305 West End Assisted Living Blog

Springtime Activities in NYC to Enjoy with Seniors

Adult daughter and senior mother explore New York City together during the spring

During winter, we often find ourselves feeling more stuck inside than we would like, especially on bitterly cold and snowy days in New York City. This can quickly lead to cabin fever. However, we can find solace in the fact that spring is just around the corner, and it can truly be a magical season in the city.

There are plenty of springtime activities to enjoy on the Upper West Side and throughout New York City — especially for seniors. Find some of our favorite things to do in the list below, then venture outdoors with your loved one for fresh air and adventure. 

Explore the Lotus Garden

Goldfish in a pond with lily pads and a lotus flower at The Lotus Garden in New York.

The Lotus Garden is a community garden that covers 7,000 square feet on the roof of a parking garage at 250 West 97th Street. It’s open to the public on Sunday afternoons from April until November each year.

Established in 1983, this unique private-public community garden is the perfect retreat from the constant buzz of city life. Bask in the blooms from hundreds of flowers, or sit in reclining chairs and watch the fish in the park’s two koi ponds.

Note that the park is not wheelchair accessible and requires climbing a flight of stairs. 

Take a Riverside Stroll

Cherry blossom trees along the Hudson River at Riverside Park.

If stairs are too daunting, take a stroll in Riverside Park with your loved one instead. Riverside Park is a designated scenic landmark and stretches four miles from 72nd Street to 158th Street. This waterfront park follows the Hudson River and is especially lovely when the cherry trees bloom in the spring.

General Grant National Memorial decorated with patriotic and American flags in Riverside Park.

Traverse one of the park’s paved, level pathways and enjoy the river views. In addition, there are also several historical points of interest in the park, including the General Grant National Memorial and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Active on the Upper West Side This Summer >>

Relive New York City History

The New York Historical Society

An occasional rainy day might keep you from walking in the park, but it doesn’t have to keep you at home. The UWS is home to numerous museums that can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

The New-York Historical Society Museum, New York’s first museum, is a great place to relive memories of the city’s (and the nation’s) recent and distant past. Located at Central Park West and 77th Street, this spot is a treasure trove of historical documents, from maps and newspapers to original photos and unique exhibitions.

If you are unable to visit in person, they also have interactive online exhibitions that you can explore from home. 

Watch Shakespeare in the Park

the Delacorte Theater in Central Park

A New York City staple for over 60 years, Free Shakespeare in the Park is one of the most popular yearly events in the city. Performances are located at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and while it can be tricky to get tickets, they are well worth the effort.

For information about how to get tickets — including how to register for a free online lottery — sign up here

Indulge in Exceptional Eats

Outdoor seating against a red painted brick wall at an Upper West Side restaurant.

One of the greatest joys of living in the city is access to exceptional eating experiences. There are numerous outdoor restaurants and bistros to choose from on the Upper West Side, including:

  • Tarallucci e Vino - A neighborhood favorite known for its expertly crafted coffee, pastries, and homemade pasta, this restaurant offers a heated outdoor patio and cozy interior seating
  • Arte Cafe - Family-owned restaurant just steps away from Central Park serving upscale Italian cuisine with artisanal homemade pizzas and gourmet desserts
  • Nice Matin - Elegant dining experience featuring an award-winning wine list and a French Provençal-inspired menu by Chef Andy D’Amico.
  • Jacob’s Pickles - Taste of home feel serving American craft beer and southern comfort food, including buttermilk fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, biscuits and gravy, and pickles. 

These eateries are also ideal places to engage in another of the city’s great joys — people-watching!

Related: 5 Healthy Eateries on the Upper West Side >>

Shop at the Local Farmers Markets

pints of blueberries at a farmers market in New York

The Upper West Side boasts numerous farm markets that offer locally grown produce, plants, flowers, and more. Two popular markets include the Tucker Square Greenmarket and the 77th/79th Street Greenmarket, both open year-round on Thursdays and Sundays, respectively. The Tucker Square Greenmarket is also open on Saturdays.

You’ll find seasonal fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish, honey, goat cheese, and maple syrup. In addition, both markets offer composting programs, and the 77th/79th Street Greenmarket provides clothing collection hours.

Make sure to view the markets’ websites to see what vendors and goods are expected for the upcoming week:

Stop and Smell the Orchids

Colorful pink and yellow orchids growing together

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is open year-round from Tuesday to Sunday but also features special seasonal events. The Orchid Show, an incredible orchid-themed event, runs from mid-February through the end of April to celebrate all things orchids. You’ll get an up-close look at a variety of diverse orchid species in a fashion design-inspired setting. 

The NYBG also hosts Orchid Nights, which are after-dark outings where you can enjoy signature cocktails, music, and food. Be advised that advance ticket purchase is recommended for the evening events, as they do sell out. 

Visit the Statue of Liberty Museum

Front view of the Statue of Liberty against a blue sky

Visiting the 26,000 sq. ft. Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island and seeing Lady Liberty with your own eyes is a once-in-lifetime experience. If you’ve never been or wish to go again, you won’t regret this historical adventure. 

The museum, which opened in 2019, houses a unique collection of American heirlooms, features interactive exhibits, and allows visitors to explore the Statue without advanced reservations or tickets. Visit this website for information on ferry schedules and how to purchase tickets.

Interested in More Travel and Entertainment Tips

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in finding the best day trips from New York City or getting travel tips for seniors.

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This blog was originally published in May 2022. It was updated in February 2024.

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