Spring is almost upon us! If you’re like us, you’re ready for warmer and longer days outside (who isn’t?). We’re eager for Spring weather and thought we’d share some of our favorite things to do in New York City! Whether you’re in a relationship or looking for some fun activities to do with your friends, we’ve got something for everyone. Check them out!
1) Explore the Upper West Side by bike!
Alright…we’re biased. We live on the Upper West Side and have spent the last 6 months falling deeply in love with it. In this time, we’ve learned there’s no better way to spend a Sunday than biking around the neighborhood, exploring all that it has to offer. Whether you live on the UWS or have never been before, you’ll love this Sunday itinerary, complete with food!
Stop #1: Bike down Riverside Park – Head over to the Riverside & W 104th docking station, download the Citi-Bike App and grab a bike! A 30 minute ride only costs $3.00 and that’ll be more than enough to get you downtown! For a choice of scenic views, ride downtown via the Hudson River Greenway (right along the river) or through the Riverside Park path (through the park itself)! Both are routes are beautiful & can be accessed via a down-hill ramp at about 102nd street.
Pro tip: Park your bike at the 78th Street docking station located on Riverside! It’s a short walk to Daily Provisions from there.
Stop #2: Breakfast/Lunch at Daily Provisions – Danny Meyer, Shake Shack founder and food enthusiast, brought Daily Provisions to the Upper West Side less than a year ago. This neighborhood spot offers amazing cafe food for breakfast and lunch and they serve up THE BEST CRULLER we’ve ever had. Flavors rotate every month and they typically sell out by around 11:00 am – don’t be late!
Stop #3: Explore the Grand Bazaar NYC – The Grand Bazaar is an Upper West Side classic. It’s open every Sunday, year-round, from 10:00am-5:30pm. Hundreds of vendors and local artisans set up shop here, making it NYC’s biggest curated weekly market! There’s everything from vintage goods, to clothes, to jewelry, art, and one-of-a-kind collectibles. Plan to spend a few hours exploring it all!
Pro tip: But wait – there’s more! Food! San Antonio’s Wood Fired Pizza is our personal favorite, but there are plenty of choices.
2) Take in delicious food & incredible views in Dumbo
Dumbo, the waterfront area of Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Bridge, has always been one of our favorite spots in the city. It’s the perfect spot to hang by the park, watch the sunset, and bask in the warm weather. There’s always tons going on and, with the addition of the Timeout Market last year, things are even better!
Stop #1: Chill at Brooklyn Bridge Park – Brooklyn Bridge Park is arguably one of the best spots to enjoy the Spring weather. Situated right around the Brooklyn Bridge it’s got grassy lawns, a bouldering area, a historic carousel, piers filled with recreational activities, and tons of warm-weather events. Our favorite is bringing a large blanket and parking ourselves on the grass.
Stop #2: Grab Dinner at Timeout Market – Last Spring, Timeout Market launched in Brooklyn and we’ve been loving it since. Timeout convened 21 of the best restaurants in the city and housed them under a modern, market-place by the river. Some of our favorite spots include: Pat LaFrieda, Alta Calidad (Mexican Food) and Juliana’s (Pizza). It’s the perfect place for folks with different food preferences – just get in line at your favorite kiosk and meet back at the main tables!
Pro tip: Check out their hidden rooftop bar! It’s the perfect place to gaze at the sunset and watch the boats go by from above!
Stop #3: Savor Ice-Cream at Ample Hills Creamery – Open since 2011, Ample Hills Creamery has been serving up delicious scoops to New Yorkers in their home neighborhood of Brooklyn. It’s only fitting that this Brooklyn-based creamery, New York City’s only local creamery, landed a storefront right inside Brooklyn’s Fireboat House just last year. Line up at this historical landmark and gaze up at the iconic Brooklyn Bridge while you’re at it. Beware of the seagulls!
Step #4: Relax at this Secret Garden – Right beside Ample Hills Creamery lies the beautiful and exclusive River Cafe restaurant. A few years ago we discovered that its beautiful rose gardens, perched right under the Brooklyn Bridge and complete with rose-bushes and twinkling lights, were open to the public. They’re extremely romantic, and the perfect last stop for the night.
3) Devour dumplings & find vintage treasures on the LES
The Lower East side is buzzing with food spots, neat shops, and a whole lot of character. If you’re headed down on a spring day, we recommend checking out these spots! They’re all within a few blocks of one another. Is there anything better than indulging in dumplings and hunting for vintage treasures?
