By Jessica Allen

This weekend you can drink for a cause, brush up on your French, and celebrate trees. Have fun!

Focus on French Cinema
Various venues
New York, NY

The title says it all: the annual Focus on French Cinema focuses on the latest in French-language film. All told, there are more than 100 screenings in three locations (Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut, and NYC). The movies range from comedies to dramas to thrillers and animations, and hail from 10 countries around the world. Many will be making their US premiere at the festival, and several will conclude with a Q&A. Friday, April 27, through Tuesday, May 1, see schedule for details, tickets required.

Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(718) 623-7200
www.bbg.org

What makes the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual cherry blossom festival, known as Sakura Matsuri, so sweet isn’t just the gorgeous scents wafting on the spring air. Instead, it’s the very impermanence of the flowers themselves: they bloom, then close up for another year, leaving just a beautiful memory (and perfect IG shots). Sakura Matsuri includes 60 events, which promote and revel in both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, 10 am to 6 pm, tickets required.

Independent Bookstore Day
Various venues
New York, NY
www.indiebookstoreday.com

Calling all book lovers, word nerds, and librarians! Held around the United States, Independent Bookstore Day celebrates the written word (and those who promote it) with lots of fun events. Among the stores scheduled to hold events in NYC are Books Are Magic, Book Culture, The Astoria Bookshop, Bank Street Bookstore, Greenlight Bookstore, WORD, and the Strand. Just look at this list! If you feel lucky and blessed, as we do, to have so many indies to support within the five boroughs, then head on over to one and see what’s cooking for this special holiday. Saturday, April 28, see participating bookstores for details

Wine on Wheels
City Winery
155 Varick St.
New York, NY 10013
(646) 450-0077
wineonwheels.org

Sip for a cause at Wine on Wheels, the city’s largest charity wine event. Tons of well-known sommeliers, among them Amanda Smeltz, Ebru Can, Jin Ahn, and Matthew Duré will be hand, pouring generous glugs of carefully curated wines, some 200 in all. Spirits and camaraderie too. The event benefits Wheeling Forward, a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 by two young men that helps those living with disabilities lead full and active lives, meeting their goals and achieving their dreams. Saturday, April 28, 1 to 4 pm, tickets required

Arbor Fest
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 886-3800
queensbotanical.org

OK, sure, Earth Day took place on April 22, but teaching kids to appreciate the natural world should occur more than once a year. Enter Arbor Fest at the Queens Botanical Garden, a kid-focused event that celebrates trees and the environment’s other wonders with lawn games, face painting, puppet shows, a petting zoo, crafts and more. Adults will be happy to dawdle in the beer and wine garden or check out the various demos and plantings taking place. Sunday, April 29, 11 am to 5 pm, tickets required.  

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