By: Stefanie DiMartino
Spring has sprung and a brand new month is here! The weather is (slowly) warming up and there is a lot going on in NYC right now! So, if you’re looking for all the best things to do and see, best in dining/drinks, and the best entertainment and art/exhibits, then these are my top NYC picks this April!
The Top 15 Best Things to do in NYC this April
THINGS TO DO + SEE
ROCKEFELLER CENTER: FLIPPER’S ROLLER RINK
45 Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10111
Opening April 15, 2022 | $22+
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 10am-10pm; Thursday & Friday: 10am-12am; Saturday: 8am-12am.; Sunday: 8am-10pm
If you’re interested in trading in your ice-skates for roller skates, and want to go totally retro, then you’re in luck! The Rink at Rockefeller Center is being transformed into Flipper’s Roller Rink from 1979!
“Ian ‘Flipper’ Ross, our original rink was the stuff of Los Angeles legend. For three glittering years an entire generation of eccentrics, outsiders, punk rockers and disco queens came together to experience a unique kind of freedom on roller skates. Cut to 2022 – The legendary roller rink is back. We celebrate the connection between roller skating, positive mental health and emotional well-being. It’s at the heart of everything we stand for.” – Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace
HOW THE HELL DID I GET HERE?
The McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
Limited Engagement | April 20 – May 8 | $79+
Calling all Downton Abbey fans! Lesley Nicol aka Mrs. Patmore is starring in “How the Hell Did I Get Here,” a musical autobiography!
“Through masterful storytelling and ten original songs, Lesley takes the audience on a journey from her childhood through her time as a working actor to her success on “Downton Abbey.” She weaves her life into this charming musical autobiography accompanied on the piano by award-winning composer, Mark Mueller.
Performance schedule is Monday & Wednesday at 8PM (dark on Tuesdays), Thursday through Saturday at 7PM, and matinees on Saturday at 3PM & Sunday at 2PM. Tickets are priced from $79. An exclusive preshow High Tea service is offered to enhance the experience, complete with an assortment of fine teas, cakes, and finger sandwiches prepared by the hotel’s Executive Chef Pascal Le Seac’h. Additional reservation required.” – The McKittrick/How The Hell Did I Get Here?
HEARTBEAT OPERA’S QUANDO
The McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
Limited Run – only 5 performances! | April 7-9 | $40+
Thursday, April 7 – 7:30pm | Friday & Saturday, April 8 and 9 – 5pm & 7:30pm
The McKittrick is known for its amazing productions and QUANDO is one you don’t want to miss!
“Heartbeat Opera’s QUANDO is a short film and live performance mashup. Audiences will be challenged to re-examine their perceptions of art and its role in societal transformation. Some of the most beautiful and famous music from the operatic canon becomes the landscape for this fierce social satire of sex, activism, and the performance of everyday life. Music from Giuseppe Verdi’s operas La Traviata and Don Carlo and Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice are repurposed and refashioned into a 25-minute short film that follows a starry-eyed young couple as their night on the town unravels into a surrealist swirl of decadence, intrigue, and ultimately, vengeful justice. While watching the film, live composer-performers will further challenge the audience by disrupting and reconstituting the music from the score for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. No two performances and endings are alike.”
Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
April 24, 2022 | 2-5pm | Free!
This activity is perfect for the entire family! Enjoy a spring day at Rockefeller Center! On April 24th, this year’s Spring Sunday will be held on Center Plaza. The best part? The event is free! The day will be full of activities ranging from basket-weaving to nature walks, plus there will be snacks & giveaways! Also, there will be special performances by The Rock & Playhouse and a visit from Roxy the Owl.
CHASING ANDY WARHOL: A THEATRICAL IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
26 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003
Thursdays & Fridays, 5pm-8:45pm & Sundays, 1pm-7pm | Age 13+ | $80+
“An immersive and theatrical walking tour production from the award-winning Bated Breath Theatre Company. Peek into the life of the iconic artist through theatre, dance, art, and more. Following previous award-winning walking tour productions, Bated Breath Theatre Company is now using the East Village to transport you into the world of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. With a unique combination of immersive theatre, dance, film, art, and puppetry, Chasing Andy Warhol goes beyond the hype and into the deepest feelings of a profoundly complex person – whose legacy continues to bombard our senses at every turn.”
