There's nothing quite like Coney Island's annual parade of quirky mermaids and sea creatures, antique cars, floats and performers. The pageant, founded in 1983, displays participant's mastery of seaside mythology and wearable art. The procession starts at 1:00p, moving east along Surf Avenue from West 21st Street; it turns south on West 10th Street and then heads back west on the boardwalk, ending in front of Steeplechase Plaza. It draws hundreds of thousands of people, so get there early to snag a prime viewing spot. There is a registration fee to march, but watching the parade is free.
This star-studded, multimedia celebration of New York City features larger-than-life puppetry, animation and, of course, Radio City’s famous Rockettes. The show is directed by Emmy award winner Mia Michaels, who was a choreographer on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, with a book by Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella).
It wouldn't be the Fourth of July in New York City without the annual Macy's fireworks show, which made its debut in 1976 to commemorate the nation's bicentennial. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016.
When you come to the US Open, you have arrived at an exhibition unlike any other in the world. For two weeks, the US Open showcases word-class athletes, electrifying action, and riveting storylines on the grandest of scales and the game's biggest stage.
The US Open bears little resemblance to the tournament started 134 years ago. Originally an exclusive men's singles and doubles tournament in 1881, it is now a sports and entertainment extravaganza, where more than 700,000 fans enter the gates annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament, which includes the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, that has been played every year since its commencement.
Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro salutes the patron saint of Naples with celebrations during the festival’s 11-day run. One highlight of the traditional Italian-American street fair is the food located along Mulberry Street: cannoli, fried dough, torrone (a honey nougat candy usually flecked with almonds) and, of course, sausage-and-pepper sandwiches. (There are also pizza- and cannoli-eating contests.) Aside from the edibles—for which you’ll want to bring some cash—guests can enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations and the focus of the event: a customary procession of the statue of San Gennaro on September 19.
Dates and times are subject to change.
Every year 50, 000 folks parade up Sixth Avenue - decked out in some of the City's scariest, most inventive and most hilarious costume - while numerous live bands complement the ghoulish revelry. Show up with a creative costume of your own and join the parade (but note that a costume is a must to march!), or stick to your civvies and take in the spectacle from the sidelines. Marchers line up on Sixth Avenue between Canal and Spring Streets. The parade gets rolling at 7:00p and heads north up Sixth Avenue to 16th Street.
This is the big one—an athletic event that often proves to be as much a life-changing experience as a physical challenge. Like all marathons, the NYC race covers 26.2 miles from start to finish—but no other city offers competitors the sights, sounds and sheer excitement of the New York City Marathon, which starts in Staten Island and wends its way through all five boroughs on its way to the finish line in Central Park (adjacent to Tavern on the Green). Close to 50,000 people will run; millions will watch.
Get a preview of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade the day before, with an expedition to see the balloons come to life. A tradition since 1927, the giant balloons—featuring beloved pop culture characters—are slowly inflated in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History, at Columbus Avenue and West 77th Street. Nets and sandbags are used to keep them from escaping during the night.
Times are subject to change.
A Thanksgiving tradition for more than 90 years, this parade is one of the most famous holiday events in the world. Millions line the streets of Manhattan to watch celebrities, Broadway performers, clowns, marching bands, floats (including Santa himself riding a reindeer-powered sleigh) and the true headliners of the day: the all-star roster of floating balloons—Snoopy, Hello Kitty and friends—flying high above the route. The procession heads south down Central Park West from 77th Street, east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue and then south along Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street, ending in front of Macy’s in Herald Square. Also, the inflating of the balloons along the perimeter of the American Museum of Natural History has become an annual Thanksgiving eve tradition on the Upper West Side.
