New and returning things to do in New York City this spring

This spring, New York City is packed with both classic things returning and new things to try, perfect for a day trip with friends or an outing with the family. From the new roller rink at Rockefeller Center to a botanical garden show, here are the top events and activities not to miss this season.

Remember to check what COVID restrictions may still be in effect before arriving.


The Orchid Show is returning daily at The New York Botanical Garden until May 1. This year’s program highlight is titled “Kaleidoscope,” a creation by acclaimed floral designer Jeff Leatham, where guests can look forward to flowering towers that combine color, light and artistic flair into a visual spectacle. Adults (over 21) can also attend “Orchid Evenings” during select nights in April (2, 9, 16, 22-23) from 7 to 10 p.m. to see live performances while enjoying cocktails and local eats from the Bronx Night Market. An “All-Garden Pass” (includes daytime access to the Orchid Show) is $30, $15 ages 2-12, under age 2 (and members) in free; “Orchid Evenings” are $39 (members: $29).

INFO 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx; 718-817-8700;


This rendering shows the planned “Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace,” a...

This rendering shows the planned “Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace,” a roller rink set to open at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan in April of 2022. Credit: ImageFiction | Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace and Tishman Speyer

You might think that winter is the only time one can glide at The Rink at Rockefeller Center, but by April 15 the ice will be gone and the public can lace up and roller skate there until October as the recessed portion of the plaza becomes “Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace.” A fresh rendition of the original Flipper’s, a disco-era Los Angeles rink defunct since 1981, the new NYC version will allow for wheeling at The Rock for the first time since 1940. Timed tickets are available in advance at Admission is $40 (includes one hour of skating and a $10 rental fee), ages 15 and under is $30 or bring your own skates and entry is $30, $20 ages 15 and under.

INFO 30 Rockefeller Plz., Manhattan;


Animatronic dinosaurs like this one are part of the “Dinosaur...

Animatronic dinosaurs like this one are part of the “Dinosaur Safari” experience, set to return to the Bronx Zoo in April of 2022. Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Julie Larsen Maher | WCS

Following runs in 2014 and 2019, the Bronx Zoo is once again bringing back its “Dinosaur Safari,” a walk-through experience that uses life-size animatronic dinosaurs to teach visitors about how they lived and their connections to animals still alive today. The 2022 edition (opens April 11) will have a dozen more animatronic beasts than the last version did and some larger ones, including a 110-foot Argentinosaurus. Families can also look forward to a “fossil dig” presentation. Ticket prices have yet to be announced.

INFO 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx; 718-220-5100,


This untitled piece known as “Thor” was painted by artist...

This untitled piece known as “Thor” was painted by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It will be one of several Basquiat works to appear in “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure,” a retrospective scheduled to open on April 9. 2022. Credit: The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat | Artestar, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat was not only an influential artist, but also a native Brooklynite and visitors can check out a selection of his works this spring in the Big Apple. Launching on April 9, “King Pleasure” features more than 200 works by Basquiat, a collection of drawings, paintings and other pieces enlisted from his family’s collection including some that have never been publicly shown. A reproduction of Basquiat’s studio and the VIP room of the iconic Palladium nightclub (where two Basquiat paintings hung) will also be part of the experience. Timed tickets are available in advance via the event website. Tickets are $35 Mondays through Thursdays, $30 for kids under 13 and $45 on weekends, $40 for kids 13 and younger. 

INFO 601 W. 26th St., Manhattan;

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

A DJ spins a sunset session at Summit at One...

A DJ spins a sunset session at Summit at One Vanderbilt in Manhattan during the “Summit Spring Series.” Credit: Summit One Vanderbilt

Standing at just over 1,400-feet high, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, is a skyscraper that features transparent sky boxes that are perched over Madison Avenue. It also features a rooftop bar and cafe for those looking to grab a bite. Every Thursday night (5 to 9 p.m.) the spot is hosting a “Summit Spring Series” that will include drink specials and a DJ mixing live. Timed tickets available on its site and admission starts at $69.

INFO 45 East 42nd St., Manhattan;


This work by artist Alfredo Jaar will be available to...

This work by artist Alfredo Jaar will be available to see as part of the 80th Whitney Biennial, taking place at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan from April 6 to Sept. 5, 2022. Credit: Alfredo Jaar | Galerie Lelong and Co., New York and Paris

The Whitney Biennial exhibition is set to return to the Whitney Museum of American Art for its eightieth edition starting on April 6 through Sept. 5. “Quiet as It’s Kept,” will be on display and features works from dozens of artists covering a variety of media. Advance ticket purchase is required and timed tickets are $25.
INFO 99 Gansevoort St., Manhattan; 212-570-3600,


Composer-director Jaime Lozano (right) is among the musicians scheduled to...

Composer-director Jaime Lozano (right) is among the musicians scheduled to play at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during its “American Songbook” series set for the spring of 2022. Credit: Mati Ficara

Public performances have already returned to the David Rubenstein Atrium in March, and throughout the season there will be curated free, first-come first-served events held several days a week, including family-friendly shows by the E.P.I.C. Players theater company, Latin dance nights and staged readings of teenage playwrights until May 26. Over at its Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series kicks off April 14, and will feature performances from a variety of genres and focus on music either newly released or still being completed. Admission to these shows is either free or scaled on a “Choose What You Pay” ticketing policy, that starts at a minimum of $5.
INFO 10 Lincoln Center Plz., Manhattan; 212-875-5456,


The main room of Daphne, a Manhattan nightclub that opened...

The main room of Daphne, a Manhattan nightclub that opened in March of 2022. Credit: Gerber Group

Recalling the days when the city’s hottest social spots were mysterious dance havens that could be hard to find without insider info, Daphne is a club that resides below street level within the underground floor of a boutique hotel. Officially revealed in March, its ambience features flowers and disco balls, and it’s only open Fridays and Saturdays starting at 10 p.m. The spot is slated to feature DJs who specialize in high-energy sessions.
INFO 50 Bowery St., Manhattan; 917-690-1112,


A client receives a wellness treatment while attending the Gaia...

A client receives a wellness treatment while attending the Gaia NoMaya spa in Brooklyn. Credit: Gaia NoMaya

A nexus of wellness and entertaining, Gaia NoMaya officially opened in March and combines the aspect of a spa with facets of the arts and nightlife. Health and fitness are addressed through therapies, yoga, massages and other treatments — but unlike many other such facilities, it’s also a lounge featuring DJ sessions, creative installations and other social events. Food and drink are also part of the concept and treatments vary in price.
INFO 510 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; 718-701-6077

Karen J. Simmons

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