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Spring in DC Activities

The weather is warming up and everything's turning green. Shed your winter coat and get plan your visit to Washington DC. Spring is the prime season of the year to visit this magical city. Dozens of events are held this time of year, including cultural events, spring garden tours, wine festivals, parades and more. Don't miss these top spring events in Washington, DC!

African American Family Celebration

The National Zoo and Friends of the National Zoo host an African American Family Celebration each year on Easter Monday. The Washington, DC event includes traditional Easter activities for families, such as an Easter egg hunt, Easter-themed games and a visit from the Easter bunny! Live entertainment will include African storytelling and performances by an a cappella gospel quintet, a Caribbean and reggae band, a steel-drum band, a dance team, and a double-dutch jump rope team. In addition, animal keepers will host talks, feedings and 41 demonstrations highlighting a variety of animals, including cheetahs, western lowland gorillas, bald eagles, spectacled bears, kiwis and Asian elephants. Admission is free.

Date and Time
April 21, 2014, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain or shine.

National Zoo, Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC

Note, the parking garage may fill up and street parking is limited. The closest Metro station is Cleveland Park.

National Cathedral Flower Mart

The National Cathedral Flower Mart is Washington, DC's annual outdoor festival for garden enthusiasts and families that features annuals, perennials, landscape exhibits, Olmsted Woods and Garden Tours, musical entertainment, gourmet food, a book sale, and children's activities such as a rock wall, moon bounce, mini-Ferris wheel and a century-old restored carousel.

Dates and Times
May 2-3, 2014
Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On the grounds of the National Cathedral
Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW
Washington, DC

Note, the parking garage may fill up and street parking is limited. The closest Metro station is Cleveland Park.

Mount Vernon's Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

Mount Vernon's Wine Festival & Sunset Tour celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with special evening tours of the Mansion and cellar, appearances by "George and Martha Washington", and live music on the east lawn of George Washington's Mount Vernon home overlooking the scenic Potomac River. Visitors can bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as they sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries.

Date and Time
May 16-18, 2014, 6-9 p.m.


Tickets are $38 per person and are available at Mount Vernon's Ford Orientation Center or through mountvernon.org. The Saturday night festival often sells out. This event takes place rain or shine, tickets are limited and all sales are final. All proceeds benefit the ongoing preservation and restoration of Mount Vernon and its educational programs.
Exclusive Evening Tours
Historic interpreters and colonial-attired 18th-century "friends" of the Washingtons will discuss Washington's attempts at creating a vineyard and highlight various wine-related items inside the Mansion, such as Washington's spirits case, as well as the basement's brick vaults, where Washington stored his wine - an area of the Mansion not open to the public at any other time of the year.

Guests must be prepared to show identification for wine service. Designated drivers will receive free Coca-Cola soft drinks. Fruit & Cheese boxes will be available by advance purchase ($24 each; serves two). A variety of hot and cold food and desserts including baguettes, gourmet sandwiches, and specialty sweets will be available on site from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and Firehook Bakery Concessions. Outside food and beverages are not allowed. Pets are also not allowed.

Passport DC

Passport DC, an annual celebration of international culture presented by Cultural Tourism DC showcases Washington DC's embassies and cultural organizations with tours of more than 70 embassies and hundreds of events including street festivals, performances and exhibitions. The month-long celebration features a variety of special programming to appeal to all ages.

Passport DC Highlights
  • Saturday, May 3, 2014, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Around the World Embassy Tour will showcase 50 embassies from Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Americas, with artists and artisans, performers, lecturers, teachers, and others provide a range of educational and cultural programming. Participants can experience the food, art, dance, fashion, and music of different countries. Visitors are treated to karate demonstrations, dance performances, sari wrapping lessons, and henna demonstrations. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
  • May 10, 2014, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies' Open House. The Embassies of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States will open their doors to the public, offering a rare look at the diverse EU cultures.
  • May 15, 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Embassy Chef Challenge. This event brings together a dozen embassy chefs to present signature delights in a friendly culinary competition. Awards are given for the Judges' Choice and People's Choice Award. Tickets are $250 and include cuisine prepared by embassy chefs from around the world, a top-shelf bar and silent and live auctions. The complete schedule will be available at www.passportdc.org.

