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Everything You Absolutely Must Do in NYC This Spring

Published On 03/26/2018 Published On 03/26/2018
Taco Takeover
Taco Takeover | Ashley Sears/Thrillist
Thursday - Thursday
Feb 22-Mar 15
Battery Park
Thrillist has partnered with colossal downtown shopping center Brookfield Place to bring the best beers from across the city to a pop-up Winter Biergarten. Every Thursday from February 22 through March 15, one brewery from each borough will compete for their shot at the title of Best Brew of NYC. Join us each week for top-notch cold craft beer in the heated space, music, local snacks, and the chance to vote for your favorite local brew!
Cost: Free to attend, beer prices vary, you gotta be at least 21
Di Fara
Di Fara | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Saturday
Mar 3
Downtown (various locations)
In the canon of iconic New York foods, pizza ranks very high, whether it’s from a Brooklyn joint, a dollar slice shop, or a Harlem mainstay. With more than 300 square miles to cover, you’ve got to start your search for the perfect slice somewhere. On this two-and-a-half hour tour of the city, you’ll hit four iconic spots in and around Nolita, chat with chefs, learn some history, and most importantly, eat.
Cost: $50 with four slices included  
Sunday
Mar 4
SoHo
Surely you’ve been to plenty of NYC “speakeasies” and prohibition-style bars, tucked in the back of laundromats and behind pawn shops -- but what about a secret tea parlor? At this New York Adventure Club-hosted event, you’ll arrive at an undisclosed address, enter through an unmarked door, and shuffle past a psychic’s quarters, before arriving in a cozy, ornate tea room. Here, you’ll unwind with a tasting of three seasonal Taiwanese and Chinese teas, while learning about the history of the blends and their origins, and munching on traditional snacks.
Cost: Tickets start at $35
Thursday
Mar 8
Battery Park
A woman’s place is in every sort of revolution -- the craft cocktail revolution included. Make your way to the Pier A Harbor House for this beverage expo, and sip on a variety of innovative, complex cocktails dreamed up (and shaken up) by the leading female bartenders and mixologists in the industry. Whet your alcohol appetite, learn tips and tricks, and watch some badass leading ladies in action.
Cost: General admission is $60 including food and drink samples
Saturday
Mar 10
Midtown
Wine is as necessary for surviving the winter as it is essential to celebrating the arrival of spring. The temporary indoor vineyard at the cavernous PlayStation Theater will perfectly pair full-bodied reds, crisp whites, and effervescent sparklers with whatever weather mercurial March brings. Swirl and sample a variety of wines from near and far while listening to live jazz and noshing on hors d’oeuvres.
Cost: Tickets start at $63.50 (with food and wine included)
MoMa Ps1
Flickr/Dave Nguyen
Saturday
Mar 17
Long Island City
Once upon a time in 1980s Detroit, an informal show called Hair Wars took local nightclubs by storm. Hair stylists used the platform as a proto-viral marketing tool to showcase their most outrageous work, and eventually the tradition spread to over 20 cities. Now, at long last, the tresses will travel to MoMA Ps1. The museum will display a showcase of fantastical vintage and contemporary hair pieces, alongside archival video from some of the original Hair Wars. Feel free to embrace the spirit and don your own elaborate hairstyle while you browse.
Cost: Tickets are $15  
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Royal Caribbean
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
Saturday
Mar 17

Reconsider your St. Patrick's Day priorities

Reconsider your St. Patrick's Day priorities

Various locations
St. Patrick’s Day, much like New Year’s Eve, is kind of an amateur hour in New York, a city where drinking before noon gets the elevated title of “brunch.” If you’re inclined to celebrate the luck of the Irish away from the 6-foot-tall cosplaying leprechauns or “Adult Lucky Irish Lasses,” at the parade, hit some spots with slightly tamer festivities like House of Yes, Loreley Beer Garden, and the McCarren Hotel.
