The Best Seasonal Attractions in New York

Choosing the right time to visit New York can be one of the more difficult elements of planning a great trip. Some attractions such as the extravagance of Times Square and the convenience of TopView Hop-On / Hop-Off Bus Service are available year-round. But many of the big events and attractions are season-specific, and you can only get the most of them at the right time.

Each season has its own specific pros and cons, and your choice will depend largely upon your own goals and what all you hope to experience. Spring offers temperate weather and countless outdoor activities, but massive crowds of other tourists can make it expensive and difficult. Many locals leave the city during summer, cancelling out some of the crowds, but the heat and humidity can be brutal. Fall brings beautiful colors in the parks and many of the most famous events, but tickets and accommodation can be hard to come by. Winter weather can be freezing, but frugal travelers may find this the best time for an affordable trip.

The Best Seasonal Attractions in New York

While weather, crowd-size, cost and other factors should be included in your planning process, the time you visit may simply come down to when your favorite events take place. The following are some of the most popular, meaningful and memorable attractions and events New York has to offer from the blooms of spring to the chill of winter.

Spring Attractions

- St. Patrick’s Day Parade: If you like green clothing, bagpipes and flowing spirits, this parade should be worth the visit. Marching up Fifth Avenue and past Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, this is one of the most festive events of spring.
- Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival: Slightly less organized, but more family-friendly than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this gathering is great for kids and adults alike.
- Tribeca Film Festival: One of the most well-known and well-respected independent film festivals, Tribeca brings with it many other events, panels, festivals and fun.
- Fleet Week: Celebrating the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, Fleet Week offers seven days of performances, demonstrations and events.

Summer Attractions

- LGBT Pride Festival and March: One of the most famous annual civil rights events, this has become a worldwide symbol of equality and justice. It is also quite fun.
- NYC Restaurant Week: Over 300 of New York’s finest establishments join in to provide three-course lunches and dinners at affordable prices.
- Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks: An extravagant display that attracts tourists and locals alike, the fireworks can be seen from locations all over Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn and Queens.

Fall Attractions

- New York Fall Fashion Week: The world’s most talented and innovative designers show off their upcoming collections in some of the biggest and most exclusive fashion events of the year.
- Village Halloween Parade: Halloween brings many haunted experiences in New York, but few are more popular, fun and interesting than this event featuring floats, circus performers, musical acts and over 2 million annual viewers.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: While New York offers various parades for different holidays, seasons and events, none are more famous or majestic than the biggest street event of the year.

Winter Attractions

- Holiday Window Displays: As fall ends and the shopping season comes into full-force, the stores all around Fifth Avenue put out displays that would rival major attractions in other cities.
- New Year’s Eve at Times Square: The biggest party of the year, New Year’s Eve is packed with live performances, fireworks, celebrities and crowds until the world-famous ball drops at midnight.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers. Photo Credits: William Warby under Wikipedia Commons.


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