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The Best Things to Do in NYC in April

April is brimming with culture in NYC. The New York Botanical Garden hosts its popular annual Orchid Show, the New York International Auto Show returns to the Javits Center, jewelry fans flock to the Museum of Arts and Design for its annual LOOT shopping event, and much more!  

 

Things to Do in New York in April: Exhibits 

Studio 54 Night Magic

Guy Marineau (French, born 1947). Pat Cleveland on the dance floor during Halston's disco bash at Studio 54, 1977. (Photo: Guy Marineau / WWD / Shutterstock). 

(Now-7/5) Studio 54: Night Magic comes to the Brooklyn Museum. It’s hard to believe that Studio 54, the mecca of the disco era, lasted just 3 years. After its opening on April 26, 1977, the legendary midtown club quickly achieved iconic status. Famous people from Andy Warhol to Farrah Fawcett flocked to this outrageous and exuberant party scene. By February 1980, the club was shut down, but its legacy remains 40 years later. A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum presents 650 objects that document the history and lasting impact of Studio 54. Photographs, drawings, film, and fashion will tell the story of how this nightclub came to reflect a particular moment in the cultural history of New York City. The exhibition design, sure to feature some era-appropriate neon lighting, will also reflect that of the club itself and feature a soundtrack of disco hits like Chic’s “Le Freak” and Gloria Gaynor’s classic “I Will Survive.” 

PLUS

The Orchid Show New York Botanical Garden

(Now-4/19) The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham's Kaleidoscope at The New York Botanical Garden. The 18th annual Orchid Show will feature the dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, the famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and floral designer to the stars. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision will unfold through captivating installations transforming each gallery in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience, like a turn of a kaleidoscope. See dramatically arranged orchids in arches of deliberate hues delivering a tunnel effect, along with other design surprises featuring thousands of orchids—both rare and iconic—from the garden’s renowned collections and the finest growers in the world. nybg.org 

Notorious B.I.G.

Image: Barron Claiborne, Biggie Smalls, King of New York, Wall Street, New York, 1997.

(Now-5/18) The International Center of Photography recently moved into the Lower East Side's Essex Crossing at 79 Essex Street. There are four new exhibits running at the same time-Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good, which explores ways to interpret Black identity in a positive light; Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, featuring a collection of portraits of some of the biggest names in hip-hop back from past to present including Notorious B.I.G., and others; Lower East Side: Selections From the ICP Collection, and finally James Coupe: Warriors, using the cult classic 1979 film to explore contested notions of community, race, gender, and class in the 21st century.

Intrepid Museum

Dinner and cake in Intrepid’s wardroom in October 1944. Photo from National Archives and Records Administration. 

(Ongoing) Making a beautiful cake is pretty challenging, but what if you had to make it on a Navy ship, for a crew of thousands? The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s new exhibition, Navy Cakes: A Slice of History, explores the history of naval personnel and their incredible cakes.

Jimi Hendrix

Baron Wolman. Jimi Hendrix performs at Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, February 1, 1968. Gelatin silver print. Iconic Images/Baron Wolman.

(Now-8/23) Bill Graham and The Rock & Roll Revolution at the New-York Historical Society. Delve into the world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the life and work of the legendary music impresario who worked with the biggest names in rock music—including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones—and launched the careers of countless music luminaries at his famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City. Unique to New-York Historical is a special, immersive audio experience, providing a musical tour through the exhibition with songs by rock superstars Aerosmith, Blondie, David Bowie, Cream, the Doors, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, and Neil Young, among others.

(Permanent) The Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image celebrates the life and legacy of the famed Muppet creator, exploring both his prolific career and the enduring effect his work has on pop culture to this day. Visitors will learn more about the creation of such beloved works as The Muppet ShowSesame StreetFraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labryinth, as well as discover the cutting-edge experimental works Henson made throughout his career.

Museum of Ice Cream

(Ongoing) The popular pop-up the Museum of Ice Cream returns. Tickets start at $39. 

(Ongoing) The most significant site of the Holocaust, Auschwitz was not a single entity, but a complex of 48 concentration, forced labor, and extermination camps, at which 1 million Jews—and tens of thousands of others—were murdered. Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., a new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, explores the legacy of history’s deadliest mass murder site. More than 700 original objects and 400 photographs are on display, many for the first time in North America. Among the artifacts: personal possessions, fragments of a barrack, a gas mask used by the SS, and an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland. 

spyscape aston martin 007

(Ongoing) You can experience the world of history’s most famous spy at Driven: 007 x SPYSCAPE, a new exhibition inside New York’s spy museum, SPYSCAPE. This immersive exhibition brings you into the Bond universe with sets, props, and insights about the creation of the ageless secret agent. Among the highlights: an Aston Martin DB5, the lab of Quartermaster (or Q), M16’s gadget master, concept art from Oscar-winning production designer Sir Ken Adams, and an exploration of 2012 Bond film Skyfall’s unforgettable final scene.

PLUS

Opal Emeral spinel ring by Chris Boland LOOT Museum of Art and Design

(4/20-4/26) LOOT: 2020 at the Museum of Arts and Design. Now in its 20th edition, LOOT presents a cross-section of the most exciting cutting-edge art jewelry designs, while offering the public a rare opportunity to meet and acquire pieces directly from some of the most skilled creators in the field. Opening night is a benefit.

