It’s been a few years since I enjoyed Easter in New York, but I loved the long weekend in the Big Apple. I’d previously only visited NYC in winter. However, the month of April transformed the city into a bright airy place full of colour – and chocolate!
It’s hard to imagine, with all that concrete everywhere, but in America and especially NYC they manage to be so flamboyant and colourful that the infectious Spring vibe filters along the streets.
Stephanie Fox blogs about Newcastle and Travel at her blog www.stephaniefox.co.uk. She’s kindly contributed this Easter-themed guest post to help me with my #40days40blogs Lent challenge! Here are her top 10 things to do for Easter in New York City:
The Bonnet festival and Easter Parade
I didn’t realise what was going on at first when I spotted fully grown men wandering around NYC with their bonnets on, but then again it is New York and nobody seemed to look twice.
Every year from 49th Street and along 5th Avenue, the Easter parade and bonnet festival comes out in force. People both buy or create their own over-the-top Easter-themed bonnets, each one bigger and more colourful than the last to join in the fun.
Puppies in the Window
New York still has those pet shops with puppies in the window; the type I first saw on Beethoven and wished with all my childhood heart that we had them in the UK.
The one I found was in the West Village, with a tiny litter of French bulldogs huddled together. There’s something so cute and happy about baby animals in Spring!
Easter Egg Hunt at Rockefeller Centre
The Rockefeller Centre really embraces the holidays, from the world famous tree at Christmas to the pastel colours and yellow chicks that decorate the shops and fountains at Easter. When I spent Easter in New York City, the whole centre was transformed into a giant Easter Egg Hunt.
Hundreds of designers and brands sponsored and designed Easter eggs, and they were displayed all around the Rockefeller area to scan and collect. My favourites were the ‘runny egg’ that dripped into the New York skyline, and Banksy’s. Of course, Lady Liberty was a crowd favourite too.
They may not do this exact hunt every year, but Rockefeller Centre is an area not to be missed for Easter activities with plenty going on, and the beautiful gardens full of Easter flowers.
Walk along the high line
Elevated above the city, the High Line is a beautiful walk along the old railway line. It’s pretty for one, but you’ll also find street artists, antique stalls and a book market where you’re guaranteed to pick up some vintage classics. This was the perfect way to welcome in spring, the rise in temperatures and the festivities of Easter in New York.
Have a drink at a rooftop bar
Not just limited to Easter, but it will probably be one of the first occasions of the year where it’s warm enough to do so – get yourself up onto a rooftop bar! You might still need a jacket, but it’s great to finally be outside after the cold winter, enjoying a beer.
Where in the world can you find better rooftop bars than NYC?! My favourite was Top of the Strand, or pretty much any quirky bar in Brooklyn.
Enjoy brunch at The Spotted Pig
This restaurant is my favourite in the whole city, located in the West Village and not far from the Magnolia Bakery (head there for desert!). It’s cool, quirky and serves incredible food.
At weekends they do a delicious brunch, but they don’t accept reservations and the queues to get in stretch along the street, so get there early. They probably won’t open on time either – they’re too cool for that! While you wait, admire the seasonal decorations, the flowerpots, and the Spotted Pig sign itself.
Eat cake at Magnolia Bakery
Made famous by SATC, a trip to NYC isn’t complete without a trip to the Magnolia Bakery. That is, the original Magnolia Bakery in the West Village. At Easter, the whole place was decked out in Easter decorations, and there was even a sprinkle bar for extra toppings on all that whipped cream.
Good luck choosing just one of all the delicious treats on offer, from a slab of homemade cake to creative cupcakes you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Celebrate Easter in New York City with some retail therapy
It’s amazing how on days like Christmas Day and Easter Sunday in the UK life comes to a complete stop and there’re no shops open.
I nearly had a meltdown when I spent Easter in New York and I desperately needed something. I thought nowhere would be open. As it happens, shops don’t close in the US over Easter – so you can shop until you drop!
Go for a walk around Battery Park instead of Central Park
Avoid the crowds that flock to Central Park and instead take a walk through Battery Park, right at the tip of Manhattan. It’s far less crowded, but is a beautiful stretch of greenery in the city, with views to match.
A walk around the harbour will take you past luxury yachts, and a few watering holes to stop for a drink.
Spot the Spring blossom lining the streets
There are a million ways to celebrate the coming of spring and Easter in New York, but my favourite was on Clinton Street. You can admire the view of this pretty area while you wait for a table at the Clinton Street Baking Company.
Trust me – the two hour wait is worth it for those pancakes! After all, Easter is definitely a time for sweet treats!
Stephanie Fox hails from Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the UK and loves her hometown just as much as she loves travel. Read more on her blog, www.stephaniefox.co.uk.Thanks for your guest post, Steph!