This post covers things to do in Washington DC in April, including a top 10 list and some honorable mentions full of activities, events, and entertainment. It is updated for 2021.
Read our master post on things to do in DC for more activities at any time of year.
TOP EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN APRIL IN DC
For more ideas on popular things to do in DC, check out our other posts:
Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1) Springtime Walking Tours
As winter is finally over and the blossoms start to bloom, we start to offer more walking tours throughout the week!
And we offer more evening tours to take advantage of the later sunsets, such as the Memorials & Moonlight and Adults Only True Crimes Georgetown tours. Our Lincoln Assassination tour also returns to the after-dinner hours.
See when they are offered on our schedule of tours.
2) Cheer on a Local Sports Team
We are allowed to go to baseball games again and we cannot be more excited!
In person attendance at Nationals Park is limited to 5,000 people so single tickets will only be sold online if season ticket holders do not snatch them all up.
You can purchase tickets if any season ticket holders sell them on third party sites, like StubHub, however!
And you can always cheer on the team from one of the many bars in Navy Yard (or all of DC) that have outdoor seating!
3) Visit a Museum
The Smithsonians are still closed (as of late March 2021) but there are some museums that have reopened. Plan to get tickets for timed entrance!
Museums that are currently open in Washington DC (as of April 05, 2021)
- International Spy Museum – Thursday-Monday with timed tickets only
- Museum of the Bible – Thursday-Monday with timed tickets only
- Phillips Art Collection – timed tickets required starting March 06, 2021
- Glenstone Art Museum – free timed tickets
- National Museum of Women in the Arts – timed ticketed required
- Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens – timed tickets required
- Dumbarton House Museum - Friday - Sunday, timed tickets required. Grounds open for free daily
- Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office - open by appointment only
- Military Women's Memorial at Arlington Cemetery - free timed tickets required.
- President Lincoln's Cottage - Open Wednesday - Monday, timed tickets required
- National Building Museum - Fridays - Sundays, timed tickets required for exhibits but access to Museum Shop and Gun Memorial Project do not require tickets.
- National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden - open daily, no tickets required 11am -4pm
- Planet Word Museum - open Thurs - Sunday, free timed tickets (suggested donation)
- Tudor Place Historic Home in Georgetown - Saturday & Sunday Noon - 4pm, timed tickets. Free, but donation accepted.
4) Look into a Tourist Discount Pass
If you’re looking to save money and make the most of your time in Washington DC, you should consider purchasing an attraction discount pass.
By purchasing a pass up front, you can get discounted tickets to some of the most popular attractions in the area.
Sometimes these savings can reach 50%!
Attractions you can see with these passes include:
- CitySights Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
- International Spy Museum
- Madame Tussauds
- The Capital Ferris Wheel
- George Washington’s Home
With warmer weather, our late evening Adults Only tours are a perfect night out activity in a city that closes at 5 pm!
Get free admission to our tours and many top DC attractions with a Tourist Discount Pass.
5) Cherry Blossom Festival
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington DC’s top draw in Springtime and lasts from March 20 - April 12, 2021.
The festival is planned far in advance so the dates of peak bloom of the Cherry Blossoms themselves can fall anytime from mid-March to mid-April, depending on the weather. For 2021, the peak bloom is likely the first week of April.
Our Blossoms on the Basin Cherry Blossom tour runs during peak bloom dates, and registration is required in advance.
5.5) ARCTECHOUSE Renewal 2021 Exhibit
To go along with Cherry Blossom season, ARTECHOUSE exhibit, Renewal 2121, inspired by the Cherry Blossoms opens!
(guests on our Cherry Blossom tours get a promo code for discounted tickets)
Seeking to inspire optimism and hope amid a global pandemic and concerns of climate change, the immersive, technology-driven art installation will transport visitors 100 years into the future.
On view through September 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
"ARTECHOUSE is the nation’s first innovative art destination dedicated to the intersection of art, science and technology. From immersive art spaces to an extended reality (XR) mobile app, ARTECHOUSE is where curiosity-seekers of all ages go to experience creative innovation without limits. Founded in 2015, ARTECHOUSE has become the premier destination, both online and offline, for genre-pushing, technology-driven art"
6) White House Garden Tours
The White House Garden Tour dates have not yet been announced for 2021, but this event happens over a weekend in April. It did happen in October 2020 even during COVID so there is a chance it will be scheduled for April as well.
Only twice a year are the White House Gardens open to the public, and tickets are first-come, first-serve when arriving on the morning of the tour.
You can stroll through the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden and the South Lawn of the White House.
Read our post on White House Garden Tours!
7) FilmFest DC
FilmFestDC is the oldest film festival in DC and serves to promote work from the international film community.
With locations all over the DC metro area and likely many virtual options, there is a chance to watch something in April, but 2021 dates have not yet been announced.
Most tickets will be $11 per person. Some events are free of charge and are on a first-come, first-served basis.
There will be 80 films from 45 countries to choose from!
8) Celebrate Easter
There are a number of ways to celebrate Easter in Washington, DC, from brunch specials and kid-friendly egg hunts to traditional Sunday morning church services.
In 2021, Easter falls on Sunday, April 04.
Unfortunately the White House Easter Egg Roll has been cancelled for 2021. However, the White House Historical Association is hosting some fun online Easter Egg Roll activities including a virtual scavenger hunt, a digital jigsaw puzzle, downloadable coloring pages, bingo, and a way to design your own commemorative egg.
The Washington National Cathedral will have virtual services for 2021. Passes are available to access online service. There is also curbside communion on Easter Sunday afternoon (reservations requested)
For more about visiting the Washington National Cathedral and our self-guided tour, visit our post here.
An alternative is the Basilica of the National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception which has a Catholic Easter Mass also available virtually. For more information, visit their page.
9) DC Emancipation Day
Before President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he freed the 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862.
To honor this event, you can participate in a few events around the city on April 16.
If there will be official events (there is usually a parade but we don't expect that to happen) they have not been announced for 2021
NOTE: Emancipation Day itself is a citywide holiday so schools and some businesses will be closed.
10) Georgetown Glow Light Installation & Tour
Georgetown GLOW takes place for the entire Spring! It is a mix of art, exhibitions, and tours.
DC's oldest neighborhood lights up and invites guests to enjoy the art and learn some history.
We will also be offering our own GLOW tours!
- Things to Do Any Time of Year
- How’s the Weather in April?
- Where to Store Your Luggage
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Free Things to Do in DC