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NYC events in April 2020

The best NYC events in April include much-needed outdoor activities at NYC parks, fun festivals and pretty flower shows

Photograph: Pixabay
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors |
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The best NYC events in April 2020 are going to make you psyched for spring. Aside from celebrating major holidays like Easter in New York, take a moment to stop and smell the roses at events such as the Macy's Flower Show and The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. Speaking of buds, take advantage of checking out the best NYC parks, while all the flowers and trees are starting to bloom. And there’s even more greenery fun for outdoorsy folks—Earth Day, duh!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar in 2019

Featured events in April 2020

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Hornblower Cruises
Photograph: Courtesy Hornblower Cruises
Things to do

Easter events in NYC

Enjoy the (finally!) thawing weather by checking out these great things to do for Easter. NYC offers a range of things to do outside, from egg hunts—yes, even for adults—to a silly Easter Bonnet Parade and a boozy brunch cruise. In case the weather is lousy, head indoors to one of the city’s best New York attractions for the annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. 

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Tribeca Film Festival 2005
Photograph: Brian Palmer
Movies

Tribeca Film Festival

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.

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Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden
Things to do, Exhibitions

The Orchid Show in NYC guide

The Orchid Show—NYC’s ode to springtime—should not to be confused with the season’s other stupendous garden party the Macy’s Flower Show. However, both bloom fests are worth visiting. If you’re not familiar, The New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show exhibits thousands of species of beautiful blossoming orchids and lasts through April. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Diane Bondareff
Things to do, Exhibitions

The Macy’s Flower Show

The subject for 2019's installment at the megachain’s Herald Square location is Journey to Paradisios. Translation? It's a cosmic dream offering revelers an out-of-this-world representation of outer space. Flower arrangements are designed to show off the "mystery of the cosmos," so check out the nods to the stars, planets, rockets, aliens (of course) and more astrological wonders.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden/Julie Markes
Things to do, Festivals

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival NYC is one of the city’s prettiest spring festivals comprising the best and most beautiful elements of Japanese culture. At the Cherry Blossom Festival, NYC-folks and tourists can watch and take part in a bunch of activities while being surrounded by gorgeous, pink-petal trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. As one of the top Brooklyn attractions, the must-visit site hosts the beloved tradition every year, and the event is usually always bustling with visitors. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Fad Market
Things to do, Markets and fairs

FAD Market

icon-location-pin The Invisible Dog, Cobble Hill
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Every season, FAD—which stands for Fashion, Art and Design—takes over a different Brooklyn venue with a horde of independent vendors and creators. Drop in to hobnob with local artists and designers while perusing jewelry, clothes, bath and body care, original art, furniture and lots more. 

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Classic Harbor Line, Yacht Manhattan
Photograph: Courtesy CourseHorse
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Wine Cruise

icon-location-pin Classic Harbor Line, Chelsea
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Chef and culinary writer Wendy Crispell hosts these classy booze cruises where attendees taste and learn about wines from small, family run producers and nibble cheeses sourced from local dairies, all while taking in stunning city views from aboard a yacht. Treat yo self.

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Queens Night Market
Photograph: Courtesy Queens Night Market
Things to do

Queens Night Market

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science Design Lab, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
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Consider yourself a travel-loving foodie? Queens Night Market is your one-stop shop in NYC to discover bites from 80 countries. Try a diverse range of grub that runs the gamut from Middle Eastern stews and Barbadian fishballs to Romanian-Hungarian chimney cake and tacos al pastor. The open-air bazaar operates from 5pm to midnight every Saturday, but the market has more to offer aside from fulfilling your late-night food cravings. Plus, stick around for the performances of Bollywood dancers, Indian electronica tunes, DJs and more.

