Marathon, Patriots Day, Red Sox - Biggest April Events!
Exciting events normally fill the Boston Events Calendar for April, 2021 - Patriots' Day reenactments, the Boston Marathon, Red Sox opening day, and more! Will the Covid-19 pandemic subside enough so that they can happen? No one knows yet. At this point, please use the information in this article to see what might happen in Boston in April, but check back for updates closer to event dates.
The 125th Boston Marathon, normally an April highlight, is not scheduled although it may happen in the fall.
Patriots' Day commemorates the start of the American Revolution with numerous reenactments, parades, and celebrations. This local tradition honors those who paved the way for freedom from British rule almost 250 years ago.
With warmer weather finally here, restaurants set up their outdoor seating for al fresco dining.
Check out all our top recommendations for fun things to do in Boston in April - and start planning your visit now!
Top photo: Boston Marathon runners approaching Heartbreak Hill
Patriot's Day Re-Enactments, Parades, and Events - 2021
Celebrated annually on the third Monday in April (a Massachusetts State holiday), Patriot's Day (April 19, 2021) commemorates events and battles in Lexington, Lincoln, Concord, and present-day Arlington (once called Menotomy) that marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
When: Most Patriots Day events take place from Saturday, April 17 - Monday, April 19, with more events throughout April
Boston Marathon runners not far from Heartbreak Hill
The Boston Marathon - one of the city's biggest events of the year, and also known as the "Patriots Day Race" - features about 31,500 elite runners from around the world competing in a route made difficult by rolling terrain and features such as "Heartbreak Hill."
Although the winners complete the course in just over 2 hours, many participants are still running hours later. You can watch from anywhere along the route.
If you attend the traditional Boston Red Sox home game at Fenway Park scheduled for Marathon Day, you'll be part of the crowd streaming into Kenmore Square just as the runners arrive at the finish line on Boylston Street.
Immerse yourself in fun science adventures for 10 days in the kids-and-adults-friendly Cambridge Science Fest at multiple Boston and Cambridge locations. A robot zoo, scavenger hunts, urban cycling workshops, bacterial "forests," virtual reality - these are just a few of the things you can explore. Find the complete schedule on the Science Fest's website. Most events are free.
April 2021 Boston Red Sox Schedule - Opening Day & Home Games at Fenway - TBD
The Red Sox play their home field season opener at Fenway Park in early April each year.
This year, their home opening game at Fenway is against the White Sox on April TBD.
Then, based on tradition, the Sox play a home game on Patriots Day and the game ends just in time for fans to watch Boston Marathon runners rush past Fenway Park on their way to the finish line.
Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Unwind on this popular after-work cruise as the sky changes brilliant colors and light music plays in the background. Stop by the bar for a drink, watch the sights go by, and hear the USS Constitution's traditional sunset salute - Through Dec 4
Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor with friends and family as you enjoy this relaxing cruise with brunch, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer - Book now
An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit with Slainte, the Northern Lights' house Irish band. Raise your glass and toast the holidays as you join in singing some merry Irish holiday ballads on this popular Harbor cruise - Book now
Join one of the exciting 3-hour Whale Watching Cruises departing from the convenient Downtown Boston Waterfront, and experience the thrill of spotting whales off the coast of Boston.
You'll see these magnificent creatures close-up from the deck of your ship, probably spot Humpback and Finback whales, and see White Sided Dolphins frolicking in the waters.
These cruises sell out quickly, especially during the most popular months, but booking online is easy. Don't miss this iconic Boston experience!
Rock & Roll Rumble
Twenty four mostly-local bands will play at Rock & Roll Rumble held at Once in Somerville during the first three weekends in April, carrying on an annual tradition dating back to 1979 at the legendary Rat in Kenmore Square. Tickets are cheap - $10 online in advance, $15 at the door.
