We made it! (Well, almost.) That near record-breaking blizzard is a distant memory now, and the spring flowers will be popping up in no time. NYC is coming out of hibernation and the list of events and happenings in March is long and packed with must-dos. Fire up the Google calendar and take note — you’re not going to want to miss these!

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photo: via Big Apple Con Facebook page

Big Apple Con
NYC’s longest-running comic book/sci-fi/fantasy/horror/pop culture convention returns to the Penn Plaza Pavilion. Highlights include top-name legends of the comic book industry, as well as dozens of independent and up-and-coming comics creators and small publishers displaying their work. Plus, media celebrities, a costume contest and lots and lots of comics, collectibles, toys and more.

Sat., March 5, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tickets: $20/person
Penn Plaza Pavilion
401 7th Ave.
Midtown
Online: nycbm.com

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photo: via WTC Progress Facebook page

“The Oculus” Opens
The distinct and striking aboveground component of architect Santaiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub is scheduled to open the first week of March. It’s been looming over the area for months now, and is ready for a close-up. The finished transportation hub will connect 11 subways lines, the PATH trains and the Battery Park City Ferry terminal, in addition to (eventually) housing retail stores.

Fulton & Greenwich St.
Financial District
Online: panynj.gov

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photo: via Kids Food Festival Facebook page

Kids Food Fest at Bryant Park
A free event to help combat childhood obesity, the Kids Food Fest features lots of tasty samples, a “balanced plate” scavenger hunt and games for kids six months to tweens. For $25, kids can take part in hands-on cooking classes in the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion.

March 5 & 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tickets: Free; $25/Kids Cooking Classes
Bryant Park
Midtown
718-406-7506
Online: kidsfoodfestival.com

Carnival of the Animals 1 (c) Darren Thomas“Carnival of the Animals” will be performed as part of the Tilt Kids Festival/photo: Tilt Kids Festival

Tilt Kids Festival
This new multidisciplinary fest from The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), runs all month long. Expect circus, magic, music, dance, design and even gastronomy (from restauranteur  Wylie Dufresne!) with a French flair — all created just for kids.

March 4 –  April 3
Multiple venues citywide
Online: tiltkidsfestival.org

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photo: via BEAM Center Facebook page

Beam Center Inventgenuity Festival
Join the makers and tinkerers of the Beam Center for incredible weekend of building, making, discovery, problem solving, and fun— for free! (Rescheduled after storm Jonas put the kibosh on the fest in late Jan; if you registered for that, they ask that you re-register.) Kids can also sign up for 45-minute workshops led by Beam Faculty that explore the fest’s theme, Natural Machinery.

March 12 & 13
Tickets: Free; registration required
P.S. 32/M.S. 442
317 Hoyt St.
Carroll Gardens
718-855-7600
Online: beamcenter.org

2016 Grand Purim Carnival at the Park East Day School
Pony rides, ice skating (with skates provided), bounce houses, face painting, remote-controlled car racing, magicians, bubble show, circus acrobats and free popcorn! Plus: learn to beatbox at an interactive workshop with champion beatboxer The Orthobox and play in a hall of giant games!

March 20, 11. a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tickets: $20/person in advance; $25/person at door; free/kids under two
164 E. 68th St.
Upper East Side
212-737-7330
Online: parkeastdayschool.org

mo-willems-pigeonphoto: Marty Umans

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems
Round up your personal Knuffle Bunnies and head to this exhibit celebrating the work of children’s book author Mo Willems, creator of quirky, memorable, and sometimes a bit irascible characters like the Pigeon, Duckling, Pig, Elephant and more.

Opens March 18
Tickets: $20/adults; kids 5-13/$6, kids 4 and under/free
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
Upper West Side
212-873-3400

www.nyhistory.org

NCAA 2016 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
Feeling flush and have a huge basketball fan in the house? The first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships are coming to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

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March 18-20
Tickets: $228-$300
620 Atlantic Ave.
Prospect Heights
917-618-6700
Online: barclayscenter.com

Dinosaurs Among Us at the American Museum of Natural History
The new exhibit at AMNH will examine how one group of dinosaurs evolved into the fascinating living creatures we call birds. Highlighting the continuities between living dinosaurs—birds—and their extinct ancestors, the exhibit will showcase remarkable new evidence for what scientists now call one of the best-documented evolutionary transitions in the history of life.

Opens March 21
Tickets: $27/adults; $22/students/seniors, $16/children
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park W. & 79th St.
Upper West Side
212-769-5100
Online: amnh.org

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The NYC Easter Parade
In addition to lots and lots of egg hunts, the parade of folks decked out in bonnets and other festive finery is a great tradition to watch or take part in!

March 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free
Fifth Avenue at 50th St.
Midtown

What March event is your family looking forward to attending? Tell us in the comments below!

— Mimi O’Connor