You’ve probably heard the rhyme “April showers bring May flowers,” but what do May flowers bring? If you’re headed to Boston, Mayflowers bring pilgrims!
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and a great place to visit any time of year. If you’re visiting the city in April, there’s a lot you need to know to make the best out of your trip.
This article was written by our two team members who lived in the Boston area for over 20 years. That means you’ll be provided with all the local knowledge that will turn your trip from good to great!
We highly recommend a whale watching tour (more about this later), a sightseeing cruise (book tickets in advance), and the duck boat tour. Don’t forget to get the Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions to save money!
💡 Read more tips about these activities at the end of this article.
Is April a Good Time?
April is a great time to visit Boston. This month is the start of some pleasant spring weather, and the city has many activities happening during the month. Boston often gets very busy during April, but it’s never overcrowded.
Coming out of the cold of winter, April here is when spring really starts. All the snow and ice are gone, and the city really comes alive.
Boston in April has some wonderful days with average highs ranging from 51°F to 61°F (11-16°C). During this month, the city gets about 3.5 inches (9 cm) of rain. While this is more than the average, it’s typically confined to a handful of days, leaving sunny skies the rest of the month.
While this feels pretty warm to us winter-hardened Bostonians, it certainly isn’t hot compared to the temperatures in other months. The weather is just warm enough to break out the short sleeves, but you’ll still need a sweatshirt. More clothing tips later!
By the beginning of April, all the snow is normally gone, so the weather is great for outdoor activities. We love to break out our running shoes during April and run along the Charles River, but you can also jump on a bike, do a walking tour, or just spend some time in the local parks.
Good to know: While the weather is generally nice in April, there can be some serious variation. The mornings often feel crisp, with an occasional frost on the ground.
While the beginning of April is cooler, by the end of the month, you’re truly in late spring conditions. So, if you are looking for the highest chance of warm weather conditions, we recommend visiting in the last week of April, when the average high temps range from 58-61°F.
Nevertheless, there are typically enough pleasant days in the first 2-3 weeks of the month as well.
Here’s some helpful information for planning your trip:
Average temperature highs:
- Early April: 51°F (11°C)
- Mid-April: 56°F (13°C)
- Late April: 61°F (16°C)
Temperature progression on a typical day:
- Morning (7 AM): 47°F
- Afternoon (3 PM): 55°F
- Evening (10 PM): 49°F
Is April Cold in Boston?
April is not too cold in Boston. While there are some cold days with ice occasionally forming during the night, most days are very pleasant. On days with a lot of rain, the weather will feel very raw and can make you cold in a unique way: you won’t want more layers but a hot chocolate.
There is normally a fair amount of rain in Boston during April. On average, 3.5 inches (9 cm) fall over the month, but this typically is over the entire month, not all in one short period. This is more than average, but not the most the city gets.
Since the city is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, its rainfall tends to be very unpredictable. We have a local saying here that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it’ll change.” When you come and visit Boston, you’ll realize we aren’t joking!
When rain does come, it normally isn’t heavy downpours but instead a light drizzle that lasts the entire day. There can be periods where you get rain for 3 straight days, but then you might not get it again for another week. The rain is very unpredictable, and you need to prepare for it.
If it does rain, it will feel very cold. The rain cools down the atmosphere, so some rainy days can go from warm to cold within minutes. There is a small chance of getting some snowflakes in early April, but this is very rare.
What To Wear | Packing List
When you’re visiting Boston in April, it is helpful to bring a variety of clothing because of the generally unpredictable weather. On a typical day, you should wear pants with a t-shirt and a sweatshirt. It’s also helpful to carry around a light jacket in case it rains, or you get cold.
Depending on what you consider “warm” will dictate what you should wear in Boston in April. Some people can wear shorts in 50°F weather, while others need pants. If you get warm easily or plan to do some physical activity, warm-weather clothes are appropriate, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Mornings/Nights: Slightly warmer clothes are essential if you’ll be out early in the morning. Early mornings are often cold here in April, so you’ll want to wear pants and long sleeves with a sweatshirt to keep you warm. Evenings can get cold, but generally not until late at night, so your daytime clothes are normally appropriate.
Early April: Make sure to bring an additional long-sleeve shirt and a spring jacket when you visit within the first week of the month. While the average highs during that time range from 51-55°F (11-13°C), the temps in the mornings are often only reaching 44°F (7°C. That’s too chilly for summer-like clothing.
Even if you visit in late April, we recommend that you bring a lightweight waterproof jacket with you. That way, you are always prepared for sudden rainfall and for those cooler mornings.
