It's hard to believe March has arrived, bringing with it signs of spring all around New York City, from melting snowbanks to outdoor play. One thing that doesn't change with the season is our overflowing events calendar, but we're making it easy for you to hit all the fun, spring-inspired events, including the Macy's Flower Show, Luna Park's Opening Day (early this year!), and of course St. Patrick's Day parades and children's activities as the city turns green March 17. We're also celebrating Dr. Seuss on March 2 with nearly two dozen wacky activities.
As soon as you've stored your favorite green garb, it's time to get ready for springtime Easter egg hunts and festivities. There's lots to do, from photo ops to brunch with the bunny of the hour as well as the spectacular Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival.
We've rounded up 16 must-hit happenings in our GoList. Beyond the holidays, it's a huge month for the performing arts. We've got details on the innovative Tilt Festival, plus Puerto Rican drumming and dancing. Head to the theater to watch puppetry-meet-technology in Lightwire Theater: Dino-Light, or go full-on dramedy with the premiere of the much-anticipated Mean Girls. Looking for a toddler friendly theater experience? You're in luck as Paw Patrol Live makes a stop here, too.
Don't forget to get a jump on spring break planning with our Getaways and Day Trips Guide, as well as our roundup on Spring Break Camps for NYC Kids. Grab early bird summer camp rates by perusing the rest of our Summer Camp Guide, which includes FREE camps and brand-new ones for the 2018 season.
Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top things to do with kids in New York City this March.
As always, if an event piques your interest, click through to our listing for all the details, including addresses and times. And keep in mind: In NYC, really cool things to do with kids often book up quickly, so buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds.
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The Orchid Show will showcase thousands of orchids. Photo courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Show — the Bronx
Saturday March 3–Sunday, April 22
Need a break from winter's gray landscape? Think: greenhouse vibrancy. Now in its 16th year, The Orchid Show will showcase thousands of dramatically displayed orchids in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory featuring a series of installations crafted by Daniel Ost, one of the world's leading floral designers.
Tilt Festival – Citywide
Saturday, March 3–Sunday, March 18
Returning for a third year, this French cultural and art festival puts kids entertainment center stage and encourages families to "discover, play, imagine, think, and create," by experiencing a range of performance art, from theater to dance, music, and loads of interactive workshops. We're especially excited for Little Red Riding Hood from famed director Joël Pommerat, recommended for ages 7 and up, which gives a new spin on the classic tale (Think: A fearless little girl. A workaholic single mother. And a crafty wolf.) All workshops are FREE.
RELATED: 45 Top Events for NYC Preschoolers This Winter
Imagine your way to a soothing beach adventure in Waves, All That Glows Sees at this carefully crafted theater experience at Lincoln Center. Photo by Louise Leblanc
Waves, All That Glows Sees — Lincoln Square
Saturday, March 10–Sunday, March 18
No need to don bathing suits for this immersive experience at Lincoln Center Kids, which takes place inside a magical tent where a storyteller transports audiences to the seaside via evocative visuals, stories, and songs. It's a beach day in the dead of winter!
Explore City of Science where the wondrous properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide. Photo courtesy of World of Science
City of Science – the Bronx
Sunday, March 11
Join the World Science Festival and Con Edison for this larger-than-life, touring event where the wondrous properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide! It hits the Bronx this month filled with demonstrations, hands-on activities, and exhibitions. This FREE program unleashes everyone’s inner scientist.
Unseen Oceans — Upper West Side
Monday, March 12–Sunday, January 6, 2019
The American Museum of Natural History's new exhibition offers a glimpse into the fascinating undersea world that scientists are just beginning to understand, thanks to state-of-the-art technology that includes robots, satellite monitoring, and more. Take a virtual ride through inky ocean depths and marvel at a floor-to-ceiling collection of bioflourescent species. Kids will delight at the interactive installation featuring schooling fish that react to their movements. Live aquatic animals—seahorses, pipefish, jellies, and catsharks—will also be onsite.
Mean Girls — Times Square
Previews begin Monday, March 12
Based on the 2004 teen dramedy written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, this musical adaptation follows Cady Heron, who grew up on an African savanna with her scientist parents, as she enters the ruthless world of American suburban high school and learns to navigate its intricate pecking order. She ultimately faces off with "The Plastics," a trio of snarky and shallow, yet popular girls led by Regina George. If you've seen the movie, you'll remember the resounding message of self-love and finding the courage to stand up to bullies—a timely and universal message.
The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Manhattan marches up Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of NYCGo
St. Patrick's Day — Citywide
Saturday, March 17
Everyone feels a bit Irish around St. Patrick's Day. While Manhattan's iconic parade marches up Fifth Avenue on St. Pat's proper—Saturday, March 17—there are many parades and celebrations throughout the month. A family-friendly favorite is the Irish Arts Center's FREE St. Patrick's Day Open House on Sunday, March 11, where you can sample classes, pick up some Irish words, or learn a new dance step.
This glow-in-the dark-adventure is sure to amaze! Photo by Steven Charles Nicholson
Lightwire Theater: Dino-Light — Upper West Side
Saturday, March 17
Electroluminescent creatures light up the darkness in this glow-in-the-dark original tale of a lovable dinosaur and his scientist creator. A sight to be seen, this performance is an interesting mix of puppetry, technology, and dance.
The Lightning Thief — Corona, Queens
Opens Sunday, March 18
Queens Theatre presents Theatreworks USA's rollicking, hourlong musical based on Rick Riordan's YA novel The Lightning Thief, which we loved when we saw it back in 2014. Kids don't even need to know the book to follow the adventures of a modern-day tween demigod who overcomes challenges both mythical (Medusa, Hades, the Furies) and earthbound (dyslexia, ADD) with a little help from his powerful pals.
