April in New York is one of the most special months of the year. Parks such as the Botanical Garden and Central Park dye their landscape with flowers, the sun comes to stay (or at least it tries to!) and the city gets ready to celebrate Easter, whose protagonists are its famous colored eggs. At first sight, it doesn't sound bad, does it?
Spring in New York is an ideal time to travel because the days are longer and the temperatures are milder, which invites you to explore the city of skyscrapers making more outdoor plans. In addition, it is still low season and you can find cheap flights. In this article I tell you the 10 best activities you can do in April in the Big Apple. Take note!
1. Experience the madness of a live baseball game
If you visit New York in April you can't miss one of the quintessential American sports: baseball. One of the most fascinating experiences I had during my trip to the Big Apple was attending a live baseball game. What a great atmosphere!
April is the best month to enjoy this sport, since this is when the league starts and the atmosphere in the stadium is really crazy. In this article I explain in detail how the baseball season works and how to get tickets to see it at a good price.
If I may give you a tip, the best thing to do is to attend a game of the New York Yankees, the most legendary and oldest team in New York. In addition, visiting Yankee Stadium is one of the main attractions of the city. Of course, tickets sell out fast, so don't think too much about it!
2. Have fun at the Easter hat parade... Pure fantasy!
The Easter bonnet parade, the Bonnet Festival, is a tradition that was born more than a century ago, when believers dressed in their finery to attend Easter Mass. Over time, this curious event has evolved into one of the most original, colorful and creative festivals in New York. It is celebrated on Easter Sunday.
In this procession, New Yorkers give free rein to their imagination and build their own hats designed with flowers or original materials and create crazy shapes taken from movies, inspired by animals, American culture ... There is everything. Even those made with carrots! Agatha Ruiz de la Prada is a beginner by her side.
Decorate your own hat, the more original the better!
Don't forget to pack your hat! However, it is not necessary to wear a hat in order to join the parade that takes place on Fifth Avenue. But if you want to enjoy the show like a true American, the best thing to do is to wear your most original pamela and personalize it. You will cause a sensation!
3. Feel like a Scotsman at the Tartan Day Parade
If you want to see hundreds of men dressed in plaid skirts and enjoy a good concert with bagpipes, I recommend you to go to the National Tartan Day parade, which celebrates the contributions made by the Scots to the U.S. and their Scottish heritage. For one day you will feel like you have changed countries and are in Scotland!
This event, which was born just 24 years ago, is usually held on the first Saturday in April. What I liked the most was the festive atmosphere all day long on Sixth Avenue with thousands of demonstrators, sausage stands, dancers shows and a large number of floats dedicated to Scotland. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
4. Explore the streets of the Big Apple without cars
Can you imagine touring New York, one of the largest cities in the world, without cars? If you travel in April, it is possible. Every year to commemorate Earth Day, Broadway Avenue cuts off traffic for a morning (from 9 am to 3 pm) along 30 streets, from Union Square to Times Square - a unique opportunity to discover downtown on foot!
Also on this Car Free Day, non-profit organizations offer information booths along the route to promote activism and education around climate change, sustainability and other environmental issues.
Experience the magic of Broadway
Then, in the evening, you can take advantage of being on Broadway to enjoy the musical of The Lion King, for me it was an unforgettable experience! Here is a list of the top 10 Broadway shows. I'm sure you'll love one of them.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
One of the nicest and most recommended restaurants on Broadway is Bubba Gump, inspired by the movie Forrest Gump. The dishes are named after the main characters of the film!
5. Eat a hot dog at the Smorgasburg flea market
If you love to sample the cuisine of other countries when you travel, you're in luck! Because Smorgasburg, one of New York's most popular food markets opens its doors in April. It's the largest open-air food market in the U.S.! Almost nothing.
In this hipster market, which has more than 100 stalls, you can find from the typical American food, such as burgers and hot dogs, to very modern and curious dishes. I was blown away by the spaghetti donuts with tomato (yes, spaghetti!) and the ramen burger, burgers that were accompanied by.... noodle bread!
Useful information about the Smorgasburg flea market
- Where: at 90 Kent Avenue and N. 7th St.
- When: Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays in Prospect Park, from the first Saturday in April through the end of October.
