April is upon us and spring is in full swing! The cherry blossoms may be on their way out, but the tulips, bluebells, and other flower trees are just getting ready to hit their peak. Add in some gorgeous weather just begging you to get outside, and D.C. is about to get a whole lot busier! To help you make the most of what April has to offer, Secret D.C. has rounded up all the happenings this month you don’t want to miss:
1. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: R&B Music Experience D.C. (April 1), Grupo Firme: ¡Hay Que Conectarla! (April 15), MANÁ: México Lindo y Querido (April 21)
- The Anthem: Lewis Capaldi (April 3), Jamie Cullum (April 26)
- 9:30 Club: Nick Lutsko & The $100k Band (April 4), Sleaford Mods (April 5), Marc Broussard (April 6), Caroline Rose (April 14), Wild Child (April 15), Ruston Kelly (April 17), Built To Spill (April 20), Scary Pockets (April 21), Fruit Bats (April 22), Andy Shauf (April 24), Theo Katzman (April 25), Lizzy McAlpine (April 27-28), Pinback (April 28), Drive-By Truckers (April 29-30)
- Echostage: Ella Mai (April 8), San Holo (April 15), DNBNL:DC (April 20), Emo Nite (April 21), Sullivan King (April 22), Project GLOW DC 2023 (April 29)
2. Experience the last of the National Cherry Blossom Festival events
- April 6
- Spring Sake Festival 2023
- April 7
- Paws & Petals Yappy Hour at metrobar
- April 8
- Jazz and Blossoms
- April 9
- Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
- Film Screening x Tasting: Ramen Heads
- April 14
- 31st National Japan Bowl
- Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group U.S. North American Tour
- NCSS United States & Territories Celebration Gala and Crowning of the 2023 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen
- April 15
- National Cherry Blossom Parade
- Conrad D.C. partnered with D.C.-based artist Heather Cooper to create an art installation in the atrium of the hotel’s third floor of 4,000 silk flowers woven with metal. (March 1-April 31)
- Embassy of Japan presents: “Blossoming Flowers in Japanese Art and Poetry” (March 17-May 5)
- Petal Porches across the DMV (March 20-April 16)
- Art in Bloom (March 20-April 17)
- Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art presents: “Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell” (March 25-Sept. 10)
3. Attend April’s National Gallery Night
The National Gallery of Art’s seasonal favorite National Gallery Nights is back for spring! April’s theme for the Thursday, April 13 event is “Garden Party.” In a nod to spring and the end of D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, attendees can try print-making with Soul & Ink, create their own flower crowns, attend pop-up talks about the relationship between art and nature, swing dance, and much more! If you’re truly feeling the spring spirit, the National Gallery of Art encourages attendees to “don your best fascinator,” a formal and ornamental headwear (not quite a hat) you often see royalty wearing. Learn more here.
4. Get lost in a colorful sea of flowers at Burnside Farms’s 2023 Festival of Spring
Nothing says spring quite like wandering through a field of tulips. Now you can do just that at Burnside Farms’s 2023 Festival of Spring! Running from April 4 through (approximately) April 26, visitors can picnic and lounge outside its 100-year-old dairy barn or pick their own beautiful bouquet from more than 150 types of tulips and more than 30 types of daffodils. Five flowers are included with each admission ticket, then you can pay $1 per stem for tulips or $1 per 2 daffodils.
5. Embrace the prehistoric at Dinos Alive: An Immersive Experience
Have you ever wished you could interact with dinosaurs? Well, now is your chance! This exhibit features 80 prehistoric specimens and even a virtual aquarium so you can interact with these magnificent creatures from millions of years ago.
6. Head to the theatre for one of these plays, musicals, or ballets
- The Kennedy Center
- “Shear Madness” (March 31-Oct. 1)
- “Cenicienta: A Bilingual Cinderella Story” (April 1-2)
- “Scott Silven: Wonders” (April 1-9)
- “Les Misérables” (April 11-29)
- “Heather Raffo: Tomorrow Will Be Sunday” (April 13)
- “Each Kindness” (April 28-29)
- National Theatre
- “My Fair Lady” (April 8-9)
- “Our Planet” (April 15)
- “Aladdin” (April 19-30)
- Ford’s Theatre
- “SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!” (March 15-May 13)
- Woolly Mammoth Theatre
- “The Nosebleed” (March 31-April 23)
- “The Jungle” (March 28-April 16)
7. Celebrate Easter and Passover with these brunch options and events
Whether you’re looking to sit down to brunch with family and friends, or hoping to participate in a themed event, D.C. has some great options for observing the holidays:
- District Winery (Easter)
- Kingbird (Easter)
- Hill Country Barbecue Market (Passover)
- Moon Rabbit (Easter)
- Char Bar (Passover)
- Skydome (Easter)
- Centrolina (Easter and Passover)
- CUT D.C. (Easter)
- Sababa (Passover)
- Gravitas (Easter)
- Summer House (Passover)
- Rooftop Terrace at the Kennedy Center (Easter)
- Easter egg hunts and themed events
- Wagshal’s Market (Passover dinner, wine, and treats to go)
- The Fairmont (Brunch, Easter Bunny, and egg hunt)
- Call Your Mother (Passover treats)
- Estuary (Brunch and rooftop egg hunt)
- Sonny’s Pizza (Post-Passover Chametz Party)
- Kick Axe D.C./Throw Social (Brunch at Throw Social, then face off against the Easter Bunny in axe throwing!)
