Now the Big Apple is waking up after the long, cold winter, April is the perfect time to enjoy a fabulous city break…
Visit the Butterfly Conservatory
For tropical temperatures, lush green plants and hundreds of beautiful butterflies, head to The Butterfly Conservatory in The American Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side. It’s a chance to spot free-flying specimens including zebra longwings and iridescent blue morpho butterflies. This annual event runs until 25 May. Visit amnh.org
Go for brunch
Brunch at the weekend is a New York institution, so enjoy a lie-in or a museum visit followed by a classic stack of blueberry pancakes, a Bloody Mary or some Eggs Benedict. Restaurants come and go by the week, but classic brunch places stand the test of time.
Our picks include:
- Edward’s in TriBeCa is a classic neighbourhood bistro, serving brunch on a Saturday and Sunday from 9am. Eat outside on a sunny day. Visit edwardsnyc.com
- ABC Kitchen restaurant in Union Square is a great place to take kids for the fluffiest French toast in town. Visit abckitchennyc.com
- Eat outside at Cookshop in Chelsea, and tuck into smoked fish and a cheeky cocktail or two. Visit cookshopny.com
Live like a local
It’s lovely to really feel at home in a big city and the brilliant Hotel Beacon lets you do just that. There’s over 260 luxurious rooms and suites that come with fully-equipped kitchenettes, allowing you to prepare breakfast and simple meals in comfort. There’s an upmarket deli and grocery store right across the street and, even better, you leave your pots and pans to be cleared by room service. Located in the Upper West Side, away from the buzzing energy of downtown, the Hotel Beacon is close to Central Park, Museum of Natural History and the Theatre District. Visit beaconhotel.com for more information and booking.
Picnic under the cherry blossom
April is Cherry Blossom season and there’s no better place to celebrate than Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, where you can see the flowers bloom and revel in the start of the warmer weather. Every April, the Gardens host a traditional Japanese festival designed to help visitors enjoy every aspect of Cherry Blossom season and, this year, it runs over the weekend of 25-26 April. It’s a chance to experience Taiko drumming, tea ceremonies, kabuki dance and bonsai kids’ workshops. You can find the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens on 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn. Visit bbg.org for more information.
Get a bird’s-eye view of the city
The Empire State gets all the press but our vote goes to Top of the Rock when it comes to seeing the city from up high. The views are incredible, the queues shorter and you get to see the iconic Empire State Building, too. Enjoy a thrilling elevator ride 70 floors up to the top of the magnificent skyscraper that is 30 Rockefeller Plaza and enjoy 360-degree panoramic views across the city.
If you’re intent on seeing lots of the big attractions, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, as well as The Top of the Rock Observation Deck, grab yourself a New York CityPASS. This booklet gets you into six of the biggies, saves you over 40% on entry and lets you jump most of the queues – what’s not to like? Visit nycgo.com for more information.
Catch an arthouse movie
Founded by Robert De Niro and friends in the hopes of rejuvenating the neighbourhood after 9/11, the Tribeca Film Festival is now an unmissable fixture on the city’s cultural calendar and draws around three million people each year. This sprawling event shows hundreds of new movies, many of which have some connection to the city.
The 2015 edition, which runs from 15-26 April, will open with Bao Nguyen’s Live from New York!, a documentary that looks back at how Saturday Night Live filtered and shaped more than 40 years of American culture. Visit tribecafilm.com for more information.
Live life in art deco style
From the Chrysler Building to the Empire State, it’s no wonder that New York is known as the Art Deco capital of the world. We think there’s no better way to experience some of the city’s Jazz Age glamour than by sipping a classic cocktail in glamorous Art Deco surroundings. Head to The Mixing Room in the lobby of The Lexington hotel in Midtown where you can enjoy a Mr Lex Martini while listening to the jazz.
The Lexington used to be the home of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio while they were married, and it’s just undergone a $46 million restoration, bringing it back to its Art Deco splendour. We love how elements of the hotel’s history inspire the décor in each room, making it a really special, luxurious place to stay in Midtown.
Prices cost from £73 per room, per night, based on two guests sharing at The Lexington New York City, Autograph Collection. For more information, visit marriott.co.uk or call +1 212 755 4400.