There is so much to celebrate in March! Spring is coming, so flowers will are beginning to bloom. This includes the area’s illustrious cherry blossoms (their peak bloom will be announced by the National Park Service in early March). The Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to run from March 20 through April 12 this year. We have included some cornerstone festival events in this guide, but see the festival’s website for a full list of related events. March also brings us events related to Women’s History Month and St. Patrick’s Day. However you choose to usher in spring with your family, we hope that you share tons of laughter and joy with each other. Oh, and don’t forget to set your clocks one hour forward on March 8th! If you know of other events that we should add to this guide, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Now Through Summer 2020
10am – 6pm
National Geographic Society Museum
One way to celebrate Women’s History Month would be to gain insight into an iconic woman, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. She braved the unknown to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives: chimpanzees. In this hands-on, transportive multimedia exhibition celebrating her extraordinary life and work, you’ll explore Dr. Goodall’s early years through iconic images and a multi-screen experience. You will venture on a 3D exploration of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park where she did her famous behavioral research on chimps. You’ll also see a life-size hologram of Dr. Goodall, enter a replica of her research tent, and learn about her current role as a leader in community-centered conservation and youth empowerment. Before you leave, you will find out what you can do today to make a positive impact in the world. You can purchase tickets online. Children aged 4 and under are free.
Now Through April 5
What happens when a girl no bigger than a thumb finds herself lost in a great big world? She takes control of the story, of course! In this plucky retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, Thumbelina sets off to find her place in a world where she does not seem to “fit,” meeting a bashful toad, a bullying band of maybugs, a helpful field mouse, and many more friends along the way. But is her story written for her? OR can she control her destiny? Inspired by Kamishibai – a form of Japanese street theatre that uses illustrated boards to create the story-this production features live video projections, puppetry, dioramas, and other theatre magic. Thumbelina will dazzle audiences with an eye-catching celebration of individuality and friendship. This production is best for children age 6 and older.
Mardi Gras at the Museum!
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Enjoy decorating your own masks for Fat Tuesday! All materials including feathers, beads, bangles, and yes, glitter will be provided. Listen to authentic zydeco music and participate in a second line wearing your masks through the museum. Artist educator, Alma Robinson will facilitate the workshop. This program is part of the museum’s new Twilight Tuesdays series of drop-in programs. The museum is open until 8pm every Tuesday. No registration required. Light refreshments. Something is always happening on Twilight Tuesdays!
“Shake Up Your Saturday” Family Program
12pm – 2pm
Southeast Neighborhood Library
The Folger Shakespeare Library hosts “Shake Up Your Saturday” family programs on the first Saturday of every month. These free events are for all ages and encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This month’s event is called “Cram Thee With More Food” and invites participants to bite into Shakespeares’s words and Elizabethan table manners. The event is free, but you need to register online. The 12pm – 1pm session is recommended for ages 4 to 7 and the 1pm-2pm session is recommended for ages 7 to 11.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
12:30pm – 2pm
If you can’t wait until March 17th to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, then you can celebrate early in Old Town. Alexandria will host its 39th Annual St. Patricks Day Parade, complete with pipe and drum bands, the Notre Dame Alumni Band, historical re-enactors, Shriners and Kena cars, and Irish dancers. The parade route follows King Street from Alfred Street down to Lee Street. The Fun Dog Show, which benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, will precede the parade (from 10:30am – 12pm). More than 30 costumed dogs will compete in a range of categories, including Best Human/Canine Look-Alike, Most Talented, and Most St. Paddy’s Spirit. The dogs will then kick off the parade at 12:15pm. The Fun Dog Show will be in front of City Hall at 301 King Street.
March 7 – 8
Travel & Adventure Show
Washington Convention Center
If you are looking for your next family vacation destination (or an adults-only retreat), you could find it at the Travel & Adventure show. Visitors will be able to explore endless vacation options, discover over 200 destinations around the globe, and meet travel celebrities Peter Greenberg, Pauline Frommer, Patricia Schultz and Rudy Maxa. At the Global Beats Stage, music and dancing from various cultures will be on display. There will be several giveaways and prizes up for grabs too. The kids will enjoy test driving a Segway, the Greater Miama CVB photo booth, or trying scuba in a heated pool (for ages 10 and over)! Tickets are available for purchase online or onsite (cash-only onsite). Children 16 and under are free.
