It’s a peak time to be in DC! The city is beautiful this time of year, and there are loads of ways to enjoy it — Cherry Blossom events, museum programs, live entertainment, spring celebrations, and more. And be sure to check the outdoor and indoor lists for activities beyond this round-up. Happy Weekend!
A Peek at the Peak
Where: Tidal Basin & National Mall
When: Throughout the weekend
You may be able to catch the final days of the cherry blossom peak. The blooms have been spectacular this week and will, hopefully, still wow this weekend. Expect crowds and be prepared — this post has tips for families viewing the blossoms.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: Saturday, April 13, 10am – 12pm
The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is, hands-down, the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day like we’re expected to get on Saturday.
Where: 12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up
Immediately following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head right over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. Stretching down six city blocks from 9th to 14th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, there will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.
Explore the Universe
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Understand how different cultures see the sky at this annual event at the Museum on the Mall. Learn about telescopes and do some daytime observations (weather permitting). Other hands-on activities around the museum include a chance to make a solar clock and build an astrolab. Go here for the complete schedule of activities.
Lantern Making Family Day
Where: Yards Park
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
The Capitol Riverfront BID is hosting its 4th Annual Lantern Making Family Day as part of National Cherry Blossom festivities. Guests are invited to create paper lanterns, and all supplies will be included. There will also be martial arts performances by Hapmudo, a moonbounce, and games for children. Grab a bite to eat at nearby – there’s a Nando’s and everal other restaurants for a family-friendly meal.
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Many places around the area are hosting egg hunts, Easter bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs that will have the whole family hopping with joy. See this post for a list of them.
Cherry Blossom Family Day
Where: American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Spring has arrived! Celebrate D.C.’s famous cherry blossom season at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Craft activities include: tissue paper blossoms, drawing your own cherry blossom tree, coloring sheets, folded Japanese screen painting, and origami! Learn how to “invite” birds into a garden with SI Gardens and make an origami passenger pigeon. Get your face painted and then watch a kimono dressing demonstration on stage. Enjoy performances of traditional Japanese music, dance and taiko drumming, and explore how Japanese art and culture have influenced American artists for decades with a scavenger hunt in the galleries.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Catch a performance of The Jungle Book at Adventure Theatre
* Cinderella: The Remix just opened at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Hansel & Gretel is on the main stage and Baby Bear’s Birthday is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* See Once on this Island at Olney Theatre
* TreeHouse Shakers-Hatched, BlackRock Center for the Arts first-ever show for very young children, will be presented at 10am and 1pm on Saturday
* One Mic: Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices–Game On! is at the Kennedy Center this weekend only
* Gustafer Yellowgold is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.
World Health Day Family Program
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
If your babe is a budding doctor or scientist, then this Family Program will surely fascinate. In honor of World Health Day, the Museum is hosting a special event to showcase how the Department of Defense is working to combat vector-borne diseases around the world. How do conditions such as malaria, dengue, and yellow fever affect your health? Hands-on activities will demonstrate just that.
Marmalade at House of Sweden
Where: House of Sweden
When: Sunday, 12pm & 2pm
Marmalade is delicious & sensory performance about meeting, mixing and moving for ages 2 and up. Mira and Viktor taste and feel in poetic movements and circus actions in an exquisite and visual experience together with the audience. Marmelade looks at the world through body, eye, feeling and taste. Upside down, behind and in front of you. Register to attend here.
Enchanted Cherrybration Weekend
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10a, – 5pm
Admission: $5 (rides cost extra)
Let your little princesses dress up for this visit to the storybook-themed farm (you can read more about it in this list about outdoor outings). Clark’s Elioak will be celebrating Howard County’s “Cherrybration” Days with treats fit for young royalty and plenty of pink pizzazz. Children in a family will get a free hay ride if at least one person in the family is dressed as a pink princess. Kids can also dress up in gowns on hand at the farm for a photo opportunity with “Princess Cherrybella.” A Truly Pink Treasure Hunt in the Enchanted Forest Maze will round out the weekend activities.