April’s Top Free or Low-Cost Events in DC, NYC, PHL

April’s Top Free or Low-Cost Events in DC, NYC, PHL

Spring has officially begun! Believe it or not, warm weather is on the way! Amtrak is excited to share with you our recommendations for April’s top free or low-cost events in D.C., New York City and Philadelphia that are only a train ride away! April might bring showers, but it’s time to get excited about vacation and rooftop bar season!

Northeast regional trains

All of the events and destinations listed can be reached via our Northeastern trains!


Traveling on Amtrak this spring is worth double the points with Double Days from Amtrak Guest Rewards. Register and travel March 18 – May 18 to earn 2X the points toward great rewards like Amtrak travel, upgrades, hotels and more. Register here!





White House Garden Tour: Washington, D.C.

The White House Garden Tour is a special event that only happens two days a year! The gardens are open on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th. FREE tickets will be distributed starting at 8:30am at a tent near the entry point on each day of the tour and are first come first serve. If you can score a ticket, guests can enjoy a stroll around the property including the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden, the Rose Garden as well as the South Lawn Garden.

D.C. Emancipation Day Parade: Washington, D.C.

DC Emancipation Day Parade

April 16th is Emancipation Day, a citywide holiday that celebrates the historic event of President Lincoln freeing over 3,000 slaves in D.C. by signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. In honor of this special day, the Emancipation Day Parade will take place on Saturday, April 13th on Pennsylvania Ave NW. The parade signifies the progress of civil rights in D.C. This memorable day in history will conclude with a music concert and fireworks.

Prospect Park: Brooklyn, NY

New York is the number one place to be for spring. Not too hot, not too cold – just right! Prospect Park Opening Weekend kicks off April 7 – April 8. Events such as Family Yoga and the Prospect Park Scavenger Hunt are scheduled for Saturday, April 7th. Spring in New York also means it is Smorgasburg season! Sunday, April 8th is the opening day of Smorgasburg in Prospect Park, which is open every Sunday from 11 AM – 6 PM from April through November. Grab a famous Ramen Burger and relax by the waterfront for some of the best views of the NYC Skyline!

Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival: New York City, NY

This is not your average Easter Parade. New York City is celebrating Easter by hosting their annual Easter Parade with Easter Bonnets. Yep, you read that right! On Sunday, April 21st the Easter Parade will take place along 5th Avenue, starting at 48th Street, heading north nine blocks to 57th Street. This unique parade showcases creative, colorful and wild bonnets with toppers that reach up to a foot high! If you’re not interested in joining the parade, head over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the number one viewing spot.

NYC Easter Bonnet

Philadelphia Science Festival: Philadelphia, PA

This spring put your brain to the test during Philadelphia’s Science Festival! From April 26 – May 4, over 70,000 people gather in Philadelphia to help create awareness for science and technology with debates, special exhibitions, restaurants, breweries and so much more! The events are free of charge and are open to people of all ages. Don’t miss the Science Carnival happening on May 4th, which is the closing event of the festival where you can interact with animals from the Philadelphia Zoo and experience a brawl between “Sumo Robots.”

Flavors on the Avenue: Philadelphia, PA

Flavors on the Avenue is the definition of springtime in Philadelphia. On Sunday, April 28th, head over to East Passyunk Avenue, a major dining destination, to experience the top restaurants in the neighborhood. Chefs from more than two dozen restaurants take their food outside for street-side service. This event is a pay-as-you-go basis, and all samplings of food range from $3 – $6! In addition to excellent cuisine, Flavors on the Avenue includes shopping at local markets featuring handmade candles, jewelry, furniture, and much more.

Philadelphia Science Fair