Cost: A pot of gold
dessert goals
Lauren Kallen
Saturday - Sunday
Mar 17-25
Long Island City
Everyone knows that the best part of a meal is dessert -- so why go through the dinner charade to get there? For two back-to-back weekends -- the 17th/18th, and the 24th/25th -- Sound River Studios in Long Island City will transform into a blissful shrine to all things dessert. There will be an expansive Instagram garden designed by Planoly (because why even bother with dessert if you’re not going to ‘Gram it), a spread of sweet treats from more than 20 vendors, and a salt bar to reset your palate between courses and keep your sugar endurance strong.
Cost: Tickets start at $17
Sunday
Mar 18
Greenpoint
You, my friend, deserve a plate (or three) of mac & cheese. And at this Time Out New York-hosted mac & cheese smackdown, you and a handful of your most lactose-tolerant friends can have all of the cheese-drenched noodles your hearts desire. With an impressive slew of mac-slinging vendors including (but not limited to!) Murray’s Cheese, Hill Country Barbecue, and Red Rooster Harlem, you know the stuff will be the real deal. And to add to your caloric intake at the event, there will be free beer all afternoon.
Cost: $55 for bottomless mac & cheese and complimentary beer
Sunday
Mar 18
South Slope
How do you coat your esophagus with as much acidity as possible? It’s simple: attend this vodka and pickle festival and get pickled AF. There will be an open vodka bar, bottomless pickle samples, live music, and the opportunity to have an intimate conversation with someone who reeks of brine as much as you do.
Cost: Tickets start at $50
Sunday
Mar 25
Upper West Side
It’s a given that New York has a truly incredible collection of brick-and-mortar restaurants, but lesser-known are the fabulous food trucks. For on-the-go tacos, deep-dish pizza, quality coffee, and fresh empanadas, local food trucks stationed in far-flung corners of the city offer the goods. To save you from snack-seeking cross-borough journeys, Grand Bazaar NYC has gathered 15 of the city’s most popular food truck vendors in one place for your sampling pleasure.
Cost: Admission is free, food is sold at standard menu prices
Aunt Jake's
Aunt Jake's
Saturday
Apr 14
Little Italy
Some of New York’s finest pasta comes from the heart of Little Italy -- and it's high time you learned a few of the local secrets. Learn to pull your own pasta from scratch with the executive chef at popular Italian joint Aunt Jake’s, and blow guests away at your next dinner party. During of the two-hour classes, you’ll learn dough-preparation and noodle-pulling, and once the instruction comes to an end, you and your fellow pasta-makers will feast on family-style pasta dishes.
Cost: $35 for two hours of instruction, and a full meal (beverages not included)
Sunday
Apr 15
Gowanus
Not all cased meat is created equal. Your standard dirty-water dog is not quite the same as the sliced sausage that graces charcuterie boards at Eataly. Nevertheless, the preparation is fairly uniform. Get your hands dirty with the Meat Hook team at Threes Brewing, and learn to mix, stuff, and link your very own sausage, all while sipping on a handful of complimentary craft beers from the brewery.
Cost: $95
Monday
Apr 16
Nolita
If you’ve never been to Genuine Liquorette, this mixology course is the perfect introduction. The basement bar, tucked beneath Dante’s recent outpost, feels like a kitschy revamp of an '80s diner. Tall stools line elevated counters, cold soda pop fridges are tucked against the wall, and a glowing pink neon sign reads Liquorette in script above the bar. Esteemed beverage director Maxime Belfand will take burgeoning bartenders under his wing, and by the end of this two-hour master class, everyone will be a mixologist. As proof of your scholarship, a Polaroid of you donning their special Master Class burgundy blazer will be posted to the bar’s “on duty” board.  
Cost: Tickets are $100
Friday - Saturday
Apr 20-21
Chelsea
In recent years, the “beer snob” has become an archetype in the cast of New York City characters. Though wine and spirits were once the true markers of class, these days, craft beer is equally exalted. Suds connoisseurs and beginners both will want to check out this enormous Craft Beer Festival to sample 150 specialty brews, cider, mead, and spirits.
