Spring has sprung in New York, and the evidence is written across the smiling, sun-kissed faces on every block. With its parks in bloom and the streets clear of frost, the best time to celebrate being out-and-about in the city has arrived. Luckily, city-dwellers have perfected the seasonal celebration with an array of warm-weather festivals. Whether you’re headed to the park or the row of food trucks, there’s a great way to take advantage of the season.
Hop across the Brooklyn Bridge to experience the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The two-day celebration in honor of Japanese tradition includes Taiko drumming, Kabuki Buyo dance, Samurai sword demonstrations, tea ceremonies and more. Bask in the beauty of the pink blossoms while learning more about Japanese culture.
Make your way to the heart of Greenwich Village to see the Spring Show of Washington Square’s Outdoor Art exhibit during May 25th, 26th and 27th. Only twice a year do artists get a chance to display their works during the Spring and Autumn Shows in Washington Square (which is just a fifteen-minute cab ride from The Wagner). Enjoy the sunshine and browse the paintings, sculptures and photography on display.
Taste the best craft beers that New York has to offer at the 6th annual Five Boro Craft Beer Fest in Brooklyn on Saturday, May 18th. This festival truly puts craft beer in the spotlight, with a showcase of over 55 brewers and over 100 different craft beers. While the event includes live music and food, the focus remains on the brews. Tastings are served in real glassware and at accurate temperatures according to the brew, so that guests can enjoy the beer as intended by the craft brewer.
Join over 125 artists and writers for the 15th anniversary of New York’s first international literary festival, Pen America World Voices Festival. While the festival takes place mostly indoors, it’s a great way to celebrate the fresh ideas of the season. From May 6th through May 12th, writers and activists will gather to discuss this year’s theme, “Open Secrets.” Hear from leading thinkers like Jennifer Egan and Dave Eggers on the intersection of the private and the public in today’s spaces, and how we can better approach and shape our environment to fit the cultural, social and political realms. Events will take place all over the city, with panel topics like “Love in the Time of Tinder”, “Surveillance Capitalism and You”, and “On Writing in Prison.”