Spring Calendar

Washington has been the epicenter of spring ever since the planting of the original 3,000 cherry trees gifted to the city by Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki, so you probably already have The Cherry Festival on your spring calendar. Less-well-known is the Flower Mart that has adorned the grounds of the National Cathedral on the first Friday and Saturday of May for every year since 1939.

The cherry blossoms in front of the Arlington County Library are just as grand as the ones along the Tidal Basin (and with fewer crowds)
The cherry blossoms in front of the Arlington County Library are just as grand as the ones along the Tidal Basin (and with fewer crowds)

For culture buffs, the annual Embassy tour is a can’t miss event spread over the first two weekends in May. First is the Around the World Embassy Tour, where you can wander down Embassy row sampling cocktails and music from around the world. The following weekend is the EU Open House, where the European Embassies host free performances and sell food and wares from their home countries.

Spring also marks the return of the First Sunday Arts Festival, a themed art day on the streets of Annapolis that runs the first Sunday of every month for the remainder of the year. For other DC events this spring, check out the list at the end of this article.

Upcoming Events:

April 16: Open Studio | National Portrait Gallery - The Portrait Gallery is bringing its weekly art workshops to your home via Facebook! Every Friday at 11 a.m. on Youtube we will post a new video with another activity, new techniques, and more...

April 17: The Black Arts Movement - Smithsonian Associates - In the 1960s and ’70s, the Black Arts Movement permeated rural and urban cities and towns in the U.S., drawing on the blues, jazz, and Black folk culture and idiomatic expressions as its...

April 21: Introducing... | National Portrait Gallery - Introducing… a new kind of story time! Each week we shine a light on some of this country's lesser-known history makers and their portraits. Join us on YouTube every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for...

April 21: The 2021 Oscars: A Year of Drama - Smithsonian Associates - Walk the virtual red carpet with Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell in an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this unusual...

April 29: The Soulful Shirley Horn - Smithsonian Associates - Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month’s Year of the Woman with a look into the creative life of one of the style’s greatest singers, D.C.’s own Shirley Horn. Join...

May 7: A Celebration of French Music - Smithsonian Associates - Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lectures and piano demonstrations to explore the social, political, religious, and cultural influences that shaped the output of...

May 12: Moviegoing in America: Nickelodeons to Movie Palaces to IMAX to Streaming - Smithsonian Associates - A fascinating look at the history of movie theaters examines how the experience of moviegoing has changed over the decades—and whether movie theaters will even survive in the age of streaming...

May 14: The Waltz: Music, Sex, Society, and Politics in Three-Quarter Time - Smithsonian Associates - Blossoming in Vienna and spreading like a mania through Europe, the waltz proclaimed a new freedom of sexual expression and individual liberties in the early 19th century. Classical music and opera...

May 19: Stories from the American Songbook - Smithsonian Associates - There are songs so familiar they seem part of us. In this series with writer and filmmaker Sara Lukinson, find out how some our favorites from the American songbook came to be and how they speak to...

May 20: Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt's Roaring '20s - Smithsonian Associates - During the 1920s and 1930s, Cairo’s lively music, theater, film, and cabaret scene was dominated by women who were entrepreneurs and owners as well as celebrities. Discover the rich histories...

May 22: Shakespeare: The Music Behind the Movies - Smithsonian Associates - “The play’s the thing” declared Hamlet, but nowadays he could easily have substituted “the film.” Speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines commentary and...

Seasonal Picks:

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3200 Mount Vernon Hwy

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Occoquan Historic District

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Tour Udvar Hazy Center, Smithsonian’s best Air and Space Museum
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Tour Baltimore’s B-Side
1415 Key Hwy

Visit the Holy Land, in Brookland
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Visit Eden Center, DC’s Little Saigon
Eden Center

Top 7 best ice skating rinks in DC
Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe

Tour 1 West Mount Vernon Place
Walters Art Museum