COMPANY XIV: SEVEN SINS
383 Troutman St., Brooklyn, NY 11237
Now – August 2022 | $105+ | Age 21+
After sadly getting cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, Company XIV’s Seven Sins is finally back for a limited time. Never has sinning been sexier! Seven Sins is based on the creation story of Adam and Eve – but with a provocative twist. Temptation is all around and it’s surely a feast for the senses. As is typical of a Company XIV show, it combines burlesque, acrobatics, aerial arts, theatre, dancing, and singing. All of this is rolled up into one incredible show and an unforgettable night. There is no sexier date night than one spent relishing in Seven Sins.
The show is enthralling, enticing, hedonistic, entertaining, imaginative, provocative, sexy, and simply put, ah-mazing! Enjoy a curated list of immersive cocktails, champagne, absinthe and treats. I highly recommend the Champagne Couch for Two! It offers a great stage view and with a half bottle of champagne included, you have the secret sauce to a sexy date night. Company XIV consistently puts on productions that rival Broadway. And, the show has the most talented and good-looking people I’ve ever seen. The seven sins are all distinct and easily identified and interpreted in the most creative ways. I really cannot say enough good things about this show. Get tickets now because you do not want to miss it!
CONEY ISLAND: LUNA PARK AND DENO’S WONDER WHEEL AMUSEMENT PARK
Luna Park: 1000 Surf Avenue | Deno’s: 3059 W 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11224
As of April 2nd, Luna Park is now officially open for the season and The Luna Park Coney Island Cyclone is celebrating 95 years!
On April 10, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is opening for the season and the iconic Wonder Wheel is celebrating 102 years! The first 102 people to arrive on opening day will get a free ride on the Wonder Wheel – how cool is that?
Both amusement parks are open on weekends during springtime. Fun for all ages, you definitely don’t want to miss out on visiting Coney Island!
NYC CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Various NYC locations!
Now that spring has sprung, cherry blossoms are making their long-awaited comeback! Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower representing springtime. These pretty pink flowers only last a short period of time, so once they’re blooming, you need to act fast to catch them!
Some of the best locations in NYC to see cherry blossoms are:
- Central Park
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- New York Botanical Garden
- Queens Botanical Garden
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
- Prospect Park
- Roosevelt Island
NYBG: THE ORCHID SHOW: JEFF LEATHAM’S KALEIDOSCOPE
Now – May 1, 2022 | 10am-6pm | $30+
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458
The spectacularly stunning Orchid Show is back at the New York Botanical Garden! You definitely don’t want to miss it!
“Experience the dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and floral designer to the stars! Leatham’s bold and colorful vision shines through in a series of captivating installations and designs, transforming the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a veritable kaleidoscope.
See stunning orchid towers of orange, yellow, and green, fields of white, and overhead plumes of purple. This radiant rainbow of a show, complete with its kaleidoscopic tunnel of lights will wow everyone who enters. Don’t miss this horticultural spectacle featuring thousands of dramatically displayed orchids in every shape and size.” – NYBG
CLASSIC HARBOR LINE: CRUISES
All of April | $48+
Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 (W. 22nd St.) New York, NY 10011
Classic Harbor Line cruises offer a one-of-a-kind way to see NYC! Being on the water and taking in the fabulous skyline views is memorable and fun. With so many offerings, such as brunch cruises, sunset cruises, jazz cruises, and more, you can’t go wrong. Perfect outing with friends, family, significant others, coworkers – anyone! Don’t miss out on this incredible experience!
SARAHFUNKY NYC TOURS
Saturdays, Sundays, Custom day/time | $49-$599
The weather is getting nicer and SarahFunky walking tours are the perfect way to experience NYC! Rated 5-stars on TripAdvisor and the winner of the “best of the best” award in NYC, you definitely do not want to miss out on any of these amazing tours! There are different tour options available to choose from to fit your interests AND your budget! For a truly unique experience, book a custom-designed private tour with our expert NYC guides!
