Boston weather in April brings the first days of spring as flowering trees all over the city burst into bloom. But April weather here can be fickle - so packing lots of layers is key to being comfortable.
Boston visitors usually find April to be a wonderful time to be here, partly due to the weather and partly due to several big events.
The Boston Marathon, Patriots Day, and Red Sox games attract huge numbers of visitors.
Boston hotels still offer reasonably low rates during much of April - except around the time of the Boston Marathon, when all the hotels fill up and rates skyrocket.
Fenway hotels also fill up and get pricey once baseball season gets into full swing.
Top photo: Magnolias blooming in April along Commonwealth Avenue
April Weather in Boston - What to Expect
The most important thing to know about Boston weather in April is that it is unpredictable. April can be a continuation of March at its worst - or a preview of the warm, sunny days of June.
Longer periods of sunlight and generally warmer temperatures cause buds to swell on all the trees and flowers. Early daffodils and other bulbs begin to bloom, and the grass turns green.
The first place in Boston to see April flowers is usually the Public Garden. Weeping willows around the Lagoon turn golden, and the cherry trees become a cloud of white and pale pink.
Along Beacon Street, Marlborough Street, and Comm Ave in Back Bay and along the Southwest Corridor in the South End neighborhood, magnolia blossoms begin to unfurl into masses of pale pink, rose, and almost purple.
Restaurants don't have their sidewalk tables set out yet - but during a typical April, there will typically be a number of sunny days when you think they should.
The photos on this page show you the range of what April in Boston looks like.
Throughout April, most leaves are still off the trees, even though the buds are swelling.
Two of the best places to walk if you want to admire spectacular architecture and enjoy the cherry and magnolia trees is Marlborough Street in Back Bay and the Southwest Corridor in the South End.
On sunny days when the temperature creeps up into the 50s, you'll see lots of locals walking around in shorts and sandals.
But the sun can be deceptive because the temperature can drop suddenly. It's best to always have at least a lightweight jacket with you.
April Temperatures and Conditions
April weather in Boston varies from year to year.
Remember the "April showers bring May flowers" nursery rhyme? Those words might have been written about Boston. Except that occasionally instead of April showers, we get the freak April snow storm. And, on the positive side, Boston begins to burst into bloom in April.
Rainy days do usually characterize the month - and sometimes temperatures stay decidedly chilly. But ... the temperature can also soar.
If you're planning to visit Boston during April, pay more attention to the record highs and record lows than to the averages:
Record high temperature for April: 94° F (1976) Record low temperature for April: 11° F (1874) Average April high temperature: 56° F Average April low temperature: 41° F Average precipitation for April: 3.7 inches
During some years, bone-chilling temperatures in the 30s put a damper on April school vacation fun. And then there was the legendary April Fool's Day snow storm in 1996, which dumped over two feet of snow in Boston - accompanied by ferocious thunder and lightening. But that was unusual.
In 2012, even summer clothing felt too warm when temperatures soared near 90°F during the Boston Marathon, and with the sun beating down, sunscreen was a necessity - which lots of people realized too late. (Be sure to pack sunscreen - it's hard to find in Boston drugstores during April.)
In Case of Rain, Snow, or Cold Temperatures . . .
Tour Boston on a hop-on, hop-off trolley:
What to Pack for Boston in April
Even though the average highs for Boston weather in April only reach the mid-fifties, the record highs and lows show how much variation can occur. This means layers!
Pack a couple of cotton t-shirts that will feel comfortable if the temperature soars - plus a couple of sweaters and perhaps a fleece jacket to layer or even a light-weight puffer jacket, especially if you plan to be out a lot at night when the temperature typically drops. A scarf or two can be helpful, and an umbrella is a must!
Those of us who live here don't let rain stop us from walking around, and if you're visiting, you shouldn't either. You will not be happy if all you bring are flimsy shoes, so be sure to pack shoes that can withstand water - even rubber boots.
If you need to do emergency shopping after you get here, you can find lots of choices along with steeply discounted prices, head to Assembly Row - a 5 minute subway ride from Downtown Crossing.
5 Top Activities for Enjoying April Weather in Boston
1. The Boston Marathon tops everyone's April list of top events. Watching can be a lot of fun, especially if you're dressed for the weather. Be sure to bring an umbrella if there's any chance of rain - and wear sunscreen if there's not.
2. Patriots Day reenactments provide another perfect excuse to be outdoors. If you're planning to attend some of the events to the west of Boston, such as in Concord or Lexington, keep in mind that the temperature there can be as much as 10 degrees lower than in Boston.
3 . The Swan Boats return to the Boston Public Garden in mid-April. Go for a ride around the Lagoon and enjoy the golden weeping willows along the edge of the water.
4. At the end of the month, the Run of the Charles provides a great reason to spend the day on the water, or next to it.
5. In case of pouring rain (or the occasional freak snowstorm), you need a back-up plan. During the day, pick a Boston museum - there's something for every interest. In the evening, enjoy an evening at the theater (you can check for shows here), a concert, or one of our many comedy clubs.
Fun Boston Tours for April
More Scenes of April Weather in Boston
What does Boston look like during April?
You should expect to see a city in transition from winter to summer. Early in April, look for the first hints of color are from leaf buds forming in shades of pale green and sometimes purple. As they open (usually toward the second or third week of April), get ready to experience a pink explosion of color.
Despite the amount of rain that Boston gets during April, many days are bright and sunny - perfect for walking around the city.
Don't forget that the Red Sox play their first home games in April at Fenway Park. Catching a game on a sunny afternoon is an unforgettable experience!