This post covers the best things to do in Boston in April (updated for 2020), including 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 a lot of notable artists performing in Boston this month, making April an especially good time to attend a concert.
Here are a few of the best shows you may want to consider:
- Mighty Oaks | April 1
- Avi Kaplan | April 1
- Jason Ross | April 3
- ALO - Animal Liberation Orchestra | April 4 - 5
- Delta Rae | April 18
- Yves Tumor | April 19
- Little Dragon | April 22
- Delta Spirit | April 26
- They Might Be Giants | April 30
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 day trip to see them perform live!
Check the following list for more concerts you can see in Boston this April.
2) Attend a Sporting 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.
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!
For more games you can see this month, here are the Boston sports tickets.
3) See a Theatre Production
Boston tends to attract some of the best musicals and plays in the world, including new off-Broadway or traveling Broadway musicals as well as classic plays.
The Band's Visit is a new musical based on an Israeli film with the same title.
The musical is about a band that takes a bus to the wrong Israeli town due to a communication mishap. The band spends the night getting to know locals, which leads to learning about their lives.
Romeo and Juliet is the classic Shakespearean tale of star-crossed lovers. We can thank this play for giving us many of our modern expressions today that Shakespeare invented during the writing.
You can catch this production from April 28 through early May 2020.
Shen Yun is a beautiful, artistic Chinese dance show, featuring live music and ethereal choreography that extends to aerial acrobatic feats.
Performances run from April 11 - 19, 2020.
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.
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) Celebrate Easter With an Egg Hunt
Easter will be taking place on April 12 this year, which means that you can expect several Easter Egg Hunt events to take place in Boston this month.
Here are a few of the most popular options to consider:
Faneuil Hall Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt – Eggs will be hidden at a variety of participating businesses in the marketplace. A clue sheet and free baskets will be provided to all young participants. This event is free.
Roslindale Egg Hunt – This annual event takes place at Healy Field, just South of Franklin Park. Kids age 2 - 6 are welcome to search for roughly 6,000 Easter eggs filled with treats. There will also be an egg toss, a bunny hop race, and other family-friendly activities. This event is free.
Mission Hill Easter Egg Hunt – Taking place at McLaughlin Playground, this event will include a petting zoo, a bouncy house and thousands of eggs for the kids to find. This activity is free to attend, but you will need to bring your own basket.
Easter EggStravaganza – Now in its 10th year, this activity includes not only an egg hunt but also carnival games, face painting and more. Head to Riverside Press Park in Cambridge. The main activities are free to enjoy.
Check our family-friendly section for more information about additional Easter activities your children might enjoy.
7) 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.
8) Watch the Boston Marathon
This is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and 2020 marks its 124th year.
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) Go to the Japan Festival
This year, the festival’s theme will be Kyoto, so you can expect a lot of workshops and live stage performances related to that city.
This festival features several great booths selling interesting Japanese goods, including a lot of excellent and authentic food.
There will also be a cosplay contest for visitors, so you may want to consider dressing up as your favorite anime character!
The Japan Festival will be taking place at Boston Common on April 25 - 26, 2020 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm and the event will be entirely free to attend.
If you’re looking for more affordable activities, make sure to check our section devoted to free things to do in Boston in April.
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 actually 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’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, 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.
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 March 25 - April 5 in 2020.
Go to Faneuil Hall Marketplace
There’s never a bad time to visit this historic location, but the 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.
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.
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.
Experience the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Although there are a lot of great concerts to attend this month, most of them feature modern tunes from popular artists.
If you’re more interested in classical music, it’s hard to beat the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The group will be performing at the historic Symphony Hall several times throughout the month of April, so this is an excellent time to see a live performance.
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!
See the City From Skywalk Observatory
Now that the weather is clearing up for spring, you should be able to get a great view of the Boston skyline after dark at the Skywalk Observatory.
This wonderful observation deck is open until 10:00 pm throughout the year, so you shouldn’t have any trouble visiting at night and enjoying the lights from above.
Go to a Film Festival
There will be three film festivals in Boston this month. The first event will be the LGBT Film Festival from April 2 - 12, 2020, and it will cover a variety of interesting movies both starring and focusing on the lives of LGBT people.
The second is the Boston International Film Festival from April 16 - 21, 2020 and includes several films from around the world.
Finally, the Independent Film Festival in Boston will run from April 22 - 29, 2020, 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.
Starting on April 2nd, the Ghosts and Gravestones bus tour will be available 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.
Attend the Taste of South Boston Festival
With so many great foods to eat in Boston, you might have trouble picking just one restaurant. Thankfully, the Taste of South Boston food festival will be taking place this April, giving you an opportunity to try several different meals.
In addition to food from a variety of popular Boston establishments, there will also be wine & beer tasting opportunities. You can also expect live entertainment during the festivities, giving you something to do while you eat.
The Taste of South Boston food festival will take place on April 5, 2020, at the Seaport Hotel from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Tickets are $55 per person.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO 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.
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.
Attend the Anime Boston Convention
From April 10 - 12, the Anime Boston Convention will be held at the Hynes Convention Center. This annual event 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-$80 depending on age and how many days you plan to attend the event.
Take Your Kids to a Science Carnival
The Cambridge Science Festival takes place every spring, and it includes a lot of fun activities for children. One of the most interesting attractions is the Science Carnival, which includes over 150 different hands-on exhibits and projects.
While here, your children could learn how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen, weld metal in a VR experience, build robots or even hold a human brain.
The best part is that it’s entirely free to attend!
- Location: Cambridge Public Library
- Date: April 17 - 26, 2020
- Hours: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Learn more here.
NOTE: If your kids are interested in science, they may also want to visit either the MIT Museum or the Boston Museum of Science. Both museums are included with the Go Boston Card.
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 25, 2020, 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 6th, so this is the perfect time to take the kids out for a full day of fun and excitement.
Although tickets can get expensive, it’s worth noting that admission is actually included with the Go Boston Card. Considering that tickets can cost more than $70 per person on their own, even a 1-day tourist pass would cost less at $59!
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.
See Peppa Pig Live!
If your little ones can't get enough of Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, George, and Peppa, they'll love seeing their favorite characters come to life on stage.
The live show will bring other friends from the show into the plot, as well.
- Location: Chevalier Theatre
- Date: April 26, 2020
- Times: 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm
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.
Although tickets are already very affordable ($4 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.
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