Spring is always a much anticipated time of year. The emergence from cold weather, the return of color to the landscape, and the end of bulky clothes and extra layers are some of the reasons why. It’s also when many of DC’s best events and activities occur or restart for the warm months. From big blooms and their celebrations to new exhibits to live entertainment to local sports to warm weather recreation, there are so many things to get excited about around DC during the season. Here’s a round-up of them to help you plan for it all. Happy Spring!
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Around the DC Area
When: March 18 – April 16
Admission: Varies by activity
The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 18 – April 16 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks every spring. Signature events include the Blossom Kite Festival, National Cherry Blossom Parade, Sakura Matsuri, Bloomaroo, and Petalpalooza, and there are many more blossom inspired happenings around the area. Visit the website for specifics. And, of course, the cherry blossom peak is an iconic DC attraction. If you’re planning to see them, I very strongly recommended reading these tips for viewing them. (While they were originally geared toward families with young children, most of the tips are helpful for anyone!)
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale
We all know about the cherry blossoms that brighten up the land and cityscape during the season. But there are even more big blooms to enjoy around the DC area, and they’re literally coming up soon. Magnolias, bluebells, azaleas, tulips, and roses are what you can stop, smell, see, and relish in the loveliness of during spring. This post has details on where and when to enjoy them at their best.
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Throughout spring
So, the MLS season actually kicked off during winter in February, but spring is a great time to catch some soccer action on the pitch as the weather warms up. While there are good concessions at the stadium, you can also make a longer outing of it, and grab a bite to eat before or after matches. There are a lot good dining options in the Capitol Riverfront area just a short walk away.
PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 11 – June 11
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack, free/under 4
The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and right now they are highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in the blooms and a butterfly world. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience! Get more of a glimpse of it here.
Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Starting March 18
Admission: Starts at $45/adult, $16/child
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring has reopens for the season, offering its thrilling aerial forest experience again. Navigating ropes courses up in the trees is a super fun and challenging way to spend a day. There are 15 trails of varying levels of difficulty, all of them with ziplines, and almost 200 challenge bridges — something for everyone! Extra safety measures are in place for Covid, including required advance reservations, so be sure to book ahead. See more about the Adventure Park here.
Where: Theaters Around DC
When: Various dates
Admission: Varies by show
The new season brings new live entertainment to local stages, and there are some great shows coming to town. A few to check out:
Beauty and the Beast at Synetic Theater
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches at Arena Stage
The Jungle at Harman Hall
My Fair Lady at National Theatre
Les Misérables at the Kennedy Center
Beetlejuice at National Theatre
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 22 – April 22
Admission: Varies by event (some free)
This international festival celebrating the world’s rivers and their cultures fittingly begins on World Water Day and runs through Earth Day. All kinds of performances and events will be presented by talent from across the globe. Performing and visual artists, authors, chefs, filmmakers, climate experts, and more fascinating people will help carve an artistic path throughout the Kennedy Center with world-class performances, exhibitions, films, talks, workshops, and more events — see the website for the full schedule.
We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Starts March 26
Admission: Tickets start at $25
Even more exciting soccer is starting as the Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, also kicks off their season in spring. This year, Audi Field is their home turf, so all matches will take place right in the city. You’ll get to see some amazing play on the pitch and support women in sports!
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Starting March 30
MLB Opening Day is March 30, and the Nats are playing a game at home against the Braves. If you followed KidFriendly DC, then you know I highly recommend rooting for our home team, especially as a great way to spend a family day out. I discussed it in the very early KFDC days, include ballgames in Weekend Round-Ups whenever they play at home, have endorsed the Jr. Nationals Kids Club for years, and know it all well enough to have plenty of tips for spending less on a day at the ballpark. This is all to say, check your Natitude — and the useful promo schedule — and get ready for spring ball!
White House Spring Garden Tours
Where: White House Grounds | Downtown DC
When: April 1-2
Admission: Free with tickets
Here’s a chance to see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn at the White House. The annual Spring Garden and Grounds Tours are a tradition that dates back to 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the gardens to the public. It’s a perfect “DC” activity and a lovely way to enjoy the emerging spring color — and gaining admission to the event is as easy as picking up tickets day-of. They will be distributed at a National Park Service tent located near the White House Visitor Center (1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) each day starting at 8:30am. (That means you could be getting entry times for later in the day, so plan accordingly as best you can.) See more details and info on how to get tickets.
