These events aside March is a fairly quiet time of year in New York City. Some families do visit during their March Break, though this is not a common vacation in the greater New York area (aside from universities), so the place isn't overrun with visitors. You'll have short lines for attractions, and it's much easier to get restaurant reservations.
New York City's weather is temperamental in March. It can be rainy and cold, but you can also be lucky and get some beautiful spring weather. The first signs of spring are a special time in New York City; the entire city is full of energy and excitement. It's fun to participate in and observe. On average, high temperatures are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and lows dip to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). March tends to be rainy, with over 4 inches of precipitation, but for the most part, temperatures stay above freezing.
What to Wear
- Pack an umbrella; you'll be happy that you have it once it starts to rain. Don't fret if you forget one though, because as soon as it starts to rain you'll find you can buy one on every street corner for $5 or so. The quality won't be great, but it will do a good enough job keeping you dry.
- A waterproof jacket or trench coat is recommended and while umbrellas are helpful, nothing compares to a good raincoat. In a pinch you can pick up a poncho at any NYC drug store (i.e. CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid) and while you're unlikely to win any fashion contests wearing one, you can toss it when the rain is done and it will keep your backpack or purse covered as well.
- Pack sweaters and long pants to wear; it can be cool, particularly at night and when it's wet, it feels even colder.
- If you'll be walking around at night, also consider bringing a scarf or gloves. Being caught in the rain at night in 35 degree weather can be miserably cold.
- Closed toe shoes, comfortable for walking and water-resistant if possible. You'll need them if there is a spring snowstorm (these have been common in recent years!)
March Events in New York City
The biggest event in the city this month is the St. Patrick's Day Parade. New Yorkers fill the streets with green to enjoy the parade before piling into an Irish Pub. The other main March event is the Macy's Flower Show.
- St. Patrick's Day Parade: This annual parade might be the most popular in the city, and has been going on since the 1700s. It goes along 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street. The parade itself is free to attend and starts at 11 a.m., right after a ticketed mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The parade ends at 5 p.m.
- Macy's Flower Show: Every year in late March, the massive Macy's flagship store is decorated with intricate floral arrangements.
- Baseball fans should time their visit for opening day at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. In 2020, the Yankees will be playing in Baltimore, but the Mets will be at home. Be sure to purchase tickets well in advance.
- Art Aficionados on a budget will love the Affordable Art Fair where you can pick up original pieces and prints for a cheaper price.
March Travel Tips
- Budget travelers should head to New York City in March. The likelihood of snow-related travel issues is much lowers but it's still shoulder season, so accommodations and flights are less expensive.
- March tends to be less crowded than April and May, so lines at top attractions will be shorter.
- St. Patrick's Day is enthusiastically celebrated by New Yorkers of all types. Irish pubs are quite crowded on Mar. 17 and thousands of residents attend the annual parade.
- During spring break season, there might be a lot of college students visiting the city for their holiday.