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This post lists the top ten March events as well as family-friendly activities, things to do at night, and lots of free activities. It’s the low tourist season, which means you won’t encounter too many lines to get into the popular attractions. If you are coming early or late in the month, check out our guides to February and April as well as our definitive Things to Do in NYC guide.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN MARCH
Below is our top 10 list. If you are considering visiting many of NYC’s top attractions, then you might want to consider a tourist discount pass, which could save you considerable money. Read our post comparing the different tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on, hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
(1) Saint Patrick’s Day Parade March 17, 2018 11:00 am to 4:30-5:00 pm.
The parade route starts 44th Street and 5th Avenue and continues on 5th avenue to all the way to 79th St, finishing at the American Irish Historical Society at East 80th Street. This annual parade draws thousands of people from all over who come to celebrate their Irish heritage or just join in the festivities. There will be lots of green everywhere from adults dressed like leprechauns and dogs with green bow ties. Be sure to stop in St. Patrick’s Cathedral while you are there.
TIP: The parade is not the only fun on St. Patrick’s Day. Pub crawls and celebrations in bars will be happening everywhere. Our post Best Pub Crawls and Bar Tours in New York City can help you find the right crawl for the holiday.
(2) Visit the Statue of Liberty for Women’s History Month (kid-friendly)
March is Women’s History Month and what could be finer than to commemorate it than a trip to Lady Liberty! March is a good time also because it is still off-peak tourist season so lines are shorter, saving you time.
Our detailed post, How to Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, has everything you need to know to make your trip a smooth one.
(3) Macy’s Flower Show March 25 – April 7, 2018
For two weeks, this famous iconic New York department store showcases garden installations created by leading floral experts. The show includes beautiful, bright floral arrangements as well as special events including live music, kids’ activities, and seminars will take place throughout the show. For more information and a full schedule of events, click here.
Macys Department Store is at W. 34th St. and 6th Ave. (map). Hours: Mon-Thurs. 10 am-10 pm. Fri. & Sat. 9 am-10 pm. Sunday 11 am- 9 pm.
(4) New York International Auto Show March 30 – April 8, 2018 (kid-friendly)
For 117 years, the New York Auto Show has been a place for the world’s leading car makers to show off their latest and greatest offerings. Car debuts, along with the most innovative automotive technology are a big part of this event. This is a great family-activity especially if you’ve got kids who like bright, shiny new cars! Tickets: $17 adults (ages 13 and up), $7 child (12 and under), children 2 and under free. For more information, visit their website. Location: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St. at Eleventh Ave. (map)
The 16th annual Orchid Show is offering visitors so much more than a chance to surround themselves with the beauty of thousands of varieties of orchids. Visitors can learn about the wild adventures of orchid hunters, individuals who were caught up in the 19th-century “orchidelirium,” and risked their lives hunting rare orchids found only in the deepest jungles around the world.
Tickets: Adults: $20; Seniors (65+): $18; Students (with valid ID): $18; Children (2–12): $8 Children under 2: Free. Members: Free
(6) See Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at Radio City Music Hall March 2 & 3, 2018
Along with now deceased Jerry Garcia, these two musicians founded The Grateful Dead in the late 1960s. Now Weir and Lesh are coming together for two nights of special music at a very special venue. Click here for ticket information. Did you know you can take a tour of Radio City Music Hall? See our post to find out how to get discounted tickets.
(7) Asia Week March 15 – 24, 2018
This annual celebration of Asian art offers non-stop exhibitions, auctions, films, lectures, curator talks, and tours presented by leading international Asian art specialists. Major museums participating are the Brooklyn Museum, the Noguchi Museum, the Museum of Chinese in America and the Rubin Museum of Art, each of which has substantial and impressive collections of Asian art.
Click on the Asia Week website for the very extensive calendar of events. Some events are free, others have a fee.
(8) Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament March 1- 4, 2018 (starts February 28)
Since its formation in 1980, this tournament is now the most popular conference championship in men’s collegiate basketball and features some of the best teams in the U.S. The tournament held over three days is a thrilling display of powerhouse players from some of the best men’s college basketball teams of today. Location: Madison Square Garden 7 Ave at 32nd St. Tickets range from $10-$45 at the start of the tournament and as the stakes rise, so do ticket prices to $35-$150. For tickets, click here.
TIP: If you are curious to learn more about MSG, click here to learn about taking a tour of Madison Square Garden.
