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­­­Springtime in Washington, DC: Festivals, Fireworks and Films

Everyone talks about the blossoms. Springtime in Washington, DC, is dominated by the pink blooms of more than 3,000 cherry blossom trees and the three-week National Cherry Blossom Festival. The admiration is much deserved. The views are certainly stunning, but once you see the trees, then it’s time to take part in the capital city’s rich cultural offerings. DC is an ideal distance from Philly, only two and a half hours south, for a long weekend getaway, and the city is brimming with festivals and events this time of year.

As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the city comes alive with a slew of related events. On Saturday, April 4, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival is a day filled with music, water-related activities and food. The fireworks finale begins at 8:30 p.m. The next Saturday, on April 11, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade flows down Constitution Avenue. One of the city’s largest spectator events, the parade includes colorful helium balloons, floats, marching bands, celebrity entertainers and performers. The best part: Both events are free to attend.

One of the true markers of spring and summer, the Major League Baseball season begins in Washington, DC, with the Nationals’ home opener on Monday, April 6, against the New York Mets. The first 25,000 fans into Nationals Park will receive a commemorative collectors tin. Later this month, the Nationals will take on the Phillies in a four-game stretch at Nationals Park April 16-19. The modern ballpark opened in 2008 in the bustling Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Arrive early and stroll along the Anacostia River. Enjoy some pregame eats and drinks at Half Street. Once you’re inside the stadium, pick out landmarks, such as the Capitol and Washington Monument, from the panoramic view. And during the game, have your camera ready for the fan favorite presidents race, including larger-than-life contenders George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and William Howard Taft.

For cinephiles, the 29th-annual Filmfest DC, which runs April 16-26, is the place to indulge the film-nerd inside you. The international festival includes more than 60 features, documentaries, and shorts. The lineup is broken down into such categories as new international cinema, international comedies, international thrillers, issues of social justice, global rhythms and reel jazz. Known for its coverage of films from around the globe, the festival’s history includes works from more than 55 countries. The screening locations are often as enticing as the films themselves. For an international feel, catch a flick at the French Embassy or the German Goethe-Institut. Screenings are also held at the Landmark E Street Cinema and AMC Mazza Gallerie.

For a Washington, DC, trip filled with natural spring beauty, cultural experiences and fun, festive events, click here.