Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Photo: Liz Ligon1/4
Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Photo: Liz Ligon
Secret Garden at St. Cloud2/4
Secret Garden at St. Cloud
The Mowgli's will perform at the Rochester Lilac Festival Photo: Getty Images3/4
The Mowgli's will perform at the Rochester Lilac Festival Photo: Getty Images
Rose Garden Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden4/4
Rose Garden Weekend at the New York Botanical Garden
All over the city, people just can’t stop Instagramming — and for once, it’s not what’s on their plate.
Springtime in New York is all about the gorgeous blooms popping up all over the city, from our streets to urban parks coming back to life. On every block and in every planter, a rot of bright yellow trumpet vines, elegant red tulips, purple wisterias and cherry trees is chasing away the last bit of winter and giving our city a colorful seasonal makeover.
So go ahead, run through the wildflower meadows of Fort Tryon Park and marvel at the thousands of tulips in Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden. You’ve been to the Macy’s Flower Show and saw the annual Orchid Show, and now for the true flower children, we’ve rounded up the best themed events blooming with wine tastings, music festivals and more fun to enjoy while you stop and smell the roses.
Daffodil Celebration & Wine Weekend
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Wine plus flowers — sign us up. Over 300,000 newly planted daffodil bulbs make their debut on the New York Botanical Garden’s Daffodil Hill the weekend of April 29-30. The flowers are complimented by a tour of New York state vintners serving up tastings (a souvenir glass is included with your ticket). Tons of special activities like talks on flowers’ role in winemaking, demonstrations, bluegrass music by Milton and more. $38 ($10 for members), 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
If Comic-Con and a flower show had a baby, it would be Sakura Matsuri. That’s the scale of the celebration that happens each year at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, whose Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is an absolute showstopper from early April to mid-May with the largest variety of cherry trees in the entire country blanketing the park in “millennial pink” petals. Sakura Matsuri is not just your chance to see them in all their glory but to experience all things Japanese, from traditional samurai swordfighting to a J-pop dance party, and so many costumes you’ll feel like you’re in a manga. April 29-30, $30, free for kids under 12, 990 Washington Ave.
You wouldn’t expect to find flowers in Times Square, but there’s a whole secret garden popping up for a limited time. The Knickerbocker Hotel has created a very “Midsummer’s Night Dream”-inspired nook inside its St. Cloud bar, with bouquets on every table (and even the walls!) and even a pergola with darling touches like a tiny birdhouse. Sip spring-inspired cocktails like the Iris & Ivy (Elyx vodka, strawberry lillet, St. Germain, Aperol). Keep an eye on their Instagram for a weekly flower codeword that gets you half-price small plates. 6 Times Square
Rochester Lilac Festival
A Southern-style flower show meets a modern summer music festival — and all the fun is totally free to enjoy. Take a ride upstate from May 12-21 for the annual Rochester Lilac Festival, which has been going strong since 1898. It’s since blossomed into a massive 10-day event with upwards of 500,000 visitors and tons of special events and a stage featuring local and international performers (this year’s headliners are Rusted Root and California alt-rockers The Mowgli’s). Plus tons of delicious local eats, brews, wines (if you’ve been sleeping on Finger Lakes vintage, you’re in for a treat) and old-school festival fun like a Guinness World Record attempt for the longest relay hug.
Rose Garden Weekend
If roses are your thing, there’s no more spectacular collection of blooms in city than at the New York Botanical Garden’s Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. David Rockefeller’s wife was famous in her own right as a horticulturalist, and she loved roses best of all. Considered one of the best in the world with over 650 varieties of the classic flower, the garden’s blooms reach their peak on June 3-4, with a weekend of live music, expert-led tours and more. Free with admission ($20 adults, members free), 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx