Let spring sweep you up in its lovely embrace by partaking in some of the best NYC events in April. Celebrate Easter in New York by enjoying a meal at one of the best brunch spots followed by picking up some sweets at one of the city’s most mouth-watering chocolate shops. Take advantage of checking out the best NYC parks, while all the flowers and trees are blooming. Speaking of greenery, there’s even something for outdoorsy Earth-lovers—Earth Day, duh!
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar in 2017
Featured events in April 2017
Easter Sunday: The day of pastels, egg rolling, and rabbity propaganda doesn’t seem very “cool New York” at first blush, but as with all things to do in spring, they’re as entertaining as you make them. You can gawk at the Easter Parade, seek out the best brunch NYC serves or use this as an excuse for some leisurely day-drinking at an outdoor bar.
Robert De Niro and co.’s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers. We’ve got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to this year’s festival: our personal must-see picks, showtimes, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and oh-so-much more.
Not to be confused with the season’s other stupendous garden party, the Macy’s Flower Show, the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show NYC exhibits thousands of species of beautiful blossoming orchids. Learn about the “Orchid Delirium” of the 19th century and view movie screenings and performances while enjoying the lush scents and sights of one of the best gardens in NYC.
The Brooklyn Folk Festival, which has inhabited Kings County live-music venues like the Jalopy Theater and the Bell House in past years, returns to St. Ann’s Church for its ninth-annual iteration. With its cavernous ceilings, the capacious church nave of the historic Brooklyn Heights venue is a great place to hear acoustic music of any genre. Don’t be fooled by the fest’s name: The gathering brings together acts that deal in Americana and blues as well as global sounds from places like the Middle East and Guinea.
Free NYC events in April 2017
Music events in April 2017
What hasn't Clarke played over the course of his four-decade career? He's proficient in mainstream jazz, of course, but has also taken on chamber-scaled projects of genuine delicacy and electric fusion of arena-rock proportions. This two week residency at the Blue Note features the veteran bassist in two settings: first, he turns up with the iconic Ron Carter for a jazz bass duet of legendary proportions (March 28 through April 2); the week after, the maestro brings his Stanley Clarke Band to the stage to celebrate the release of a new CD (April 4 to April 9). He hasn't released much info on the record, but we expect an extension of his funky 2014 effort, Up, which skewed toward fusion while plumbing a range of genre impulses.
“Tam bo li de say de moi ya!” Do you know what that means? Of course not! (Because it is actually gibberish.) Will that stop you from singing along and following up with a joyous “Hey, Jambo Jumbo!” in the middle-eight section of "All Night Long"? Oh, hell no! The Commodores singer with the voice as smooth as an eel in oil comes to town for a stadium gig with megawatt singer Carey.
Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac's gold-dust woman herself, plays a massive arena gig in support of her 2014 solo album, 24 Karat Gold. (Not to fear, Mac fans; recent gigs haven't been stingy with the hits.) Formative punk–new-wave crossovers, The Pretenders, warm things up in the opening slot.
You don’t have to listen to much more than a minute of a Xiu Xiu song to understand that Jamie Stewart is upset. Indeed, nearly everything in the Durham, NC, singer’s catalog represents a shot across the bow of calmness: his vocal histrionics, the ping-ponging of intense imagery and emo straightforwardness and the wailing electronics that cut through otherwise pleasant melodies. Luwayne Glass peddles simiarly erratic mayhem in the opening set as Dreamcrusher, doling out glitchy synth anarchy, blown-out speaker textures and sinister screeches behind pupil-debilitating strobes.
Here's a treat: New Order, the seminal English postpunk outfit spawned from Joy Division, plays Radio City in support of its latest album, Music Complete. Ranging from wistful airs to thumping disco, the record's polished songcraft proves that despite the unceremonious departure of bassist Peter Hook—he called frontman Bernard Sumner a "twatto" and sued the band for millions—the guys have still got it. Fingers crossed that they'll offer up some classics like "Ceremony" alongside the new material.
Portland, Oregon's Decemberists attract a nerdily passionate following thanks to their knowing (and, to some, pretentious) indie antiquarianism. There's no certain plans on new material this time around, though the band did just release a tenth-anniversary edition of its ambitious concept album, The Crane Wife, an expansive five-record set that includes outtakes, demos and bonus tracks. The band will, however, be ringing in the opening of Williamsburg's brand-spanking new venue Brooklyn Steel over the course of three nights.
