Flowers, Eggs & Parades: Fun Easter Ideas and Events in NYC
New Yorkers celebrate Easter weekend in all sorts of different ways, from the spiritual (area churches really ramp up their musical offerings on Sunday), to the sweet (chocolate bunnies! microwaved peeps!), to the floral (bouquets and bonnets galore) to the not-at-all ("thanks for the day off what's it for again?"). One thing we all can agree on, however: here's hoping the day, and the weekend, is actually springlike and WARM! Anyway, no matter what the weather or your inclinations/family traditions, if you're looking for something to do, for you or your crew, here are a few suggestions.
The Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, Sunday April 3
Less an actual parade and more an gloriously colorful block party, Fifth Avenue's long-standing (since the 1870s!) Easter Bonnet Pageant runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., from 49th to 57th Street, and thousands of folks show up every year in beautiful, elaborate hats–the crazier the better–and springy outfits to match. No need to register, just get decked out, join the festivities, take a million pictures, go home. A personal favorite; great low-key fun.
Egg Hunts on the Upper East and Upper West Sides
The Upper East Side's best public egg hunt, in Carl Schurz Park, is happening this Saturday, March 28, with collection-bag decorating starting at 11:00 near Gracie Mansion, and then four rounds of mayhem…er… hunting for goodies, divided by age. Photo-ops with the "Carl Schurz Bunny" and live music round out the spring-time fun.
On the Upper West Side, on Saturday April 4, choose from either the Fourth Universalist Society Central Park hunt (also divided into four age groups, from 12:45 to 3:00; exact location given once you register, here); or the annual Children's Museum of Manhattan affair, which asks kids to find Easter egg "icons" hidden throughout the museum's exhibitions, record their findings in a special scavenger hunt booklet, and turn it in upon completion for a prize. The CMOM fun runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Full Bunny Contact, April 1 to April 5
Finally, and definitely not for everyone (though clearly this was a hit last year, as they're back again for more), there's Full Bunny Contact. Taking place over the long weekend on the Lower East Side, this self-proclaimed INSANE Easter Carnival features such as diversions Shoot the Peep (with a paintball gun), Temper Tantrum Contests, an Insult Bunny, and, the headliner event, FBC: The Game, in which you enter a caged-in field and have 40 seconds to grab as many eggs as you can, while three large bunnies doing their best to stop you. "They can block [the eggs], move them, kick them, grab them from your hand and swat them out of your basket." Again: your call on this one.