curated by Sara Maher

Spring is a time of rebirth, and all that. Get a new outlook on your same old life by watching an odd independent film, picking up some trash, eating a weird-looking food made out of other weird-looking foods, or walking around with a bunch of flowers on your head. You do you.

Fresh Films

Spring is full of new life, and some would argue that creating new art should be our goal in this life. New Directors/New Films introduces audiences to the work of aspiring filmmakers from around the world. Films being shown at F-accessible MoMA have titles like Under the Shadow, Kill Me Please, The Fits, Donald Cried, and I Promise You Anarchy, but don’t let that scare you off – the fest credits itself with discovering Christopher Nolan and Spike Lee, so who knows what Oscar fodder you could be the first to see.

F downtown to 57th St and walk southeast to MoMA (11 W 53rd St.) Mar 16-27; various times. General public $16, students and members of MoMA or the Film Society of Lincoln Center $12. Full schedule and tickets at

Floral Formalwear

It wouldn’t be spring without a new wardrobe. Show off your best bonnet at the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival, a pageant that started in the 1870s but was popularized by the 1948 Judy Garland film Easter Parade. This is not your typical roped-off NYC event; instead, a section of Fifth Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic, allowing bonnet-wearers to bound about like Easter bunnies. After the “parade,” head downtown to the Macy’s Flower Show and see Broadway Plaza filled with festive floral arrangements. Macy’s will also be hosting a live performance by the cast of Beautiful, a Family Fun Day, and Easter-y seminars (think flower arranging and chocolate-making.)

Parade and Bonnet Festival: F downtown to 57th St or 49-50th Sts-Rockefeller Center and find a spot on 5th Ave between 49th-57th Sts. Sun Mar 27, 10am-4pm. Free. Note: anyone wearing an Easter bonnet is welcome to join, but everyone is allowed to watch. Flower Show: F downtown to 34th St-Herald Sq; activities in the Square and inside Macy’s. Mar 20-Apr 3, various times. Free.

Pop-up Plants

Get those wiggly-worm kids out of the house and into the great outdoors. The Prospect Park Alliance is hosting “Pop-up Audubon” sessions in parks around the boroughs. Plant Clues promises a full day of fun in Prospect Park. Your little explorers will receive a Discovery Pack filled with nature activities before going on a nature walk, tracking the growth of significant plants, helping maintain the park, and learning how to use binoculars to spot one of the 250 bird species that live in the park.

F downtown to Fort Hamilton Pkwy and walk northeast on Fort Hamilton Pkwy to enter the park; walk north on West Dr and turn right on Well House Dr to find “the Peninsula” by the lake. Every Sat and Sun between Apr 2-30, 11am-4pm. Free.

Get That Garbage

Maybe your kids prefer their nature with a dash of physical labor (or maybe you prefer that for them). Spend a day on the Junior Volunteer Corps and help take care of Prospect Park. The Prospect Park alliance swears it’s “a day of fun,” but you can bet it also involves mulch and garbage bags. If they don’t scream at the first sight of an insect and are up for a little walk, treat them to the ultimate snack attach at Smorgasburg. 100 local vendors will offer them everything from vegan ice cream to real fruit licorice to s’mores whoopee pies.

Junior Volunteer Corps: F downtown to 7th Av (Brooklyn) and walk east on 9th Ave to enter the park. Sun Apr 3, 1:30-3:30. Free, but registration is required at Smorgasburg: staying in the park, follow West Dr southeast to Well House Dr, then walk northeast to “Breeze Hill.” To get home, take Well House Dr all the way out of the park and walk southwest on Fort Hamilton Pkwy to get to the Fort Hamilton Pkwy F stop. Every Sun from Apr 3-fall, 11am-6pm. Prices vary; some vendors may be cash-only. Family and dog-friendly.

On Your Toes

The Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to New York City Center with Power. On Pointe. This celebration of great female choreographers features the New York premieres of Dianne McIntyre and Elena Kunikova, as well as the return of Helen Pickett. The family-focused matinee performance on April 9 includes a post-show talk and Meet the Ballerina event.

F downtown to 57th St and walk southwest to New York City Center (131 W 55th St.) Apr 6-9, various times; Family Matinee Sat Apr 9, 2pm. Tickets $35-125.

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

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