skylineWe’ve had snow and summer all in the same week, but rumor has it that the sun is going to make an appearance again this weekend. Just in case it does, we should be prepared with some outdoor activities, eh?

1 :: In a sign that winter really should be over by now, the ice rink at Prospect Park has shuttered and on Monday, a roller skating rink opened instead.

It’s $8 admission and you can pay an extra $6 to rent skates if you don’t have your own. Knee pads and hair crimpers are a must though. Check out the website for times and directions here.

Georgia will now have roller skaters to look at instead

Georgia will now have roller skaters to look at instead

2 :: My friend Linnea wrote this great piece about foraging in New York City’s parks and it really piqued my interest. You can head to Forest Park in Queens on Saturday or Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sunday for the three-hour tour. In a few weekends, I reckon it’s going to be getting too hot to appreciate this sort of activity, so now is the perfect time.

For more information on how to nab a spot, check out ‘Wildman’ Steve Brill’s website.


3 :: Another way of avoiding the hubbub of the city is by visiting the Botanical Gardens for the last weekend of its orchid exhibition. I know it’s a bit of a trek to get up there, but it’s very worth the journey – take my word for it, these guys put on a good show. And by heading there now, you’ll avoid those summer swarms.

This is actually Central Park

This is actually Central Park

But it’s also Easter this weekend, so…

4 :: Want to play tic-tac-toe against a giant chicken or golf with a raw egg? Or how about pulling out candy from an Easter Bunny’s hiney? Yup, I thought so. Head down to the Lower East Side for ‘Full Bunny Contact’, a bizarre event that pits you against Easter-themed characters in a series of games all weekend. It’s held at the same massive space I went to a Haunted House last year and it looks pretty wild.


5 :: But I think we should all step back and appreciate what’s most important this Easter weekend – chocolate. Why not treat yourself or your family/friends/disgruntled colleagues to some of the city’s sweetest treats?

Ryan once bought me a delicious box from Jacques Torres, who has stores in SoHo, Midtown (57th Street) and Dumbo, and they were not only tasty, but eye-catching, too. Or you could head over to Williamsburg for a taste and a tour at the Mast Brothers factory; whenever I head back to the UK, I always make sure I have a bar or two of their seasalt chocolate to give to family or friends. And for something a bit different (like curry or wasabi flavors) try out Vosges Haut-Chocolat in Soho or in the Upper East Side.chocolate

6 :: And of course, you should probably go to the Easter Parade. But as a heads up, it’s not really a parade. Instead of participants walking past the crowds, it’s the crowds who walk past the participants as they display their costumes along Fifth Avenue. There’ll no doubt be Peeps-covered bonnets, dogs dripping in sequins and a fair few NYC skyline-inspired hats. It’s a bit of an oddity, but there’s always something to make you smile. Oh, and be prepared to embrace the crowds.

Head to Fifth Ave anywhere between 49th to 57th Streets from 10am onwards.Easter Parade

7 :: And finally, why not stock up on – you got it – cawfee. I learned of a great new app, ‘CUPS’, this week that allows you to pay a flat fee of $45 for unlimited coffees in the city for a month. And even better, you can only get the drinks from independent coffee stores, meaning you’re supporting small businesses. If you don’t want to pay the all-you-can-drink monthly fee, you can enjoy cut down prices for batches of 5, 10 or 20 coffees instead. Honestly, I think this is great.

Right now, it’s mostly for stores in Lower Manhattan. Check out their website for more information.Coffee

That’s all folks. As for me — I’ll be making Easter chocolates on Saturday and then eating them on Sunday. Perhaps this Easter Rocky Road by Little Paper Swans? But I think I’ll avoid making the sickly-sweet creme eggs I made last year…

Have an eggcellent weekend!

Making Easter treats!

Making Easter treats!