It doesn’t get much more picture-postcard NYC Christmas than the sight of the stately Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, towering above the ice rink below, all decked out in its finest holiday bling. Things get festive on November 30, when thousands of revelers fill the area for the lighting of this year’s Norway spruce. A star-studded lineup, usually hosted by NBC Today show anchors, provides plenty of live entertainment. The crowning moment comes when the switch is flipped and the Swarovski star–topped tree’s tens of thousands of (energy-efficient LED) lights come alive. Expect plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” from the crowd. If you can't make it to the big event, worry not—you can see the tree (and snap plenty of photos of it) through early January.
Date is subject to change.
Visit the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, where it's a holiday tradition to decorate house after house with thousands of lights, toy soldiers, Santa Claus with his reindeer and more.
Dates are subject to change.
Since 2001, the Tribeca Film Festival has been lighting up lower Manhattan with its sharply curated mix of films, often accompanied by Q&A sessions with directors, cast and crew. Attendees can look forward to premiers from Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, and Yojiro Takita, in addition to short films, documentaries, feature-length works and more from up-and-coming directors. Other events worth checking out include the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival, the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and film industry-related panels.
For two weeks, the clothing and accessories at Macy's won't be the only colorful items on display by the iconic department store. Outside in Broadway Plaza, beautifully bright floral arrangements will announce this year's Macy's Flower Show. Special events including live music, kids' activities and seminars will take place throughout the show.
Whether you hail from the Emerald Isle is of no consequence - on St. Patrick's Day, Everyone can lay claim to being at least a little bit Irish. The parade itself lays claim to being the oldest (it was first held in 1762) and largest of its kind in the world. So clad yourself in kelly for the event and watch bagpipers, marching bands and assorted revelers from near and far as they march up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street.
The Orchid Show celebrates its 15th year at The New York Botanical Garden with an homage to the wealth of orchids and rich cultural history of Thailand. Thailand is home to more than 1,200 native orchid species and over the last century it has become the leading explorer of cultivated tropical orchids in the world. Native and hybrid orchids alike have become synonymous with the nation, where the environment is so hospitable to orchids that the dazzling flowers even grow on the trees that line public streets.
This year's exhibition in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will feature an astonishing array of blooming orchids in a lush tropical garden, including a rainbow of vanda orchids, whose large patterned blooms are widely popular in Thai gardens and homes. The show culminates in a jaw-dropping scene of a large arched facade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion - festooned with hundreds of exquisite orchids. Round out your visit with tours, orchid care demonstrations, expert Q&As, and more. And on select nights, Orchid Evenings return with after-hours viewings of the exhibition featuring cocktails, dance, and music.
Hundreds of thousands of industry insiders will descend upon the City for eight days of shows and presentations by some of the world's most sought/after designers. Score an invite, and you'll be able to see the latest runway looks from the likes of Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone and Ralph Lauren.
Check out Chinatown's annual Lunar New Year celebration for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food and festivities for all ages to welcome the Year of the Monkey. The parade wends its way through the main streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, and festivities start at 1:00p.
A related celebration, the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, takes place on January 28, the first day of the Lunar New Year - things get going at 11:00a, with the fireworks scheduled for noon.
Also note that similarly exuberant Lunar New Year events take place in the City's other Chinatowns: Sunset Park (Brooklyn) and Flushing (Queens).
NYC Restaurant Week is a semiannual promotion that celebrates fine dining at an affordable price. Participating restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe menus, specially priced lunch and/or dinner (Saturdays excluded, Sundays optional. Beverages, gratuities and taxes not included).
Winter Jazzfest features a dazzling array of musical talent and is both a bustling forum of discovery and a guaranteed blast. (It’s worth springing for the full-festival pass—a definite steal.) More than 100 sets take place at venues including Le Poisson Rouge, Judson Memorial Church and the Bitter End; Dee Dee Bridgewater, Colin Stetson and Russell Gunn’s Ethnomuiscology will be among the performers.
Times are subject to change.
Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming along among familiar sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center on nearly a half-mile of track. The recent exhibition expansion continues with more trains, an all-new Queensboro bridge, and a true New York finale featuring a whimsical tribute to the iconic Coney Island amusement park’s architecture and attractions.