It’s been a crazy month. No need to rehash the warm weather teases followed by two feet of snow, the 10-degree mornings and such. We’re a week into spring now. This season of renewal promises a raft of fun and it’s just getting started.
Here are 7 things to do right now and in the coming weeks of spring.
n Visit your favorite garden center.
Get inspired. Plan your garden or gather ideas for how you’ll arrange a container garden. Drink in the color, bask in the greenery. It’s a bit early for a full display but you’re very likely to find a few early growers like herbs, pansies and johnny jump-ups (aka violas) plus springtime house plants. Pick up a few seed packs; peat pots are a good way to start seeds you’ll plant later. Collect your supplies but wait until at least April 1 to plant seeds in the home for outdoor replanting, advises Evan York, nursery manager at Devitts in New Windsor.
n Eat more ice cream.
Now that’s some warm weather enjoyment. The nationally-famous Bellvale Farms Creamery in Warwick, offering stunning valley views from its hilltop location along with its famed ice cream from its very own cows, reopens for the season April 1. Bellvalefarms.com, 1390 Route 17A, 988-1818.
Meanwhile, a new ice cream shop in Woodstock opening March 25, will use locally sourced ingredients for its diverse flavors. Nancy’s of Woodstock Artisanal Creamery, 105 Tinker St., will feature traditional favorites plus special creations like Bailey’s Sundae and Ice Cream Puff Trio.
n Go on a spring hike, walk or play-date.
“Hop into Spring” along with naturalist and environmental advocate Doc Bayne and Friends of Sterling Forest, on a moderately paced 2-mile hike 1-4 p.m. March 26. Meet up at Sterling Forest State Park Visitor Center, 116 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo. For info and to register, call 351-5907.
How about a Salamander Search? Fuller Mountain Preserve and Orange County Land Trust volunteer Pam Golben will lead a brief hike April 1 to the preserve’s woodland pools in search of salamanders and other water-dwelling wildlife. It’s an easy, moderate walk with some uneven and uphill terrain. Dress for muddy conditions. 10 a.m.-noon. Suggested donation. 70 Bowen Road, Warwick, call or e-mail to pre-register, 534-3690, ext: 18; oclt.org.
Grasshopper Grove, the nature play area of the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center, reopens April 8. This is where children can indulge their curiosity and sense of adventure with imaginative play. The hands-on outdoor exploration area lets kids be kids as they play in nature. Admission is free for members; $3 per person for non-members (children under 2 are free), 120 Muser Drive, Cornwall, 534-5506, hhnm.org
n Cruise the Hudson River.
Springtime signals the resumption of Hudson River cruises. In early May both Pride of the Hudson, departing from Newburgh’s waterfront, and Hudson River Cruises, departing from Kingston’s, offer a variety of cruises. Choose a narrated sightseeing tour, a dinner cruise with a murder mystery, a dance cruise. Check out the events. Prideofthehudson.com, 220-2120; hudsonrivercruises.com, 340-4700.
n Skydiving’s in season. Have you ever wanted to jump out of an airplane from, say, 13,500 feet? The season begins in April at Blue Sky Ranch in Gardiner. First-timers jump tandem, attached to an experienced jumper. 55 Sand Hill Rd. Gardiner, 255-4033, skydivethreranch.com.
n Visit an outdoor museum.
Museum Village reopens April 15. Every building will be open and staff interpreters will be on hand to describe for visitors what it was like to live in the 19th century. 1010 Route 17M, Monroe, museumvillage.org, 782-8248
The Museum at Bethel Woods reopens for the season April 1, with a new special exhibit Love For Sale: The Commercialization of the Counterculture. Located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the Museum’s interactive exhibits, programs and events celebrate the festival and the entire decade that it came to represent. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, 200 Hurd Rd., Bethel, 866-781-2922, bethelwoodscenter.org.
n Go fish.
Trout fishing season starts April 1. Get your license in order and check your gear. Visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum – cffcm.com – for info, events and exhibits. First up: Opening day first cast, 7 a.m. Junction Pool, fly tying demonstration with Dave Brandt and Catskill Legends dinner on April 1. Catskill Fly Fishing Cener and Museum, 1031 Old Rt. 17, Livingston Manor, 439-4810, ccfcm.com