Alt-rock icon PJ Harvey’s latest release, The Hope Six Demolition Project, is another singular statement. The record balances weighty tone and musical simplicity, as when Harvey builds tracks like “The Ministry of Defence” and “The Words That Maketh Murder” around ominously bellowing horns and eerie chanting. As ever, it’s unclear just what makes Harvey tick creatively, The Hope Six Demolition Project being just the latest example of her penchant for dark, compelling songwriting rooted in odd moods. Nevertheless, her output is always arresting. Her gig is one of the best excuses to check out Williamsburg’s new, long-awaited cavernous concert digs, Brooklyn Steel, a 20,000-square-foot, 1,800-person-capacity converted warehouse run by Bowery Presents, the folks behind venues such as Terminal 5 and Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Arts events in April 2017
Minter had already been working in New York for 30 years before her career breakout in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, and in the ensuing decade, she’s dialed up her exploration of how women are objectified by fashion and the media to a Nigel Tufnel–worthy 11. Focusing on various details of the female anatomy, her photos and hyper-realist paintings demolish cultural conventions of beauty and femininity with increasingly garish élan. As the title of Minter’s first-ever career retrospective suggests, her work draws a connection between "sexy" and "filthy."
View over 100 works made by creators outside of the artistic community, including inventive self-taught sculptors in New York City and illustrators who found their passion in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. Explore the inner lives of unknown artists through works made in private and often discovered after the artists' passing, with pieces like Steve Ashby's Rocking Bed Cunnilingus Whirligig and Henry Darger's watercolor At Sunbeam Creak/At Wickey Lansinia.
Thanks to Donald Trump, the decade of greed is back, so naturally there’s renewed interest in art from the Ronald Reagan era. The Whitney dusts off some prime examples from its collection, including works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf and Ross Bleckner.
Morris is a kind of artist/urbanologist whose slickly-produced videos and glossy, super graphic canvases examine the role that major cities play in ordering the global economy. Her latest show builds on two recent films, including one about that science fictional desert mirage known as Abu Dhabi.
Mixing Pop Art, Minimalism and gestural abstraction, Majerus, a Luxembourg native who died in a 2002 plane crash at age 35, plumbed postwar art history and the youth market of the late 1990s and early 2000s—a time when the Internet’s impact was just beginning to be felt. This exhibit brings together work done on aluminum panels including one series, presented in its entirety for the first time in 20 years, featuring images of Nintendo’s Mario character against brightly-colored monochrome backdrops.
A painter, sculptor and installation artist, Marisa Merz was the sole female member of that otherwise all-boy’s club known as Italian Arte Povera. The late-’60s movement took a somewhat nihilistic approach to form and material, with works that often looked like they’d been made out of refuse. Merz followed suit but added some definite feminist flavor to the recipe. This show covering her 50-year career represents her first major retrospective in the United States.
Simone Leigh, A particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora
A little corner of Zimbabwe has landed in Marcus Garvey Park in the form of three imbas, or kitchen huts native to the region. As welcoming as they appear, these huts, created in collaboration with architect Maxwell Mutanda, are actually closed forms that can’t be entered. According to the artist, they’re meant to celebrate the “expansiveness of the African diaspora,” while also evoking the “experience of living outside the place considered home.”
Looking for more things to do?
Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina
In a city not typically known for its Mexican food, you might not expect to find a cantina in the heart of the Financial District. Nevertheless, that’s where you’ll find Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina serving up bowl after bowl of guacamole made fresh to order ($12 for a single serving). For your main course, try one of the crowd-pleasing burritos ($15–$17), quesadillas ($13–$15) and tacos on offer (four for $14–$17), or opt for one of the more traditional plates. Think chiles rellenos with black beans and rice ($18) and shrimp fajitas served in a sizzling cast-iron skillet ($24). What Mexican feast would be complete without a margarita? Pick the tequila you like from the list of more than 30 brands, then choose whether you’d like it frozen or on the rocks ($10–$23). Add a flavor like cucumber, blood orange or cactus pear for $2 more. Don’t forget the flan with caramel sauce ($7) or deep-fried churros ($8) to finish the meal!
"Join us for National Margarita Day on February 22nd! Free giveaways and margarita shots from 6-8PM."