- How to get there: The nearest subway station to Smorgasburg Market is Bedford (L). You can also get there by ferry, a highly recommended option since it leaves you just a few minutes from the fair.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
An unwritten law in New York is to leave a tip in restaurants, cafes, hotels... It is customary to leave between 15% and 20%.
6. Find bargains at vintage markets and flea markets
When you see the number of hidden treasures in New York's flea markets, you won't want to go back to the department stores. With the arrival of good weather in April, a large number of them open for the season. Here are my favorites:
Broooklyn Flea Market
It is a flea market that opens on Saturdays and Sundays in Brooklyn. Here you will find vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques. In addition, a selection of jewelry, arts and crafts and delicious fresh food. Personally, I fell in love with the collection of world balls - I would have taken them all! Too bad they didn't fit in my travel suitcase. By the way, I recommend you go to this place hungry to try the food at the different stalls.
LIC Flea & Food
Although it was born recently, in 2019, it has become one of the trendiest flea markets in recent times. In it you will find very curious objects, international food and craft beer. It is located in Long Island City, in Queens, and it is a wonderful place to buy some food and enjoy it by the river, with the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the background. It will be a perfect plan!
Queens International Night Market
If you want to get away from the crowds of tourists, the best thing to do is to go to this market that opens on Saturdays (from the end of April) in the afternoon. It is a large open-air night market, which has up to 100 independent vendors selling handicrafts and food (especially Asian). Here you can also enjoy a good show and live concerts.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
Leave some room in your suitcase for shopping. In New York there are lots of flea markets and outlets of big brands at very, very discounted prices, you'll find real bargains!
7. Welcome spring by visiting a floral display
One of my favorite (and most colorful!) activities on my trip to New York was to visit the annual floral show hosted by Macy's department store in Herald Square to welcome spring in style. The two-week event includes a large floral display, plus live music, seminars and children's activities.
Macy's Flower Show each year is dedicated to a theme; in 2019, for example, the display recreated the cosmos with floral figures forming planets and stars. Every year they change the dates, so I recommend you to visit the official website, the little ones will love this plan! Here is a guide with other activities you can do in New York with the family.
8. Decorate Easter eggs or... catch them around the city!
Another activity that will delight the little ones of the house during the trip to New York is painting Easter eggs and decorating them with original drawings. The most popular workshop is the one organized by the Ukrainian Museum of New York where materials such as wax and special dyes are used. Art in its purest form!
Also typical in the U.S. during these dates is the "egg hunt", an activity that consists of children finding hidden Easter eggs around the city. Like the Pokémon game! This game of hide and seek is organized by different institutions, such as the Brooklyn Children's Museum and the Children's Museum of Manhattan, among others. For those with a sweet tooth, you can also enjoy the chocolate eggs sold in all the bakeries - they are delicious!
Where: Ukrainian Museum of New York, 222 East 6th Street.
How to get there: take the F line to the Lower East Side-Second Avenue stop.
9. See the cherry blossom trees in New York and marvel at their flowers
You don't have to travel to Japan to see the cherry blossoms. New York is one of the best destinations in the world to enjoy these trees, which bloom at the end of April.
My favorite place to see the beauty of this species is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its Japanese pond, which is one of the oldest Japanese gardens outside the country. It's breathtaking! It looks like you are in the land of the rising sun.
You can also contemplate the magical "cherry blossom" in the New York Botanical Garden, on Roosevelt Island and in Central Park. Here is the list of the best parks in the Big Apple for you to enjoy the spring season.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
If you have doubts about what to pack in your suitcase, I suggest you to bring several layers, because there is a big difference in temperature between day and night. You will appreciate it!
10. Discover Japanese culture at the Sakura Matsuri Festival
At the end of April, the Sakura Matsuri Festival is also held at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, with activities related to Japanese culture such as musical performances, plays, martial arts and Japanese costume exhibitions, tea ceremonies and many other events. Imagine enjoying this festival and the cherry blossoms, it was an unrepeatable experience!
Finally and so that "nobody steals the month of April" like Joaquín Sabina, take a pen and paper and... take note of these tips for New York in spring: practical guide, what to see, itineraries .... I assure you that you won't find a better time to visit the city!
Nuria's Traveller Tip
April is a perfect month to enjoy a picnic outdoors in one of its parks or squares, don't forget your towel!