York International Children's Film Festival: March 1–24
HEY KRISHNA by Vikram Veturi / Image courtesy of NYICFF 2013
New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) enters its 16th year in 2013 with a brand new library of engaging and thought-provoking youth-oriented cinematic works for ages 3-18. In addition to gala premieres, special events, filmmaker Q&As, filmmaking camps, audience voting and the NYICFF Awards Ceremony, families can expect over 100 animated, live action and experimental shorts and features from more than 30 more countries available in 7 theaters in Manhattan. With screenings selling out fast, grab tickets to your favorite shows now.
While Singapore ranks as one of the world's largest exporters of orchids, New York hosts the largest exhibition of this flowering plant in the US, featuring music from around the world, appreciation sessions for orchids and a gorgeous setting for evening cocktails in the form of the New York Botanical Garden.
The 11th annual Orchid Show transforms the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden into a giant blossom filled with more than 3,000 orchids of every color and type that's guaranteed to attract the eye of every adult and child visitor. The show has some of rare, wild orchids on display. So make a date with the orchids by purchasing your tickets now.
This weekly Amateur Night at the legendary Apollo Theater has launched the careers of many famous artists including Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan, James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill.
Amateur Night at the Apollo will opens its 2013 season with special guest artist Ruben Studdard and a brand new line-up of contestants all vying for the USD10,000 grand prize and hoping to be discovered. So grab a seat, sit back and be Simon Cowell for a night.
Asia Week: March 15–23
In 2012, art lovers spent a staggering USD170 million on art at Asia Week in New York. The City's fascination with Asian art and culture returns this Spring with a week of exhibitions, auctions and special events among 65 museums, galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions. Art dealers from Japan, Thailand, England, France, Italy and the United States have set aside exceptional and extraordinary pieces they plan to debut and will be displaying their collections during special open houses throughout the week.
Pair of silver-mounted moriage cloisonne presentation vases from Flying Cranes Antiques, Ltd (New York, NY) / Photo courtesy of Asia Week New York
Seasoned collectors, the city's art lovers and visiting art enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of works, performances, panel discussions, curator talks and auctions at participating institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Chinese in America and the Rubin Museum of Art. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will kick off Asia Week with an invitation-only reception. For more information on planning your visits, check out Asia Week New York Association.
St. Patrick's Day Parade: March 16
St. Patrick's Day gets everyone in NYC excited and even folks who aren't Irish wear green, drink loads of Guinness and celebrate all things Irish.
The annual New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is actually the world's largest, drawing more than 2 million spectators and 200,000 participants. It is also the oldest NYC event and even older than the US, dating back to 1762 when a group of homesick Irish conscripts from the British army started it. It usually takes 5 hours for the entire parade procession to complete the 1.5 mile route down 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
The 2013 Parade will be the 252nd march and honors American veterans with bands from every branch of the U.S. military and high-ranking officials in attendance. Marchers also include firefighters, military and police groups, social and cultural clubs and county associations. Mr. Alfred E Smith IV, CEO of AE Smith Associates and a board member of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Mutual of America and Provectus Pharmaceuticals will be the Grand Marshal of the 2013 Parade.
In addition to being the place to go in NYC for fascinating stuff like dinosaur bones and rare specimens since 1869, the American Museum of Natural History will now be the new home to Whales from March onwards. It will be hosting a special exhibition that aims to bring visitors closer than ever to these massive yet mysterious mammals on Earth. Originally developed at Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand, this family-friendly exhibition includes life-size models, interactive exhibits, films and whale skeletons.
Made possible through the support of the New Zealand Government, the 'Whales: Giants of the Deep' exhibition will feature more than 20 skulls and skeletons from various whale species, including a nearly 60-foot-long skeleton of a sperm whale and an interactive recreation of the depth-defying dives of sperm whales as they hunt for squid far below the ocean's surface. Visitors will also learn about long-extinct Eocene "walking" whales which existed millions of years ago. The Museum will also display a logbook from a whaling ship that sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1830 from its library's collection.
So make a date with the crooning of whales and crawling through the life-size replica of a blue whale's heart as the exhibition opens. For more information on the Exhibition, check out the American Museum of Natural History website.
Produced annually in March, the Macy's Flower Show features over two million flowers and exotic topiaries from a different part of the world. This free show includes special events, featured gardens and bouquets of the day.
A local favorite, the first Show debut at Herald Square in New York City in 1953 with fresh floral bouquets on display throughout the store. Since then, freshly cut flowers have evolved into a live garden setting with potted flowers and plants in 1974 (that's still used today) and onto specialty gardens such as the 'Orchid Garden' and the 'East Asian Garden', which utilized flowers and plant material from all over the world.
Macy's flagship store is once again transformed into a wonderland of flowers as it celebrates Spring with all New Yorkers and visitors. Housed in a tent on Broadway in Herald Square the Macy's Flower Show 2013 features a palette of petals inspired by Indian culture entitled 'The Painted Garden'. For more information on the show, check out Macy's Flower Show website.
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival: March 31
Some things change, some don't. NYC's Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival hasn't introduced any marching bands or floats since it started in the mid-1800s, when high-society ladies would promenade in their Easter finery after church. The tradition of wearing an elaborate Easter bonnet laden with bows, flowers and trimmings arose as people bought new outfits to celebrate the end of Lent (the 40 days of fasting and prayer for Christians that begins on Ash Wednesday) and the arrival of spring.
It may not be the Chingay Parade in Singapore or Moomba in Melbourne but the spectacle is a showcase of chapeau artistry, drawing residents and visitors from around the world to participate. The star of this annual procession are the people with their outfits and bonnets. You can expect to see elegant to outrageous outfits and elaborately constructed hats. Parents can take this opportunity to craft wild and crazy hats with their kids to wear at the parade.
So grab your family and friends and make a date with the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival from 10am to 4pm. Grab a space around St. Patrick's Cathedral to enjoy the procession and wander the area along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets to admire various Easter Bonnets and Easter outfits.