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Things to Do in NYC in April

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This post lists the top things to do in New York in April, updated for 2023.

April is one of the best times to visit New York City. New Yorkers throw off their heavy winter coats, grab an umbrella (just to be safe), and head out to enjoy the city.

Layers are the way to go in April. A jacket works during daylight hours which tend to be in the 50s early in the month and 60s late in the month.

Sweaters are a good addition for after sunset. Evenings run from the high 30s early in the month to high 40s late in the month. Read more about April weather here.

Below we list free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events and activities that can be found in New York City this month.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

This is our list of the ten best events and things to do in NYC in April. For even more suggestions, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.  

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

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


1. Go to a Concert

While there are several arena concerts this month, a car, taxi, or the subway are needed as they tend to be at smaller venues further afield.

That's because Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, the big venues in the area, are busy hosting sporting events (see below).

For more choices, check out the full list of April concerts.


2. See a Sports Event

In April, baseball season is in full swing! There's basketball, ice hockey, and soccer (or 'football' as it is called by the rest of the world!).

See what sports events are on in April here.

Baseball

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

Basketball

Ice Hockey

Soccer

See what other sports events are on in April here.


3. See a Broadway Show

There will be several great Broadway musicals in New York City this month, including many notable shows that have become very popular over the years.

Here are some of the best musicals to see in NYC this April:

Be sure to read our posts on how to get cheap Broadway tickets and use the TKTS Booth for tickets.

We list several ways you can save money on what is sure to be a fun night out. 


4. Look into Getting a Tourist Discount Pass

tourist discount pass offers discounted admission into most of NYC’s popular attractions.

Passes themselves aren’t free, but with some advanced planning, you can create an itinerary where you will end up paying nothing for one or two attractions each day.

There are several different types of passes, so be sure to read our comparison post to learn about how you can save the most money on your trip.


5. Take a Walking Tour with Free Tours by Foot

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 plants, carefully curated by the High Line Park, will be starting to bloom.  

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

You may find our post on things to see on the High Line helpful to planning a visit to this must-see sight in NYC.

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


6. Go to a Stand-up Comedy Show

There will be several notable and famous comedians performing in the New York City area this month.

If you're in need of a good laugh, you might want to go see some stand-up comedy!

Here are some of the most popular comics you can see in NYC this April:

If you're looking for other opportunities, make sure to check this list of stand-up comedy shows in New York City.


7. Celebrate National Beer Day

While not an official holiday, unfortunately, National Beer Day (April 7) is a perfect time to take a pub crawl in NYC

The holiday is always April 7 because on that date, in 1933, a new federal law went into effect permitting beer to be sold again for the first time since Prohibition began in 1919.

See our post on NYC pub crawls. There are plenty to choose from!

If you prefer to go it alone, be sure to read our post on historic New York City bars.

One spot you should definitely check out is McSorley's Old Ale House. It's so old that Abraham Lincoln drank there!


8. See a Ballet Performance

If you're interested in seeing a more traditional theatrical performance, the New York City Ballet will be hosted by the David H. Koch Theater from April 18th - 29th, 2023.

They will be performing several shows this month with choreography from greats such as Balanchine, Robbins, and Ratmansky.

Purchase tickets or learn more.


9. Go to the Opera

There will be several opportunities to see the Metropolitan Opera in April 2023.

They will be performing several different operas including Lohengrin, Tosca, La Boheme, and much more.

Tickets can be purchased here.

In addition, the Bergen Performing Arts Center will also be hosting an operatic performance of Carmen on April 25th.

No matter what kind of opera you enjoy, there will be plenty of great opportunities to see a live performance this month.


10. Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

In 2022, the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival will be held on April 9th.

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. 

For even more suggestions for the month of April, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.  

best time to visit new york

See the Cherry Blossoms

One place to visit is the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens which for 40 years or so had the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival NYC celebrating these beautiful and delicate trees.

They still keep a "cherry watch" with the blossoms expected to arrive at some point in April.

Roosevelt Island has its own Cherry Blossom festival.

This is a great excuse to take the Roosevelt Island Tram for the incredible 360 views of NYC!

These are other locations that have cherry trees on their grounds. 

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.


Smorgasburg

In April, NYC's year-round food festival, Smorgasburg, moves outdoors to its Williamsburg location.

This is the largest of the outdoor food festivals in the country with over 100 food vendors dishing out innovative snacks that attract thousands of people each weekend.

If you would prefer to try delicious food in a smaller environment, try one of our pay-what-you-wish food tours.

Amongst our most popular food tours are our Greenwich Village Food Tour and our Lower East Side Food Tour.

On each tour, you will have a chance to try out some of NYC's best foods while your guide tells you about the history and culture of the neighborhood you are in.

NOTE: Official dates have not yet been confirmed yet for 2023.


Visit the New York International Auto Show

The first new york Auto Show took place in 1900!

For over 120 years now they have been sharing what's new and interesting in the auto industry. All of the big names in the industry bring in cars, some of which can be driven.

The show takes place April 7th- 16th, 2023 at the Javits Convention Center.

Hours are Mondays-Saturdays, 10:00 am-10:00 pm, and Sundays 10:00 am - 7:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased here.


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.


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. 

New York Walking Tours

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

In addition to dinner cruises, there are lunch/brunch cruises as well as Easter-themed cruises which are family-friendly.

Take a look at our post about 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 (February 18th - April 23rd, 2023), you can attend an Orchid Evening.

This event features music, tours, and special performances all amidst the gorgeous flower displays.

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

Visit their website for more information


View the New York Skyline

For spectacular nighttime views of New York City and beyond, visit one of the city's observation decks:

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

Our post comparing NYC's observation decks breaks down the pros and cons of each to help you choose which view is right for you. 

Our post on things to do in NYC at night has tons more suggestions for activities to do when the sun sets on the Big Apple.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN APRIL

Below is 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 no-cost activities and events, see our in-depth post on free things to do in NYC.  


New York Tartan Day Parade

Celebrate all things Scottish on April 15th, 2023, by watching bagpipers, men in kilts, and women in plaid, march in the Tartan Day Parade.

It 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. 


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.

A guided walking tour can help you get the most out of the park in just a few hours.

We offer several pay-what-you-like tours of Central Park and a GPS-enabled audio tour of Central Park. 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 to things to do in Central Park.


Macy's Flower Show

In early April, 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.

Events run from March 26th - April 9th, 2023, and take place in Marcy's Herald Square.

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.

Be sure to check out our post about free things to do in NYC for more activities for April and year-round.


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

On select Fridays every month, 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.

In 2023 their free night in April is on the 29th.

If you aren't here for the free dates, find out how to get discounted tickets from our post on Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES 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. 

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. 


Visit the Natural History Museum

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has an exciting special exhibit covering sharks. It includes life-sized models up to 33 feet long, interactive exhibits, and fossils.

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).

To 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.


Pillow Fight in the Park

In past years this fun, feather-filled event has attracted over 5,000 participants. This year it should be held on Saturday, April 15th, at Washington Square Park.

Just bring a soft pillow and be ready to engage in a jovial public pillow fight. 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.


Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day, on April 22nd, 2023, 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.

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


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: February 5th, 2023
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