For the best of both worlds, with food and sightseeing, consider joining the Best of New York Food Tour offered on Sunday mornings. The tour includes five dishes at delicious restaurants and a historic walking tour through Brooklyn!
Another option is to join the Secrets of New York Tour on Saturday mornings and visit hidden locations in lower Manhattan and learn secrets most New Yorkers don’t even know! Tours book up fast, so get your tickets today!
Planning a vacation to NYC? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, we are here to help! With Funky Tours Concierge, our team of experts can help you plan your dream NYC vacation! You can make your NYC trip and experience more special with custom-designed plans that fit your budget and your unique interests.
DINING + DRINKS
JAZZ BRUNCH AT ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA
17 Barrow Street, Manhattan, 10014
Sundays in April & May | 12pm & 2pm | $49+
There’s nothing like Sunday brunch in NYC. Add jazz to your brunch? Even better!
“This exclusive jazz series is limited to an intimate attendance capacity. It’s a rare opportunity to be a personal guest at this chic venue! One if by Land, Two if by Sea party is excited to safely and responsibly host you for this indoor experience where you’ll get to eat great food and hear some dreamy music. Step into the venue to see candlelit tables, brick fireplaces, a baby grand piano and a private garden. The restaurant operates inside a historic, land-marked carriage house originally built in 1767, and once owned by Aaron Burr, Vice President of the United States.
Vocalist and host Michael Arenella and Quintet will feature an all-star line-up of New York’s finest Jazz musicians and guest vocalists. On top of the beautiful music, there will be a delightful full brunch menu that you will have access to purchase with menu items like assorted continental pastries, tenderloin and eggs, a lobster Benedict and French toast! With its captivating surroundings and impeccable attention to detail, One if by Land, Two if by Sea is the ultimate aphrodisiac for romantic Epicureans. Whether you sit in The Constitution Room, The Mezzanine, or the main dining area you will enjoy one of the most beautiful settings in New York City!” – Fever Jazz Brunch
Fridays, 11am-7pm – Smorgasburg WTC: 185 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10006
Saturdays, 11am-6pm – Smorgasburg Jersey City: Harborside Place, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Sundays, 11am-6pm – Smorgasburg Prospect Park: Breeze Hill, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Calling all foodies! If you haven’t been to Smorgasburg yet, make it a priority! With the weather warming up, visiting Smorgasburg is the quintessential NYC activity. It’s the largest weekly open-air food market in America. You can hang out, relax, and enjoy delicious bites from dozens of local vendors!
MUSEUM + ART EXHIBITIONS
WHITNEY BIENNIAL 2022: QUIET AS IT’S KEPT
Now – September 5, 2022 | $25+
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014
“The Whitney Biennial has surveyed the landscape of American art, reflecting and shaping the cultural conversation, since 1932. The eightieth edition of the landmark exhibition is co-curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards. Titled Quiet as It’s Kept, the 2022 Biennial features an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of sixty-three artists and collectives whose dynamic works reflect the challenges, complexities, and possibilities of the American experience today.” – Whitney Museum of American Art
PLANTOIR, BLUE BY CLAES OLDENBURG AND COOSJE VAN BRUGGEN
Rockefeller Center, Channel Gardens, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
Now – May 6, 2022 | Free!
“Find Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Plantoir, Blue at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. The sculpture is on display until May 6th. Husband-and-wife team Oldenburg and van Bruggen are celebrated for their large-scale sculptures of ordinary objects that take pleasure in the forms found in everyday life. Delving into the fruit bowl, the toolshed and the toybox for familiar shapes and colors, the artists enlarged and animated their selected objects, fixing them in moments of energetic motion. Plantoir is a humble gardening tool that stands upright, its point submerged in the ground as if it had just fallen out of the sky.” – Rockefeller Center
Take Me Out
Hayes Theater, 240 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
Now Playing! Limited Run – 11 weeks only!
“In this Tony Award-winning Best Play, playwright Richard Greenberg celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America’s favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.” – Take Me Out
For even more of the best upcoming activities in NYC, watch my guide here:
In conclusion, these are the top 15 best things to do in NYC this April. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to! Have fun and be safe!