Easter in New York City

Large Group Of People At The Easter Parade On Fifth Avenue
Mitchell Funk/Getty Images

New York City for Easter weekend is a popular time to visit New York City, in part because so many schools and college have a long weekend or a full week off from school for spring break at the same time.

Easter falls on April 1, 2018, but holiday activities and events in New York City take place over the weekend from Good Friday, March 29 through Easter Monday, April 2. Whether you're looking for unique "only-in-New-York" experiences or more traditional religious ceremonies, you're sure to find them in the Big Apple.

You'll find very few hindrances to your visit—nearly everything will be open on Easter Sunday as well as on Good Friday. Easter Monday isn't a widely recognized holiday in the United States, and shouldn't affect many visitors either. However, federal offices, schools, and some Christian-owned stores will close in observance of these holidays.

Since the date of Easter fluctuates from year to year, it can fall in late March, when the weather can still be quite cold or in late April, when spring has finally arrived in New York City and temperatures are milder, so it's best to consider the date when planning a visit.

  • 01 of 04
    Easter Bonnet Festival
    Heather Cross

    On Easter Sunday, you can be a part of the Easter scene on Fifth Avenue during the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival. If you just want to participate from the sidelines, you don't have to do anything but show up. However, many people choose to march in the parade decked out in their Easter bonnets, which run the gamut from elegant to over-the-top creations, but you could also design or wear your own Easter bonnet to truly be a part of this NYC tradition. There are a number of dogs dressed up for the occasion as well. Keep in mind though that this is not-so-much a parade as much as it's a gathering on Fifth Avenue near St. Patrick's Cathedral with people milling about admiring the Easter outfits and headwear on display.

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    Easter egg hunt NYC
    Melissa Ross/Creative RF/Getty Images

    From Easter-themed walking tours to Easter Egg Hunts, New York City has lots of Easter-related activities for young and old to enjoy. Some take place before or even after Easter, so consult the calendar if you have particular events you want to attend. From the Children's Museum of Manhattan's annual egg hunt to the Creative Kiddie Easter Cruise in Stuyvesant Town (Manhattan), there are many family-friendly events in NYC.

  • 03 of 04
    Easter Brunch
    100 Layer Cake-let

    New York City is a haven for international delicacies and all-American favorite restaurants, and many of these establishments offer special Easter brunch or dinner over Easter weekend. You can visit Kingsley in the East Village, La Sirena Ristorante in Meatpacking District, or Gotham Bar and Grill in the West Village, or head out to Brooklyn to any number of cheaper (but just as good) holiday brunches.

  • 04 of 04
    From Wall Street in NYC looking west to Trinity Church - security is an art
    Jackie Craven

    While Saint Patrick's Cathedral is one of the most famous churches in the city, there are plenty of others that offer Easter Sunday services to the general public each year. St. Pauls' Chapel at the Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan hosts the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday evening each year as well as Easter services on Sunday at both the church and chapel. Meanwhile, Saint Thomas Church in Midtown also offers three services on Easter Sunday: a solemn Eucharist, an organ recital, and a solemn evensong.