With each season comes a new reason to visit New York City and experience all that it has to offer. The Big Apple is known for famous annual events that draw millions of visitors and participants, with traditions like parades for practically every holiday, sports, entertainment, festivals, fireworks, and more. Take in a musical performance at Central Park SummerStage in summer or view store display windows in winter; catch a New York Yankees ball game at Yankee Stadium in spring or join in the revelry at the Village Halloween Parade in fall. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy here, at any time of year, no matter what the season or climate.
Since 1984, New York City has hosted Fleet Week annually to honor the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard. Ships from around the world dock in the New York Harbor and sailors and Marines take to the streets to enjoy the spring season, while the public has the opportunity to tour the visiting ships and watch military demonstrations.
New York Yankees and the New York Mets Opening Season
Yankees – Yankee Stadium
Mets – Citi Field
With springtime comes the annual opening baseball season of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, both Major League Baseball teams, which lasts well into the beginning of autumn.
TriBeCa Film Festival
Film lovers descend on New York City for this annual festival showcasing hundreds of the hottest new films from around the world. Taking place in April and May, the TriBeCa Film Festival includes film screenings and premieres (some even outdoors), concerts, panel discussions, and a family street fair.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival
This weekend-long annual festival celebrates Japanese culture, the season of spring, and the blossoming of 220 cherry trees. Visitors enjoy traditional Japanese music and dance, taiko drumming, bonsai pruning workshops, tea ceremonies, and workshops for all ages. Free with Garden admission.
Macy’s Annual Fourth of July Fireworks
Macy’s annually hosts the world’s largest firework display launched from South Street Seaport and barges on the East River at approximately 9 p.m. on July 4th every summer. Visitors can see the fireworks anywhere with a view of the East River from Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Watch a classic film under the summer night sky at a Bryant Park movie screening every Monday evening from June through August. All films shown were made in the 1970s or prior. The films begin at dusk.
Boating in Central Park
Rent a rowboat this summer at Loeb Boathouse for $10 an hour (plus $30 cash deposit) to take out on Central Park Lake. Loeb Boathouse is located at the northeastern tip of The Lake, which spreads across 22 acres. The rowboats can hold as many as four adults.
Central Park SummerStage
This annual program by the City Parks Foundation hosts a variety of musical performances, readings, and theatrical productions, all free of charge in Central Park during the summer season.
The ING New York City Marathon
Every autumn, the ING New York City Marathon draws more than 100,000 applicants (though only 37,000 are selected) for the 26.2-mile race, as well as two million visitors and 315 million television viewers worldwide. The route is through all five boroughs and across five bridges to the finish line in Central Park. Join spectators and cheer on runners from behind barricades throughout the entire course.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Known for its enormous helium-filled balloon characters and floats, this annual two-and-a-half mile long parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West, proceeding to Herald Square, turning west on 34th Street, and finishing at 7th Avenue. Over three million visitors come to line the streets to watch marching bands, celebrities, and performers.
Village Halloween Parade
Put on your best costume and join two million others to celebrate Halloween with this annual parade running through Greenwich Village on 6th Ave. from Spring Street to 21st Street. Those who arrive early in costume can participate in the parade and walk among large floats, puppeteers, and performers.
The New York Chocolate Show
This three-day chocolate show takes place in November. Exhibitors range from small artisanal chocolatiers to large commercial manufacturers. There are 65 cooking demonstrations in two culinary theaters as well as culinary competitions. Admission is $28 for adults and free for children under 12.
View The Famous Department Store Display Windows
Department stores such as Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, and Saks Fifth Avenue draw crowds with their over-the-top window displays celebrating the holiday season, with some mechanical, child-friendly themes, and others highlighting mannequins wearing elaborate designer dresses.
Ice Skating in the City Various Ice Rink Locations Around New York City
Bryant Park, New York, NY
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY
Dust off your skates, bundle up, and bring the family to one of New York City’s ice skating rinks, such as Wollman Ice Rink at the bottom of Central Park, Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, or The Pond at Bryant Park. Admission is free in Bryant Park, while Wollman Rink is $8.50 during the week and $11 on weekends, and Rockefeller Center is $19.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
A New York City Christmas tradition for over 75 years, this performance stars the famous Radio City Rockettes, known for their signature high kicks and precise choreography, at Radio City Music Hall.
Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Broadway
The biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in America takes place in Times Square, where thousands pack in tight to watch the Waterford Crystal Times Square News Year’s Eve Ball drop at midnight. Bundle up as the New York City winter season is known to be frigid.