Spring Activities

25 Kid-Friendly Spring Day Trip Ideas for NYC Families

By the time April rolls around, my family has reached its limits of winter-induced stir-craziness, and despite all that our fair city has to offer in spring, we collectively feel desperate to get away from NYC, even for the day.

Having this list of 25 spring-inspired day trips at our fingertips gives us something to look forward to, especially with spring break on the horizon. From hiking and farm fun to smelling the blooms to strolling amid sculpture gardens, there is something on this list for everyone.

Note: We have a low tolerance for driving, so for us, a day trip has to be within two hours of New York City. Find more ideas in our Day Trips Guide or our Family Travel Guide.

What's New for 2019 at Luna Park, Six Flags, Sesame Place, Hershey, and Theme Parks Near NYC

Spring may have just begun, but a summer of fun is right around the corner, and NYC's favorite nearby theme parks are starting the 2019 season with thrilling new rides, stunning expansions, and stellar upgrades. Luna Park at Coney Island opens this weekend on Saturday, April 6 with new attractions, and New York State's biggest indoor water park at brand-new Catskills resort The Kartrite is set to open on Friday, April 19.

Keep this post close when planning your next theme park destination getaway. Whether you're planning a day trip or an extended stay, these theme parks are all under 2 hours from NYC. Read on for a sneak peek at what's new and exciting this year at amusement parks close to NYC, from Coney to Hershey.

Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms as a Family in NYC

There are few more delightful ways to celebrate the arrival of spring than by viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms flowering all over New York City. In Japan, cherry blossom-viewing is taken to almost religious heights. Blooming flowers are carefully watched, enjoyed, and celebrated. Traditional Sakura Hanami parties feature eating, drinking, and music.

Everyone seems to know about the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but there are other places to enjoy these gorgeous blossoms without the crowds this April and even deeper into the spring season. Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York City this spring.

14 Miniature Golf Courses for NYC Kids

For many families, mini golf is a quintessential spring and summer activity that they look forward to every year. My son loves it, so we've tried just about every putt-putt course in the tristate area.

While there are plenty of courses on Long Island and in New Jersey, you don't need to head out of town. There are currently more than a dozen places to play mini golf right here in New York City. And as sports go, it's typically fairly inexpensive—often as little as $5 a round for kids. Another bonus is that it's one of those rare activities that parents and kids can play together. You can even host a birthday party at most of these spots.

Read on to find out where to play mini golf with the kids in the city, and I'll see you on the green!

Pick Your Own Fun: Houston Farms for Fruit and Berry Picking

The intoxicating smell of freshly picked berries can only mean one thing: sweet spring (and summertime) is upon us! And what better way to take advantage of the season's freshest fruit than by picking it yourself? Instead of purchasing pre-packaged strawberries, blueberries and blackberries at the grocery store, take a trip out to one of these "you-pick-it" farms and gather them yourself by the bucketful. Not only will you be getting berries straight from the source, you'll also be supporting small farmers and creating memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.

10 Things to Love About the New York Botanical Garden

Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre oasis in the middle of Bronx Park, housing 50 specialty gardens, and more than one million plants. The largest botanic garden in the United States, it's also a National Historic Landmark and well worth a visit in any season. 

When I was growing up, my family ran a generations-old business selling plants and designing fabulous landscapes for the well-to-do in my native Colorado. My first job was weeding the plants in the garden center, and for a time, I thought I'd go to school to become a landscape architect and follow in my father's footsteps. Plants are practically in my blood, and to this day, I still crave a connection with nature and want my born-and-bred New Yorkers to feel blades of grass between their toes and get their hands dirty.

While we've always found our nature fix in Central Park and some of the wonderful gardensflower shows, and greenspaces the city has to offer, no park in the city has captivated me as much as the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden. Read on for 10 things to love about this green treasure, as the cultural gem embarks on its yearlong celebration of #plantlove.

Where to See Cherry Blossoms and More Blooms on Long Island

After a long winter, spring arrives and colors burst all over Long Island. These are perfect days to explore some of the Island’s family-friendly gardens and state parks, where displays of vibrant, eye-popping cherry blossoms—along with a host of other springtime trees and flowers—are in full bloom.

From the Arbor Day Family Festival (April 27-28) at Planting Fields Arboretum to the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (May 5) at Stony Brook University, your kids get to experience the natural beauty of the season, explore the outdoors, and even learn about different cultures. 

Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City

Easter Sunday is April 21 this year—later than usual, but really just a hop, skip, and a jump away. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC's treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos, and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other cultural spots. Many offer additional spring fun, including seasonal crafts, face painting, and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you dislike crowds, avoid the free hunts and opt for those that carry a small fee as they usually cap the number of participants. Or get your photo op with the Easter Bunny in ahead of time at these brunches.

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