Asian Heritage Festival- Fiesta Asia

The street fair offers a variety of activities including musical performances, a multicultural marketplace, martial arts demonstrations, friendly interactive activities, a talent competition, cultural parade, Bollywood street dancing, and exhibits of traditional and contemporary Asian crafts. Admission is free. Asian Heritage Festival Highlights
  • More than 100 live performing acts on 5 stages - Tibetan Folk; Filipino Hip Hop; Muay Thai Kickboxing; Middle Eastern Drums
  • Fiesta Asia Emerging Stars Contest - a live talent search for ages 5 to 17
  • Kiddiz Cool Lounge - Fiesta Asia Dragon; Hug the Panda; Meet Balloon Artist; Lantern Making; Henna Painting; Chalk the Walk; Storytelling & many more!
  • Interactive Lessons: Bollywood; Hula; Folk; Drumming; Belly and Bamboo Dance
  • Bhangra Mania & Shimmy Mob - Learn online, dance in the streets projects

Date and Times
May 17, 2014
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 3rd & 6th St. Washington, DC
The closest Metro stations are National Archives/Navy Memorial and Judiciary Square
For more information, visit www.asiaheritagefoundation.org.

Memorial Day Concerts and Parades

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. This is a great time to honor our veterans and famous Americans by visiting the monuments in Washington DC. The Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the busy summer season and the Washington, DC region celebrates with family friendly events and special services. Here is the 2014 Memorial Day event schedule:

National Memorial Day Concert
Sunday, May 25, 2014, 8 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.
PBS sponsors a FREE concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The concert features actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, and other guest artists along with the National Symphony Orchestra.

National Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 26, 2014, beginning at 2 p.m.
The parade of Marching Bands and Veterans units from all 50 states steps off at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW and proceeds along Constitution Avenue, past the White House, ending at 17th Street. The National Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee and includes patriotic floats and helium-filled balloons.

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally

Sunday, May 25, 2014. Departure from the Pentagon at 12 p.m. Speaker Program and Musical Tribute 1:30 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool across from The Lincoln Memorial. Thousands of motorcycles ride through Washington in an annual demonstration seeking to improve veteran benefits and resolve POW/MIA issues.

Arlington National Cemetery

  • Flags-In. Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) will be joined by service members from the U.S. Marine Corps Ceremonial and Guard Company, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard in placing more than 250,000 grave decorating flags at Arlington National Cemetery. The flags will remain through Memorial Day.
  • Monday, May 26, 2014, 11 a.m. A wreath-laying ceremony and concert will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of Memorial Day.
  • Monday, May 26, 2014, 4 p.m. The Women In Military Service For America Memorial, located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, will hold a ceremony that includes formal military honors, a keynote address, wreath-layings and the Memorial's signature event, the scattering of rose petals in tribute to departed comrades. Members of the public are invited to join in the personal tribute segment of the program.

Navy Memorial

Saturday, May 24, 2014, 11 a.m. Rolling Thunder visits the Navy Memorial and holds a wreath-laying ceremony featuring special guests and live performances.

Monday, May 26, 2014, 10 a.m. Fleet Reserve Association Wreath laying, 12 p.m. U.S. Navy Band Concert, 1 p.m. Naval District Washington Wreath laying.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Monday, May 26, 2014, 1 p.m. Thousands of veterans and their families congregate at The Wall to remember and to honor the U.S. armed forces. The wreath-laying ceremony is open to the public.

World War II Memorial

Monday, May 26, 2014, 9 a.m. The National Park Service and the Friends of the National World War II Memorial will sponsor a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of our veterans. Guest speakers will give remarks. The theme for the commemoration is "Honoring our Fallen Warriors." Many surviving WWII veterans will be in attendance.

Air Force Memorial

Monday, May 26, 2014, 9 a.m. wreath laying ceremony is open to the public. Activities include the national anthem, invocation, speeches, the laying of the wreath and the sounding of Taps.

President Lincoln's Cottage

Monday, May 26, 2014. Take a free guided tour of the USSAH National Cemetery (predecessor of Arlington National Cemetery) at 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A wreath laying ceremony will also take place at the Soldiers' Home at 10 a.m. Tours of the Cottage will be available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the regular price of $15 for adults and $5 for children. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch. Advanced reservations for Cottage Tours are strongly recommended.

Washington DC Spring Things to Do -Your DC Hotels