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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden

NYC events in April 2022

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

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Get psyched for spring! The best events in NYC are coming in April 2022. Aside from celebrating major holidays like Easter in New York, you'll be able to take in the gorgeous blooms at 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! If you want a peek into the future, check out our May events calendar here!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar in 2022

Featured events in April 2022

  • Things to do

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. 

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

There’s nothing like a day of worshipping our planet to put an optimistic spin on dwindling resources, rising sea levels and the alarming acceleration of climate change. Head to this annual street fair to get familiar with dozens of environmental non-profits and green businesses, then kick back and enjoy some live performances while you plot how to up your eco-friendly game.

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  • Art
  • Art

The Whitney Biennial has been a long time coming. Originally meant to open in 2021, the 80th edition combines three years of planning as well as 63 artists and collectives to present an event that has been described as both "dynamic" and timely by its curators. "Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept," which opens April 6, is broken up into two experiences on the fifth and sixth floors of the Meatpacking District building. Each one presents a completely different atmosphere—on the sixth floor is a cavernous, labyrinth-like gallery, and on the fifth floor is an open and airy room where works are displayed together. The exhibition mimics the range of emotions we felt during the past two years, from fear and pain to joy and hope, and everything in between. Artworks—even walls—will change and performance will "animate" the galleries and objects. The changing nature of the exhibition reflects these uncertain times.

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  • Things to do
  • Flatbush

Kings Theatre, the legendary theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is re-launching historic tours of its opulent space this month. During the 75-minute tour, you'll discover historical and architectural highlights, beginning in the majestic grand lobby from 1929. You'll also be ushered through ornate speakeasy lounges and both levels of the 3,055-seat auditorium and see the baroque stylings of this opulent theatre, the “Queen of Kings”, the Robert Morgan Wonder Organ and gaining insight into the daily workings of the theatre. You can upgrade your experience with two drinks and access to one of the theatre's private speakeasies for a post-tour destination. Built in 1929 as one of the five original Loew’s Wonder Theatres, Kings Theatre was initially a movie palace and live performance venue featuring vaudeville reviews. After closing down in 1979, the theatre sat dormant until undergoing a restoration in 2013 which included the repair of the original lobby furniture. The theatre reopened as Kings Theatre in 2015 with Diana Ross as the debut performance. Some tours are already sold out, but the theatre will be holding these twice a month through the summer.

  • Things to do
  • Midtown East

The AKC Museum of the Dog is opening a timely exhibit of 10 life-sized, carved-wood allegorical memorials of military dogs from WWII and Afghanistan by sculptor James Mellick. Visitors will see the artist's collections "Wounded Warrior Dogs" and "Over the Rainbow Bridge," along with the museum’s permanent collection, which includes sculptures, paintings, collars, vests, photographs and more. Mellick says that the exhibit of wounded and rehabilitated dogs aims to draw attention to the service and heroism of dogs in the military. The Wounded Warrior Dog statues are carved from cedar, walnut, sycamore, cherry,
poplar, maple and more, laminated and painted to showcase beautiful life-size dogs who fought alongside veterans and often aided in the completion of successful missions. The AKC Library and Archives will also feature photographs and documents of the WWII U.S. Marine Corps "Devil Dogs" during the time of the main exhibit. Throughout the installation, there will also be events and veterans invited to speak on their experiences and the history of dogs in the military. For these dates, check the events calendar at museumofthedog.org

 

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  • Art
  • Art

Very soon, you'll be able to take in works by the legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat that have never been seen before. The forthcoming "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" is set to open on April 9 with 200 pieces of art inside the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea. The immersive exhibition will feature a wide range of mediums including paintings, drawings, multimedia, ephemera and artifacts that will both give a broader understanding of the artist but also offer a more intimate look at his life and work.

