It may have snowed on the first day of spring, but nothing can stop a New Yorker from enjoying the season of rejuvenation and renewal. First on the list of things that needs a spring cleaning? Your social life.
Luckily, April is bursting with events worthy of tearing yourself away from Seamless and your Netflix queue. There’s bacon and beer for the gourmands, burlesque for your naughty side, a pillow fight for your inner child, and so much more. Below are our picks for the best events in New York City this April.
Food & Drink
NYC Craft Distillers Festival: April 2, 2016
Flappers and sporting gents alike take a trip back to pre-prohibition New York City at The Third Annual NYC Craft Distillers Festival, a speakeasy-style extravaganza at The Bowery Hotel. Sample over 60 artisanal spirits from more than 20 of the industry’s premiere craft distilleries including Hudson Whiskey, Harvest Spirits, Old Smoky, Glendalough, and many others.
Bacon and Beer Classic: April 22-23, 2016
Two of your favorite Bs come together in this annual event at Citi Field. The Bacon and Beer Classic is a no-holds-barred blowout that serves up more than 50 bacon-infused dishes and over 100 craft beer and cider samples from local and regional breweries. Your ticket gives you three hours to down as many pints and porcine plates as possible.
NYC Hot Sauce Expo: April 23-24, 2016
Put your tastebuds to the test at this heat-seeking fest. The 4th annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo brings more than 45 hot-sauce vendors from around the world to Brooklyn for a two-day celebration of spice. Highlights of the weekend’s activities include include the Margarita Mix-Down Championship, spicy food eating contests, and the Screaming Mi Mi Awards that honor the best burns of the bunch.
Art & Culture
MoCCA Arts Festival: April 2-3, 2016
Hosted by the Society of Illustrators, MoCCA Arts Festival is the premiere alternative comic and cartoon fest in NYC. More than 300 publishers – both major and minor – display their wares to promote the appreciation of comic and cartoon art, while a lineup of expert cartoonists, illustrators, and creators discuss their creative process and the future of their craft.
Tribeca Film Festival: April 12-24, 2016
Come April, cinephiles from around the globe flock to New York City for the Tribeca Film Festival. The event, founded by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, shines a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, and more from a mix of big-name talent and up-and-coming stars. In addition to screenings, the fest hosts a series of talks with industry luminaries.
Sakura Matsuri: April 30 – May 1, 2016
It may happen every year, but New Yorkers still go wild for cherry blossom season. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s picturesque and highly photogenic Sakura Matsuri festival packs plenty into two days – from dance performances, to bands playing traditional music, to a cosplay fashion show and, of course, more pink-and-white petals than you can possibly take in.
Holi Hai: April 30, 2016
The 7th annual Holi Hai festival, organized by NYC Bhangra, brings an explosion of kaleidoscopic color to 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Also known as the Festival of Colors, the event celebrates the coming of spring, the joy of friendship, and equality for all. Enjoy musical performances, scarf delicious food, and dance your heart out while covered head-to-toe in vibrant powders.
Pillow Fight NYC: April 2, 2016
The annual pillow fight is one of the most anticipated entries on New York City’s April calendar. Temporarily bid adult worries and responsibilities goodbye as you pummel opponents with the childhood weapon of choice in Washington Square Park. Pillow Fight Day has been known to draw more than 5,000 participants, which is no surprise when you consider that a New Yorker’s natural state is to be as stressed as possible, as often as possible.
Kostume Kult’s Horned Ball: April 9, 2016
Don your best pointy headgear and join Kostume Kult for the horniest spring bacchanal of them all. This year’s Horned Ball will plunge deep into a Jules Verne-inspired sea with a steampunk adventure to the Lost City of Aquatis. Prepare yourself for an encounter with the sexy, strange, fantastical, and elaborately costumed beasts that await there.
Wasabassco’s 70s Van Show 3: April 16, 2016
Wasabassco’s got the sweetest ride ever, so come take a shag-carpeted trip in his van full of beautiful burlesque ladies. There’s Foghat on the 8-track, an airbrushed mural of a warrior woman riding a panther through outer space, and a full-sized waterbed in the back for makin’ sweet, sweet 70s love. If Wasabassco’s 70s Van Show 3 is a-rockin’, please come a-knockin’.