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Things to do in NYC in April

After a brutal series of Nor’Easters, New York City is finally thawing. Daylight slowly stretches later into the evenings, greenery begins to emerge in the city’s parks, and the temperatures become more mild. Travelers visiting New York City in April will find that, despite the frequent drizzle, early spring is a delightful time to be in the Big Apple. The thick crowds of summer are still a distant thought (as are the sweltering humid days) and the city is emerging from a quiet winter slumber.

In addition to the DIY-diversions of New York City—shows on Broadway, late nights at celebrated restaurants, obligatory stops at the One World Observatory and the Empire State building—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. Though Earth Day (a global celebration of the planet focused on environmental conservation) falls on April 22, multiple events are held throughout the month. One of the biggest is the Earth Day 5K Green Tour on Friday, April 20. But don’t worry, you don’t have to run. The three-hour tour highlights some of the cities most groundbreaking eco-friendly sites in the city, including a living green wall and a Broadway theater that’s going green. And on Sunday, April 15, Union Square fills with green exhibitors, including non-profits, vendors, and live performances.

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. 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 music, dramatic dance performances, and themed craft cocktails. 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 6, 7, and 8. Held at the imposing Gothic Revival landmark St. Ann’s Church, performances include a lively mix of Alabama jug band, New Orleans R&B, and Balkan ballads 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 the first-ever fiddle contest.

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 28, features an eclectic mix of performances like Samurai sword dramas, taiko drumming, Kabuki Buyo dancing, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and even a grunge-rock duo from Fukuoka, Japan. Vendors sell kimonos, matcha, and Japanese snacks and beer. For a perfect day at the 2018 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 18 until Sunday, April 29, the Tribeca Film Festival is one of the most vaunted film festivals. 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 Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, and Claire Danes. There are even masterclasses focusing on elements such as sound design and animation. Individual tickets start at $12 for matinee screenings.

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