  • Art
  • Hell's Kitchen

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is hosting its first global survey exhibition dedicated to the use of clothing as a medium of visual art, March 12 to August 14. The work of 35 international contemporary artists, from established names to emerging voices, will be on display, and you'll see how they made or altered clothing for expressive purposes via sculpture, installation, and performance art to transform dress into a critical tool for exploring issues of subjectivity, identity, and difference.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

As any '90s kid knows, the closure of Kim's Video and Music—the iconic video and music retail store that first opened in the East Village back in 1986—was incredibly sad. Today, we give you a reason to rejoice, as the shop is making a grand return to New York City at the end of the month, opening inside the newly launched Alamo Drafthouse location on Liberty Street. The owner of the original store was one Youngman Kim and, yes, he is working alongside the theater to bring his unique collection  of over 55,000 films (one of the largest in the world!) back to Manhattan.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Street fair season is upon us! And to kick off a warm and sunny season of eating, shopping and mingling outdoors, a special Japanese food festival is popping up in Chelsea.  On Saturday, April 9, Japan Fes New York will take over Sixth Avenue between 24th and 26th Streets, offering three full blocks of Japanese, pan-Asian and global street food, culture and wares to shop. Dozens of vendors are confirmed to participate and entry is free. Bring money to buy treats and souvenirs, of course. And don't forget your appetite!

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  • Things to do
  • Greenwich Village

The Force is strong with Star Wars fans at Fever's latest exhibition called "The Fans Strike Back," a showing of 600 items all made by those who love the iconic space opera. The exhibit claims to be the largest Star Wars Fan exhibit with collectibles and figurines, life-size figures and famous costumes, more than 50 one-of-a-kind sculptures, armor, lightsabers, blasters, helmets, masks and more. While everything on view isn't officially licensed, visitors still get the full Star Wars experience. It is all fan-made which makes it even more impressive—fans' passion and love for the Star Wars universe is made evident through these items.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Now in its twelfth year, the annual, weekly outdoor food festival will return to several New York City locations, and beyond, as of Friday, April 1. More than a dozen new vendors are slated to join the lineup of 60+ returning food artisans. (Pandemic kitchen hobbyists should know that new vendors are still being accepted, and can apply for consideration online.) This year's Smorgasburg schedule will be as follows: World Trade Center will host 20 vendors on Fridays from 11am-7pm. Jersey City and the Smorgasbar Beer Garden will have 40 vendors on Saturdays from 11am-6pm. On Sundays, Prospect Park will boast 50 vendors plus a full bar, spanning more than 60,000 square feet of lawns and open space from 11am-6pm. The Williamsburg market at Marsha P Johnson State Park will be open on Saturdays, 11 am-6pm, starting this June, when construction will be completed in the waterfront area. Over 70 vendors are expected to participate!

 

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On April 24, the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, which is made up entirely of classical musicians of African descent, will travel to NYC for a residency culminating in the orchestra's Carnegie Hall debut. In the days leading up to the Carnegie performance, Gateways presents a series of events around NYC, featuring ensembles made up of orchestra members, as well as guest ensembles: the Gateways Brass Collective play in galleries throughout the Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 22); the Marian Anderson String Quartet present a recital at the 92nd Street Y (April 22); the Gateways Piano Quartet is featured at the Morgan Library & Museum; and the Gateways Pianists take the stage at Steinway Hall. The following day, musicians from these ensembles give a Chamber Music Concert at the Cooper Union (April 23). They'll finish at Carnegie Hall on April 24 

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Looking for more things to do?

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  • Health and beauty
  • Spas

It’s no secret that New Yorkers are stressed, but when it comes to unwinding, we’re pretty competitive about that too—that’s where the best spas in NYC come in. The city boasts some of the most luxurious spas in the country, but affordable spa treatments also abound. So get inspired with birthday party ideas in NYC or date night ideas in NYC and book yourself a treatment at one of our favorite New York City spas.

RECOMMENDED: A complete guide to Spa Week in NYC

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