Your April To-Do List: Free & Fun Things to Do with Kids in NYC
It’s finally April and we say bring on those showers—as long as they’re followed by some nice mild weather and sunshine. There’s lots to do in NYC this month, with blossoms (cherry and otherwise) blooming all over, three roller rinks opening (including a brand new one), and many ways to celebrate the planet on Earth Day 2022. Check out our picks for the fun, often free things to do with the kids this April.
2022 Macy’s Flower Show
The flowers are back at Macy’s! This free, floral spring tradition has heralded spring in NNYC for more than four decades. This year’s promises to “highlight designs that focus on impact, energy, and bold modernism, immersing the public in radiant flowers, heavenly scents, and bold color gradients.” You’ll see live flowers, plants and trees from all over the world, blooming in unison (something that’s not actually possible in nature). View the blooms on store countertops, in display windows and specially designed architecture including bridges, columns, and topiaries. Don’t miss the designer fragrance-inspired landscaped greenhouses on the mezzanine level of the store.
March 27-April 10
Macy’s Herald Square
151 W. 34th St.
photo: Fadi Kheir
Carnegie Hall Afrofuturism Festival Spring Family Day
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute invites children ages five to 10 and their caregivers to explore Afrofuturism in a free daylong open house as part of Spring Family Day. Activities and experiences include live performances with Shine and the Moonbeams; designing a comic book hero with Zawadi Noel of MyHeroComics; building instruments from recycled materials with educational music ensemble Bash the Trash, and an Afrofuturism Dance Party with critically acclaimed author, filmmaker, and dancer Ytasha L. Womack.
Admission is granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and families are welcome to drop by for a visit or stay throughout the day for a musical experience of their choice. Registration opens on Monday, March 28.
Sun., April 10, Noon
154 W. 57th St.
Resnick Education Wing
Easter Fun Around Town
One of our favorite NYC Easter events is in fact, free. The Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival features scores of people strutting down a closed Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th in festive, vibrant, vernal hats, headpieces and much more. Don your own bonnet and join in from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Easter, April 17.
photo: Amy Nieporent
All the Spring Blooms
The daffodils are out, and the very first cherry blossoms are starting to pop, from Central Park to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This is our guide to where you can see nature’s most spectacular shows this spring. (In most cases for absolutely free.)
Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace at The Rink
The iconic rink at Rockefeller Center is going all-season with the opening of roller skating rink Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace on April 15. The rink is inspired by Ian “Flipper” Ross’ famed Los Angeles Rink of the same name, which opened in 1979. His daughter, Liberty Ross, is reviving the magic of the era by bringing it to The Rink at Rockefeller Center.
Opens April 15
Tickets: Adults/$20 plus $10 skate rental; ages six-16/$12 plus $10 skate rental
Rockefeller Plaza btwn 49th and 50th Streets
Plantoir, Blue at Rockefeller Center
This seasonally appropriate piece of public art is the work of Claes Oldenburg and his late wife Coosje van Bruggen. The super-sized gardening tool is the duo’s first public installation in over 20 years. Find it in Rock Center’s Channel Gardens.
Through May 6
TWA Hotel Roll-A-Rama
Roll-A-Rama at the TWA Hotel
Yes, there is another roller rink opening in NYC this month. For the second year in a row, the landmark TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is transforming its tarmac into a roller skating rink. The Roll-A-Rama at the Runway Rink opens for the season on April 15. The 44-by-56 outdoor rink features vintage tunes and is open on weekends. (They will host a weekday outing if you want.) Rentals of four-wheeled “quad skates” are included with every 50-minute skate session, which costs $20 per adult and $16 per child under 12. You can also bring your own skates.
April 15-Nov. 2022
Fri., 4-8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., Noon- 8 p.m. weather permitting
photo: Prospect Park Alliance
B’Earthday Bash at Prospect Park Audubon Center
Prospect Park is celebrating a lot with this event: Earth Day, the Prospect Park Audubon Center’s 20th Anniversary, and the birthday of two legends: naturalist John James Audubon, and landscape architect and Prospect Park’s creator, Frederick Law Olmsted. Celebrate with activities for all ages (owl pellet dissection, plants a native seed to take home, make a nature puzzle), nature walks and a special exhibit on the 200th Anniversary of Olmsted’s birthday.