If you’re interested in “fitting in” with the regular crowd, you don’t need to worry too much. Jeans and a sweatshirt are very common in the city, but if you’re going to a nicer establishment (a restaurant, a play, etc.) you’ll need to dress more formally. Generally, khaki pants and a button-up, or any other kind of business casual, are appropriate.
Here is a full packing list of what you might want to bring with you (it applies to both men and women):
- Button-up shirt
- Long sleeve casual shirt
- Rain jacket
- Warm jacket
- Comfortable shoes
- Nice shoes
- Shorts (if you have extra room)
How Busy | Crowds and Rates
Use our hotel deals finder above to find cheap rates. We recommend bookmarking the result page and checking back regularly.
Boston is often a very busy city during April. Since the weather is warming up, there are many people out and about, and there are many activities and events drawing people to the city. The city is big enough that it normally isn’t too crowded, but travel rates can get very expensive.
The Greater Boston Area is huge geographically, so when people come into the city, they are normally spread out over the whole region. There are some areas, predominantly sports venues, and shopping centers, that can get very crowded depending on the time of day.
💡 If you’re looking at getting a hotel in the city, the middle of April around the Boston Marathon can get very expensive. Normally, the first and last weeks are the least expensive, while the second and third weeks are very expensive.
The most expensive days are normally Friday through Monday, while the least expensive is Tuesday through Thursday.
Since people come from all over the world for the Boston Marathon, and people across the east coast come during their spring breaks in late April, you’ll find a highly diverse group of visitors. If you want to book a stay, try and book by the end of February to get the best prices. Be sure to consider both traditional hotels and other options like Airbnb.
Easter in Boston
If Easter falls in April you might want to plan your Easter Sunday activities accordingly, as this is the only day when things are a little different.
Many stores will be closed on Sunday, as will some restaurants. If you plan to go to a restaurant, please plan ahead and make a reservation.
Easter Sunday is perhaps not the ideal day to visit Faneuil Hall, which is bustling with shops and dining.
Good to know: The New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science are usually open. Read more about visiting the Aquarium below.
Things To Do
Boston has a ton of exciting stuff to do in April, especially because they have a special holiday dedicated to the area’s historical significance. Some of the best things to do in April are checking out the Boston Marathon, Red Sox Opening Day, or the Freedom Trail. There is so much to do, and you can’t go wrong!
Boston Duck Boat Tour
One of the best things to do in Boston is to get a ride on Boston’s Duck Boats. After a winter break, they resume in April. Duck Boat Tours give you a full city tour, pointing out many of the historically and culturally significant sights in the city. This tour will also bring you out onto the Charles River, a unique experience!
Intriguing! This is a must-do when you are in the city! Whale watching in Boston is typically available throughout April. However, we recommend them not before mid-April, since fewer whales are present early in the month, and sightings can be a hit or miss within the first 1-2 weeks of April.
What an amazing tour! We saw to see the USS Constitution out on the harbor. That was an impressive experience. The rest of the tour was also unforgettable. Our guide shared many intriguing insights as we navigated the waters. This one hour flew by so fast.
You also have to check out the Freedom Trail while you’re in Boston. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-hour walking tour of the city, so doing it in April when the snow is gone and the weather is warm but not too hot is a perfect time to go! Just bring a good set of walking shoes!
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
If you’re a history fan, visiting the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will keep you fascinated for ages.
Finally, no trip to Boston would be complete without visiting the Boston Aquarium. We’ve been over 10 times as locals, and we can’t get enough. The interactive tanks are always an incredible experience, especially if you have young children with you – and of course, you can’t forget about the incredible penguins!
With the warmer weather comes a bunch of events to the city. The Boston Marathon is one of the best things you can watch in the city and is perhaps the best event the city hosts all year. As a Bostonian, the “Boston Strong” sentiment is both inspiring and deeply moving, but the power of the event is so strong you can feel it in the air. You can check out the full details here.
If you’ll be in Boston in April when the marathon takes place and hate large crowds, you might want to avoid the marathon route. Marathon day is a great time to visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICE), enjoy a movie, or do some shopping.
Another fun event to check out in April is Fenway’s Opening Day. Boston is a serious sports city, so seeing the Red Sox’s first home game is always a treat. Ticket prices and the opening day date often vary, but you can find more details here.
Finally, if you manage to be in Boston on the weekend of Patriots Day, you can check out a reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. This significant historical event is incredibly interesting to learn about, and the reenactment is fun to watch! Check out the full details here.
Boston is alive and well during the month of April. With generally pleasant weather and the ability to avoid the rain and the biggest crowds, visiting in April is a great idea.
Be sure to prepare for rapidly fluctuating weather and to interact with visitors from all over the world. There are a lot of things to do in a city that has so much to offer, so come visit us! Maybe we’ll even see you there!