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What’s Going On in April in NYC

The days are getting longer, the city’s parks are coming back to life, and the temperatures are beginning to climb: surefire signs it’s spring in New York City.

Travelers visiting New York City in April will find early spring a delightful time to be in the Big Apple. The thick summer crowds have yet to arrive, and sweltering humid days are still far away. It’s a quiet time to be in the city — but that doesn’t mean you won’t find plenty of things to do.

In addition to New York City’s many DIY-diversions—shows on Broadway, meals at celebrated restaurants, obligatory stops at the One World Trade and Empire State Building observatories—there are a number of exciting events and festivals on the calendar in April.
Mingle with like-minded individuals at Earth Day events all over the city, check out some of the finest new cinema at a world-renowned film festival, or head to Brooklyn for an unforgettable banjo toss. Seriously. These are five of the most exciting events happening in New York City this April.

Earth Day

Get in the spirit of spring by participating in one of New York City’s many Earth Day initiatives. This Earth Day (a global celebration of the planet focused on environmental conservation) join the Earth Day 5K Green Tour on Monday, April 22. And don’t worry, you don’t have to run. The tour highlights some of the cities most groundbreaking eco-friendly sites in the city, including a zero-waste office, a rooftop farm and the world’s first underground park, the Lowline. And on Tuesday, April 23, Union Square fills with green exhibitors, including non-profits, vendors, and live performances for the Earth Day 50th Anniversary Countdown Art Installation and Action Center.

The Orchid Show

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The Orchid Show, which started in early March and is on display until April 22, is a celebrated showcase of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. This year’s theme is inspired by Singapore, and features dramatic vertical towers and arches of flora as a nod to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Take a tour, join a class (and learn once and for all how to keep these finicky flora alive), or attend an Orchid Evening. On select days in April, visitors can enjoy the orchid artworks after hours while the Conservatory is filled with live DJs, freestyle dance performances, and plenty of Singapore Slings. Tickets are available for $38.

The Brooklyn Folk Festival

Venture across the East River to Brooklyn to hear the finest blues, folk, and early jazz music during the Brooklyn Folk Festival on April 5, 6, and 7. Held at the imposing Gothic Revival landmark St. Ann’s Church, performances this year include a lively jug band, New Orleans R&B, and Sardinian vocals alongside dance performances, film screenings, and workshops. Tickets start at $25, though you’ll want to splurge for an all-day pass ($40) so you don’t have to miss the banjo toss or a workshop where you’ll learn to make a musical instrument out of garbage.

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival

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Travelers come from all over—yes, even Manhattan—to attend the two-day Sakura Matsuri festival in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The two day affair, which begins on Saturday, April 27, features an eclectic mix of performances like Samurai sword dramas, taiko drumming, Kabuki Buyo dancing, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and even a female-fronted punk rock band from Japan. Vendors sell kimonos, matcha, and Japanese snacks and beer. For a perfect day at the 2019 Sakura Matsuri festival, book your tickets well in advance ($30 per adult), arrive early, and stake out a perfect picnic spot under the vibrant blooms of a cherry tree.

Tribeca Film Festival

Running from Wednesday, April 24 until Sunday, May 5, the Tribeca Film Festival is one of the most vaunted film festivals in the world. Mingle with celebrated and up-and-coming filmmakers and actors during the prestigious event, which includes film screenings, competitions, and conversations with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, and Robert De Niro. There are even masterclasses focusing on elements such as sound design and gaming. Individual tickets start at $12 for select screenings.

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