Cost: Tickets start at $49
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 21-22
Greenpoint
Everyone has that one friend who will swallow wasabi on a dare. If you are that one friend, this hot sauce expo is a must. For two full days, High River Sauces will present a fiery food festival, where you’ll sample sauces from some of the hottest suppliers around the globe, witness a Chihuahua beauty pageant, and calm your taste buds with plenty of beer and specialty cocktails.
Cost: Tickets start at $10
Wednesday
Apr 25
Brooklyn
For the seventh year, Brisket King returns to NYC to fulfill all of your red meat fantasties. More than 20 local chefs will compete in the kitchen, at the barbecue, and in the smokehouse for their chance at the Brisket King crown, and the fateful decision is in your hands. There will be plenty of beer, wine, craft cocktails, and -- you guessed it -- brisket. Don’t forget to vote for a champ before you slip into a food coma.
Cost: Tickets start at $65
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 28-29
Flushing Meadows
The World’s Fare -- named in a nod to the 1964 shindig that took place nearby -- is a culinary festival in celebration of global cuisine. More than 100 curated food vendors will hawk their wares at Citi Field over two days. Hang out in the beer garden, groove to live music, and gorge on the most diverse spread of affordable international eats you’ve ever seen.
Cost: Tickets start at $19
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 28-29
Crown Heights
The Japanese tradition of hanami (flower viewing) is observed during cherry blossom season, when the fickle flowers briefly bloom and serve as a reminder that beauty is tameless, capricious, and impermanent -- and to enjoy each passing moment. Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden grants New Yorkers a chance to literally stop and smell the flowers, for once -- before racing off to one of the 60 events, talks, and performances the Garden has planned in honor of the cultural tradition.
Cost: $30
Friday
May 11
Meatpacking District
If you’ve been meaning to check out the Grant Wood exhibition at the Whitney for weeks, what better reason to finally go than an evening of free admission? From 7-9:30pm, pay what you wish to browse the newest collections and permanent installations at the museum. Save some time for a drink or a bite to eat at Untitled, the museum’s resident eatery.
Cost: Pay what you wish
taco takeover
Courtesy of Taco Takeover
Saturday
May 12
Greenpoint
Tacos and tequila are a combination like few other iconic culinary duos in the world, and this month, they join forces at a “fiesta-val” in Brooklyn. Guests will sample tacos from otherwise far-flung vendors under one roof, all while sipping on bottomless beer and tequila concoctions. The only limit is your shame.
Cost: Tickets start at $49
Friday - Sunday
May 18-20
Hell's Kitchen
Competitive pinball is no joke. In fact, players of the sport (yes, sport) convene in local leagues, train actively, and enter in regular competitions -- the most notable of which is the NYC Pinball Championship. Registration is open -- so if you think you’ve got what it takes, sign on up. In the trendy penthouse ballroom of the Skyline Hotel top-notch ‘ballers will play for cash and other prizes on a spread of pinball machines curated by advanced collectors and top retailers all across the country.
Cost: Registration is free
Sunday
May 20
Greenpoint
The holy communion of breakfast and lunch, that special service when pancakes and spiked orange juice are shared as a symbol of the weekend, has become a religion unto itself. Revel in the glory of the sacrament at BrunchCon, where your ticket will earn you one brunch bite from each of the 30+ vendors in attendance, in addition to a bottomless tap of mimosas and Bloody Marys. By the time it’s all over, you may have lost your religion.
Cost: Tickets start at $45
Saturday
May 26
Central Park
If you don’t have the funds to pop over to South Africa this May for some safari action, your next best option is Central Park. Congregate with other adventurers and embark on a photo safari across the park’s lush expanses. There may not be lions and tigers prowling about but there will be plenty of squirrels, rats, and wild Manhattanites (oh my). Learn about landscapes and cityscapes, perfect your framing and lighting techniques, and help to document the brutal wilderness that is uptown.
Cost: The course is free, camera rental starts at $20