It’s Spring, and everything is blooming, including outdoor events in New York City. Here are the best FREE outdoor events in NYC in April to put on your calendar, because we want you to enjoy NYC on the cheap. These events and activities are rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine instead of April showers.
Luna Park at Coney Island opens for the 2017 season this weekend, on Sunday, April 9th. The annual opening day party includes FREE rides on the legendary Cyclone roller coaster for the first 100 people on line, FREE egg creams from the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, and more.
NYC Tartan Week – Celebrate all things Scottish with two outdoor events this week, both FREE.
- Thursday – Tartan Day Observance in Bryant Park includes pipe and drums and a reading of excerpts of the Declaration of Arbroath read by renowned actor and 2017 New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshal, Tommy Flanagan. 12:20pm at the Fountain Terrace
- Saturday – 19th Annual Tartan Day Parade on Sixth Ave., from 44th St. to 55th St, starting at 11:15am with another ceremony at Bryant Park. Marchers include, of course, the NYPD Emerald Society marching band.
Hallett Nature Sanctuary – This almost-secret hideaway spot in Central Park is now open for the 2017 season. Unlike past years with extremely limited days and hours, the gates to this locked-off sanctuary will be open daily this year for the first time, from 10AM to 30 minutes before sunset, with the caveat that it is closed occasionally due to inclement conditions. Wear sturdy closed shoes for the uneven walkways, and bring a camera. No dogs, bikes or strollers permitted. FREE, of course.
- SEE ALSO Description of Hallett Nature Sanctuary
LIC Flea & Food opens for the 2017 season, with favorite vendors returning and some new ones, too. LIC Flea & Food is at 5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, at the corner of 5th Street and 46th Avenue, just one block behind the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign. It opens directly into the waterfront park with amazing Manhattan skyline views. Easily accessible from the 7, G, E, and M trains, or via the East River Ferry. FREE admission.
Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg on the move. This year, Saturday Smorgasburg remains at East River State Park in Williamsburg; Sunday Smorgsaburg remains at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill.
Brooklyn’s Saturday and Sunday Flea also is on the move. The big move is that the Saturday Flea is moving on from its longtime, original home in Fort Greene: It will now happen every week alongside Smorgasburg in Williamsburg at East River State Park. The Sunday Flea heads back to DUMBO’s Archway under the Manhattan Bridge.
Sound of Ikebana (Spring) – April’s Midnight Moment in Times Square is an interpretation of the traditional art of Japanese flower arrangement through digital technology. Captured in super slow motion at 2000 frames per second, liquid paint leaps and spirals across the screen in motion and colors that may rouse the apricot flowers and cherry blossoms of Spring. The display by noted media artist Naoko Tosa is splashed across all the electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks every night this month, from 11:57pm until Midnight.
- On Tuesday, April 4, join artist Naoko Tosa to view her Midnight Moment, Sound of Ikebana (Spring). Please arrive by 11:30pm for the 11:57pm viewing on Duffy Square at Broadway and 46th Street.
- @TSqArts @TSACNYC @Shintoism @JS_Gallery_NYC#IkebanaTSq #MidnightMoment
Earth Day New York 2017 in Union Square – This year’s annual outdoor Earth Day New York event kicks off our Count to 50 campaign, with more than 70 exhibitors, including environmental non-profits, green businesses, plus kids’ activities, and live performances.