Pop-Up Story Time: International Women’s Day
10:30am – 11:30am
National Postal Museum
Join the National Postal Museum for a special story time as we celebrate International Women’s Day. Visitors will focus on the power of flight and invention through exploration of the museum and a reading of Rosie Revere, Engineer. In addition to engineering a craft of their very own, young visitors will also have the chance to meet a female pilot working in the field today. All ages welcome; recommended for ages 2 to 8. Please be advised that during the program, visitors will travel throughout the museum, and it is recommended to park strollers behind the welcome desk.
International Women’s Day
12pm – 5pm
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The NMWA is offering free admission and programs in honor of International Women’s Day. Enjoy docent-led conversation pieces, live music from local musicians Tamika Love Jones and Sweet Yonder, a women authors book sway with Brightest Young Things, hands-on activities with Sew Creative Lounge, and library story time in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center.
Women in Aviation and Space Family Day
10am – 3pm
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Join the Smithsonian for a family day designed to introduce your family to groundbreaking women of the past and the women driving us into the future. STEM professionals and air traffic controllers will be ready to answer your questions about a career in science and flight. The museum’s curators will talk about women working in space and military demonstration pilots. There will be hands-on activities, inspiring women, and fun challenges to celebrate women’s contributions to space, aviation, and STEM fields. Entry to the museum is free, but parking is $15.
March 14 & 15
10am, 2:30pm, and 6:30pm
Eagle Bank Arena
Get ready for another hair-raising adventure when Poppy, Branch and all their Trolls friends come to life on stage in Trolls LIVE!, their first ever live tour! The journey begins when the Trolls’ Hug Time is unexpectedly put at risk. Knowing that the only way to save it is by doing what the Trolls do best, Poppy hosts a toe-tapping, Trolls-tastic show! Poppy, Branch, Cooper, Cloud Guy, Smidge, Guy Diamond, Fuzzbert, Biggie (and of course Mr. Dinkles) invite you into the colorful world of Trolls Village for this interactive performance, jam-packed with all the music, glitter, humor and happiness that only the Trolls can create. This is one Trolls party you won’t want to miss!
Girls Celebrate Women’s History Month
2pm – 4pm
Huntley Meadows State Park
Art, science, and history are combined in this program at Huntley Meadows Park that is inspired by the lives of four women of science. Spend a little time indoors to discover the stories of Maria Merian, Frances Hamerstrom, Jane Goodall, and Rachel Carson. Head out onto the forested trails and wetland boardwalk equipped with sketch pads, binoculars, and magnifying lenses to record your own nature adventure. Supplies are included and all children are welcome. The cost is $14 per child and this program is for children age 5 to 17.
St. Paddy’s Day Party
10:15am & 11:30am
S. Dillon Ripley Center
Join Pete (aka Mitch Fanning) and his troupe of talented young musicians as they pick up their fiddles and bodhran drums to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Spirited music, lively step dancing, and a dash of Irish musical history guarantee “a rattlin’ good time!” This program is recommended for kids ages 5-12. Everyone must have a ticket to enter, including children under the age of 2.
Japanese Fashion Family Day
10am – 3pm
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
Celebrate Japanese fashion! This museum family day will feature kimono, happi coats, accessories, and the creativity of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. Enjoy performances of traditional dances from Okinawa. Watch a kimono dressing demonstration and draft a kimono design. Make a cherry blossom pendant to take home. This event is free to attend and no preregistration is required.
Shakespeare For The Young: “The Tiniest Tempest”
The Shakespeare for the Young puppet show, which is free and at 10:30am on Saturday mornings, brings Shakespeare to young children, ages 4 and up, through a fun and interactive experience. In “The Tiniest Tempest,” based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” four puppeteers will bring the characters of Miranda and Prospero, Antonio and Alonso, and Caliban and Ariel to life with their story of hurt and love as well as revenge and forgiveness. The puppets are both large-bodied and shadow puppets with actors also playing the roles of Prospero and Antonio/Alonso. All shows feature group activities after the performance with song, movement, and interactive play. No tickets or reservations are needed.
The World and Me Family Program: Bones, Bones, and Animal Bones
10:30am – 12pm
Natural History Museum
Learn more about your place in the world through explorations of nature and culture. Every second Saturday of the month, museum educators lead a program that combines a book reading, activities, and a chance to look more closely at the museum’s collections. For this month’s program, families will explore bones and skeletons. After a book reading of Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons by Sara Levine, participants will investigate what skeletons can tell us about how different animals (including humans!) live and move. After the program, participants can continue their exploration of this topic in the Bone Hall located on the second floor. Participants must register to guarantee a spot in the program. Reservation is $2.00 per person. Children ages 2 and under are free.
