Best Things to Do in Boston in April 2017

Top 10 Boston events for April

 Boston Esplanade in early spring -
Enjoying the Esplanade in April

You'll find lots of interesting things to do in Boston in April. 

The famed Boston Marathon marks the beginning of spring in Boston, bringing everyone outside to cheer athletes from around the world who compete in this elite race. 

On the same weekend, you can also watch the moving Patriots Day reenactments of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. 

Throughout the month, cheer the Red Sox when they return to Fenway Park, get Boston theater tickets for some of the exciting April productions.

You can find attractive deals at Boston hotels in April as spring school vacations bring lots of visitors to the city.  Campus visits to local universities and colleges rank among the most popular things to do in Boston in April.

You'll see signs of spring everywhere in Boston as the days grow warmer, Duck Boat tours begin to fill the streets, and the Swan Boats return to the Public Garden.


10 fun things to do in Boston in April

1.  Cheer for the Red Sox 

Fresh from their pre-season games, the Red Sox open each Boston season by taking on their long-time rivals, the New York Yankees.  Check the Boston Events Calendar for April for dates, times, and ticket information.

Although tickets for the opening game may be challenging to get at this point, the Red Sox play plenty of other home games throughout April - so be there!

Boston Red Sox schedule

2.  Catch the final Bruins and Celtics games

Both the Bruins and the Celtics play their final home season games at TD Garden this month . . . so this is your last chance to cheer for them until fall.  If you're visiting Boston and attend a game at the Garden for the first time, check out the New England Sports Museum on the 5th and 6th floors . . . or enjoy the impressive memorabilia collections in nearby Boston sports bars near the Garden, such as the Fours.

Schedules and ticket information:  Boston Bruins Tickets   -    Boston Celtics tickets

3.  Cheer for the Marathon runners

Held every year on Patriots Day and sometimes called "the Patriots Day race," the Boston Marathon draws elite athletes and fans from all over the world.  Although the winners finish within a couple of hours, the race continues throughout the day as the other 25,000 competitors continue along the 26 mile route. 

If you love huge crowds, the most exciting place to be is near the finish line on Boylston Street near the Boston Public Library.  In keeping with tradition, the Red Sox finish a home game against the Yankees about when the first runners turn onto Boylston street, and crowds pour out of Fenway to join other cheerers.  You may not get a glimpse of the runners, but you can join the enthusiastic cheering.

Alternately, you'll find plenty of quieter, saner spots along the rest of the Boston marathon route.  Take the T, as driving - especially in the city - is nearly impossible on Marathon Day.

Need a hotel?  Check out our suggestions about Boston Marathon hotels

Runners in the Boston Marathon
Runners in the Boston Marathon

4.  Tour Boston by land and by water - and even see some whales

Boston Duck Boats begin appearing in large numbers again in April, and offer a unique vantage point from which to tour through the city's most historic areas downtown, as well as parts of Back Bay and Beacon Hill, and then to view it from the special perspective of the Charles River.  You may even see nesting ducks along the river's edge - perhaps descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.

Boston whale watching cruises begin operating again in early April - perfect way to see these big creatures up close.

Don't forget to check out savings on these tours and other attractions - if you have a GoBoston card, for example, a whale watching cruise is free.

GoBoston Card
70+ attractions, tours, cruises
Up to 55% savings

5 top attractions
Almost 50% savings

Explorer Pass
3 top attractions, tours, cruises
Save 50%

GoBoston discount card at CityPASS Boston discount card at ExplorerPass Boston discount card at

5.  Watch the American Revolution . . . that is, a reenactment of it

In 2010, Patriots Day, held on Monday, April 19, marks the 235th anniversary of the first Massachusetts battles of the Revolutionary War.  Every year, local Minuteman companies and historical societies reenact the original events as a way to commemorate history and honor the events that led to American liberty. 

Reenactment of skirmish between Colonists and Redcoats on Patriots Day /
Group of Colonists walking down Battle Road in Minuteman National Historical Park
as part of re-enactment on Saturday before Patriot's Day

Although the re-enactments are not staged for tourists, they provide fascinating glimpses of history to everyone, locals and visitors, who come to watch. 

Most of the events take place in Lexington and Concord, since that's where the battles occured, but in Boston, you can watch Paul Revere leave the North End by horseback as he begins his ride across the countryside (now Boston suburbs 235+ years later) to alert the Colonists about the British plans.

Find more about Patriot Day reenactments - or check dates on the Boston Event Calendar for April.

6.  Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to Concord

Watching the Patriot Day reenactments could be the perfect excuse for a day or weekend visit to bucolic Concord, Massachusetts, just a short distance west of Boston.  Visit the Old North Bridge and other historic sites, stay in a local inn, and shop in Concord Center. 

7.  Explore Boston

Whether this is your first or your 40th visit, you can have fun exploring Boston's unique, spectacular, and sometimes quirky neighborhoods.  Here are three suggestions to get you started:

South Boston Waterfront:  Along the rapidly-developing waterfront, you'll find the Institute of Contemporary Art, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion where many summer concerts take place, and plenty of new restaurants to try, including the 3-level Legal Harborside.  For the ultimate experience in this neighborhood, check out all the cruises departing from Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal - and then make reservations on one!

If you've visited Boston before and want to explore a new area on your next trip, walk or take the T to the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood, just across the Moakley Footbridge (by the Barking Crab) from Downtown Boston. 

Site of the new Boston Convention and Expo Center, the new3 very nice hotels, and the Boston Design Center, this neighborhood continues to develop rapidly.  Watch the fishing boats come into Fish Pier, have lunch in one of the many new restaurants or an old-time favorite such as Yankee Lobster, and browse in one of the boutiques starting to pop up in this newly-trendy neighborhood. 

Check our Boston sightseeing guide and map to find attractions in other neighborhoods.

8.  Enjoy being outdoors

Take advantage of gorgeous April weather to enjoy Boston's many parks and green spaces.  Stroll or bike along the Esplanade, walk the length of the Greenway from Chinatown to the North End, and enjoy the views from Harborwalk.

Toward the end of April, magnolias and other flowering trees burst into bloom in Back Bay and the Public Garden.  To get a preview, take a look at our photo gallery of Boston's spring flowers - or start planning to go on a garden tour.

9.  Hoist some sails

Sailing in Boston begins in earnest in April.  If you sail, or want to learn how, check out the opportunities for sailing during your visit.  You, too, could be out sailing on the Charles River or Boston Harbor.

For more excitement, watch (or participate in) the Run of the Charles - New England's biggest kayak and canoe race.

 'Skating' across the ice on the Lagoon in Boston's Public Garden / Things to Do in Boston in January -
Sailboat on Boston's Charles River in April

10.   Tour the Freedom Trail

The arrival of spring in Boston is the perfect time to take a walk through history on the Freedom Trail.  If you don't have time to explore the whole Trail, pick a section - for example, the part goes through the North End, where you can even visit Paul Revere's house, built in 1677. 

See his living room windows where he roused local passions by reenacting the Boston Massacre with shadow figures (still reenacted every year on March 16 at the Old State House), and some of his own possessions, including pistols, saddlebags, and a silver pitcher made by him. 

The house itself isn't as large as when Revere, father of 16, lived there because a third floor was removed in the early 1900s, but it's still one of the best examples of late Elizabethan / Tudor architecture in Boston.

And after following the Freedom Trail through the North End, you can stop in one of the neighborhood's many wonderful Italian restaurants and bakeries along Hanover Street for an espresso and canoli.

Like this Page? Please Share!