In New York City, warmer weather brings street fairs, festivals, and lots of free, large-scale art popping up all over town. This year brings a dancing bronze hippo, a concrete outdoor ballroom, a mesmerizing whirlpool and more. Click through for highlights of the fresh public art on display this spring and summer, plus a couple classics.

Hippo Ballerina

Who says art has to be serious? Hippo Ballerina is a wonderfully playful sculpture that features a tutu-wearing bronze hippo which draws inspiration from ancient Greek sculptures, Degas' "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen," and the hippo ballerinas from Disney's Fantasia. The whimsical 15-foot-tall hippo statue, created by Danish artist Bjørn Skaarup, will be a sure hit among kids, and a great way to show that art can be appealing to any age. It's also a sweet reminder that anyone can achieve their dreams. Dance on, hippo ballerina!

Feb. 7 - July 31
Dante Park
Columbus Ave. & W. 63rd St.
Upper West Side
Online: cavaliergalleries.com

Photo: Dancewithhippoballerina via Facebook

What’s your favorite piece of public art in NYC? Let us know in the comments below!

—Yuliya Geikhman