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Washington, D.C. Spring Family Fun Guide: The Best Places to go and Things to do With Kids

Things to Do DC/MD/VA
National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC Photo Courtesy of National Cherry Blossom Festival National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC Photo Courtesy of National Cherry Blossom Festival

Ready for some spring fun with your kids? Whether you're a DC local or visiting from out of town, we have ten suggestions for the best family activities and events in and around Washington, DC to do with your kids this spring. So get outside and enjoy the warm weather!

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC
The Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC Photo Courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

1. National Cherry Blossom Festival
This might be our favorite springtime event, with or without the kids. If you’ve never been, you really must see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, the entire city is pink! Here are a few tips:

  • The festival takes place from March 20th - April 13th and according to the National Park Service, “peak bloom” will be between April 3rd - April 6th this year. 
  • The best place to view the cherry blossoms (and take pictures!) is the Tidal Basin. In particular, we love the view from the Jefferson Memorial. 
  • It’s crowded, and you will do a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take your stroller.
  • Go early in the morning or on a weekday if you can. You’ll find fewer crowds. 
  • For better viewing of the cherry blossoms take to the water and avoid the crowds with cherry blossom sight-seeing boat tours. Check out these deals for two of our favorites, save 50% off one ticket for the Cherry Blossom Boomerang Cruise or save 27% off one ticket for the Capitol River Cruise Cherry Blossom Sightseeing Tour!

Children's Garden at US Botanic Garden
A Child Watering a Plant at the Children's Garden at the US Botanic Garden Photo Courtesy of  US Botanic Garden

2. US Botanic Garden
The cherry blossoms aren’t the only things blooming in DC this spring. The US Botanic Garden is a gorgeous oasis right inside the nation’s capital, and it’s free to enter! They even have a Children’s Garden where kids can use gardening tools, touch and smell the plants, dig, climb, and more. (There’s also plenty of seating for parents who want to take a quick rest while the kids play!) They also offer free scavenger-hunt Plant Hunt handouts at the Information Desk, and a Junior Botanist backpack program, that are self-guided and available for free anytime. There's something for everyone at the US Botanic Garden with tons of different hands-on programs for kids of all ages, from newborns to teens, everyone is sure to have fun in the Botanic Garden.

3. Garfield Park
If you have a skateboarder in your family, you really must check out Garfield Park. It’s truly one of the best playgrounds in DC. Garfield Park is a safe, quiet, and peaceful space that connects the Capitol Hill neighborhood with the newer community surrounding the Navy Yard. In addition to the skate park (with some pretty cool graffiti art), you and your kids both can climb on large playground equipment. That’s right, their swings, slides, and jungle gyms are all big enough for adult use. In the spring, you can sit and look at the beautiful cherry blossom trees in the park while your kids play. Or come without the little ones sometime and enjoy the bocce ball and tennis courts. Fun for the whole family! 

Billy Goat Trail at Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Scenic Billy Goat Trail at Potomac National Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

4. Billy Goat Trail 
Located southeast of Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in Potomac, Maryland, a “billy goat trail” is simply a hike that offers you three choices for trails. Choice A gives you the most strenuous hike. Choice B is moderately strenuous. And choice C is just an easy stroll through the woods. If you want to do this hike with your kids, we recommend trail C. This is a beautiful area in the springtime. You’ll see a gorgeous display of wildflowers this time of year. And if you’re lucky, you’ll see some of our native bird populations returning home for the warmer months.

The Wharf in Washington, D.C.
Kid Friendly Activities at The Wharf Photo Courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

5. The Wharf
When the weather warms up in the spring, families love to spend more time outdoors. The Wharf is a waterfront neighborhood in DC with plenty to do. You can check out one of the many delicious restaurants, rent a paddleboat, ride the rocking horses at 7th Street Park, or spend the day on recreation pier. They have oversize games, a fire attraction, and even grown-up sized swings!

Great Hall at National Building Museum in Washington DC
The Great Hall at The National Building Museum Photo by Kevin Allen, Courtesy of National Building Museum

6. The National Building Museum
This popular DC attraction is one of the most family-friendly museums around. Every day they hold events that kids love. Visit the kids exhibit at the National Building Museum called Play Work Build. This interactive exhibit was created to show the connections between kids play and the design work of professionals and architects. Kids and parents will have fun building with blocks or virtual blocks and learning about the design process through play. Check out story time, early learning programs, teen nights, and more. And if you use our deal, you’ll get up to 50% off admission!

7. White House Gardens Tour
Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the White House opens its historic gardens for public tours. You and your family can stroll through the famous Rose Garden, the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, and the White House Kitchen Garden. The spring 2019 tour date will be announced soon on the White House website.

ARTECHOUSE In Peak Bloom Exhibit
ARTECHOUSE's In Peak Bloom Exhibit Photo Courtesy of ARTECHOUSE

8. ARTECHOUSE’s In Peak Bloom Exhibit 
Looking for an indoor activity this spring? Why not check out some digital cherry blossom art? This spring at ARTECHOUSE DC, you and your family can see Washington’s signature blooms in a modern, digital art medium. The Peak Bloom exhibit is brand new with select dates from March 21st - April 21st. It’s also an interactive experience, so you can truly immerse yourselves in the art. Plus, we have a deal to save you 10% off admission. Happy spring!

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad: Bunny Hop Train Ride
A child Meeting the Easter Bunny at Western Maryland Scenic Railroad: Bunny Hop Train Ride

9. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad: Bunny Hop Train Ride 
Of course, a spring activities list wouldn’t be complete without an Easter Bunny activity! This one is a two-hour drive from DC, and it makes a great day trip, especially for families with train loving-kids. 

Hop on board this super fun train in Cumberland, Maryland through April 20th and ride through the scenic Allegheny Mountains to Mountain View. You’ll listen to a cute Easter story and sing along to holiday tunes. In Mountain View, kids can hunt for eggs with the Easter Bunny, play games, win prizes, and enjoy lemonade and cookies. Even the grown-ups will have fun! Save 60% when you use our CertifiKID deal.

10. Passport DC
Take a journey through different cultural communities, customs and foods at Passport DC! This journey requires no airline flights as it takes place right here, in Washington, DC. Passport DC is a 31-day program that occurs every year in May, allowing you to explore over 50 embassies. Your kids will love trying new foods, cultural dances, performances, music, and more! Here is a list of all the events happening during Passport DC:

  • The Flower Mart at National Cathedral on May 3rd and May 4th. This event has taken place for over 79 years and has continued to grow ever since its beginning in 1939. There will be flowers and food for purchase as well as children's activities and a historic carousel ride.
  • The Around the World Embassy Tour begins on May 4th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Over 50 embassies open their doors for this exciting event. There will be food, indigenous dances, goods from different countries and more!
  • European Union Embassies' Open House, May 11th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Visitors of the European Embassies will enjoy authentic music, film, food, and art from 28 nations. The embassies participating in this event include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 
  • Fiesta Asia! Street Festival, May 18th from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. This fair is held at Capitol Hill and offers outdoor craft exhibits, live performances, food, market vendors, interactive displays, martial arts demonstration and more!

Let us know if you try any of our suggestions. We love hearing from you! For more family fun this spring check out The Best Things to See and Do With Kids in Washington, D.C. This April!

Tags: Spring events, Easter, Spring in DC, Cherry Blossom Festival, Easter Bunny, Hiking, Outdoor activities, indoor activities, National Building Museum, The Wharf in DC, Family Fun, Kid activities, Kids in DC


 

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