April in New England: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

April Daffodils on New England Island of Nantucket

Paula Guttilla / Getty Images

April in New England is a time of renewal, anything-goes-weather, springtime colors, and culinary delights. A new season is officially proclaimed, but there's still spring skiing in the high northern peaks of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and it takes until month's end before daffodils gather the courage to poke up their sunny heads. Maple season begins to give way to mud season, and winter-weary New Englanders don't need temperatures to creep much higher than the mid-50s Fahrenheit before they venture out in T-shirts and maybe even shorts. Most New England visitors will want to pack warm layers, though, and be prepared for crisp nights even if days are mild.

You'll work up quite an appetite if you hike in the muck or ski down increasingly slushy slopes, but the good news is that Restaurant Week events are held in April in Newport, Portsmouth, and Vermont. Take advantage of these opportunities to sample creative offerings from leading restaurants in some of New England's top destinations for gourmands. April is also when shad begin to run in the Connecticut River, and this fish—which many consider a delicacy—appears on menus at restaurants in the river valley.

New England Weather in April

April is the perfect time for a New England getaway if you pack your sense of adventure and embrace whatever Mother Nature has in store. That old adage, "April showers bring May flowers," rings true throughout the region, with precipitation in the forecast for a third or more of the days during the month. The farther north and the earlier in the month, the more likely it'll be snow. Average April rainfall in Boston is 3.6 inches. By the end of April, you'll have 14 hours of daylight for enjoying increasingly warm weather… all long before summer's heat and humidity kick in. While some seasonal attractions remain closed until late May, many—including New England's largest theme park—roar back to life in April. 

Average April Temperatures (Low / High)
Hartford, CT 40 F / 60 F (4 C / 16 C)
Providence, RI  40 F / 59 F (4 C / 15 C)
Boston, MA  41 F / 56 F (5 C / 13 C)
Nantucket, MA  38 F / 51 F (3 C / 11 C)
Burlington, VT  35 F / 55 F (2 C / 13 C)
North Conway, NH  31 F / 54 F (-1 C / 12 C)
Portland, ME  35 F / 53 F (2 C / 12 C)

What to Pack

If ever there was a month to pack an umbrella and classic L.L. Bean boots for your New England trip, April is it. Be prepared not only for sloppy weather (gloves and extra socks come in handy) but for temperature swings. You won't likely have to bundle up as warmly as Bernie Sanders did for Joe Biden's inauguration. Jeans, a T-shirt, a sweater or fleece pullover, and a medium-weight jacket will take you most places this time of year. When the Easter holiday falls in April, that's one occasion when those who celebrate will dress up a bit—in spring dresses, skirts, suits, and ties—for brunch or dinner out. Pack binoculars if you own them, as the bird migration will be underway, and New England is known for its spring birdwatching spots.

April Events in New England

As New England bids adieu to winter and greets spring with open arms, events in the region turn colorful and lively. These top annual events all make April a worthwhile time for a road trip.

  • Daffodil Days at Blithewold: More than 50,000 daffodils greet visitors at the 33-acre, seaside Blithewold estate in Bristol, Rhode Island for most of April. Beyond flowers, there are afternoon tea services, family-friendly activities, concerts, and workshops.
  • Opening Day at Fenway Park: With the advent of spring comes the start of baseball season at this legendary park.
  • Baby Farm Animal Celebration at Billings Farm: Celebrate the cutest farm animals around in Woodstock, Vermont. Visitors will be able to greet chicks, lambs, goats, bunnies, and more as well as plant an heirloom seed, and enjoying craft activities.
  • Patriots' Day Weekend in Lexington, Massachusetts: Each year on the third Monday of April, reenactors re-create the Battle of Lexington.
  • Boston Marathon: Also held on Patriots' Day, thousands of racers meet in Boston for this world-famous marathon.
  • Vermont Maple Festival: This three-day festival in St. Albans celebrates all things syrup with food demonstrations, parades, tastings, and more.
  • Fine Art & Flowers at the Wadsworth Atheneum: Florists, designers, and garden clubs across New England convene in Hartford, Connecticut to showcase their skills with intricate floral displays. Set up inside the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, each display is impressed by a work from the museum's collection.
  • Meriden Daffodil Festival: Hubbard Park in Meriden, Connecticut welcomes spring with more than 600,000 blooming daffodils from more than 60 species.
  • Nantucket Daffodil Festival: This Massachusetts festival includes an antique car parade, hat show, and, of course, a flower show.
  • New England Folk Festival: Head to Boston to learn about traditional New England dance and music.

April Travel Tips

  • Patriots' Day is a legal state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine. Make reservations early for this holiday weekend, as well as for Presidents' Week, which often coincides with school vacations, making this a busy (and a bit higher-priced) time for family travel.
  • If it's been a long, cold winter, many of New England's northernmost ski resorts will stay open deep into April including Bretton Woods Mountain Resort in New Hampshire (where you can also enjoy the exhilarating canopy tour), Killington in Vermont, and Maine's Sunday River.
  • Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22, which makes this the perfect month to consider a stay at one of New England's eco-conscious green hotels such as Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, or Saybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. 
  • For an Easter the kids will always remember, take them to meet the baby bunnies, chicks, and other farm animals. Top destinations to consider include: Inn at East Hill Farm in New Hampshire; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts; Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, Vermont; and Maple Crest Farm (by appointment) in Hermon, Maine.
  • Shaded hiking trails can remain ice-slicked in April, even when temperatures feel warm and springlike outside of the woods. Wear appropriate sturdy footwear, and be extra cautious on springtime hikes.
  • April's snowmelt makes it the peak month to see New England's waterfalls at their most spectacular. New Hampshire's Mount Washington Valley is particularly well known as a destination for waterfall lovers. In the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Bash Bish Falls is also a glorious spot for a short hike with a double waterfall as your reward.
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