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Hash Bar
Things to do

Smorgasburg

icon-location-pin East River State Park, Williamsburg
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At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 20,000 to 30,000 visitors per week, with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors doling out everything from Dutch waffles to pasta doughnuts. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art/Kate Simon
Things to do, Exhibitions

“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll”

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side
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Technically, it’s “Play it fucking loud!”—at least that’s what Bob Dylan famously instructed his band to do after being heckled for going electric at a gig in ’66—but we understand why the mighty Met would want to scrub out the cursing. To toast the greatest genre of music—that’s rock & roll, of course—New York’s art-institution powerhouse turns it up to 11, displaying posters, costumes and other historical ephemera, not to mention around 130 guitars, drums and other instruments used by everyone from Chuck Berry and the Beatles to Van Halen and St. Vincent.

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Photograph: Courtesy: Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Things to do, Exhibitions

"Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976–1986"

icon-location-pin Museum of Arts & Design, Midtown West
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Head to the Museum of Art and Design to check out more than 400 flyers, posters, album covers, promotions, zines and other ephemera from punk music's salad days. Be sure to drop by the museum's theater to watch interviews with Iggy Pop, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone and Debbie Harry, plus never-before-seen photos from Village Voice staff photographer Fred W. McDarrah and others.

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Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy
Theater, Musicals

Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

icon-location-pin Imperial Theatre, Midtown West
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Theater review by Adam Feldman  The Temptations are hard to resist. No matter how much you may chafe at the clunky machinery of Broadway’s latest jukebox biomusical, Ain’t Too Proud, the hits just keep coming, distracting your critical faculties with zaps of R&B greatness. And when the show is at full power—when its lavishly gifted stars are lined up for duty in natty matching suits, moving and singing in synch through songs like “My Girl,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”—the gleam of well-polished nostalgia is strong. Is that enough, though? The problem with telling the story of the Temptations is that there isn’t a clear central story to tell. Much of Ain’t Too Proud focuses on the so-called Classic Five period from 1964 through 1968, when the quintet’s main frontman is the bespectacled and charismatic David Ruffin, played by the sensational Ephraim Sykes with a riveting combination of showboating dance moves and rough-edged soul vocals. High tenor Eddie Kendricks (the expressive Jeremy Pope) occasionally takes the lead vocals, backed by baritones Otis Williams (Derrick Baskin) and Paul Williams (James Harkness) and bass Melvin Franklin (the impressively deep-throated Jawan M. Jackson). But since the group’s membership has been in continual flux since its Motown debut in 1961, Ain’t Too Proud entrusts its narration entirely to the last Temp standing: Otis, who has been with the group from the start and performs with it

Time Out says
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Portrait of Gretchen Bender, 1986
Photograph: © Hans Neleman
Art, Contemporary art

“Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless”

icon-location-pin Red Bull Arts New York, Chelsea
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A lesser-known light of the Pictures Generation, Gretchen Bender (1951–2004) set deconstruction to a dance beat in her pioneering video installations of the 1980s. This excellent retrospective gives the artist her due as a compellingly prescient interrogator of images, technology and mass communication, and the ways in which all three seduce and manipulate us. Arriving in New York in 1980, Bender quickly fell in with likeminded artists, including Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo, who became her partner. These artists explored how images work—like how, say, Sherman’s film stills of lone women engender both cultural attitudes and personal subjectivity. Bender followed suit, exhibiting reliefs that juxtaposed panels bearing appropriated images from advertising and television, along with others featuring works by her peers that pointed to the self-aggrandizement and sexism of the art world. But, dissatisfied with the limitations of static formats, she turned her sights on critiquing larger issues through moving images. Her experiments with multichannel videos on stacked monitors culminated in the ambitious Total Recall (1987), a theatrical arrangement of 24 monitors on four tiers. Eighteen minutes long with 11 channels and a driving post-punk soundtrack, Total Recall shows a rapid-fire succession of then-nascent computer animation, glittering 3-D corporate logos, TV commercials, military recruiting ads and clips from Oliver Stone’s film, Salvador, about El Salvador’s bloody civil

Time Out says

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