Things to Do in Boston in April

Updated: Januar 21, 2024

This post covers the best things to do in Boston in April, updated for 2024.

We include free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events, activities, and attractions.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

This section covers our top ten list for April. 

For more ideas on popular things to do in Boston, check out our popular posts:

Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.


1. Go to a Concert

The Boston area is home to many different music venues, big and small.

Below, we have listed a few top musicians playing in and around the Boston area this April.

Some of these concerts are located just outside of the city, but if you’re a fan of the artist, it may be worth a trip to see them perform.

Concerts

Music Festivals

Find even more concerts in the Boston area in April here.


2. Attend a Sports Event

Boston’s most popular teams will be playing home games throughout the month of April.

Hockey fans will be able to catch the last of regular-season games, and possibly some playoff games!

There are also some basketball and baseball games on the schedule.

Hockey

To appreciate the speed of a hockey game, check out a live game with the Boston Bruins.

Basketball

If you're in the mood for a dynamic and fast-paced basketball game, you can find that with the Boston Celtics.

Baseball

To see Boston's professional baseball team in play, check out the Boston Red Sox.

Note that opening day takes place at Fenway on April 9th, 2024.

This might also be a good time to take a tour of historic Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox!

Soccer

To catch the most popular sport in the world, purchase tickets for the New England Revolution.

Click here for additional sports events in the Boston area in April.


3. See a Theatre Production

Boston attracts some of the best musicals and plays in the world, including new off-Broadway or traveling Broadway musicals as well as classic plays.

Musicals

Performance Art

Family-Friendly Shows

Check this list to see even more theatrical shows in Boston this April.


4. Laugh with a Comedian

Who doesn't love to laugh?

Your evening will not be short on entertainment if you find the time to see one of these brilliant stand-up comedians.

Many will recognize these names from late-night talk shows, Netflix stand-up specials, tv shows, and Saturday Night Live.

Other stand-up shows can be found here.


5. Save Money With a Tourist Pass

If you want to see multiple popular attractions while in Boston, you could save a significant amount of money by purchasing a city pass upfront.

Boston currently has several different types of passes to choose from, and they each include a lot of popular activities including tours, museums, cruises, and other things to do.

Here are a few of the most popular tours, museums, and other things to do included with these passes:

Depending on which type of pass you choose, you should be able to save at least 20% – 50% off or more from retail prices.

For additional details, please read our post covering Boston tourist passes.

If you'd like to purchase a pass, you can do that here: All-Inclusive - Boston Go City | Explorer - Boston Go City | Boston CityPass


6. Enjoy a Spring Sightseeing Tour

Now that the weather is warming up, you might want to consider exploring Boston’s most notable sites and historic locations, and there's no better way than walking the Freedom Trail.

We offer both a pay-what-you-like Freedom Trail walking tour and a self-guided Freedom Trail tour, so you won’t have to worry about this activity breaking your budget. 

With the weather getting nicer, this might also be a good time to go on a sightseeing boat tour in the Boston Harbor.

Alternatively, you can also take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to visit the most popular locations at your own pace.

And if you're looking to spend even more time outdoors, you can even take a 2.5-hour bicycle tour of the city that takes you to Boston's best views. 


7. Attend the New England International Auto Show

If you're a fan of automobiles, this festival is for you.

From April 25-28 you can see "the newest cars, vans, crossovers, hybrids, electrics, light trucks, and sports utilities"

The show is being held at the Boston Convention Center and Exhibition Center.

For tickets and additional information, visit the New England International Autoshow website.


8. Watch the Boston Marathon

This is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and 2024 marks its 128th year.

The Boston Marathon will be taking place on April 15th, and there will be several places to enjoy the event.

Even if you don’t qualify for the race or plan to take part in the competition, you can still enjoy the spirit and energy of this epic event and cheer on the athletes without paying a dime. 

At a total of more than 25 miles (40 km) in length, there are plenty of great spots to watch the race.


9. Experience the Boston Symphony Orchestra

If you're looking for classical and orchestral music, you're sure to find it in Boston.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra will have performances at the historic Symphony Hall several times throughout April.

Works by composers such as Stravinsky, Ravel, Haydn, Rachmaninov, and more will be played.