Cherry Blossom Celebration
11am – 3pm
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto Ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, and go on an art scavenger hunt throughout the exhibition, Chiura Obata: American Modern in the first-floor galleries. All performances take place in the Kogod Courtyard unless otherwise noted.
Capital One Arena
The Globetrotters are once again pushing the limits of basketball, and having even more fun doing it. Don’t miss the one and only Harlem Globetrotters in an all-new tour. There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt, and unforgettable family moments.
Little Hands on the Farm
9:45am – 11:45am
Frying Pan Farm Park
This program, which occurs multiple times a month, teaches kids about a different element of farm life and allows them to spend time with a different animal at each session. Activities may include, story time, creating crafts and introductory level farm chores. The program at Frying Pan Farm Park runs from 9:45am to 10:30am for children age two to three and from 11am to 11:45am for children age three to five. The cost is $8 per child. Pre-paid reservations are required, and an adult must attend with a registered child.
Storytime: The Tiny Seed
10am – 11am
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Celebrate spring with the journey of a tiny seed. We’ll take a close look at the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and read-aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, we’ll explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity. This event is free and no pre-registration is required. This Storytime will be held in spanish on March 29th from 10am – 11am. Details can be found here.
Cherry Blossom Jubilee
12pm – 5pm
Torpedo Factory Art Center
During the Cherry Blossom Jubilee, find a free lively afternoon of hands-on activities and cultural performances. Create blossom-inspired art guided by artists from the Art Center community. Visit select studios on all three floors to see artists demonstrate their talents. Find original works of art to shop and explore throughout the building.
Cherry Blossom Night with the Washington Wizards
Capitol One Arena
Celebrate the cherry blossom season with the Wizards and the National Cherry Blossom Festival when they take on the Phoenix Suns. Each ticket purchased through the link comes with a limited edition Wizards Cherry Blossom t-shirt. In addition, the first 10,000 fans entering the arena will receive a Rui Hachimura Cherry Blossom inspired bobblehead!
BSO Music Box: Celebrate Springtime
10am & 11:30am
AMP by Strathmore
North Bethesda, MD
The BSO Music Box concert series is the perfect program for budding little music lovers. Maria Broom hosts these 30-minute highly engaging and interactive concerts featuring an ensemble of BSO musicians performing light-hearted classical and children’s songs to develop your child’s musicality, creativity, coordination, and literacy. Half an hour prior to each concert, the room fills with a range of musical, creative, and fun activities for children and families, presented by Levine First Music. This event is ideal for ages 6 months to 3 years. In Celebrate Springtime, a brass quintet will celebrate the heralding of spring by cherry blossoms, sunshine, and budding flowers and trees herald spring. See website to purchase tickets and to find helpful tips for your visit.
Blossom Kite Festival
10am – 4:30pm
The National Mall
The Blossom Kite Festival is a cornerstone event of DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It will be held on the grounds of the Washington Monument (near 17th St and Constitution Ave, NW). Professionals and novices gather to fly thousands of kites. Some will participate in competitions and demonstrations, Rokkaku Battles, and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Participants bring their own kites, although kids can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last). Kites will also be available for purchase onsite.
Oxon Run Pink-nic
12pm – 3pm
Oxon Run Park
This free event is an annual part of DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Join this neighborhood celebration in the green space that is home to DC’s second largest cherry blossom tree grove. Community and family-friendly entertainment adds to the fun!
Washington Nationals Opening Day
Get your tickets soon so that your family can cheer on your World Series champs, the Washington Nationals, as they kick off the season with a home opener against their NL East rivals, the New York Mets. The team will unveil its 2019 World Champions banner as part of the pregame ceremonies prior to the game. The ballpark offers a lot of kid-friendly options for families. Take advantage of the children’s play area which is just to the left of the center field entrance. And, of course, the whole family will want to cheer on their favorite President during the Presidents’ Race, which occurs after the top of the fourth inning. There are a lot of food options that kids will enjoy, but don’t miss The Rookie stand in Section 143 that offers junior-sized hot dogs, kid’s meals, and PB&J sandwiches.
April 6, 7, 11, & 12
American Ninja Warrior Taping
DC is one of four cities that has been chosen for the taping of American Ninja Warrior’s 12th season. See your favorite ninja superstars and dozens of exciting rookie competitors be the first to tackle never-before-seen obstacles. Bring the family to watch the action as hundreds of athletes compete for the $1 Million grand prize! If you’re a fan of the show don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see the phenomenon live. Tickets are FREE, but you must enter the ticket giveaway online. Tickets will be released 30 days prior to taping. Please note that the minimum age to attend American Ninja Warrior is 8 years old.