April is a great month to visit New York City! The weather can be delightful and the city is coming out of hibernation. Films, flowers and festivals abound. Tons of free outdoor events occur and lots of cultural activities as. Our tour schedule goes into full swing in April with more than 8 tours offered every day. Besides trying one of our free guided tours, here are some highlights of New York in April.
Pillow Fight NYC April 2 from 3pm to 6 p.m.
The location won’t be announced by the event sponsors New Mindspace until March. But the directive is clear: bring a soft pillow and together, with several hundred other people, engage in a jovial public pillow fight. This is an annual (and multi-city) event. Pajamas and teddy bears are welcome.
Location: To be announced. Check Free New Mindspace’s website in March for details.
Tribeca Film Festival April 13 – 24
This event is one of the seminal film festivals in the cinematic world, along with Sundance and the Montreal Film. Stars are discovered here is as well as 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.
Location Screenings take place at various theaters around the city. Check the list of venues.
Cost Range from $10 to $40 depending on time and if a director Q&A follows.
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival April 30–Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s annual cherry blossom festival. the weekend offers over 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The highlight are the 200 blossoming cherry trees that are a rite of Spring for New Yorkers and visitors alike.
Location Brooklyn Botanical Gardens near Prospect Park. Click here for (map).
Cost Tickets Adults $25, Seniors (65 and over), $20 Students 12+ with valid ID$20; Children under 12 or BBG Members-free.
The Photography Show April 14-17
Celebrating its 36th year The Photography Show, presented by AIPAD (The Association of International Photography Art Dealers) showcases works from more than 80 of the world’s leading photography art galleries.
Location: Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at 67th Street (map)
Cost: Ticket prices vary by event, night and age.
Brooklyn Folk Festival April 8 – 10
Head to Brooklyn n Heights right near Manhattan to hear folk, blues, jug-band, string-band, bluegrass, Irish and Balkan music! Offering vocal and instrumental workshops, film screenings, family-friendly square dance, and a banjo tossing contest. Click here for the schedule of bands and events. The festival location alone is worth visiting, St. Ann’s Church’s building dates to 1847. In fact the whole neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights is one to walk around, either with one of our guided tours or self-guided tour that you can print out.
Location: St. Ann’s Church at 157 Montague St, (between Henry and Clinton Streets
Cost: Range from $20-$35 per person.
Rainbow Book Fair April 9 Noon to 6pm
This is the largest LGBT book event in the U.S. where 100 publishers, writers, poets, editors, and booksellers of gay and lesbian literature will be on hand selling items, networking and celebrating their pride through the written word. The Fair features panels, readings, and their famous Poetry Salon.
Location: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th Street, just west of 10th Avenue. Cost: Free
New York’s annual Earth Day is celebrated with a gathering in Union Square where there will be dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, a green-vehicle show, family activities, music, and entertainment at Union Square at Union Square Park at E. 17th St. and Park Ave. The Green Festival Expo is a weekend event where you can check out green products and services, shop green, enjoy vegan, vegetarian, organic foods at their food court, experience hands-on demos, and listen to inspirational speakers. There’s a sustainable beer and wine garden, a kids’ eco-fun zone, and a yoga pavilion!
Location: Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets
Cost: Adult tickets $12. Kids 16 and under gain free entry. Seniors and Military receive a discount at the door. Students receive free admission on Friday and receive a discount on Saturday and Sunday at the door.
Holi Hai Festival of Colors April 30 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This traditional Indian festival celebrates the coming of spring on the most colorful way possible – by throwing colored powder all around, including on each other! Enjoy musical performances, delicious Indian food, and an afternoon of messy, free fun! Make sure to wear white because this party gets colorful. And please: do NOT bring your own color; buy non-toxic color on site.
Location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
Cost: Free, but must register to attend. Click here.
Greek Independence Day Parade April 10 1:45 p.m.
The New York Greek Independence Day Parade has been held annually along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue since 1951. The parade itself first took place in NYC in 1938.
Marchers and participants in the parade where traditional Greek attire and costumes as they celebrate the anniversary of Greek independence 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!
Location: Marches up 5th Avenue from 64th to 79th St.
New York Tartan Day Parade April 9 at 2 p.m.
Yet another parade, but this one has an especially appealing Grand Marshal – Scottish actor Sam Heughan, star of the current hit TV series “Outlander”. Celebrate all things Scottish by watching bagpipers, men in kilts, and women in plaid. The parade 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 on April 2. Click here for the schedule of events that week.
Location: Parade route is north along Sixth Avenue from 44th to 55th.
Written by Courtney Shapiro