RELATED: Best Winter Theater for NYC Kids
Join The Paw Patrol for its new stage show, The Great Pirate Adventure. Photo courtesy of Paw Patrol Live!
Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure — Midtown
Thursday, March 22–Saturday, March 24
After discovering a secret pirate treasure map, the Paw Patrol sets out over land and sea to find the treasure for Mayor Goodway’s celebration before Mayor Humdinger finds it. Live shows like these are a hands-down winner for the preschool set, plus they'll get an intro to the newest pup, Tracker.
Inventgenuity Festival — Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Saturday, March 24-Sunday, March 25
This two-day annual Brooklyn maker festival from the Beam Center returns this March with STEM-filled workshops, crafts, demonstrations, and more collaborative projects for kids. Organizers continue to work to finalize the details, but expect plenty of low- and high-tech options from which your kids can choose. Workshops are typically FREE, but require advance registration and often a small materials fee. Events do fill up fast, so check back for registration info asap. FREE
Luna Park Opening Day — Coney Island, Brooklyn
Saturday, March 24
Don't miss opening day at Luna Park. While the beach won't open until Memorial Day, ring in spring with a family outing to NYC's largest amusement park. All the park's established rides and attractions, both thrilling and tame, will be open—even the water rides. BONUS: This year, each guest can receive a FREE ride wristband for just a $5 donation to the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC! Each person needs to donate, but that means a family of four could hit the rides all day for just $20. Offer is only good on opening day.
Women's Empowerment Festival — Upper West Side
Saturday March 24–Sunday March 25
The Children's Museum of Manhattan celebrates equality, empowerment, and talent during this year’s Women’s History Month via film and animation workshops, art installations, and interactive storytelling. Look for workshops on the amazing women directing the biggest movies today like Patty Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman, and Ava DuVernay, who is directing A Wrinkle in Time, as well as readings from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Macy's Flower Show — Midtown West
Sunday, March 25–Sunday, April 8
Every year, Macy's over-the-top installation of colorful blooms ushers in spring in the city. This year's theme, "Once Upon a Springtime," is a story with original characters and several in-store events celebrating the bloom of the season. Traditionally, Macy's hosts a slew of FREE events in conjunction with its Flower Show, but details are not yet finalized. We'll update this post and our event listing once info is available. FREE
Join the fun at this year's Easter egg hunts, including this Brooklyn one hosted by Town Square. Photo courtesy the organizers
Easter Egg Hunts — Citywide
Various dates toward the end of the month
Hunting for Easter eggs is a beloved family event. Whether you want to search for plastic candy-stuffed eggs or the real hard-boiled kind, there are dozens of places to usher in the season with a sweet hunt. Check our NYC Easter Egg Hunt roundup for one in your neighborhood (FYI: We continue to update this post as more egg hunts are confirmed). Some of our favorites include the Manhattan Fire Museum's egg hunt, the Barnyard Egg Hunt on the grounds of the bucolic Queens County Farm Museum, and the Bartow-Pell Mansion egg hunt in pretty Pelham Bay.
Easter bonnet hats, gloves and full make-up takes us all back to another era. Photo by Alice Grindling
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival — Midtown East
Sunday, April 1
This is one of our favorite celebrations of the year. Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th streets closes to traffic and opens to revelers in beautiful bonnets, snappy hats, and jaw-dropping headdresses. Show off your craziest hat or just come and take photos. Check out last year's photo gallery and video of some of the most creative hats and revelers. Truly a must-do event, which is why we list it on our top 100 things to do with your kids in NYC. FREE
NYC has so many amazing things going on, it's often difficult to choose. Here are a few more cool events worth considering for your March calendar.
A new interactive art installation opened in the pedestrian plaza area on Broadway at 37th Street late last month, Loop. It lights up and plays music, and is inspired by a 19th century toy. Kids can get into the "loops" and try to make them go faster or slower. It'll run through the end of March.
Head to East Harlem's Museum of the City of New York on March 3 to celebrate women's history with its Herstory Day family program, which includes quilting, bookmaking, and performances celebrating important women in our city's history.
Celebrate Puerto Rico with interactive drum and dance performance by Legacy Women, an all-woman musical group rooted in Afro-Dominican and Afro-Puerto Rican traditions on March 3. Also make your own mask inspired by the Puerto Rican tradition of the vejigante. FREE
Join Holi Hooray!, a celebration of springtime and play—also known as the Color Festival—which originated in India and is now enjoyed around the world on March 3 at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
Beginning March 9, catch an original performance of a newborn chick emerging from her shell at sunrise to a strange and busy world with Hatched.
Catch the Mammoth Follies with oversize dinosaurs, singing, dancing, and more in Tribeca March 10.
Watch Big Hero Six in Industry City via Sunset Park Kid's new Saturday Cinema Club on March 10, or check it out on another Saturday (Babe plays March 17, Coco plays March 24, Bambi on March 31). FREE
Learn how to prep 15-minute meals, big batches of vegetables, and pantry staples at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Family Cooking Class on March 17.
Parents and children can take part in old and new holiday traditions on March 25 at Pop-Up Passover.
Watch in absolute wonder as umbrellas take flight, balloons sprout minds of their own, and shimmering silks ripple to the rafters in the modern circus spectacle Air Play, which opens March 30.
And remember to check our Event Calendar as we're always adding new listings.