Earth Day 2018 is over a weekend, and there are a number of events both on April 21 and April 22 – the traditional Earth Day – throughout NYC. Everything on our list is FREE, including FREE passes for Citi Bike, all are family-friendly, and all are designed to increase awareness of our fragile planet and what we can do to help protect it.
3rd Annual Car-Free Day – Two stretches of Manhattan are being closed to vehicles, turning those areas into pedestrian-only and bicycle-only thoroughfares, with FREE eco-friendly displays and family-friendly activities along the routes.
- A 30-block stretch of Broadway, from Times Square to Union Square, is being closed to vehicles. FREE
- A ten block stretch of Washington Heights, along St. Nicholas Avenue, between 181st Street and 190th Street FREE
Citi Bike Car Free Day – In partnership with Mastercard, once again this year, Citi Bike will offer FREE day passes to all on Car Free Earth Day. Click the link to learn how to register for the free rides, or download and visit the Citi Bike app on Car Free Earth Day, April 21st.
Bronx River Clean-Up – What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to help restore an important NYC river. Bronx River Alliance is teaming up with United by Blue for a cleanup at Soundview Park, a stunning waterfront green space at the union of the Bronx River and East River. The park stretches for 205 acres, and is an epicenter of activity offering soccer and baseball field, basketball courts, a running track, and an amphitheater, not to mention the beautiful walking/biking trail that stretches throughout the space. The rocky banks provide amazing views of the river and surrounding land, and the tidal marsh area is vital to wildlife.
- Clear trash, including cans, bottles and the plastic rings that hold six-packs together, and then enjoy the pristine park and views the rest of the day. FREE, 9am to Noon, registration is required
Earth Day Herb Gardening – Bring the kids to the Battery Urban Farm Labyrinth for a special Earth Day herb planting activity and a self-guided scavenger hunt for the whole family. FREE, 11am to 1pm
Pick one or more of these three nearby museums, to make it a full day:
- National Museum of the American Indian – This NYC branch of the Smithsonian’s NMAI in Washington, DC, features exhibits on Native Americans of North and South America, films and lectures. FREE admission year-round
- Museum of Jewish Heritage – Exhibit focus on the human and social costs of intolerance, including stories by survivors of the Holocaust. FREE admission through April 26, in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The film The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm and accompanying installation encourages visitors of all ages to explore i and experience the transformative power of survivors’ stories.
- Skyscraper Museum – One of the city’s lesser-known museums, but the place to go to learn how big and tall architecture changed the world’s skylines. Note – This is the only thing on our Earth Day list that’s not free, but a $3 admission fee is almost free.
Culture Shock – Enjoy the official opening of the spring/summer/fall season with this annual, full-day festival of music, art, performance, horticulture, and hands-on activities.
The only event that requires advance registration, and a music download, both also free, is a tour with Brooklyn-based Native American poet Tommy Pico, for a soundscape inspired by the High Line ‘s plants and microclimates that explore issues of reconciliation between city and nature, past and present, and being indigenous in America. End the day with with the sounds of a downtown punk rock band playing a mix of classic-era Cumbia, Porro, Son Caribeño, Salsa Criolla, and Bullerengue sounds with a cutting-edge new wave twist.
- FREE, 1pm to 7pm, with events along the length of the High Line.
Earth Day Block Party -The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership launches their 2108 series of Downtown Brooklyn Presents events with this family-friendly FREE eco-fair hat includes a performance by the environmentally-friendly troupe, Bash the Trash, which performs music, helps kids construct instruments from recycled products, and then lead a parade. This is followed by an all-ages dance class led by the Dodge Y with beats by DJ Mike. Sustainable arts and crafts activities all day, an Earth Day Reading Room with the Uni Project, and meet Birdie, the official mascot for GreeNYC!
- 1pm to 5pm , at Albee Square and Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn. See the full list of events and times here.
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers – Every day is Earth Day to Native Americans, so it’s appropriate that this group of NYC-based Native Americans is hosting a FREE celebration of Native American music, dance and poetry.
- 7pm to 9pm at the American Indian Community House, 39 Eldridge Street, 4th floor, between Canal and Hester Streets.
Earth Day in NYC on Sunday, April 22
Earth Day Beautification Day – Grab some garden tools or a shovel to help plant shrubs and plants in Fort Tryon Park. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Volunteers must be at least 10 years old, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Gouverneur Playground, Bronx has a similar volunteer planting and clean-up day.
Take a Hike – Celebrate Earth Day in NYC parks by heading out with Urban Park Rangers on a guided walk to experience and appreciate wildlife and plantlife. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, and a bottle of water is a good idea, too. Please – make it a refillable water bottle, not a single-use plastic bottle that litters parks and landfills. Earth Day Hike with Urban Park Rangers are FREE and family-friendly.
- Earth Day Hike in Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Queens, 10am to 11:30am
- Earth Day Hike in Inwood Hill Park, Northern Manhattan, 11am to 12:30am
- Earth Day Hike in Marine Park, Brooklyn, Noon to 1:30pm
Earth Day history
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. … A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.