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Photograph: Dominick Totino
Photograph: Dominick Totino

The best Earth Day events in NYC

Show some love for Mama Earth and attend these epic Earth Day events in NYC to support various environmental causes

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Jennifer Picht
&
Shaye Weaver
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Some the best NYC events in April celebrate Earth Day. NYC isn’t the greenest city, but New York sure knows how to give Mother Nature a proper party and some much-needed recognition. The best Earth Day events in NYC including volunteering to clean up parks in NYC or beaches to ensure they stay litter-free. There’s also a free Earth Day festival in Union Square and a $1 clothing sale at a well-known thrift store. Get ready to do some tree hugging and check out fun things to do outside.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Earth Day in NYC

The best Earth Day events in NYC

BAMkids SpringFest 2022
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

BAMkids SpringFest 2022

From 10am to 4pm on Saturday, BAMkids will throw a full day of fun outdoor and indoor performances, interactive activities, and showcases of local talent celebrating the spirit of spring tied to environmental advocacy and care. Held with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the festival includes ragas from Indian classical musicians that melodically evoke joy and renewal; a kick-off concert from Grammy-nominated children’s musician Uncle Jumbo; mural-making with visual artist Ebony Bolt; and a closing concert where Flaco Navaja serves up old school South Bronx salsa. BAMkids SpringFest is co-curated by the BAMkids Parent Advisory Circle. This is good for kids 3-11. It's free but an RSVP is recommended.

An eco-conscious cruise
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out

An eco-conscious cruise

This Climate Change cruise, in partnership with the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter, will be led and narrated by AIANY Allied Member Doug Fox, a New York City tour guide with a focus on architecture, climate change, urban planning, resiliency, history, and ecology. During your 2.75-hour tour, which will circumnavigate Manhattan, Fox will spotlight innovative New York City projects that address climate change on multiple fronts and the actions NYC is taking to mitigate pending climate impact threats, including LEED and passive building. Along the route, Fox will highlight climate change organizations and activists. It takes off on Friday, April 22 (Earth Day), departing at 2:45pm, followed by another on Sunday, April 24, departing 10:15am, then Fridays at 2:45pm. It's $106 per person for 2-3 people, $86 per person for groups of 4-16 and $68 for students.

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The League’s Free Earth Day Sketch Event
Photograph: Ricky Mujica

The League’s Free Earth Day Sketch Event

The Art Students League is hosting a free sketch in Central Park to celebrate Earth Day. If you're looking to sketch or paint a beautiful local landscape, you can do so with the League at this free workshop led by renowned League instructor Ricky Mujica at the Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park. Practice plein-air alongside other artists and make Mother Nature your muse in a fun event that mimics the practice of many of The League’s upcoming spring and summer classes. Then, share your artwork online via #ArtmakersEarth and after the event, Mujica will select three winners on Instagram. Winning artists will receive a free plein-air painting kit courtesy of The League’s Art Supply Store. It'll be on Friday, April 22, at 4pm in the Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park (near 86th Street Transverse).

Queens Farm has been a functioning farm since 1697, making it one of the oldest bits of arable land in New York State. Sign up for their Earth Day Volunteer Service Day and get stuck in mulching, weeding, composting, and tiding. Along with getting great gardening tips, you’re also welcome to attend talks with the beekeeper and take a tractor-drawn hayride.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

To celebrate National Park Week—which this year run from April 16 through 24—parks across the country will waive entrance fees on Saturday. Time to add "visit a park!" to your weekend to-do list! According to the National Park Service, there are a total of 24 national parks in the state of New York that host over 8 million visitors on an annual basis. Although we've got a whole list of the best parks to enjoy all year round, we must call out to some that we think are really deserving of your attention given the celebratory aura that National Park Week brings along with it.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Thirty-two-year-old Hila Perry, aka Hila The Killa, dons an inflatable, wearable ball covered in spandex made to look like the globe and raps about the Earth and ways we can help save it from climate change and pollution. You may have already seen this hard-to-miss act. She's gone viral on TikTok for a video of her rapping "Wet Ass Planet," her parody cover of Cardi B's "WAP," in Times Square. Perry has also performed at House of Yes and Caveat as The Earth. She's performed as Planet Earth on the street, at city-hosted events in parks and even at The Shed at Hudson Yards. This Earth Day, she'll be busking around and also headlining an Earth Day event at Rubulad.  

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A walk about environmental justice in Gowanus
Photograph: courtesy of Social Justice Walks

A walk about environmental justice in Gowanus

Michael Higgins Jr. will lead a walk on Sunday, starting at noon, that will center on the current struggles around environmental justice in Gowanus, Brooklyn, including the modern demand for housing and the historical environmental degradation and how the canal is at the center of it all. Tickets are $18-$30.

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown East

Have a unique opportunity to visit SUMMIT before normal opening hours on Friday, starting at 5:30am. Watch the sun rise over the city from an incredible vantage point and snap stunning photos. There will also be coffee and light bites from Épicerie Boulud included in the price of the ticket as well as special SUMMIT gifts to take home. Tickets are $110 each!

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Japanese drumming and Mottainai
Photograph: Taiko Masala

Japanese drumming and Mottainai

Spend a Saturday at Rockefeller Park House enjoying an eco-friendly version of creativity. Taking its lead from the Japanese practice of Mottainai, this workshop will tutor you in making a zero-waste ochiba art design. While you’re there, you can also enjoy a live performance of Japanese traditional drumming.

Earth Day Initiative Event at Union Square
Photograph: Cait Oppermann

Earth Day Initiative Event at Union Square

Union Square is the epicenter of Earth Day celebrations in NYC. Seek out Bowery Farming’s stall at this year’s Earth Day Initiative Event – it’ll be easy to spot thanks to a gorgeous floral installation from Fox Fodder Farm – and learn about innovative vertical farming techniques, repurposing urban land, and, crucially, kick-starting US-wide rewilding projects.

Check out more spring events

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