Blooms real and fake take over the Queens Botanical Garden during Flower Patch. Photo by Eryn Hatzithomas
Blooms real and fake take over the Queens Botanical Garden during Flower Patch. Photo by Eryn Hatzithomas

April GoList: Best Things To Do in April With NYC Kids

It's been a full year since Mommy Poppins published a monthly NYC GoList, and so it feels especially hopeful to present this list of the best things to do in April. Spring is here; vaccines are proliferating, and, for the moment, the virus seems to be receding. We have a long way to go, of course, but we've also come a very long way. And that's worth celebrating!

Many of our usual go-to GoList spring events are virtual this year, including the Easter Parade and AMNH's EarthFest, or postponing until the fall (looking at you, Brooklyn Folk Fest) in hopes that we're 100 percent out of the woods by then. Still, we've found more than 10 totally worthy GoList must-dos for April, including the Atlantic Avenue Spring Fling, a very cool performance idea from NY Theatre Ballet, the long-awaited arrival of Kusama at the New York Botanical Garden, and more.

Read on for the full, fabulous list and find more seasonal happenings in our Spring Fun Guide. Of course, it's also time to book those summer camps. Slots are going fast for the 2021 season! Learn more about local and virtual summer camps with our upcoming Online Camp Fair. Visit virtual booths and watch live camp demos.

Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our Event Calendar to find something else to do.

As always, if an event piques your interest, click through to our listing for all the details, including addresses and times. And keep in mind: In NYC, especially now, really cool things to do with kids often book up quickly, so register or buy your tickets ASAP.

Girl with a basket of Easter eggs
Fill your Easter basket at one of the dozens of egg hunts springing to life across the five boroughs.

Easter Egg Hunts – Citywide

Through Sunday, April 4, 2021
Hunting for Easter eggs is the perfect activity for this moment in time: outdoors, easily cleaned surfaces, and timed for ages and distancing. Check our NYC Easter Egg Hunt roundup for one in your neighborhood (FYI: We continue to update this post as more egg hunts are confirmed). This year, some of our favorites include the Green Meadows Farm hunt in Brooklyn, the Barnyard Egg Hunt on the grounds of the bucolic Queens County Farm Museum, and an Easter Scavenger Hunt around the High Line. As a special treat, you can also join the White House's virtual Egg Roll for the first time.

Atlantic Avenue Spring Fling – Cobble Hill to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Saturday, April 3
Here's a great alternative to the virtual Easter Parade: Stroll along Atlantic Avenue to enjoy a no-touch virtual egg-scavenger hunt using QR codes placed on storefront windows of local businesses. Once scanned, attendees’ phone screens are directed to a fun riddle with a chance to win a prize from one of the participating stores. Be sure to wear ALL your spring finery. If you play along on social media, you might win a prize for best bonnet (adult/child/fluff baby), best couple, or best mask.

New York Theatre Ballet: Lift Lab Live – Lower East Side

Select dates from Wednesday, April 7-Saturday, May 1
If you've been itching for a live performance, NYTB has one of the coolest options we've seen in a year: With just 10 seats open per performance, it's like you have your own private ballet unfolding before you at St. Mark's Church. Shows and choreography vary if you're lucky enough to score tickets to more than one.

Restart Stages – Lincoln Center

Ongoing beginning Wednesday, April 7
We're anxiously awaiting the return of live performances at Lincoln Center, and its Restart Stages aims to bring 10 outdoor performance venues to life, including one dedicated to kid-friendly programming. Though the series launches in less than a week, full details have yet to be released. What we do know is some of the performing arts venue's headliners are set to return to the stage with performances from the Chamber Music Society, New York City Ballet, and Film at Lincoln Center all promised. Smaller community partner organizations also plan to bring their works to the complex.

RELATED: 25 Kid-Friendly Spring Day Trips for NYC Families

Kusama and Flowers at NYBG
Yayoi Kusama's landmark show at NYBG is set for an April debut.