Stop #1: Devour dumplings at Mimi’s Cheng’s – After 6 years of living in the city, we finally tried Mimi Cheng’s dumplings. And we’re kicking ourselves for waiting so long! This place is the bomb. They serve up delicious Taiwanese-Chinese dumplings with a rotating dumpling “special” each month. February’s special, French Onion Soup, was to die for!
Pro tip: This month’s special is Classic Chicken Parm! We haven’t tried it yet but we’re dying to. See you there 😉
Stop #2: Devour dumplings at the Drunken Dumpling – Next up – Drunken Dumpling! A fantastic spot to order soup dumplings among friends. The Pork Soup Dumplings are excellent and very filling! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, go for the XL-Sized Long Bao: an comically massive soup dumpling.
Stop #3: Go thrifting at L-Train Vintage – If you know, you know. L-Train Vintage is one of the few spots in the city where you can find all kinds of unique treasures at extremely affordable prices. Whether you’re looking for a 90’s shirt, a quirky accessory, cowboy boots for a costume, or a vintage fur coat – this is your spot! The deals here are out of this world and you can spend hours browsing through the racks of clothes.
4) Sample mouth-watering food in Chinatown
What is it about Chinatown that keeps us coming back? It’s easy. Delicious food, amazing prices, cool shops, and a vibe that you can’t find anywhere else in the city.
Stop #1: Order dumplings at Tasty Dumpling: 5 dumplings for $1.25. That is all. This place is as no-frills and hole-in-the-wall as it gets. Order their mouth-watering pork & chive dumplings (5 for $1.25) to go and savor them right across the street at Columbus Park. Park yourself on a bench and, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear locals belt out traditional, Chinese songs!
Stop #2: Noodles, Pork Buns & Egg Rolls at Nom Wah Tea Parlor – Nom Was Tea Parlor is so, quintessentially Chinatown. It’s been a neighborhood staple since 1920, offering fresh Chinese pastries, steamed buns, dim sum, and tea. If it’s your first time, you can’t leave without trying their Pan Fried Noodles, Pork Buns, and Original Egg Rolls. Portions are large so you’ll only have to order one serving of each. You’ll thank us later!
Stop #3: Try unique flavors at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory ($) Taro, Thai Tea, and Sesame are just some of the unique flavors you can try at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. CICF has been serving up delicious ice cream for four decades, and they do it well. They’re open year-round and are a great place to stop for some warm-weather dessert.
Pro tip: All three businesses are cash only, as are most spots in Chinatown! Be sure to come prepared.
5) Travel uptown for spring flowers & Italian food
Any Fordham student, past or present, has a soft spot for the New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG). They’re a stone’s throw away from Fordham University’s Bronx Campus and Arthur Avenue – the Bronx’s very own Little Italy. This historic street is filled with incredible Italian restaurants, markets, bakeries, and mom-and-pop shops. Ditch the long lines and high prices at Manhattan’s Little Italy and travel uptown for New York’s real Little Italy.
Stop #1: Start the day off at the gardens – Fun fact: the Bronx is home to some of the largest green spaces in New York City! Pretty easy when you’ve got the New York Botanical Garden in your backyard. Their sprawling, 250 acres are filled with 50 diverse gardens and nearly 100,000 plants. Each April, their famous “Daffodil Hill” comes alive, bringing with it a sea of thousands of yellow and white daffodils. You can track their growth online and plan to visit when they’re at their peak!
Stop #2: Lunch at Casa Della Mozarella – If you venture to Arthur Avenue, you have to explore Casa Della Mozarella. We have savored many sandwiches in our young lives. None come close to Casa Della Mozarella’s “Casa” sandwich. Picture this: prosciutto, mozzarella, sun-dried peppers and balsamic glaze nestled between two fresh loaves of ciabatta. It’s even better than it sounds! The sandwich is massive and, at $13, it’s perfect for sharing between two.
Pro tip: Sample their made-in-house mozzarella, their unbelievable cheeses, and their meats for a real taste of Italy!
Stop #3: Grab Cannolis at Gino’s Pastry Shop – Gino’s Pastry Shop is an iconic Arthur Avenue bakery that has supplied locals with Italian baked goods since 1960. Their cannolis, a house specialty, are out of this world. Our favorite part? They pipe in the delicious, ricotta filling right in front of you! You can also choose to have them dipped on the ends with chips, pistachios, or both!
Pro Tip: If you’ve got some time leftover, explore the Arthur Avenue Market and Tidal Bros – two classic spots filled with imported Italian goods that you can’t find anywhere else!
That’s all, folks!
We hope these ideas help you make the very most of the spring in New York City. Let us know if you liked it and subscribe to our website below!