Seasonal celebrations, educational festivals, live entertainment, outdoor adventures, and much more… these fabulous spring days will be bursting with fun — and this round-up has details on all of it. Happy Weekend!
USA Science & Engineering Expo
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
If your child has any inkling of interest in science and engineering, likes to do hands-on experiments, see fascinating live demos, or talk first-hand with the experts, then chances are very good that they will dig this event. (And so will you, parents.) Over 3,000 interactive exhibits and 150 stage shows will highlight all kinds of science-related topics in fun, engaging, exciting ways. Attendees can suit up in astronaut gear, explore the science of music, see 3-D printers at work, hold eight-legged creatures, solve science and math mysteries, check out rockets and robots, discover renewable energy sources of the future, and much, much, much more! There will also be some awesome entertainment (see below) that adults will be just as excited about as the kids!
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 16, 10am – 12pm
This parade is for many the pinnacle of the Cherry Blossom Festival and a fantastic grand finale for the seasonal celebration. 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 down it. 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: M Street & New Jersey Ave. SE
When: April 16, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up in advance, free for 12 and under
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. All at a new location in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Be prepared for a crowd.
Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 1pm & 4pm
They Might Be Giants is definitely going to rock when they play two free shows this Saturday as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. And if you’re thinking it’s odd that one of our generation’s bands is performing at an event for kids, then you need to brush up on your children’s music. TMBG are award-winning artists — in the kids’ music genre. But given that their fun, alternative sound spans the generations, you can bet that kids young and old will have a blast.
Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Where: Burnside Farm
When: Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
Experience Holland in Haymarket, Va! The bloom has begun at Burnside Farm, where their annual Festival of Spring showcases the season’s flowers. Stroll through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy. (Note: This first weekend is the smallest bloom, so if you can only visit once this spring, you may want to wait a week or two.) Along with the flowers, there concessions are also for sale.
Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Bring the whole family for fun including games, music, wildflower walks, wagon rides, live animals, and more! And to see what else is going on at other Fairfax County Parks, go here.
Where: National Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
It’s National Park Week through April 24, so there will be no entrance fee at National Parks where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and celebrate our parks by visiting a local natural treasure. Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive, or visit Harpers Ferry. For more ideas of places to visit, see the National Park Service website.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Looking for Roberto Clemente just opened on the Imagination Stage
* Reserve free tickets to see NRITYA: Rhythms of India, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* The Billy Jonas Band is playing the Saturday show at Jammin’ Java
* It’s opening weekend for Sleeping Beauty at The Puppet Co.
* And Clowning Around is the featured Tiny Tots show there
* NextStop Theatre’s production of Snow White begins this weekend
* The Gardens Figure Skating Club presents Peter Pan on Ice at the Gardens Ice Rink in Laurel
* See Teatro Hugo y Ines at the BlackRock Center for the Arts on Sunday
The Swedish Circus is Coming!
Where: Meridian Park
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Join the Embassy of Sweden and Cirkus Cirkör for free circus trial sessions in the park! Try juggling, acrobatics, and tight wire walking — all at your own level. The timid participant becomes courageous; the smallest participant becomes the strongest! No preparation or special clothes needed. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Earth Day Plant Sale & Picnic
Where: Tudor Place
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day and help Tudor Place kick off their Annual Plant Sale by supporting conservation and education at Tudor Place. For one day only, the grounds will be open for picnicking. Enjoy the historic gardens and browse a range of flowering and native sun to shade perennials. Varieties for sale will include toads lily, lambs ear, columbine, anise and more to add to your own garden. Tropical and house plants also for sale!
Presidential Cars at the Capitol
Where: National Mall
When: Through April 26
The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) Cars at the Capital is hosting its second Cars at the Capitol, a display of Presidential Cars at the National Mall. The event features two iconic presidential cars as it begins the documentation of the vehicles into the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and National Historic Vehicle Register. Until April 19, you can view President Taft’s 1909 Steam Car on the Mall between the National Gallery of Art and National Air & Space Museum. President Reagan’s 1962 Willys ‘Jeep’ CJ-6 will be there April 20-26.
Family Workshop: Paper Trails
Where: Sackler Gallery
When Saturday, 1–4pm
In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, explore the importance of paper across Asian artmaking traditions. With educators from the Freer|Sackler and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, use traditional Japanese papers and bookmaking tools and techniques to create your own artist’s book. This program is designed for children ages 6–12 and adults to enjoy together. Registration opens March 15 at 12 pm.
DC United vs. Toronto FC
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Kick it at a soccer game as the DC United host Toronto FC on Saturday evening. Be sure to stop by the Fan Zone in section 222 for a variety of kids activities. For some extra goodies just for young fans, join the Kids Club!
Market & More in Brookland
Where: Monroe Street Market
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
The Brookland & Edgewood communities kick off a schedule of spring events this Saturday its first Brookland’s Monroe Street Farmers Market. Special activities and performances by Only Make Believe, plus a one-year anniversary celebration for The Bike Rack DC and Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar will be among the festivities to enjoy this weekend.
Something Fishy Going On
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child
Join the Farm Family at Claude Moore as they clean and salt their yearly catch of herring – guests are invited to help scale, clean, and pack the fish into jars. Tour the rest of the grounds while you’re there, and learn about the important contributions the Potomac River made in colonial era Virginia.
All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s. Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in the layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything… to satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives.
Where: RESPECT by PRSVR Lifestyle Boutique
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Washington, DC’s fashion scene has something to celebrate! The newest RESPECT by PRSVR Lifestyle Boutique is opening in the historic Shepherd Park neighborhood at 7610 Georgia Ave NW and there will be a pop-up BBQ to celebrate the first weekend. Shop kids clothes and enjoy a cookout with al the cool kids and their parents.
Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Celebrate the connection of people to parks as the National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the second annual Anacostia River Festival. Enjoy kayaking, boating, fishing workshops, hands-on art projects, musical performances, bike parades, and other unique programs engaging families with the river, its history, and ecology.
The Magic of Books
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5/person, $20/family
Have some fun as you help support the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation Make MORE Noyes Campaign, a partnership between the Foundation and Montgomery County that is funding a major renovation of the historic library. The Magic of Books will feature a magic show by Joe Romano, a renowned performer who has entertained audiences at the White House and at a Read Across America celebration with Michelle Obama. Recommended for ages 3-10, but all ages are welcome.
The Great DC Outdoors
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale
The superb spring weather is beckoning! You’ve got your pick of spots around the DC-Metro to get outside and enjoy it. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for fun in the fresh air.