Popular bands that have played here through the years include Dresden Dolls, Morphine, The Lemonheads, The Gravel Pit, and Letters to Cleo. All bands are paid and the best win prizes - but even more important, it's your chance to hear the top bands of tomorrow. Check the event's website for dates, times, lineups, and directions.
Bruins April 2021 Schedule - TBD
Get your Boston Bruins tickets for April home games at TD Garden before the regular season wraps up.
The Garden's convenient location next to North Station and close to Faneuil Marketplace makes it super-easy to get to.
Don't miss the chance to see Boston's hockey team, winner of 6 Stanley Cup championships!
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+
Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation - See the transition from urban street art to museum walls - April 5-August 2, 2020
Black Histories, Black Futures - Teen curators take over - Through June 20, 2021
Elsa Dorfman: Me and My Camera - Large-scale self-portraits - Through June 21, 2020
Contemporary Art: Five Propositions - MFA's contemporary collection - Through May 4, 2020
Women Take the Floor - Female artists' visions & voices - Through May 3, 2021
Museum (and show) admission: $25 adults; free entrance with Boston Discount Cards (GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS). Free admission on Wednesdays after 4pm, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year Celebration Day (Feb 1, 2020), Memorial Day, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day; also on Feb 5, 2020.
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston - Current & Future Shows
Kusama: Love is Calling - Multimedia pop art, minimalism, & psychedelia - Through Feb 7, 2021
Tschabalala Self: Out of Body - Large-scale figurative paintings of urban life - Through July 5, 2020
Nina Chanel Abney - Social tensions in the digital age - Through March 15, 2020
Admission: $15 adults; free entrance with GoBoston card and Boston CityPASS. Closed on Mondays. Free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, & Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Boston International Film Festival
The Boston International Film Festival brings together the best local and international independent and experimental films in this annual festival. "Eclectic" barely begins to described the wide-ranging scope of the films you'll see here - everything from documentaries to avant-garde surrealism.
Tickets are sold for "sessions," typically including a longer film bundled with several shorter films on a similar topic or theme.
When: April 16-21 Where:
- Regal Cinemas Fenway Stadium, 201 Brookline Ave; Green Line/D: Fenway
- Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney Street, Cambridge; Red Line: Kendall
- Cambridge College, 500 Rutherford Ave; Orange Line: Community College
- Bunker Hill Community College, 250 Rutherford Ave; Orange Line: Community College
- Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street; Green Line: Copley Nearest T station: Green Line/Park Tickets: $12 for most session with all-session and VIP passes also available More information: BIFI Website
Featured New Hotel for April: Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall in Boston's Financial District
68 Devonshire Street, Boston's Downtown Financial District
A superb Financial District location close to Faneuil Marketplace, top visitor sites such as the historic Freedom Trail, and the Waterfront, Hyatt Centric Faneuil Market is ideally situated for both business and leisure travelers. You're about 8-10 minutes on foot from TD Garden, plus several nearby T (subway) stations put the rest of the city within easy reach - and now that balmy April weather has arrived, you'll love how many attractions are within a quick walk from the Hyatt Centric.
The 163 guestrooms and suites offer free wifi, smart TVs, bluetooth speakers, robes and slippers, and all the other amenities you'd expect in a high-end hotel. Dine onsite at Bar Mercato and enjoy its small plates and relaxed ambiance, or eat at any of the other excellent choices nearby.
When: Sunday, April 12, 11am-5pm Where:Boston's South End; Open studios are at 46 Waltham Street, 35 Wareham Street, 49 Wareham Street, 59 Wareham Street, 450 Harrison Ave and the Artist Studio Building at BCA, 551 Tremont Street. Cost: Free (unless you buy art) Nearest T station: Orange Line/Back Bay
USEA Artists in Their Studios lets you meet the USEA artists and get behind-the-scenes tours of their studios on this self-guided tour of the South End neighborhood.
What to look for: Everything, including photography, painting, printmaking, mixed-media, sculpture, jewelry, illustration, and more.
Getting around: Pick up a free map at the information tables at Boston Center for the Arts (551 Tremont Street) and at 450 Harrison Ave.