You may also want to consider taking a free tour of the Symphony Hall.

These tours are offered either on a day without any scheduled performances or before/after a concert. All you have to do is sign up ahead of time!


10. Go Whale Watching

The whale-watching season in Boston begins at the tail end of March, which means that April is actually the perfect time to go out on the water and try to spot some whales.

Although tickets for this activity can sometimes get a bit expensive, it's worth noting that the Go Boston Card usually includes admission to a whale-watching cruise. 

If you’re looking for even more family fun, please read our section about kid-friendly activities in Boston this April.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

The following section will provide several great things you can do in Boston without paying a dime. 

You can find even more great activities that you can do any time of year and that won’t cost you anything on our full post covering free things to do in Boston and/or watch the video below.


Visit the Boston Public Garden

Now that spring has sprung, you can expect to see a lot of flowers in bloom at the Boston Public Garden.

The trees will also be sprouting leaves, making the area much greener than it is during the winter. 

Additionally, there are also several interesting statues and memorials to see. There is a Statue of George Washington, a 9/11 Memorial, and even a Duckling sculpture for kids.


Check Out a Free Museum

If you enjoy art, there are several museums in Boston that offer free admission.

While some locations only offer one free day a week or even a month, others never charge visitors any price for admission.

The following locations are worth considering if you’re interested in art:

For even more great locations you can visit without paying a dime, read our full post covering free museums in Boston.


Go on a Walking Tour

In addition to walking the Freedom Trail, we also offer several great pay-what-you-want Boston walking tours that you can take.

While this isn’t technically free, it can be very affordable.

Most people choose to give anywhere from $5-$10 for their tour, so you won’t have to pay much for this activity, and you can learn a lot about the city while you’re at it.

Our most popular tours cover Little Italy, Cambridge & Harvard, and the Irish heritage of Boston.

For more information, make sure to read our Boston walking tours post.


Watch the Run of the Charles

Although the popular Harvard vs Oxford boat race won’t be taking place until June, there will be a rowing competition taking place at the end of April known as Run of the Charles.

This annual event welcomes thousands of racers and spectators each year, so there will be plenty to see and do while you’re here.

The RiverFest celebration will be held at the finish line. This event will have live music, food trucks, games, and even a beer garden.

Although admission is free and it won’t cost you anything to watch the race, you might want to bring some money for food and other refreshments.


Go to Faneuil Hall Marketplace

There’s never a bad time to visit this historic location, but spring is an especially wonderful period for a trip to Faneuil Hall.

Faneuil Hall

Not only will there be more street performers in the area, but you can also expect additional activities and events.

One example of this is the Easter Egg Hunt which takes place every year.

The spring weather will also bring more family-friendly activities such as puppet shows, storytelling adventures, and even free art classes. 


Visit the Harbor Seals Exhibit at New England Aquarium

Although admission to the Aquarium is not free, there is one attraction you don’t have to pay for – The Harbor Seals exhibit.

New England Aquarium

Located near the entrance, this exhibit features a group of harbor seals who will often come out to play.

With the weather warming up, April should be an excellent time to come and see these cute animals as they go about their business at the New England Aquarium.

Although tickets aren’t free, they are included at a discount with both the Boston City PASS and the Go Boston Card.


Celebrate Boston Design Week

Every spring, the city celebrates Boston Design Week, a festival that includes several interesting activities for anyone interested in the creative ways that designers make their mark on the world.

Events will cover graphic design, interior design, architecture, historic preservation, and others.

Most of the programs and exhibitions offered during this week will be free of charge, but some of them may require that you RSVP ahead of time.

You can expect Boston Design Week to run from April 23rd - May 5th, 2024.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN APRIL

In this section, we will cover some of the more interesting things you can do at night in Boston during the month of April. 

For additional ideas, check our full post covering things to do at night in Boston.


Discover Boston’s Criminal History

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that there have been a lot of criminals throughout their history.

Our pay-what-you-wish Beacon Hill Crime Tour illuminates some of the city's sordid past.

Beacon Hill Crime Tour

During this walking tour, you’ll see a variety of sites related to the Boston Strangler.

In addition to seeing where some of the victims once lived, you’ll also see some of the locations that were once crime scenes.

