April’s Must-Dos: These Events Will Put a Spring in Your Step!

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Spring has sprung — and NYC is read to party! Celebrate the opening day of a baseball diamond, a roller rink, or a foodie destination. Take part in a giant pillow fight for a good cause, rock out at an exhibit in Queens, or drop in to a carnival just for kids. But wait, there’s more! Read on to fill your April with all kinds of fun!


photo: Jeff Lagasca via Flickr

Pillow Fight NYC
The Urban Play Movement and newmindspace host this free event that this year, benefits Dare2B, which fights to eliminate child poverty and homelessness in New York City. Bring a feather-free pillow to Washington Square Park for some old school pillow fight fun, and donate it after the hilarity ends. Note: there are de-linting stations on site, too. Whether you participate or just watch, it’s a once-a-year event worth checking out!

April 2, 3-6 p.m.
Washington Square Park
West Village
Online: facebook.com/events

Prospect Park Opening Weekend
Join the Prospect Park Alliance for a weekend full of events celebrating the park and the start of baseball season and more. On Sat., April 2, from 10:00-10:30, more than 1,000 junior baseball players ages four to 18 will parade down Seventh Avenue led by a marching band and civic leaders. It all ends at the Long Meadow Ball Field, where a ribbon cutting and ceremonial first pitch will the thrown. Hit the opening weekend of food cart market Smorgaburg from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Breeze Hill in the park, stop by the Lefferts Historic House to plant some spring seeds (and take one home) or visit the park’s Audubon Center for bird watching and nature exploration.

April 2 & 3
Tickets: free; suggested donation of $3 at Lefferts Historic House
Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

Yankees & Mets Opening Day
The Bronx Bombers up against the Houston Astros on April 4, while the Mets take on the Philadelphia Phillies on April 8. Of course, tickets are hard to come by now, but maybe you know a guy who knows a guy?

April 4 & April 8
Online: newyork.yankeesnewyork.mets.

Queens County Farm Museum Children’s Carnival
Head to the farm on two weekends in April for a kid’s carnival full of amusement park rides, midway games, pony rides, hay rides and children’s entertainment. Plus, a seasonal petting zoo for an additional fee.

April 9 & 10; April 16 & 17, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tickets: $12
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy
Online: queensfarm.org


photo: via Lakeside BKLYN Facebook page

LeFrak at Lakeside Roller Rink Opens
Swap out the blade for some wheels and hit the opening day of the roller rink at LeFrak at Lakeside

April 9, Noon-7 p.m.
Tickets: $8/person; $6/skate rental
171 East Dr.
Prospect Park
Online: lakesidebrooklyn.com


photo: via Queens Museum Facebook page

Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk
Got a rocker in the house? Head to this exhibit at the Queens Museum celebrating the hometown ruffians known as The Ramones. Marking the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the group’s first album, this show explores The Ramones’ roots in Forest Hills, while also reviewing the band’s significant influence on rock music, fashion, art, comics and more.

April 10-July 31
Tickets: $8/adults; $4/seniors, free/children 18 and under
Queens Museum
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Online: queensmuseum.org

To See Peppa's US Debut: Peppa's Big Splash!

photo: via Peppa Pig Live! Facebook page

Peppa Pig Live!: Peppa’s Big Splash
UK sensation Peppa Pig crosses the pond for the first time for Peppa Pig Live!: Peppa’s Big Splash! Life-size puppets hit the stage for lots of singing, dancing, games and jumping in puddles, of course.

April 9 & 10
Tickets: $40-$60
Beacon Theater
2124 Broadway at 74th St.
Upper West Side
Online: peppapigliveus.com

14 Bello Mania 3

photo: New Victory Theater

Bello Mania
The high-flying, seventh-generation clown with the sky-high hairdo is returning to the New Victory Theater for another springtime run. (The two previous ones have sold out.) Recommended for kids ages five and up.