Independent Film Festival Boston
When: April 22 - 29 Where: Primarily at the Somerville Theatre, Brattle Theatre, and Coolidge Corner Theatre Tickets: Buy season passes (partially tax deductible) or individual tickets - see IFF's website for pricing. More information: IFF Boston Website
The Independent Film Festival Boston spans 8 days, and promises to be bigger and better than ever, with familiar names plus many new ones. IFF Boston showcases independent film makers from around the world working outside of the Hollywood system, and the lineup offers plenty of interesting features, shorts, and documentaries. Lots of panels and parties let you can talk with the filmmakers and ask them questions. Boston film fanatics rate this festival as one of the best.
The huge (and free) John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo and Number Pick-Up takes place in the Seaport World Trade Center (200 Seaport Ave) prior to the race during Marathon Weekend - April 18-20 - and if you love running, you couldn't ask for a better reason to arrive a few days early before the race.
Runner's World magazine calls this event the "best runner's expo in the country" and the 100,000 enthusiasts in attendance can attest to that.
In addition to the popular Runners Seminar Series, you can visit exhibits by 200 of the running industry's top companies - and of course you can buy every piece of running gear on your bucket list.
Race participants pick up their bib number here as well.
More info: www.baa.org
Closest T station: Silver Line SL1/Seaport WTC; take the Red Line to South Station, and change to the SL1 bus on the Silver Line
Run of the Charles
Run of the Charles, New England's largest canoe and kayak race, takes place on the last Sunday in April - perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon if you're a spectactor, or enjoy a day on the river if you're a paddler. About 1,500 racers and spectators participate each year.
Don't miss the River Festival beginning at 11:30 at the finish line with live music, a taco truck, raffles, a beer garden, and vendors!
When: Sunday, April 26 Time: Races start around 10am, depending on the race length (3 to 14 miles). Watch from Boston or Cambridge Where: Charles River Cost: Free for spectactors
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Easter Egg Hunt at Faneuil Market
On Saturday, April 12 at 11:30am (to be confirmed for 2020), head over to Faneuil Hall Marketplace for a special 2-hour Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt. Pick up your basket and clue sheet in the Upper Rotunda in Quincy Market to figure out which businesses are hiding eggs, and then visit the businesses to receive one egg. This event is free - but you must register (preferably in advance so you don't have to wait in line) because supplies and places are limited: www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/
On April 3 as well as on other SoWa First Fridays in Boston's art-filled South End, over 60 galleries south of Washington Street and at the Artist's Guild at 450 Harrison Ave, and nearby businesses and restaurants open their doors from 5pm to 9pm to give you a chance to experience the vibrant South End arts community.
Start at 450 Harrison, and just follow the gallery lights and signs as you stroll around the neighborhood. Wrap up your evening at one of the South End's renowned restaurants.
Boston LGBT Film Festival at ICA Boston
When: April 2 - 12 Closest T station: Green Line E/Museum Cost: To be announced for 2020 More information: Wicked Queer website
ICA Boston hosts the 36th annual LGBT Film Festival, showcasing an eclectic selection of LGBT cinema from around the world. Films screen this year at four venues: Institute of Contemporary Art in Seaport, the Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Theatre, Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.
The Swan Boats Return
When: Saturday, April 18; 10am-4pm through June 21; 10am-5pm June 21 through Labor Day, Sept ) Where: Boston's Public Garden Cost: $4 adults; $2.50 children 2 - 15 years; under 2 years free More information: Boston Swan Boats
In a sure sign that spring has arrived, the pedal-powered Swan Boats return to the Lagoon in Boston's Public Garden every April on the Saturday before Patriots Day.
Welcome spring and enjoy the pale green hints of spring foliage as your boat glides around the shallow pond for the blissful 12-15-minute ride. Soon, the Public Garden's resident real swans will also return.