Kusama: Cosmic Nature at NYBG – Bronx Park, the Bronx

Ongoing beginning Saturday, April 10
We were really looking forward to trekking to the New York Botanical Garden last spring for this brilliant celebration of art, color, and illusion from contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama—and having had to wait until now somehow makes it sweeter. While the show had to be reimagined a bit to keep everything safe and social distancing friendly, sculptures like Dancing Pumpkin and I Want to Fly to the Universe make their debut alongside a brand-new infinity room (which hopes to open its interior to the public this summer).

RELATED: 10 Newly Renovated NYC Playgrounds to Visit in Spring 2021

new animal homes at he Staten Island Children's Museum
After more than a year-long closure, the Staten Island Children's Museum reopens along with two new enclosures for its animals.

Staten Island Children's Museum Reopens – Snug Harbor, Staten Island

Weekends beginning Saturday, April 10
SICM flings its doors open to the public again, with some new exhibit components sure to delight little museum-goers, including a brand new slide in one of our favorites exhibits, House About It. Plus, new features keep everyone safe, including touch-free sinks and advance, timed-entry ticketing.

PuppetWorks' The 3 Wishes and 3 Little Lambs – Park Slope, Brooklyn

Select dates from Saturday, April 17-Sunday, May 2
Brooklyn's PuppetWorks has been open at 25% capacity through the winter, bringing a little light entertainment to Brooklyn families when they needed it most. Aladdin & His Wonderful Lamp takes its final bow Sunday, April 11, making way for a hand puppet double feature: The 3 Wishes, featuring a fish you can wish upon, and 3 Little Lambs, a new take on the Three Little Pigs.

Flower Patch – Flushing, Queens

Sundays, April 18-May 9
Taking nature to the next level, the Queens Botanical Garden is installing unique floral fixtures and whimsical statuary all around the grounds of its on-site farm to create perfect backdrops for a spring family photo. Before you leave, be sure to grab your included-with-admission pot of flowers and a kid-friendly grab-and-go craft kit.

RELATED: Petting Zoos Near NYC Where Kids Can See Farm Animals

Run for the Wild Bronx Zoo Family Running
Start your day with Run for the Wild, and finish it with post-race celebrations, facetime with favorite critters, and more all-ages fun.

Run for the Wild – Bronx Park, the Bronx

Saturday, April 24
The Bronx Zoo's annual 3K and 5K runs to support wildlife worldwide are back. The only way into the zoo this day is by participating in the race! The post-run celebration, which includes costumed characters, music, and refreshments, accompanies the usual Bronx Zoo fun. Register online in advance and raise some green for your favorite creatures.

Earth Day Celebrations – Citywide

Various dates throughout April
New York City kids can observe Earth Day with tons of activities designed to promote environmental awareness and highlight ways to create a more sustainable planet. On Saturday, April 10, Alley Pond Environmental Center invites preschoolers to a special Earth Day Celebration, and the American Museum of Natural History hosts a virtual version of its beloved EarthFest on Thursday, April 22. You can do your part by helping to clean up one of your favorite parks or playgrounds (masks and gloves required). Find more Earth Day celebrations by searching for the holiday in our Event Calendar.

RELATED: Here's When Amusement Parks Reopen for the Season in N.J. and Pennsylvania

Rides at six flags
Climb on the Ferris wheel, roller coasters, or more rides at Six Flags Great Adventure, which has reopened for the season.

Six Flags Great Adventure Reopens–Jackson, NJ

Now open!
While we're keeping our eyes on the shores of Coney Island, our local amusement parks have not announced opening days yet, but Six Flags rides are already spinning, speeding, and taking flight. From thrilling roller coasters to fun family rides,  live entertainment, and the return of its drive-thru safari, Six Flags Great Adventure offers something for everyone. Reservations are required, and safety protocols are in place.

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues

Kusama: Cosmic Nature
The New York Botanical Garden - 10:00 AM Pick
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park Blessing of the Rides
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park - 11:00 AM Pick
Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp
Puppetworks Inc. - 12:30 PM Pick
Staten Island Children's Museum Reopens
Staten Island Children's Museum - 12:00 PM Pick
Free Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Greenpoint Farmers Market - 12:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides