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NYC weather: What to do when it warms up

After months of cold, at least one blizzard and a whole lot of downright gloomy weather, New Yorkers are finally warming up.

“I’m going to run in Central Park for the first time in six months,” said Jon-Marc McDonald, 39, a publicist from Washington Heights.

Craig Ortiz, 46, of the West Village, said New Yorkers should utilize the various open spaces in the city when they can.

“We’re so lucky in New York because there are so many places to go and get out. It’s an exciting time of year,” he said Monday while taking in some fresh air at Pier 45. “You have to pick your serenity spots.”

amNewYork has some ideas for New Yorkers who are looking to make the most of the heat.

Relax in a park

The city's 1,900 green spaces, including 1,000 playgrounds,
Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

The city's 1,900 green spaces, including 1,000 playgrounds, offer a lot of options for the warm weather, from taking in some fresh air in Central Park to a pickup game with friends at the baseball and cricket fields in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Stefanie Bauer, 29, a research assistant at NYU from Hell's Kitchen, said she's already planning a picnic in Central Park with her friends Tuesday.

"[I'm going to] be outside as much as work allows it." she said,

Those looking to stay connected with the office while stealing some moments in the sun outside, can take advantage of the 196 sites that offer free Wi-Fi hot spots, according to Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

A map of those hot spots is available at http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/wifi.

Stop and smell the flowers at a botanical garden

Believe it or not, now may be a
Photo Credit: Brooklyn Botanic Garden / Rebecca Bullene

Believe it or not, now may be a good time to stop in and smell the flowers.

The city's various botanical gardens are open for business and have events that showcase their seasonal flora.

The New York Botanical Garden, for example, is hosting its annual orchid festival, featuring examples of the flower from international locations including Australia, Africa, South America and Madagascar.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is free to all visitors Tuesdays, has some early bloomers on display, including crocuses, snowdrops and witch hazels. One of the Brooklyn garden's biggest annual events will take place this Saturday, "Making Brooklyn Bloom."

"It's targeted to gardeners of all levels with a focus on urban gardeners," said Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, the garden's spokeswoman.

Stroll along the High Line

The 1.5-mile elevated park has provided visitors with
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Stan Honda

The 1.5-mile elevated park has provided visitors with stunning views of the West Side, innovative art work, and ample relaxation space since it began opening nearly seven years ago. Cecilia Alemani, the curator for the High Line's art program, said days of unseasonably warm temperatures bring out the crowds.

Alemani said this week is a perfect time for the a visit because three art shows are coming to an end: The Panorama, a mural titled "Above the Line," and the sculpture "Blocks."

Go to South Street Seaport

The Manhattan waterfront is currently going through a
Photo Credit: Ellen Qbertplaya

The Manhattan waterfront is currently going through a redevelopment, but visitors can still take in some beautiful views of the East River and Brooklyn promenade.

The Seaport's annual "Out to See" festival, ongoing now, features live music, art and movies at 192 Front St.

On Wednesday night, the Seaport will host a screening of animated short films and on Thursday the Tarot Society, a Brooklyn gallery, will host a night of musical performances.

Go biking

Now may be a good time to take
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Now may be a good time to take your bike out of cold storage for a test run.

The city's bike paths, routes and other passageways for two-wheeled fans remain, as ever, open for business, including the Upper West Side greenway, the Roosevelt Island path, the Pelham Parkway greenway and plenty others. Riders can check out nycbikemaps.com for a full map of routes.

For a quick trip, there is always Citi Bike, which offers 24-hour passes for $9.95 and weekly passes for $25. Bikes are available at locations throughout Manhattan, western Queens, and parts of northern and central Brooklyn.

Visit Coney Island

It may be too cold to swim, but
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

It may be too cold to swim, but beach lovers can still enjoy the sights and sounds of Coney Island's boardwalk. Several of the location's iconic boardwalk shops, including Nathan's, are open for business and probably have smaller lines.

Cross a bridge

Several connectors offer pedestrian paths, most famously the
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Jewel Samad

Several connectors offer pedestrian paths, most famously the George Washington Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, and the views are second to none.

A stroll at dusk would net some good Instagrammable sunsets.

Go hiking

There are hiking trails throughout the five boroughs,
Photo Credit: NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

There are hiking trails throughout the five boroughs, ranging in length from less than a mile to close to eight.

In the fall, the Urban Park Rangers chose the best hiking trails in each of the boroughs: including Tulip Tree Trail at Alley Pond Park in Little Neck and the Inwood Hill hiking trail.

The parks department has a full list of trails on its website.

Grab a bite from a food truck

For outdoor eating, food trucks are an easy
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Kim

For outdoor eating, food trucks are an easy option. Some trucks, like Waffles and Dinges at City Hall Park, are mainstays, however most are mobile.

There are several websites that track food trucks, including nyctruckfood.com.

Ice Skating

According to the administrators at the Rockefeller Center
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kena Betancur

According to the administrators at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink and LeFrak Center Lakeside at Prospect Park, a lot of skaters take to the ice when the weather warms up.

It is during this time of the year that they see a surreal New York sight: skaters in shorts and T-shirts.

"There is something remarkably liberating about beingable to enjoy winter sports dressed for summer," said Scott Schulman, the facility manager of LeFrak Center.

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