What to Do in April in NYC

This post is about events and things to do in NYC in April, updated for 2019, including a top 10 list as well as sections on free, family-friendly and nighttime things to do.

 

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in New York City throughout April. For more ideas, check our definitive things to do in NYC guide. 

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out:

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass


(1) Go Sightseeing

The spring weather is fine for all of our tours and especially good for tours where you can see lots of green space and nature.

In April, the hundreds of different plant life that the High Line Park carefully curated will be starting to bloom.  

 

 

We offer several pay-what-you-wish variations of the High Line Park Walking ToursYou can also use our GPS-enabled audio tour of the High Line.

It’s also arguably the best month to visit Central Park, as the park is in full bloom season. We also offer guided and self-guided tours here.

For a list of all our ours available in April see at our schedule of tours.

We also compare and review the various bus tours and boat cruises available to you in NYC.


(2) Attend a Concert or Comedy Performance

a rock concert

This April, the city has an eclectic mix of concerts, ranging from a 1970s glam band to one of the best performers ever of pop standards, show tunes, and jazz. It’s also a great month for comedic greats.

Here are our picks for the best concerts and performances:

Concerts

TIP: You might like to take the very popular Madison Square Garden All Access Tour or the Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour.

Comedy

  • Jerry Seinfeld – April 4 + 5 (two shows each night) at the Beacon Theater
  • Damon Wayans – April 4-7 at Carolines
  • Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm – April 11-14 at Carolines
  • Richard Lewis – April 26 + 27 at Carolines

(3) Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival 

This annual festival (exact dates to be announced) at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens offers over 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. 

Learn more about ticket prices and schedule of events on their website.

 

 

TIP: If you are considering purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass, then know that the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is included in the Explorer Pass.

Click here for more ideas of things to do in Brooklyn.


 (4) Attend a Sporting Event

Yankees Mets tickets June

In April, you have a bunch of different sports to choose from including baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer (or ‘football’ as it is called by the rest of the world!).


Baseball

Yankee Stadium offers fun and insightful guided tours. Find out more here


Basketball


Ice Hockey

All three New York ice hockey teams are playing throughout the month. 

The Rangers play out of Madison Square Garden, the iconic New York arena. You might be interested in seeing what goes on behind the scenes as this legendary arena.

If so, check out the All-Access tour of Madison Square Garden.


Soccer

As you may know, American soccer is the same game as what the rest of the world calls football. The New York Football Club has a full schedule this April


(5) Tribeca Film Festival 

This event, from April 24 – May 5, 2019, is one of the seminal film festivals in the cinematic world. You will see an incredible range of talent and diversity of movies.

The director, cast, and crew are often on hand for a Q & A session after the screenings.

 

 

Besides film, there are also the ESPN Sports Film Festival, a Family Festival Street Fair, various Tribeca Talks, and free panels for working and aspiring filmmakers. 

A full schedule of film and events is available on their website. 

While in the area, enjoy our self-guided TriBeCa walking tour.


6) See a Broadway Show

In April, you can see stage adaptations of three of the most popular movies from the 1970s and 80s. 

At the end of the month, you can see Beetlejuice, based on the wacky 1980s movie by Tim Burton and Tootsie, the 1980s gender-bender based on the Oscar-winning comedy.

Until April 28th,  you can catch Golden Globe, Tony, and Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as Howard Beale in the play version of Network. 

 

 

There are too many shows to list here. See what’s playing when you are here. There just might be really cheap tickets available. 

We also have a post on ways to get cheap Broadway tickets.  


(7) Brooklyn Folk Festival 

Brooklyn Folk Festival

On April 5th to 7th, head to Brooklyn Heights, to hear folk, blues, jug-band, string-band, bluegrass, Irish and Balkan music!

There will also be vocal and instrumental workshops,  family-friendly square dancing, and a banjo tossing contest. 

The festival is at stunning St. Ann’s Church at 157 Montague Street.

Tickets range from $20-$35 per person. Click here for more information.

To make the most of your visit to this landmarked historic neighborhood, consider joining us on a pay-what-you-wish guided walking tour Brooklyn Heights Tour.

Or, use our Brooklyn Heights Guide to explore the neighborhood on your own. 


(8) Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival 

In 2019, the Easter Parade will be held on April 21st. Not your typical parade of floats and marching bands, this is a more casual stroll of paraders adorning their best Easter bonnets.

You’ll see some wildly creative bonnets, from flower-covered foot-tall toppers to hats shaped in various designs.

 

 

The route runs along Fifth Avenue heading north from 49th Street to 57th Street. 

The best place to watch is from the area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral which in and of itself is a beautiful place to visit. 


9) SNAP  

Kids deserve their very own theater productions!

The New Victory Theater, known for their kid-oriented performances is hosting the renown South Korean troupe, SNAP,  from April 12 – 28, 2019.