AdMo Art Walk
Where: Around Adams Morgan, DC
When: April 3-30
Think of Adams Morgan as your own personal art gallery, thanks to this free way to experience art brought to you by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, the DC Arts Center, local artists, and neighborhood businesses! Walk the streets of Adams Morgan and admire an impressive selection of artworks displayed in various storefronts in a self-guided tour or join the DC Arts Center for a guided tour — they’ll be offered on select weekends in April.
Bon Jour, Georgetown!
Where: Book Hill Neighborhood | Georgetown, DC
When: April 28-30
The Georgetown French Market returns to the Book Hill neighborhood bringing the signature European open air market back for its 20th year. More than 30 Georgetown boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, galleries, and more will be featured. But it’s not all about the shopping! Strolling mimes, hands-on activities, live music, and French cuisine from Georgetown cafes and restaurants offer something for all ages to enjoy. Visit the website to see the schedule of events and list of participating shops.
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 1-13
Celebrate 100 years of Asian art in DC! The National Museum of Asian Art’s centennial will culminate in a festival celebrating Asian art and cultures of the past, present, and future. For the first two weeks of May, there will be special performances, interactive experiences, culinary adventures, keynote speakers, and community projects to mark the occasion.
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: May 6-7
This festival ran for 80 years until its two-year hiatus due to Covid. But it’s back on track — and a fun, fab way to spend a spring day! Plant sales, floral and horticultural displays, and boutique booths are great to browse and shop. There’s also music and entertainment, games and carnival rides, tasty foods, the All Hallows Guild antique carousel, and many more fun activities to delight Mart-goers of all ages. If you go with kids, be sure to visit the Beauvoir Playground, too! Read more about Flower Mart and the National Cathedral on KidFriendly DC.
Around the World Embassy Tour
Where: Local Embassies | Dupont Circle, DC
When: May 7
The wonderful Around the World Embassy Tour is like a local passport to countries around the world as embassies from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania open their doors to the public. It’s a free showcase of art, music, traditional dress, and culinary delights from nations across the globe. (It’s also your chance to check out the interiors of those mansions along Mass Ave & International Drive that you usually just admire from the street.) Read about one of our past globetrotting-in-DC experiences and get a glimpse of what to expect on KidFriendly DC. And note that the EU Open House is on on May 13!
Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DC area
When: Varies by place
Admission: Varies by place
With warmer weather comes opportunities to enjoy time on the water, and you can rent kayaks, canoes, and other vessels to paddle at a bunch of places around the area. Boating in DC now runs many of the boathouses in the District and nearby. Some locations begin operating in early April, others open in May, so be sure to check the website for opening dates. A few places within the NoVA Parks system are offering boat rentals now. And if you don’t want to do the work of paddling (though I highly recommend it), enjoy a Water Taxi ride — there are several options for places to catch it! This KidFriendly DC post has a round-up of places to go with the flow.
Victura Park Opens
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
The family-friendly wine garden and cafe at The REACH, the Kennedy Center expansion, will open again this spring. Food and drinks are available to enjoy in an area set up with picnic tables, and it’s always a relaxed, lively vibe there. The surrounding grounds are beautiful and nice to stroll with artfully designed landscapes and hardscapes and a few sculptures to see. You can also stop in The REACH Buildings (and main KC building) for possible activities or exhibits, stroll the Kennedy Center terrace, and take in sweeping views of the Potomac.
Where: Around the DC Area
Admission: Varies by locale
This one is very general and also pretty obvious, but take advantage of the outdoors — spring is sublime in DC! Get back to those places and activities you missed all winter and, of course, discover some new ones. These posts are full of ideas to help with that:
Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around DC
Peace Out: 10 Outdoor Spots to Find Serenity in DC
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids (KidFriendly DC)
Walks in the Woods (KidFriendly DC)
What spring things are you most excited about?