At long last, spring is here! It’s time for the whole family to break out the gardening tools and hone those green thumbs with nature-themed activities around the city. Other fun free events this April feature robots, egg hunts, and lots and lots of pillows. Find your favorite free NYC activity for kids below!

Robotics Competition at the Armory Track

The robots are geared and ready to go. This year's destination? Deep space! This exciting competition features 46 high school teams from around the world, whose remote-control, custom-built robots of all shapes and sizes must complete a designated task within the time limit. It's a fun show for all ages and a great way to get kids excited about STEM subjects!

Fri., Apr. 5-Sun., Apr. 7
The Armory
216 Fort Washington Ave.
Upper West Side
Online: nycfirst.org

ADVERTISEMENT

Macy's Flower Show

The yearly spectacular flower show at Macy's is back, and this time, it's going to outer space. The theme for the 2019 flower show is "Journey to Paradisios," or, in other words, an adventure into the cosmos. Otherworldly flower displays will transport visitors beyond the Earth. If you haven't experienced the flower show first-hand yet, stop by to be astounded.

Sun., Mar. 24-Sun., Apr. 7
Macy's
151 W. 34th St.
Herald Square
Online: visitmacysusa.com

Grass Planting at Coney Island

Volunteer to help plant beach grass and make Brighton Beach beautiful! Wear comfortable clothes and shows and show up early to sign in. Tools and gloves will be provided to participants.

Sat., Apr. 6
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
West 8 St. and Boardwalk
Online: nycgovparks.org

Pillow Fight at Washington Square Park

Put on your jammies, grab a pillow and join in the biggest pillow fight ever! Bring your own pillows and swing (lightly) at other participants or stop by the Mattress Firm's NoHo location and get a pillow (while supplies last) in return for a $5 donation, which will go to local foster kids in need.

Sat., Apr. 6
3-5 p.m.
Washington Square Park
Greenwich Village
Online: facebook.com

Plant Trees at Pelham Bay

If grass planting leaves you wanting to do more, you can participate in even more planting over at Pelham Bay! This time, you'll learn how to plant trees correctly and take part in a huge tree-planting endeavor. Dress comfortably with long sleeves and pants, and know that you will get dirty. Please bring your own water bottle.

Sat., Apr. 13
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pelham Bay Park
Southeast End of Orchard Beach Parking Lot
Online: nycgocparks.org

Cherry Blossom Festival at Roosevelt Island

Picnic under the sakura trees on Roosevelt Island and enjoy a full day of traditional Japanese events. Participate in the tea ceremony, visit the Japanese cultural fair, and watch live performances — all while surrounded by the beauty of cherry blossoms!

Sat., Apr. 13
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Roosevelt Island
Online: facebook.com

photo: Stephen Mallon

Sea Train: Subway Reef Photos By Stephen Mallon

Someone in your family has probably heard that decommissioned subway trains are dumped in the ocean to serve a second life as an artificial reef for marine life. Now you can see it for yourself. Sea Train: Subway Reef Photos By Stephen Mallon showcases the photographer's images, captured between 2001 and 2010, and many of them are seen here for the first time. The symbols of industry and busy city life, which carried millions of passengers for decades are dropped by brightly-colored cranes off hulking barges. Note that this (free!) show is at the Transit Museum's Grand Central Terminal Annex, located in Grand Central in the Shuttle Passage—not the museum in downtown Brooklyn. Also--the Annex Gallery & Store does not allow strollers. 

Through June 16
Tickets: free
Grand Central Gallery Annex & Store
Grand Central Terminal 
Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street
Midtown
212-878-0106
Online: nytransitmuseum.org

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

The Easter parade is back and you can bet that the bonnets will be even more extravagant than ever this year! Watch the procession (the recommended spot to view is at St. Patrick's Cathedral) or bring your silliest Spring-themed hats and join in.

Sun., Apr. 21
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
5th Ave. from 49th St. to 57th St.
Midtown
Online: facebook.com

Earth Day Initiative at Union Square

The 50th Earth Day celebration is coming to Union Square and this year's bigger and better than ever. Performing artists will make nature- and green living-themed works of art as the day progresses so you can see them evolve over time. The aim of the event is to educate and empower visitors, and plenty of kids activities will give the little ones ways that they can make a difference, even at a young age.

Tues., Apr. 23
12-6:30 p.m.
Union Square
E. 17th and Broadway
Online: earthdayinitiative.org

Easter Egg Hunts in NYC Parks

Parks around the city are hosting free Easter egg hunts this April, and kids of all ages are welcome to take part. Bring a basket and find colorful hidden eggs, meet and have fun with other families, and even get a visit from the Easter bunny!

Various times and locations
Online: nycgovparks.org

Arbor Day at Prospect Park

All around is us a giant network we're barely aware of: the network of trees! Learn more about the trees around us, how they coexist with us, and even how they communicate among each other at the Arbor Day celebration in Prospect Park. Explore the nature of Prospect Park with special exploration backpacks — something that's fun for the whole family. Older kids will also appreciate the other programs planned, including educational nature walks. RSVP is encouraged.

Fri., Apr. 26
12-4 p.m.
The Audubon Center at Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

Bridge Over Tree at Brooklyn Bridge Park

A bridge under a bridge over a tree? It might sound perplexing but that's the point of this artwork: to make people question their preconception of the things around them. Bring the kids for a day out and view the artwork by artist Siah Armajani, on display for the first time since 1970!

Now-Sept. 29
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water St.
DUMBO
Online: publicartfund.org

photo: Lehmann Maupin/Jennifer Steinkamp

Impeach at Lehmann Maupin

Lehmann Maupin hosts a show from 3D animation pioneer Jennifer Steinkamp featuring four, large-scale video installations. Animated scenes include an expanse of birch trees, colorful shapes, and "a mash-up of stage-diving fruit." One piece, "Womb" features more fruit, but visitors can interact with the art, using a controller to manipulate the 3D fruit—and make them collide at will. 

Through April 14
Tues.- Sat., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
536 W.22nd St.
Chelsea
212-255-2923
Online: lehmannmaupin.com

—Yuliya Geikhman

RELATED STORIES:

On the House: NYC Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Very Bunny: NYC Easter Egg Hunts, Events & More

21 Ideas for Free Indoor Fun in NYC