(9) New Directors/New Film (dates TBD)
This collaborative film fest between Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center is celebrating its 45th year of showcasing the newest most innovative filmmakers from around the globe. Some of the directors whose careers have been launched at this festival in the past are of Pedro Almodóvar, Spike Lee, Darren Aronofsky and Wong Kar-Wai. Visit their website for full information. For a list of films being debuted and to purchase tickets, click here. Location: Various venues near Lincoln Center (map). If you are interested in taking a backstage tour of Lincoln Center, click here.
The Armory Show is one of the most prestigious, highly-anticipated events in the art world, attracting artists, galleries, collectors, critics and curators and members of the public who enjoy great works of art. The show’s primary location is at the piers, but additional art events and exhibitions are also scheduled throughout New York City. Tickets range from one day passes at $45 a day to all 4 days for $80. For more information, click here.
THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT
Many of the activities included in our Top Ten above can be enjoyed at night as well, for example, the Macy’s Flower Show is open until 10 pm most nights and is free as well! Below are more ideas on how to spend a great night in New York City. For even more ideas, see our post on Top 10 Things to Do in New York City at Night and our New York Night Tours.
Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (kid-friendly)
The Brooklyn Bridge can be walked over 24 hours a day. We definitely do not recommend you taking a 4 am stroll. But a sunset stroll or a walk at 9 pm when the sun is down and the city is sparkling is a one of a kind experience. For those who want some guidance to enjoy the Bridge when the sun goes down, join us for our combined 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour. It runs Tuesday, Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 pm from March through October.
Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden March 3 – April 22, 2018
See the same beautiful flowers you can experience during the day with a but a bit more sophistication at night. Orchid Evenings features music, tours, and special performances. There will be cash bars offering beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase.
Grab a drink
Extend the St. Patrick’s Day spirit and go grab a pint of Guinness any night of the March. Why not enjoy your pint in a unique atmosphere by heading to one of several Historic New York City Bars, including the famous McSorley’s Old Ale House that has been open long enough that they even served Abraham Lincoln a pint of their homemade ales.
If history isn’t your things, then take advantage of the stunning views of New York’s skyline at one of NYC’s rooftop bars, many of which are enclosed and heated on chilly nights. You might be interested in some of our other posts when deciding where to wet your whistle.
FREE THINGS TO DO
Here are just a few of the hundreds of free things you can do in New York City in March. For year-round free things to do see our comprehensive post, Free Things to Do in NYC. Also, be sure to check out the other sections of this post, as many of the activities and events listed are free. For example, the Macy’s Flower Show is totally free and is quite spectacular!
Take the free Staten Island Ferry (kid-friendly)
Take a free ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island and back again. Whether you ride it during the day or at night, you will get spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Our guide to Riding the Staten Island Ferry should come in handy. Be sure to plan your free ferry ride so that you can take our free, pay-what-you-like Lower Manhattan Tour before or after.
Read our full post on how to ride the Staten Island Ferry for more details.
Take a Free Brewery Tour
Craft breweries are springing up all over New York City and it’s exciting to visit them as some are in neighborhoods you might not otherwise visit. Then, of course, there are the distinct beers you will be tasting — for free!
See our post, Free New York Brewery Tours and Tastings, for more information.
Take a Free Food Tour (kid-friendly)
While technically it’s not free since you must pay for the food (it’s very cheap!), our Free Food Tours are a good activity for March. Tour groups are smaller in off-peak season, the weather is moderate and the food is always good. See our Food Tour offerings by clicking here.
As you see in the “Top Ten” and Free Things to Do sections above, we noted which activities are kid-friendly, such as attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, visiting the Statue of Liberty or riding the free, Staten Island Ferry, but here is a list of activities just for kids that are also “adult-friendly”. Be sure to see our posts Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City, our 3-day itinerary for families and our list of over 100 things to do in New York City which includes dozens of kid-friendly activities.
See a Broadway show
Some great kids’ Broadway shows are debuting this March including Frozen, an expanded adaptation of Disney’s animated smash hit movie and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, in which the young wizard of Hogwarts Academy is now grown-up with a child of his own.
We know that Broadway tickets can be pricey, so we have compiled several ways you may be able to get discounted tickets. Our posts, TKTS Booth for Discount Broadway Tickets and Cheap Broadway Tickets can help you save money on what is sure to be a fun night out.
Operation Slumber March 3, 9, 10, 17, 24, 2018
TIP: To find out about visiting the Intrepid at any time, see our post on how to get deals and discounts on admission.
New York International Children’s Film Festival March 1 – 18, 2018 (begins Feb. 23)
This annual festival started in 1997, shows movies from around the world that focus on youth. The movies are thought-provoking and inspiring. Explore the world without leaving NYC with your kids. The festival will present the best new animation, live action, documentary, and experimental film.
Written by Courtney Shapiro