This post covers the best things to do in Boston in April, updated for 2023.
We include free, nighttime, as well as family-friendly events, activities, and attractions.
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
There will be many musical artists performing in Boston this month.
Some of these concerts are within 30 minutes of Boston, and others are over an hour away.
If you’re a fan of the artist, it may be worth a trip to see them perform live!
In the Boston area are:
- The Monkees Celebrated by Micky Dolenz | April 15th
- Marc Broussard | April 15th
- Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles | April 26th
Further afield are:
- Reba McEntire | April 13th | Manchester, New Hampshire
- Keith Sweat/New Edition | April 21st | Providence, Rhode Island
Check the following list of other concerts you can see in Boston this April.
2. Attend a Red Sox or Celtics Game
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.
If you’re a sports fan, consider attending one of the following games:
This might also be a good time to take a tour of historic Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox!
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.
My Fair Lady will be at Citizens Bank Opera House from April 18th - April 29th.
You'll also have an opportunity to catch the Blue Man Group at the Charles Playhouse all month long.
If you're willing to head to Providence, you can see Beetlejuice from April 25th - 29th.
Worcester will have the Broadway Musical Hadestown on April 1st and 2nd.
Check this list to see 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 live in April.
Many will recognize these names from late-night talk shows, Netflix stand-up specials, and Saturday Night Live.
- Kathleen Madigan | April 1st
- Trevor Noah | April 5th - 15th
- Margaret Cho | April 13th
- Donnell Rawlings | April 14th
- Nikki Glaser | April 15th
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:
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Trolley
- Harbor Cruises and Tours
- Skywalk Observatory
- Museum of Fine Arts
- Fenway Park Tour
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.
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.
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. Enjoy Some Easter Events
Easter will be taking place on April 9th, 2023. You can expect several Easter events to take place in and around Boston.
Here are a few options to consider:
Fairmount Farm holds an annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event usually takes place at the Fairmount Fruit Farm in Franklin, MA.
Although it's a bit of a drive, it's sure to be a lot of family fun!
Sip & Search Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch. This event takes place at The 1620 Winery in Plymouth, MA.
It includes a buffet, an easter egg hunt for the kids, and a cash bar for the adults.
Check our family-friendly section for more information about additional Easter activities your children might enjoy.
8. Watch the Boston Marathon
This is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and 2023 marks its 127th year.
The Boston Marathon will be taking place on April 17th, 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 the month of April.
Works by composers such as Stravinsky, Mozart, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Sibelius, 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.
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’re looking for additional opportunities to enjoy a variety of artwork, there are several great 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 definitely worth considering if you’re interested in art:
- Institute of Contemporary Art
- Museum of Fine Art
- McMullen Museum of Art
- MIT List Visual Arts Center
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Museum of Bad 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.
Note: the date has not yet been confirmed for 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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 25th - May 7th, 2023.
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.
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 from May – October on Friday & Saturday at 5:00 pm, and it runs for a total of 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.
Depending on which service you choose, ticket prices are as low as $20 for a sunset cruise and around $60 for a dinner cruise.
If you want to learn more about these opportunities, make sure to read our post covering Boston boat tours.
Go to a Film Festival
There will be three film festivals in Boston this month.
The first event will be the LGBT Film Festival, and it will cover 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 from April 13th - 18th, and includes several films from around the world.
Finally, the Independent Film Festival in Boston will run from April 26th - May 3rd, and there will be several independently produced movies to watch throughout the week.
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.
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 2023 Patriots' Day takes place on April 17th.
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.
RESCHEDULED: Attend the Anime Boston Convention
The annual Anime Boston Convention typically welcomes dozens of notable people from the industry to speak and/or meet with fans.
Not only will your kids have a chance to meet the people who create these incredible shows, but there will also be plenty of people cosplaying as their favorite characters.
The price for a pass ranges from $25-$95 depending on age and how many days you plan to attend the event.
Events take place April 7th-9th at the Haynes Convention Center.
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 22nd, 2023, from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
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 15th, 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.
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.
If you’re already planning to use this service, you may want to keep that in mind.
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.