This tour takes place a few times a week and runs for 2 hours.


Go on an Evening Cruise

With the weather warming up, April could be a wonderful time to go on an evening cruise in Boston.

There are several different companies that offer sunset or dinner cruises on the harbor, allowing you to see the city skyline and lights as the sun goes down.

If you want to learn more about the cruises on offer, make sure to read our post covering Boston boat tours.

TIP: Both the Boston City PASS and the Go Boston Card include at least one free cruise.


Go to a Film Festival

There will be three film festivals in Boston this month. 

The first event is the LGBT Film Festival. It covers a variety of interesting movies both starring and focusing on the lives of LGBT people. Dates are March 31st to April 9th.

The second is the Boston International Film Festival which runs from April 11th - 16th and includes several films from around the world.

The final is the Kendal Mountain Film Tour which celebrates Adventure films. It takes place April 4th in Kendal, just about 20 minutes from Boston.

Many of the movies that will be available during these film festivals will have showtimes after dark, so this could be a great activity for movie buffs in Boston this month.


Take a Haunted History Tour

Boston is an old city with a history that dates back hundreds of years, and there have been many tales of hauntings and ghosts in that time. 

First, consider our pay-what-you-wish Boston Ghost Tour. It takes place on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm.

Starting on April 1st, the Ghosts and Gravestones bus tour will be available nightly in Boston.

This trip will take you to four different locations that are commonly thought to be haunted, including walks through two of the oldest graveyards in the city.

For more details, make sure to read our post covering night bus tours in Boston


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN APRIL

The following section will include several fun activities that children and their families will enjoy in Boston this April. 

For additional activities that your children will enjoy, make sure to read our post covering fun things to do with your kids in Boston


See the Patriots Day Parade

Patriots Day is a celebration honoring the events that led up to the beginning of the American Revolution, including Paul Revere's ride. 

In 2024 Patriots' Day takes place on April 15th.

There will be a parade from City Hall to the Paul Revere Mall, with a reenaction of the rides made by Paul Revere and William Dawes after.

You can find other free activities in our full free things to do post.


Go to the Sheep Shearing Festival

If your kids love animals and are interested in seeing some real live sheep, this festival could be a lot of fun.

There will be several demonstrations of sheep shearing, allowing visitors to see how the animals are kept from harm while contributing their warm fleece to the farm.

There will also be craft booths set up with wool products including yarn and knitting kits for sale.

You can also check out a live sheep herding demonstration with border collies.

At the end of the afternoon, there will also be live music and wagon rides for families in attendance.

If you want to attend the Sheep Shearing Festival, head to Gore Place on April 27th, 2024.


Have Fun at Six Flags New England

This popular amusement park will be opening up for the season on April 9th, so this is the perfect time to take the kids out for a full day of fun and excitement. 

For more information, visit the Six Flags New England website.


Go to a Playground

There are a lot of great playgrounds in Boston, and as the weather gets warmer in April, you may want to take your children out to play at one or more of these play areas.

No matter where you are in the city, chances are you’ll be able to find a great spot for your kids to run around and have some fun.

If you’re looking for a great place to take the kids, make sure to read the section devoted to playgrounds in our post covering things to do with kids in Boston.

NOTE: Many of the best playgrounds can be found close to popular attractions like Boston Common, the Franklin Park Zoo, Harvard University and more. Keep this in mind if you plan to visit any of these locations. 


Ride a Swan Boat

Starting on April 13th, the Swan Boats at the Boston Public Garden lagoon will be available for rentals.

This is one of the most classic and fun family activities in the city, and it’s a great way to experience the garden during springtime.

Swan Boats Boston

Although tickets are already affordable ($4.50 or less), it’s worth noting that you can enjoy a Swan Boat rental for free with the Go Boston Card.

NOTE: The Boston Public Garden is located right next to Boston Common, where you will find the Tadpole Playground next to the Frog Pond – both popular destinations for kids and their families.


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About The Author

Brian Burgess

I was born in Cambridge and have been living in the Boston area all my life. I am a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. I have been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoy sharing my knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on my tours, but with everyone I meet. <a href="https://freetoursbyfoot.com/contributors/brian-burgess/" Read More...
Updated: Januar 21st, 2024
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