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Photographing cherry blossoms in bloom at the New York Botanical Garden

New York

4 Seasons of Endless Celebrations in New York City

By: Idoia Gkikas

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  • States:
    New York

Celebrations and festivities are a year-round – and day-to-night – affair in New York City.

It's easy to have your visit to coincide with the merrymaking. Check out this selection of popular festivals, featuring sports, music, art, and international shows and exhibitions.

Winter Festivities

A chill in the air won’t keep New Yorkers inside. In January, visitors can attend the Three Kings Parade, which is hosted by El Museo del Barrio in Manhattan and honors Three Wise Men in the Nativity story. The streets may be white with snow, but the parade brings a colorful procession of Latin dancing, music and puppets.

Also in January, the six-day Winter Jazz Fest in Greenwich Village is known for its top-notch lineup and two nights of “marathon” music, with live shows that last into the wee hours of the morning at small venues around the city.

Dog lovers can plan a visit in February to catch the legendary Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Manhattan. In addition to the judged events, attendees can look forward to art exhibits, dog-themed writing seminars and national club gatherings where they can snap photos of stunning and unique breeds.

Strolling the Brooklyn Bridge in winter

Strolling the Brooklyn Bridge in winter
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Out and About in Spring

It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re Irish, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan in March is for all party-goers. The parade travels up famed Fifth Avenue, passing famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park.

New York City shines in the spring, when the snow melts and the trees start to blossom. In April, Sakura Matsuri, the cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, signals the start of the season as the cherry trees burst into a pretty pink splendor.

Local sports fans go crazy for Major League Baseball’s opening day in April. Catch the New York Yankees playing at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx or the New York Mets at Citi Field in Queens.

Cherry blossoms adorn botanical gardens around the city in spring

Cherry blossoms adorn botanical gardens around the city in spring
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Summer-Fun Events

New York City summers bring the heat and more fun. The much-loved Shakespeare in the Park summer series from May through August consistently draws crowds to Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The productions are free, but tickets can be hard to come by, so plan accordingly.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, which runs June through August, features free music, theater performances and multimedia shows from both acclaimed and emerging artists at the Prospect Park Bandshell.

In August, bring the whole family to the exciting boat races at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. The event takes place in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens where families can expect delicious food, family activities, music and dancing.

Catching a live musical performance during the summer-long Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

Catching a live musical performance during the summer-long Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
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The Festivals of Fall

Fall in the city is one of the most colorful seasons, as the leaves change from green to gold and red. In September and October, the New York Film Festival, which is considered the most prestigious of its kind in the country, takes place at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan. Attendees are among the first to see feature films, experimental works, documentaries, shorts and other special screenings.

In October, the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan celebrates the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and the contributions of Italian-Americans in the USA. It is considered to be one of the largest celebrations of Italian-American culture in the country.  

The biggest marathon in the world, the TCS New York City Marathon, takes place in November. Participants run through all five boroughs, starting at Staten Island and culminating at Central Park in Manhattan.

Aerial view of Manhattan's Columbus Circle in autumn

Aerial view of Manhattan's Columbus Circle in autumn
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Getting There

To reach New York City from international destinations, fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in nearby Newark, New Jersey.

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