Anime Boston - the largest anime convention in New England - returns to the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel (find rates & reviews) on April 10-12 with music, films, cosplay, and star guests including Japanese rock band Girlfriend, m-flo, Brittany Lauda, Matt Shipman, and voice actor Zach Aquilar plus lots of exhibits, artists, and special presentations. More information
Museum of Science Exhibits
Special Exhibits at the Museum of Science
What I Eat: Around the World in 25 Diets - Now through June 30, 2020 - See similarities and differences in the ways diffferent cultures approach and consume food through these fantastic photos and stories - Free with museum admission.
Dogs! A Science Tail - Feb 9 - June 30, 2020 - Understand the science behind why we love dogs, and understand how they see, hear, and smell the world - Free with museum admission.
With 29 fascinating permanent exhibits for all ages, there's always something to see, do, and learn. Here are just a few of the most popular: Butterfly Garden (extra fee), Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, Cosmic Light, Dinosaurs, Hall of Human Life, Live Animal Care Center, Mathematica, Nanotechnology, Natural Mysteries, New England Habitats, The Light House - plus 17 more!
When: Saturday, April 11 (tentative - look for an update soon!) - Hours are Sunday - Thursday, 10am-6pm, Friday and Saturday, 10am-8pm Where: Boston Common Cost: $3 (adults can ride next to their child free of charge)
The colorful Boston Common carousel across from Beacon Street provides plenty of entertainment for the younger set from April through October.
This year's Japan Festival takes place on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 26 (11am-5pm) on Boston Common.
The festival celebrates Japanese culture in Boston with performances on two stages, Japanese athletes and singers, cosplay contest, workshops, food vendors, raffles, silent auctions, and 100+ booths with food, arts, and crafts.
Look for the traditional Japanese portable shrines, including children's versions, brought to the site by volunteeers in the spirit of Japanese festivals.
This has grown into a huge event, with 60,000 attendees last year and probably more this year.
Nearest T station: Red & Green Lines: Park Street
Art in Bloom at Museum of Fine Arts
When: April 22-27, 10am-5pm Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's Fenway neighborhood Closest T station: Green Line/Museum Cost: Tours and most special events are free with the cost of museum admission, while the teas and a few other events require tickets - check the MFA website for details.
Art in Bloom at MFA welcomes the arrival of spring in Boston with floral arrangements inspired by works of art throughout the museum, flower arranging demonstrations, outdoor walking tours, and informal dining among European paintings at the Art in Bloom Café.
And of course, the timing of MFA's event is perfect: outside the museum, magnolia and cherry trees have burst into bloom all over Boston. Celebrate this special time of the year by visiting Art in Bloom - and then walk around the city and enjoy all the flowers.
Although Faneuil Marketplace's famous street performers entertain fans throughout the year, the return of balmier weather during April make this the perfect month to catch a show. Performances take place throughout the day (with most between about 11am-4pm) and vary daily, but you can usually expect to see stunts, musical acts, magicians, and acrobats doing balance routines.
Taste of the North End
Taste of the North End on Friday, April 24, 7pm-11pm gives you a great chance to sample special dishes from over 45 North End restaurants, bakeries, and distributors in this annual tasting event.
This is also the North End's biggest fundraiser - proceeds benefit the North End Waterfront Health Center, as well as other neighborhood charities for children and seniors.
The list of participating restaurants is too long to name . . . but just to whet your appetite, look for treats from Carmelina's, Castle Island Brewing Co, Mamma Maria, Bricco, Taranta, Artu, Lucca, Massimino, Neptune Oyster, and Modern Pastry, as well as liquid refreshments from a number of neighborhood wine importers.
With panoramic waterfront views to enjoy from the Steriti Rink, this is sure to be a spectacular evening.
Where: Steriti Memorial Ice Rink, 561 Commercial Street, Boston's North End Tickets: $99 (plus service fee) - purchase in advance for $79 before April 20 Nearest T: Orange and Green Lines/North Station More info: https://www.northendboston.com