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Things to do this week in NYC Apr 20-Apr 27: Outdoor Activities

New York City is not only home to great cultural institutions, shops and events; it's also a place where there are plenty of things to do outside. If you're looking for ways to enjoy New York's beautiful summer weather, we've got some great suggestions for things you can do outdoors?from New York parks and outdoor cafes to flea markets, sporting events, and street fairs. Here are some of our favorite things to do in NYC this week that will get you out of the house!

Cherry Blossom Festval - Urban Farm
April 20, 2013 - New York

In Japanese, "Hanami" means Cherry Blossom viewing. Enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or group of trees. This free event will offer workshops in making cherry blossom salt with Sino Tanaka and demonstrations and tastings of cherry blossom tea. Fun cherry blossom crafts will be available for the entire family. A map of Randall's Island's cherry blossoms will also be available encouraging you to walk amongst the Island's cherry blossom trees. Reservations are encouraged. Please contact donna.piluso@parks.nyc.gov for additional information.

Biking & Birding: Prospect Park and Green-wood Cemetary - Grand Army Plaza
April 21, 2013 - Brooklyn

Join NYC Audubon and expert naturalist Gabriel Willow for a leisurely bike ride through Prospect Park, an important bird area, and Green-wood Cemetary, home to nesting parrots. The group meets at Grand Army Plaza Arch at 9am. A gentle ride of moderate distance with some hills. Bring binoculars, water, and your bicycle. Limited to 15. $30 To register or learn more about this event, please contact Tod Winston at NYC Audubon's office at 646-434-0422. Limited to 15 registrants. $30

Indoor Gardening Workshop: Start Your Summer Veggies Indoors at QBG - Queens Botanical Garden
April 21, 2013 - Flushing

Grow your green thumb at QBG! Join Fred Gerber, Director of Education Emeritus for an introductory workshop on starting your summer vegetables indoors. Participants will learn the basics of seasonal vegetable gardening by planting tomato, pepper and basil seeds to take home. Registration required contact education@queensbotanical.org. Program Fee: $5 nonmembers/$3 members.

The Orchid Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through April 22, 2013 - Bronx

The 11th annual exhibition celebrates this storied flower in all its amazing forms with thousands of brilliantly colored orchids. The largest exhibition of its kind in the United States also offers insight into caring for orchids, music from around the world, and a gorgeous setting for evening cocktails. Elaborate and kaleidoscopic displays throughout the galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory explode with orchids in an amazing array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. Tens of thousands of blooms--blue and purple vandas, green and yellow cymbidiums, delicate pink and white moth orchids, and more--stand out amid stately palms and exotic tropical leaves. This year The Orchid Show is designed by Francisca P. Coelho, Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions at the Garden. Coehlho is best known for her plantsmanship and key role in the design and development of high-profile shows in the Conservatory.

Lunchtime Spring Bird Walks - American Museum of Natural History
April 22, 2013 - New York

Join ornithologist Paul Sweet on walks through Central Park during spring migration. Learn how to identify the varied bird species of New York City using field marks, behavior, and song. All bird walks start across from the Museum on the northeast corner of Central Park West and 77th Street. Walks are limited to 15 people per series. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars, and wear comfortable shoes. Please note: These walks are more than an hour long, with steps, slopes and wood-chip paths. For more information, call the AMNH Bird Walk Hotline at 212-313-7579.

Grow More Vegetables Certificate Series - Queens Botanical Garden
April 25, 2013 - Flushing

Queens Botanical Garden announces the opening of registration for the “Grow More Vegetables” program which will be held at the Garden beginning in April. This is a free edible gardening course designed to equip community gardeners, teachers, and city residents with the best organic techniques for growing vegetables safely and effectively, particularly in urban settings. The program, with hands-on gardening instruction, consists of six classes, both in the classroom and in the field. There is an application process and preference will be given to participants who work, live, or garden in Queens. The course runs for six Thursdays, April 4-May 9, 6-8pm. Space is limited.

"Tu-Mulch-Uous and Tree-Mendous" - Green-Wood Cemetery
April 27, 2013 - Brooklyn

Calling all gardeners! The Green-Wood Historic Fund will host “TU-MULCH-UOUS AND TREE-MENDOUS,” a day of free mulch, and free trees, and free gardening advice, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Historic Green-Wood Cemetery. Starting at 10:00 a.m., home landscapers and urban gardeners can scoop up some of the best, high-grade mulch available. Mulch-seekers are advised to bring their own bags. Free trees are also available for New York City residents thanks to a collaboration with the New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC. Anyone interested in bringing home a free tree should arrive as close to 10 am as possible to fill out a registration form. Trees are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, though a small number of trees will also be available by reservation ahead of time, via www.green-wood.com/toursevents. To be eligible to receive a tree, you must be a New York City resident and able to transport the tree home on your own that day. Each tree weighs approximately 30 pounds. One hundred trees will be given away, and participants can select the tree they’d like. Options at Green-Wood will include fruit trees and small flowering trees. Participants can save time by downloading the paperwork online in advance, via http://www.treegiveaways.com/greenwood.php. Also on hand will be Green-Wood horticulture experts to answer any gardening-related questions you might have about your new tree or your garden at home. Participants are urged to register online in advance. To find out more information or to register, visit www.green-wood.com/toursevents or call 718-210-3080. Quantities are limited and participants will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Through April 28, 2013 - Brooklyn

Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival at BBG, offers over 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The festival marks the end of Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of enjoying each moment of the cherry blossom season.

Urban Greenwalk - Open Air
Through April 28, 2013 - New York

Come take the urban greenwalk challenge. A three block walk along one of New York City’s most well preserved neighborhoods to experience Earth Week like never before. The first event of its kind, the open air videowalk brings together retailers, green organizations and community. Each participating store will host an element to inform all who attend on how to be a deeper shade of green. Initiatives will include: rainwater harvesting, solar power, bicycling, natural areas, community gardening, wildlife gardening, composting, recycling, clean waterways, native species, plastic bag reduction, community supported agriculture, ocean conservation and more.

Reefs Illuminated - American Museum of Natural History
Through May 03, 2013 - New York

In this new film directed by Brennan Vance John Sparks, curator in the Museum's Department of Ichthyology, and David Gruber, Museum research associate and an assistant professor at The City University of New York, take a journey to the remote South Pacific coral reefs of the Solomon Islands to explore newly discovered biofluorescent species of fishes and stingrays, along with biofluorescent corals, crinoids, anemones, and other glowing invertebrates. The film will screen in the Geodome theater in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

Art Exhibit: Fish and Crushed Can Story- Mixed Media - Queens Botanical Garden
Through July 23, 2013 - Flushing

This mixed media exhibit by artist Iandry Randriamandroso is created from discarded, crushed aluminum cans found on the streets, and cardboard and burlap from local grocery, along with wordless hand-made books about a fish and a crushed can. It illustrates how growth is disrupted by invasive species. The exhibit is on display at the Visitor & Administration Building Gallery from April 22 through July 22. Visitors will be invited to create their own art at an interactive print-making station that will remain in the Gallery for the duration of the exhibition, and also to take part in community art projects, open to all ages, at QBG’s April 28th Arbor Festival as well as the June 23rd Summer Solstice Celebration. The opening reception for this exhibit will be on April 26 from 6-9pm

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