Spring is a fabulous time to visit New York City. The weather is usually a little warmer – and although there are ALWAYS some incredible things to do in NYC, April in New York is particularly special, thanks to the events that take place at this time of year. Visit New York in April and you’ll be able to walk under a carpet of cherry blossom, parade your Easter Bonnet along Fifth Avenue, experience the gastronomic delight that is Smorgasburg, and take part in an international Pillow Fight! No place does springtime quite like NYC – so here’s our round up of the best activities and events in New York, April 2018.
New York Easter Parade
Easter falls on April 1st this year, and that means that we kick off the month with the fabulous New York Easter Parade. Expect to see some incredibly creative Easter Bonnets making their way along Fifth Avenue - 49th to 57th Street - from 10am on Easter Sunday. The Easter Parade has been a New York tradition since the 1870s, and these days, the best place to watch is from around the beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral. Expect creativity and fun en-masse!
Easter on Fifth Avenue. Pictured are some New Yorkers in their Easter parade finery – nowadays, the tradition continues, although the designs are a little more flamboyant. (Image source: Wikipedia)
Nothing says springtime in New York more than Macy’s Flower Show
This year, the festival runs from March 25th to April 8th at Macy’s – one of New York’s most famous department stores. The Herald Square shopping icon will be full of the most incredible floral displays under the theme of ‘Carnival’. The displays are always quite astonishing – and as you wander the store you’ll be enveloped by bursts of amazing color and perfume.
New York Botanical Gardens
For a city with a lot of skyscrapers and asphalt, we do nature really well, particularly at this time of year. The New York Botanical Garden hosts its impressive Orchid Show, from March 3rd until April 22nd, and shows every type and color of orchid you might imagine. I always think these flowers look very exotic – but, in such volume, they are even more spellbinding. I’d also recommend spending time in one of our iconic parks during your springtime visit to New York – particularly Central Park – it is divine. There’s nothing like seeing this landmark, as it springs back into life.
Central Park is a beautiful place to be at any time of the year – but springtime is a personal favourite. (Image source: Preston Pownell via Unsplash)
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Staying with the nature theme a little longer – did you know that New York has the most diverse collection of cherry blossom trees outside of Japan? You’ll find them at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The park’s esplanade alone is lined with more than 70 trees – so in April, the chances are, you will be walking under a blanket of beautiful pink blossom. It is a very memorable experience. Usually, peak bloom coincides with the Garden’s annual cherry blossom festival, ‘Sakura Matsuri’ which runs from April 28th-29th and includes a whole host of Japanese events – drumming, samurai sword demonstrations and tea ceremonies.
While you are in the borough, do make sure to visit Smorgasburg Brooklyn – the country’s largest open air food market – which reopens in April, and runs every weekend until October. There are over 100 vendors – and the food is out of this world. There’s a sister flea market that runs alongside it – and it’s New York’s most popular street market.
Tribeca Film Festival
Each April, New York City also hosts the Tribeca Film Festival – it was launched post 9/11 to promote the revival of Lower Manhattan. From April 18th – 29th, 2018, the festival will showcase the best that film has to offer – from future blockbusters to foreign language productions and thought provoking documentaries. They are all screened in a variety of venues across Lower Manhattan. If you are planning to visit New York in April, you can pick up tickets for the festival from the official website.
New York City's Pillow Fight!
Finally – you can also herald the beginning of spring in New York City with… a pillow fight. Head to Washington Square Park on April 7th at 3pm to take part in, or watch, NYC’s contribution to the International Pillow Fight event. Proof indeed that nowhere does springtime quite like New York City!
Herald in the beginning of spring in NYC with a pillow fight! (Image source: Tim Stief via Unsplash)
New York City is the best location for a spring break. The events and activities in New York, April 2018, will make it an unforgettable trip to the Big Apple. And, when you’re in town, Gray Line New York is the best option to get you around the city to our best-known landmarks, sights and attractions. Check out our Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker bus tours – a perfect way to get unlimited travel all around town, including Uptown, Downtown and Brooklyn - either over 48 or 72 hours. From the comfort of our buses, our guides will point out all the main attractions, and you can hop-off at your favored stop, before stepping back on board our buses again when you are ready to go to your next destination. Our Freestyle Pass is great value too – it includes access to our hop-on, hop-off buses, as well as admission to some of the best NYC attractions – including showstoppers like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, the Rockefeller Centre, and a whole host of our best museums and tours.
We look forward to welcoming you to New York City.