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Illustration by Rachael Dottle

Spring Break in the city might lack the sun and beaches of Cancun, but it makes up for that with the number of fun, exciting events going on. Without classes taking up your time, explore the best of New York food, art, theater, culture, music, and dance. 

St. Patrick's Day
Attend one of the biggest spring events, the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade on Monday, March 17 from 11 a.m. between 44th to 79th streets and Fifth Avenue. Prepare for lots of beer, green, and displays of Irish pride and culture. If 11 a.m. is too early for you, the parade typically doesn't end till mid-afternoon, and as celebrations go late into the night, a bar crawl is another great alternative. There will also be Irish walking tours around the city, paid pub crawls, and an open day at the Irish Arts Center. 

The Harlem Blues Project at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill features a live blues band on March 18. There will also be concerts by Kid Cudi on March 22 and Marsha Ambrosius on March 16. Also at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, the Freedom Party, which features a blend of different music periods and styles like house, funk, and the '90's, happens on March 14 and 21.


Alcohol Tasting
These tasting events add a level of sophistication to spring break in New York. Rare Barrel-Aged Beer in the Financial District on March 13 offers rare, good quality beers and food, and attendance is free. NY Grand Tasting, hosted for the third year by NY Drinks NY on March 17 at Astor Center, allows you to sample over 100 different wines for a fee. Artisanal Spirits Portfolio Tasting, on March 18 at Webster Hall, has wine and cocktail tasting, and the opportunity to learn about the process behind wine- and brandy-making. 

The exhibition, “Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!” at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts chronicles the Beatles and Beatlemania. “Motown: The Truth is a Hit” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture celebrates the label Motown, its music and legends, and its relationship with the Civil Rights Movement. Both exhibitions run from March 6 to March 13. Both events are free.

There is a choice to be had between a contemporary and a historical fashion exhibition, both happening during spring break. “Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s” at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, from March 6 through March 29, explores the evolution of fashion during that period, while “Black Dress: Ten Contemporary Fashion Designers” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, from March 3 through March 31, highlights the work of 10 contemporary African-American designers. Both events are free. | @ColumbiaSpec

Best of spring break
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