Spring break for DC students is starting on a peak note! The cherry trees are blooming, sunshine will be abundant, and there are some fantastic events going on to savor it all. Find details below and even more ideas in the post listing The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids and The Great Indoors. Happy Weekend!
A Peek at the Peak
Where: Tidal Basin & National Mall
When: Throughout the weekend
The cherry blossom peak is beginning! And it’s practically guaranteed to be wonderful. If you can swing a visit to the Tidal Basin and National Mall, you’ll get to see some iconic DC scenes, as the monuments and memorials are gorgeous with a backdrop of blossoms. Expect crowds and be prepared — this post has tips for families viewing the blossoms (as well as alternative locations to see the flowers).
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 11, 10am – 12pm
The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is, hands-down, the parade. Thousands of people line the Constitution Ave sidewalks every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel through town. 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.
Where: 12th & Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: April 11, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, free for 12 and under
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. 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.
Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Celebrate the natural world by focusing on the Anacostia River, its history, ecology, and the communities along its riverbanks! 11th Street Bridge Park and National Park Service present the first annual Anacostia River Festival, a premier event and official closing of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival. Activities will include hands-on art projects, musical performances, boating, fishing workshops, tours of historic Anacostia, bike parades, and other unique programs to engage families with the environment. Read more about the festival locale, Anacostia Park, here.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Catch a performance of Sinbad: The Untold Tale at Imagination Stage
* Blue is also still running at the Bethesda theatre
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Arts on the Horizon presents Blossom’s Rainbow at The Atlas on Saturday
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Jack and the Beanstalk is the current main stage production
* And Animal Crackers is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Add some Shakespeare to your weekend as Theatre on the Run presents Much Ado About Nothing
* Bring little ones and their stuffed animals to the NSO Teddy Bear Concert Imagination Duo at the Kennedy Center
* Join the Nature Jams Baby Rave at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning
Enchanted Cherrybration Weekend
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 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 the 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 hayride 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.
Explore the Universe
Where: Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
It takes a lot of hard work and innovation to go from Galileo’s early telescopic observations in the 17th century to NASA’s launch of the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in 1990. This family day will explore the amazing accomplishments in astronomical observing from Galileo to Hubble. Through astronomy presentations, hands-on activities, and more, learn about telescopes and how different cultures see the sky.
Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park
Celebrate spring at Riverbend Park’s Bluebells at the Bend Festival in Great Falls! The gorgeous flowers usher in springtime by carpeting the park’s floodplain with their magnificent blooms, and the bluebells are so abundant in some areas you can’t see an end. Read more about Riverbend (and see some pics with bluebells) in this post and in this one about local hikes with kids.
Catch the Ultimate Breeze
Where: Gallaudet University
When: Saturday, 6:30pm
Admission: $10/advance, $12.50/day of
Bring the kids out for fun, fresh air, and Pro Ultimate Frisbee! Not only will you get to see exciting Frisbee action as local team DC Breeze takes on Toronto, kids can join a free youth clinic (for ages 6-17, register in advance here) before the game at 5pm (FYI: they offer this at every home game!). And while your kids are learning ultimate out on the field, you can enjoy food and drink specials and listen to a live band to get ready for the game.
DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm (parking lot opens at 4pm)
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Kick it at a soccer game as the DC United host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening. Get there early for activities at the Lot 8 Tailgate, and be sure to stop by section 222 for a variety of kids activities. For some extra goodies just for young fans, join the Kids Club!
Where: Charles E. Smith Center
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
The George Washington University is hosting STEMosphere on Saturday. Part of a larger event for educators called Share Fair, this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focused expo will offer fun, hands-on, interactive activities and education methods for a PreK-12 audience. Exhibitors include NASA Aeronautics, Discovery Education, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, First Robotics and more. Participants are encouraged to register in advance.