- Sababa (Passover dinner)
- O Street Museum (Easter-themed treasure and candy hunt)
8. Immerse yourself in renowned art
What could be more awe-inspiring than immersing yourself in your favorite art? Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience allows you to do just that! The exhibits use floor-to-ceiling projections to showcase Vincent Van Gogh’s famous works, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in his art.
9. Bust a gut at one of these comedy shows
- D.C. Improv: Nick Swardson (March 31-April 2), Ryan Davis (April 6-8), Jenny Johnson (April 6-8), Craig Robinson (April 13-16), Nicole Byer (April 20-22), The Comedy Roast of Earth (April 21), Cameron Esposito (April 23), Jive Turkey & Friends (April 23), Mike Birbiglia (April 25-26), Brad Williams (April 27-30), Derek Gaines (April 27-30)
- Warner Theatre: Sam Morril (March 31), Sarah Millican (April 1-2)
10. Honor D.C. Emancipation Day
D.C. Emancipation Day refers to the day the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 was passed, ending slavery in Washington, D.C. and freeing 3,100 people. Though this occurred on April 16, this year D.C. will commemorate the act on Saturday, April 15 at Freedom Plaza with a parade, live performances by local artists, and a firework show. Learn more here.
11. Check out Filmfest D.C.
Get whisked away into the world of international cinema at the 37th annual Filmfest D.C. Running from Wednesday, April 19 through Sunday, April 30, the international film festival will feature 65 films from 30 different countries, spanning every genre from “comedies, thrillers, dramas, social justice documentaries,” and works by local filmmakers. See a full list of films and times on the Filmfest D.C. website.
12. Have some fun at the National Cannabis Festival
D.C.is hosting its 6th annual National Cannabis Festival! On Saturday, April 22, attendees can head to the RFK Festival Grounds to enjoy performances from artists like 2 Chains, visit marijuana education classes, hear from members of Congress, partake in yoga, enter contests, eat delicious foods and drinks, and much more! There are also a number of events through the week of April 20, allowing you to partake in 4/20 Food Week and a 4.2-Mile Fun Walk/Run, among other things. Learn more here.
13. Laugh about people’s love lives at True Dating Stories
D.C. dating has its own hashtag for a reason: it’s hilarious! Now, you can gather around to listen to some hilarious true dating stories that might just make you feel better about your own love life (or even share your own dating horror story!) at True Dating Stories.
14. Visit the 20th annual Georgetown French Market
Can’t make it to Paris this spring? No problem—just head to the 20th annual Georgetown French Market! From April 28-30, the historic neighborhood will transform itself into an open-air market reminiscent of those in France. Shop the sidewalk sales from more than 30 local boutiques and galleries, feast on French-inspired fare from Georgetown’s cafés and restaurants, and take in the live entertainment of musicians, caricaturists, and stilt-walkers! Learn more here.
15. Crack up to comedy duo Tina Fey And Amy Poehler
Beloved comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will kick off their upcoming comedy tour in Washington, D.C. this spring! The “Restless Leg Tour,” a four-city East Coast tour produced by LiveNation, will mark the first live tour the “Saturday Night Live” alumni have ever performed together. A quadruple threat—actresses, comedians, producers, and writers—the famous pair will be using the shows to “celebrate their thirty years of friendship with an evening of jokes, iconic stories, and conversational entertainment.” Learn more here.
16. Relax to the sounds of classical music by candlelight
The Fever Originals Candlelight series is the perfect way to unwind. You can lose yourself in classical renditions of your favorite tunes amid soft candlelight. With multiple genres and musical themes to choose from, there’s bound to be a concert that’s perfect for you!
- Candlelight: The Best Anime Soundtracks from Joe Hisaishi
- Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer at Miracle Theater
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen & More at National City Christian Church
17. Rave and rage at Project GLOW
“Celebrating 20 years of dance culture and history,” Project GLOW is bringing heavy hitters to RFK Festival Grounds from Saturday April 29 through Sunday, April 30. Dress up, dance, get lost in the music of artists like Benny Benassi and Baby Weight, and admire the surrounding art! For the full lineup, visit the Project GLOW website.
18. Ball out at the 50th annual Hoop Culture Capital Classic
On Saturday, April 29, D.C. is hosting the 50th annual Hoop Culture Capital Classic at the Entertainment & Sports Arena—the “most legendary high school basketball All-American game ” in the nation! The best high school basketball players in the region will face off in the game, which has boasted notable alumni such as LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. Learn more here.
19. Check out one of these must-see exhibits
Every history and art lover’s dream, Washington D.C. is home to over 70 museums, including 19 free Smithsonian museums and galleries. With each museum boasting a rotation of numerous exciting exhibits, we rounded up some of April’s must-sees you don’t want to miss!
- National Museum of American History
- “Entertainment Nation”
- Hirshhorn Museum
- “One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection”
- “A Window Suddenly Opens: Contemporary Photography in China”
- National Museum of African American History & Culture
- “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures”
- National Gallery of Art
- “Philip Guston Now”
- “Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South”
- “This Is Britain: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s”
- The Rubell Museum
- “What’s Going On”
- National Museum of Asian Art
- “Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell”
- “The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Himalayas”
- Zenith Gallery
- “Black Like Me”
20. Stimulate your senses by dining in the dark
Looking for an exciting surprise? What’s more exciting than a blindfolded dinner? Dining in the Dark allows you to pick a surprise three-course meal based on your dietary preferences (green for vegan, blue for seafood, or red for meat) that will stimulate your senses! Learn more about these two different offerings here and here.