The warm and sunny spring days are slowly approaching and they are the perfect time to take advantage of the beauty and fun that waits in our own backyard. Washington DC is the perfect place to head when you are in need of something different to do on a Saturday afternoon, and it’s even better this time of year! There is no reason to be bored again this semester with so many things offered just a short metro ride away! If you are looking for some ideas, check these out:
Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival goes from March 20-April 13, so check out these last few upcoming events! They should not be missed!
- Parade, April 12, 2014: This is one of the festival’s main events! Head over to Constitution Ave (between 7th and 17th street) to see fun costumes, celebrity performances, elaborate floats, giant balloons, and marching bands strut their stuff! There is free standing and seating at various places along the route, but if you are interested in Grandstand seating, it will cost 20 dollars or more. It’s from 10am-12pm, and be sure to get their early for a good seat! Support the 2014 Maryland Cherry Blossom Princess, Taylor Rogers, who is a UMD student!
- Walk for Wishes, April 13, 2014: The Make A Wish Foundation sponsors this walk around the National Mall. It’s encouraged that participants help fundraise to support the organization and local wishes, and those who fundraise over $100 will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. It’s a fun day with other festivities, besides the actual walk! It’s from 12pm-2pm. For more information visit www.walksforwishesDC.org.
- Sakura Matsuri –Japanese Street Festival, April 12, 2014: For 10 dollars you can enjoy a day of Japanese food, art, culture, performances, and fun! Head over to 12th street and Pennsylvania Ave between 10:30 am-6pm and buy tickets with cash at any of the entrances. For tickets online or more information check out www.sakuramatsuri.org.
Smithsonian Craft Show
From April 10-13, head over to the National Museum Building for this annual event. It cost $13 for a general admission ticket, and you can check out over 100 vendors! There will be a variety of items sold, like jewelry or ceramics. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee uses the proceeds from the Craft Show for education and research at the Smithsonian, making this a great cause and a great afternoon waiting to happen! Check out www.smithsoniancraftshow.org for more info and tickets!
Yoga on the Mall
On May 3rd from 11am-1pm head over to the Constitution Gardens by the Vietnam Memorial, and you’ll find over 2000 yoga lovers of all levels gathered outside for class. All are welcomed, and it’s free—so bring your friends! All you need is your mat, a towel, and water!
Photo credit: CHAARG UMD
For you movie buffs, this is heaven-sent. From April 17-27, 2014 there will be fantastic new films from all over the world being played at different locations in DC. Tickets vary per movie and location, but check out their website www.filmfestDC.org for specific dates, times, and prices! There are also special opening and closing night events, so you won’t want to miss out.
Paddle Boat on the Tidal Basin
Enjoy the Jefferson Memorial and the Cherry Blossoms from a boat in the water with your friends! That’s a fun way to see some of DC’s iconic landmarks from a different perspective, and perfect for a beautiful day! It costs $14 per hour for a 2 passenger boat, and $22 for a four passenger boat. You can make reservations and get more information at www.tidalbasinpaddleboats.com.
The Washington Monument
This iconic landmark will be reopening to the public on May 12, 2014 after being closed for reconstruction. You can get free, same day tickets on a first come first serve basis from the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Ave, adjacent to the Monument. If you would rather book in advance and ensure your spot, go online to www.nps.gov/wamo and you can reserve tickets for a service fee. Once there you can take the elevator to the 500 feet-high observation deck, and then check out the exhibit on the floor below!
Smithsonian National Zoo
What could be better than cute animals and a nice afternoon? Oh wait, FREE admission! This is a perfect, fun outing for us college students on a budget. It’s only a metro ride away, too. www.nationalzoo.si.edu is their website if you need any information or want to check out some of their fun events! (We’re all kids and animal lovers at heart anyway, right?)
Use your weekends to explore the exciting experiences in DC and check out the events that are best for you. Need more ideas on fun things to do this spring? Here are a few great sites: