61 Things to Do in Spring in Washington DC (& DC Metro Area)

After a long winter, comes my favorite time of the year! The spring season, when the flowers are in their full bloom, kids are at home enjoying their spring break and the festivals are going on in full swing.

Spring in Washington DC
Photo by Jill Wellington

As a family, we spend some of the best times of year during the cherry blossom season.

There are lots of fun things to do with kids in the DC metropolitan area both in-person and virtually during this time of year. We’ve gathered up all the ideas to keep this spring fun for your entire family!

We recommend before visiting, make sure to check each venue for more details, to see if reservations are needed and what safety guidelines may be in place.

Let’s start with the nation’s capital.

Source: Georgetown Glow Lights

Best Spring Family-Fun Activities in in Washington D.C.

  1. Visit The Wharf’s Recreation Pier and relax in the lounge chairs or modern swings along the water.

  2. Bring a picnic to the Hains Point, let the kids run free and try and “touch” the planes as they land and take off.

  3. Take the teens to the DC drum circle that’s been happening for 40+ years.

  4. Take your bird loving kids to Anacostia Park as it’s one of the best bird watching locations in DC. There are 1,200 acres of green space and fresh air for enjoying a picnic and shooting some hoops. And if you’re up for it, don’t forget your roller skates.

MORE FUN!: National Cherry Blossom Festival: What to See & Do With Kids

  1. Enjoy the beautiful Cherry Blossoms. The peak bloom this year is expected from March 20 – April 12, 2024. Even attend the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.

  2. You have to add Tidal Basin to your list, when you visit the annual cherry blossom festival. It is a man-made reservoir located between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel in Washington, D.C.

  3. Don’t forget to visit the Thomas Jefferson memorial while you’re here.

  4. Relax in the red rocking chairs and watch the ducks at the Southwest Duck Pond . If you’re up for more fun afterwards, head over to The Wharf nearby.
Source: Cherry Blossoms Watch

  1. Just outside of the Canadian Embassy is the Echo Dome. This makes for such a great science experiment that kids love! The sound gets absorbed and doesn’t make it out which kids are fascinated by.

  2. Take a nice walk or even bike along the Georgetown Waterfront Park. Kids enjoy the labyrinth at the western end of the park.

  3. The National Arboretum’s Mount Hamilton has thousands of blooming azaleas to see. You’ll usually be able to spot the azaleas from early April until sometime in June.

RELATED: 43+ Spring Fairs & Festivals Near DC

Source: NPS / Kenilworth

  1. Love outdoor activities? Play mini golf at the country’s oldest continually operated mini golf course atย East Potomac Park.

  2. Head to the skatepark, awesome toddler park or look for deer on the trail at Palisades Recreation Center & Playground.

  3. Rent a motorized swan boat for some serious family fun!

  4. Grab some small batch ice cream and handmade chocolates. Need we say more?
Source: Thomas Sweet

  1. Enjoy the outdoor garden areas of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. A few places including the boardwalk are currently closing to make sure social distancing can be maintained, but there are plenty of gorgeous areas to enjoy on a nice day.

  2. Explore, learn, and have fun at the Smithsonianโ€™s National Zoo

  3. Immerse into the nationโ€™s busiest performing arts center, the John F. Kennedy Center

  4. The Washington dc area is home to some of the world’s best museums like the Smithsonian museums, National Museum of the United States Army, the Washington Navy Yard Visitor Center, Planet Word and more.

  1. Best way to spend an entire day outdoors is to go paddle-boating, canoeing or kayaking.

  2. My kids never miss the chance to visit the largest reflecting pool in DC, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

  3. If you’re visiting DC for the first time, you just cannot skip the National Mall.

  4. Get into the groove with Passport DC programs that usually take place during the month of May. Around the World Embassy Tour is not one to be missed!

  5. Take a tour of the Washington Monument (reopened to the public as the National Park Service)

Best Spring Family-Fun Activities in Northern Virginia

Source: Burnside Farms

  1. Snuggle and bottle feed baby goats and alpacas? Yes, please! Sign-up at the Little Goat Farm at the Lake.

  2. While you’re in the area enjoying some baby goat snuggles, stop by to see the unique and beautiful Bluebell Fields at Merrimac Farms typically in the first few weeks of April.

    Enjoy a self-guided tour while kids receive bingo card games for fun along the way. The Virginia Bluebells run along the Cedar Run shoreline for almost a mile.

  3. Try the new 90-element vertical adventure climbing course at Climb UPton!

  4. Nothing says spring like animal babies! Keep an eye out for new arrivals at Frying Pan Park. Read our full review of all the fun to have at the farm!
  1. Attend Burnside Farm’s Festival of Spring starting April featuring over 2.5 million blooming festivals?

    Not only can you pick your own tulips and daffodils, the whole family can also enjoy other activities including bounce houses, grain bin basketball, cornhold games, pedal cart track, authentic dutch wooden shoes to klomp around in and more!