This show of vaudevillian comedy, magical cabaret, and clever visual effects will engage your kids. The show is good for ages 6+.

Tickets start at $17. See here for more information and tickets.

 

 

Be sure to read our section on things to do this month with the little ones or our master post on things to do with kids in NYC.


10) Taste of the Nation

On April 17, 2019, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, you can taste some of NYC’s best food while donating to charity at the same time.

Taste of the Nation, a nationwide charity event, invites award-winning chefs from the region to show off their best meals.

Proceeds go to No Kids Hungry, a charity designed to help end child hunger in the U.S. 

In addition to plenty of great food and drinks, there will also be live music performed on site during the festivities.

Tickets range from $100-$150 per person. See their website for all the details. 

 

 

If the price range is out of your budget, but you will want to try some of NYC’s best foods, try our pay-what-you-wish food tours.

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • International Auto Show

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN APRIL

Many of the activities included in our top 10 section above can be enjoyed at night as well such as attending a concert, a sporting event, or the Tribeca Film Festival.

Here are a few more ideas on how to spend a great night in New York City.

For even more ideas, see our master post on things to do in NYC at night year-round and our New York night tours.

10 things to do any time of year in NYC

 


Take a Night Walking Tour 

April evenings are quite pleasant to explore the city at night. We have many evening tours in April including: 

  • Brooklyn Bridge and the 9/11 Memorial
  • Midtown Manhattan
  • High Line 
  • Central Park

You can go directly to our schedule of tours to see what we have on offer each day or you can visit our night tours page for more information. 

 

 

Our guided walks are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford (even free) when the tour is over.

If walking isn’t your thing, then consider a bus tour. Several bus operators offer exclusive night tour options. 

Many of these night tours are already included for free in tour packages.


Easter Supper on a Cruise

Most of the cruise lines in NYC have special Easter Supper menus so you can enjoy the traditional foods of the season while gazing at the stunning views of the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a family-friendly activity as well. 

Take a look at our post which New York boat tour or cruise is best to find one that is right for you. 


Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden  

As part of the annual Orchid Show at NYBG, you can buy a ticket to an Orchid Evening, which features music, tours, and special performances all amidst the gorgeous flower displays.

There will be cash bars offering beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase.

The Orchid Show show runs through Sunday, April 28, 2019, so be it day or night, you have almost all month to see this truly splendid exhibition. See their website for more information


See Jerry Seinfeld Perform

Jerry Seinfeld will be playing at the Beacon Theater for 10 nights (2 shows per night!) through June. In April, the two nights are the 4th and 5th. Buy tickets here.

Tickets can be pricey, so for those on budgets, you can find comedy all over NYC for free or almost free.

See our post, Stretching Your Dollar at the Best NYC Comedy Clubs


View the New York Skyline   

Skyline at Night

For incredible vistas and panoramic views, you will want to visit one of the three observation decks: the Empire State Building, One World Observatory (Freedom Tower) or Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

Each has its own vantage point, as well as different prices of admission, varying wait time, and opening/closing hours.

Our post Which is Best: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock or One World Observatory? breaks down the pros and cons of each to help you choose which view is right for you.  

If you want to stay closer to the ground or prefer to not pay the entry prices of the 3 observatories, you can still get incredible views of the city, in some cases for free. 

Check out our post on the best skyline views of New York City.

Another way to enjoy great views at night is to go for a drink at one of the best rooftop bars in NYC.

Our post, Things to Do in New York City at Night, has tons more fun stuff to do when the sun sets on the Big Apple.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

Below are just a handful of the endless list of free things you can do in New York City in April. Some of the events in the Top 10 section above, like walking the High Line or watching the Easter Bonnet Parade are free. 

For year-round free things to do see our extensive post about Free Things to Do in NYC.  

 

 


New York Tartan Day Parade 

Tartan Day Parade

Celebrate all things Scottish on April 6, 2019, by watching bagpipers, men in kilts, and women in plaid march in the Tartan Day Parade.

It’s is part of Tartan Week which schedules cultural events around the city from contemporary Scottish bands playing in bars to pub crawls, readings and the Scotland Run in Central Park. 

Click here for the schedule of events that week. 


Take a Stroll in Central Park

In April, the park will be blooming all over and the trees will be filling out. Central Park is a wonderful way to experience springtime in NYC. 

Central Park is larger than you may think! Seeing it all would take all day, if not more. We recommend that you take a guided walking tour to help you find your way through this huge park. 

We offer several pay-what-you-like tours of Central Park including a tour of the lower section and one of the middle section.  

We also offer bike tours which are super fun for the kids!   

If you can’t join us, explore the park on your own using our guide of things to do in Central Park and our GPS-enabled audio tour of Central Park. 