April 15-May 1
Tickets: Starting at $15
209 W. 42nd St.
Times Square
Online: http://www.newvictory.org


photo: Earth Day Initiative via Flickr

Earth Day Celebration in Union Square
Celebrate Earth Day a little early (the Sunday before) at this annual event dedicated to preserving and protecting the third planet from the Sun. Learn more about environmental campaigns, green lifestyle products, and people doing great green work in NYC. Expect dozens of exhibitors, interactive displays, live performances, and kids’ activities. Also, learn more about the #carfreenyc initiative, a citywide campaign to promote greener and healthier modes of transportation in the city.

April 17, Noon-7 p.m.
Union Square North Plaza
Union Square
Online: earthdayinitiative.org

Earth Day
Celebrate Earth day at a place that’s all about earth! The New York Botanical Garden will be holding interactive gardening activities for kids at the Howell Family Garden; kids will be invited on a vernal investigation in the Adventure Garden, as they look for signs of spring, and the whole family can learn about composting with worms at the Howell Adventure Garden. (See website for times.) Visitors can take in a tour of the Native Plant Garden or the Forest, too.

April 22, 11 a.m.  – 6 p.m.
Tickets:  $20/adults;$18/student/senior; $10/kids two–12; free for children under two
2900 Southern Blvd.
Online: nybg.org


photo: via St. George Festival Facebook page

St. George Day on Staten Island
This all-volunteer community festival celebrating Earth Day and the arts is a veritable explosion of music, dance, art, puppetry, and more. In addition to a parade featuring giant puppets in the form of dragons and other creatures, the fest also has a dedicated Kid Zone, arts and crafts, a “free store” (for swapping goods) and a book fair.

April 23, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tompkinsville Park
Staten Island
Online: stgeorgedaysi.com

Arbor Week at Wave Hill
Wave Hill dedicates and entire week to celebrating trees, with a variety of family art projects, tree walks, a bike ride, demonstrations on how to grow trees! The week opens with weekday family art-making and extends into a weekend celebration with tree walks, a bike ride, a cooking demo, a tree-themed Family Art Project, a demo on growing trees and shrubs in containers and drop-in art workshop all about the art of sgraffito.

April 26-May 1
West 249th Street and Independence Avenue
Tickets: $8/adults; $2/children over six; free/children under six and members
Online: wavehill.org


photo: Jiashiang via Flickr

Sakura Matsuri 2016 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Some call this yearly celebration of cherry blossoms the true kickoff to spring in NYC. This year marks the 35th annual festival, and the garden is pulling out all the stops for this kid-friendly event. Expect more than 60 cultural events and performances over two days, including traditional tea ceremonies and dance, high energy sets from J-pop stars, cos play, a J-pop dance party, martial arts, and much more — plus a glorious display of blossoms. Tip: members and advance ticket holders skip the line to get in, so buy tickets now.

Sakura Matsuri
April 30-May 1
Tickets: $25/adults; $20/seniors; free/kids 12 and under and members
990 Washington Ave.
Crown Heights
Online: bbg.org

Meet Me at the Fountain
In this site-specific, interactive adventure set across the sprawling Lincoln Center campus, audiences young and old help a secret crime-fighting team to stop a diabolical plot to sabotage an opera diva on her big night.

April 30, May 21 & 22
Tickets: $25/person
Lincoln Center
Online: family.lincolncenter.org


photo: Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr

9th Annual Street Games
Take in some old school fun at this free festival in Harlem celebrating low-tech and high energy fun like hippity-hop, double dutch, hula hoop, skateboarding, street hockey, yo-yo-ing, pogo sticks and more! Live entertainment and DJs will be on hand, as will dancers from Dance Theater of Harlem.

April 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tickets: free
Thomas Jefferson Park
114th Street and fourth Avenue
Online: nycgovparks.org

Home Games Opening at Staten Island Museum
Head to the opening day of this exhibit that celebrates sports heroes from Staten Island for family fun activities from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

April 30, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tickets: $8/adults; $2/children 2 – 12;
Staten Island Museum in St. George
75 Stuyvesant Pl.
Online: statenislandmuseum.org

What is your go-to event for April? Tell us in the comments below!

—Mimi O’Connor