(4/10-4/19) The New York International Auto Show is home to an awe-inspiring display of technology and design, as 1,000 new cars and trucks are arrayed across the acreage of the Javits Convention Center. You can check out all the latest models from a hands-on, driver’s seat vantage. The show also features the hottest exotics, joined by futuristic concept cars and a few shiny classics. You’ll even leave with a gift bag or two. Open Mon.-Sat., 10am-10pm, Sun. until 7pm. autoshowny.com

Things to Do in New York in April: Comedy

Jim Gaffigan

(4/9) Jim Gaffigan: Pale Tourist Tour at Radio City Music Hall. 

PLUS

(4/10-4/11) Gina Yashere at Gotham Comedy Club. 

(4/17) Jared Freid at Gotham Comedy Club. 

(4/30-5/20 Samuel Comroe at Gotham Comedy Club. 

Things to Do in New York in April: Kids

easter parade new york city

Image: Katy Gartside Photography/Flickr

(4/12) Easter in New York brings egg hunts, fine brunches, and a bonnet-filled procession down Fifth Avenue that's been a city tradition for nearly a century and a half. Celebrate the holiday in true New York fashion with a trip to the Easter Parade. The tradition dates all the way back to the 1870s, when upper class New Yorkers would stroll down Fifth Avenue after church and show off the fashionable new outfits they’d purchased for the holiday. Traffic shuts down for the parade on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th Streets from 10am to 4pm on Easter Sunday, letting festive paradegoers fill the streets in their elaborate Easter finest.

Spirit of New York

Spirit of New York offers some lovely Easter Sunday Brunch and Dinner Cruises.

PLUS

(4/4, 4/18, 4/25) Operation Slumber at Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum. Families can sleep among the aircraft, just like the sailors did. Includes dinner, snack, breakfast, t-shirt, planetarium activities, and more. $99 pp. *April 4, girls only. Reservations required

 

 

For more kids things to do, visit our sister site at nymetroparents.com!

Things to Do in NYC: Music & Nightlife

 

PLUS 

(4/8-4/9) Dana Fuchs at The Iridium.

(4/9) Christopher Cross 40th Anniversary at Town Hall. 

(4/11) Kenny Wayne Shepard The Traveler Tour stops at Town Hall, with special guest Samantha Fish 

(4/11) NYC Bacon and Beer Classic at Brooklyn Expo.

(4/19) Canned Heat at The Iridium.

(4/20) The Ed Palermo Big Band at The Iridium.

(TK) Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden. New York City’s most spectacular evening outings are back, bringing the color and nightlife of Singapore with them. Step into one of the world’s greenest cultures as Supertrees come alive around you, exhilarating with a display of lights and orchids after dark in the Conservatory. Sip a Singapore Sling and purchase a bite to eat from the Bronx Night Market Pop-up while freestyle dancers and DJs perform. You can also explore the kaleidoscope of orchid varieties from the “City in a Garden” and beyond.

(4/16) Kurt Vile and Cate Le Bon at Town Hall. 

(4/17-4/18) NYC Craft Beer Festival at The Weylin Building in Williamsburg. 

 

 

 

(4/15-4/26) The Tribeca Film Festival returns. 

 

Things to Do in New York in April: Sightseeing 

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival BBG

(4/25-4/26) The Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This beloved cherry blossom festival will be celebrating its 39th anniversary this year. Sakura Matsuri incorporates both modern and traditional Japanese culture, and it offers the perfect opportunity to check out the garden’s famous Cherry Esplanade. bbg.org

PLUS

(4/TK) New York Tartan Day Parade in NYC. Celebrate Scottish pride! 

(Ongoing) Take a deep dive into an underwater world with one of New York City’s newest attractions, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square. This experience lets visitors explore the ocean like never before thanks to state-of-the-art technology and a brilliant team of designers. This is not a museum, exhibit, movie, aquarium, or virtual reality; instead, the producers consulted with dozens of scientists to create a new kind of immersive experience that guests can walk through as they share ocean encounters. Blockbuster new science—some of it not even published yet—was used in its creation. Short of a submarine, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to experience life as it’s lived under the sea. Use this coupon and save $10! 

Things to Do in New York in April: Ongoing

top of the rock dusk

Bring a loved one to take in the breathtaking view at Top of the Rock.

PLUS

(ongoing) Ride 102 stories to the top of the One World Observatory in less than 60 seconds! 

(ongoing) Springtime is baseball season! Take a Yankee Stadium Tour

(New) Check out the New Year's Ball Exhibit at Ripley's New York, where it's New Year's Eve year-round!

Visit the sites of Friends, Seinfeld, Trainwreck, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City and many other NYC film sites with On Location Tours. 

Learn more about the fascinating history of New York City's Financial District with Wall Street Walks tours.

Grab a photo with Taylor Swift, One Direction, Lady GaGa and countless others at Madame Tussauds New York.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium brings people of all ages face-to-face with the world's most unbelievable curiosities. With 18,000 square feet of astonishing artifacts and exciting interactive exhibits. Here's a coupon!

Weather in New York in April 

"April showers bring May flowers," the old saw goes, and you can expect to pay some rain dues this month in New York. In fact, more than half the days in an average April will see rain, although the total precipitation is actually slightly lower than what New York experiences in March. Expect the temperatures to rise steadily, from a start on April 1 with average highs of 56 degrees Fahrenheit (13°C) and average lows right at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4°C), to highs closer to 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19°C) and lows of 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9°C) by month's end. Days are getting longer, with about 8 hours of light. The heaviest coats can safely be left behind, but you’ll still want to pack some outerwear, with sweaters, jackets, and—of course—rain gear. Snow is a longshot by this point in the year. All the great restaurants, museums, galleries, and bars in New York make it easy to entertain yourself indoors, but the odds are you'll have at least a couple of fresh spring days to enjoy the early blooms, and the city's parks coming back to life.


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