Visit New York’s World-Class Museums 

Moma

Before the peak tourist season starts to ramp up in May, you have a great opportunity to visit many of NYC’s finest museums without the crowds and more importantly, without the high cost of a ticket!

Not everyone knows this, but some of the top museums are free to enter, even if they post a ticket cost.

Free isn’t quite accurate. Entrance prices are really “by donation” or “suggested admission”  

There are too many to list here, so see our post, Free Museums in NYC which has a very long list of museums, attractions, zoos, and gardens to find out which are always free or offer free times.

See our post about Free Entry to the Museum of Modern Art


Get Free Tickets with A Tourist Discount Pass

Tourist discount passes are not exactly cheap. But if you plan well, you really get your money’s worth, especially if you plan on seeing many top attractions.

Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one pass at a set price and can save you between 20%-50% the retail price.   

 

 

Read our post comparing the different tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals. 


Macy’s Flower Show

From April 1-7, you can enjoy the free and famous Macy’s Flower Show. The show includes beautiful, bright floral arrangements, special events including live music, and kids’ activities.

For more information, click here. This is a family-friendly event.

Macy’s is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, so if you join one of our Midtown Manhattan Walking Tours, you can spend a good part of the day without busting your budget.


Greek Independence Day Parade

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, you can watch the colorful New York Greek Independence Day Parade. 

Marchers and participants in the parade wear traditional Greek attire and costumes as they celebrate the anniversary of Greek independence, which was declared March 25, 1821.

The parade attracts some 150,000 spectators, with about  25,000 participants. There’ll be music, food and lots of blue and white flags!

The parade route marches up 5th Avenue from 64th to 79th St. See their website for more information.

Be sure to check out our post, Free Things to Do in NYC for more activities for April and year-round.

 


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THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN APRIL 

In the above sections, we noted which activities are kid-friendly, such as going to a sports game or watching one of the many parades. Below are a few more free activities for the family to enjoy in April. 

This video is for things to do with kids any time of year.

 

Be sure to see our posts, Top Things to Do with Kids in New York City, our 3-day itinerary for families, and our list of over 100 things to do in New York City which includes dozens of kid-friendly activities. 


T. rex: The Ultimate Predator

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has an exciting new exhibit about the most famous of all dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex. The exhibit will include interactive elements, life-size models, fossils and a virtual reality experience. 

Note that the exhibit requires that you purchase tickets. (See their website for more information).

However, if you are watching your budget, you can visit the AMNH for free (not including special exhibits).

Find out how to visit the museum for free and other ways to save money, see our post, American Museum of Natural History Tickets and Discounts.


See a Broadway Show for Tweens & Teens

Playing until mid-June is Be More Chill at the Lyceum Theatre. This very tween/teen friendly musical is a humorous coming of age story set in the modern digital world with a fun and poppy sound.

 

 

The whole family will enjoy this, regardless of age. Get tickets here.


Enjoy Free Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

On April 26, you can visit this highly interactive and engaging museum for free between 5 pm and 9 pm. This museum is housed on an aircraft carrier whose exhibits include a Concorde, submarine & space shuttle and much more.

Kids and adults both will love this experience, one of the most popular in NYC.  Get details here.


Pillow Fight 2019 

In past years this fun, feather-filled event has attracted over 5,000 participants.

This year it will be held on Saturday, April 6th at Washington Square Park. Just bring a soft pillow and be ready to engage in a jovial public pillow fight.  Pajamas and teddy bears are welcome.

Check out the Facebook event page for more details.

 

 

While you are there, take advantage of exploring the fabulous neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

We offer several pay-what-you-wish guided walking tours as well as a GPS-enabled audio tour.

Check out all the various tours available of Greenwich Village here.


Celebrate Earth Day 

Earth Day, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, is celebrated in NYC with a festive, family-friendly outdoor fair in Union Square.

There will be dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, a green-vehicle show, family activities, music, and entertainment at Union Square Park at E. 17th St. and Park Ave.

See their website for details.

TIP: While you are there, enjoy our free Self-Guided Tour of Union Square and nearby Gramercy Park.


Easter Egg Hunts and Other Easter Events 

In 2019, Easter is on April 21. There’s no shortage of kid-friendly Easter events across the city. One such Egg Hunt is held yearly at Old Richmond Town during their Spring Festival held on Saturday, April 20th from 12 pm-4 pm.

Besides an Easter Egg Hunt, there will be other family-friendly activities. For more information on the event click here

An additional reason to schedule this into your family trip is that Richmond Town is located on Staten Island, which means you can also enjoy the amazing free ride to get there. 

For details on the ferry ride, see our post Taking the Staten Island Ferry. Click here to find out the many egg hunts and other related activities around the city. 

Find many more ideas from our post, Things to Do with Kids in New York City.

 


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