    Pack a picnic and enjoy the day.
Source: Frying Pan Park

  1. Take a self-drive Safari at Roer’s Zoofari to see all kinds of animals and even opt-in for an animal encounter for an even more memorable experience.

  2. One of our favorite parks, Clemyjontri Park, is not only an absolute blast for the kids, it’s a beautiful playground where children of all abilities can play side-by-side.

  3. Bring a picnic to the Gravelly Point Park, let the kids run free and try and “touch” the planes as they land and take off.

  4. The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is a bit outside of Northern Virginia but makes for a great day trip! Spread out over 10 days from April to May, the festival has plenty of family-friendly fun including a carnival, orchard tours, games and more.

    Note: this is just one of many apple festivals in Virginia that are fun to attend.
Source: Shenandoah Apple Blossom

  1. Enjoy a free visit to National Parks on April 20th like Shenandoah National Park or Great Falls National Park (or grab your free 4th grader access pass here and visit free anytime).

  2. Take a swing in one of the area’s many batting cages including Upton Hill Regional Park, Occoquan Regional Park and Cameron Run Regional Park.

  3. Hike to a waterfall with the kids at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.

RELATED: 25+ Places to See Spring Wildflowers in Northern Virginia (& Nearby)

  1. Cool off in one of the Regional Park’s fun waterparks including Volcano Island Waterpark, Pirate’s Cove Waterpark or Ocean Dunes Waterpark.

  2. Complete an orienteering course with the entire family for free throughout Fountainhead Regional Park.

    You’ll need to bring your navigataion, map reading and compass skills to choose routes, find markers and get back to the finish line in the shortest amount of time.

  3. Take a stroll, relax and enjoy the views with the family at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. It is one of the best places NoVa to get a taste of the early spring.

  4. Walk the 0.7 mile Dyke Marsh Trail and watch for birds as well. You’ll enjoy the views of the National Harbor and boats along the way!

    Don’t forget the boardwalk towards the end of the trail with a nice platform overlooking beautiful views.

  5. Take a stroll around the many historical landmarks in old town Alexandria

  6. Love capturing sunrise? Head on over to the Dyke Marsh and Belle Haven, along the Potomac River in Alexandria.

    A great place to try your hands at landscape photography and spotting wildlife in NoVa.

  7. Nature Lovers? Northern Virginia is home to some of the best parks, natural preserves, farms and a lot more. Go hiking, follow trails and make a day of it with your family and friends ๐Ÿ™‚

Best Spring Family-Fun Activities in Maryland

  1. The Butler’s Orchard Bunnyland happens in early April! Enjoy the egg hunt, Farm Fun Zone, hayride, country bunny character photo op and more.

  2. Visit Roos2u to get up close and personal with wallabies and kangaroos. We’re talking bottle feeding, giving treats, holding little ones and of course plenty of photo ops!

  3. Take a ride on the tot train, ride on the carousel and enjoy a picnic at Wheaton Regional Park.

  4. Explore the Billy Goat hiking trail (Section A, Section B or Section C – all different!) in Great Falls to enjoy the sun rays with the family.

  5. The Oxon Hill Farm is open and ready for you! Enjoy a self-guided tour to see pigs, horses, sheep, goats, chicken and mores.

    Kids between the ages of 9 and 13 can also become a Junior Park Ranger.

  6. Attend the Annual PEEPshow to see marshmallow masterpieces including sculptures, dioramas, mosaics and even videos, all crafted from or inspired by PEEPSยฎ.
Billy Goat Trail Section A Climb

  1. Make a hole-in-one at one of the area’s several mini golf courses including Cameron Run Regional Park and Algonkian Regional Park.

  2. Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling into town with the Party Train Tour at the B&O Railroad Museum. Hop on board for a real train ride with Thomas and grab your party pass to pick up favors at stops along the way.

    Say hello to Sir Topham Hatt, stop in the party corner for lawn game fun and have a blast in the bubble zone.

  3. Enjoy a walk along the National Harbor and while you’re there go for a ride on the carousel or the Capital Wheel.

  4. Climb aboard a safe pirate ship and sail along the Chesapeake.

  5. Get out and search for real fossils at Calvert Cliffs State Park.

  6. Visit one of the state parks and borrow a free backpack loaded with gear for an amazing adventure.

    Inside you’ll find insect/butterfly nets, monoculars, trail guides, tape measure, magnifying glass, observation jar, nature notebook, colored pencils and more.

  7. Attend one of the many free family-friendly events at Montgomery Parks.

  8. Have the kids become a Junior Ranger at one of the 15 Maryland National Parks.

  9. Get a ice cream cookie sandwich at Insomnia Cookies.

  10. Don’t forget to add Takoma Park to your list, it’s a hotspot of many spring festivals, live music and cultural events during this time.

  11. Our familiy loves visiting Adventure Park USA in the spring

  12. Cruise through the C&O Canal

Photo of author

OK Editorial Team

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