Please Note: All events and tours are subject to change due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. Please check individual websites for the latest information.
Be enchanted by the pink and white cherry blossoms, embark on a dream home tour, experience a new public art installation and more this spring in Alexandria, VA. Just minutes from D.C., the city comes alive in spring as residents and visitors alike wander walkable streets, stroll scenic waterfront paths and visit historic sites. From irresistible new sweet spots to events where you can toast the season, keep reading for top spring events and things to do in Alexandria.
Experience the Cherry Blossoms in D.C. and Alexandria
See the region all pretty in pink with the most stunning sign of the season. Find out how to zip to the D.C. blooms with our cherry blossom guide, complete with blossom-themed experiences and hotel packages in Old Town Alexandria. Voyage to the Yoshino cherry trees on Potomac Riverboat Company by Hornblower’s water taxis and river cruises, or hop on a Pedego Electric Bike for a guided cherry blossom ride.
Tour the blossoms in Old Town and learn about local history with Discover Alexandria, and take part in events like Old Town Boutique District’s Cherry Blossom Shop & Sip, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Regency-era Blossom Ball and a Cherry Blossom Jubilee at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (UPDATE: Cherry Blossom Jubilee has been cancelled). Find special menu offerings, including pink-hued Cherry Blossom gelato at Dolci Gelati and a special sangria from Theismann’s, or treat your palate to the Alexandria Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl.
Peek Inside Dream Homes and Gardens
Alexandria is filled with beautifully preserved architecture and dream homes. You can catch an exclusive glimpse inside historic homes this spring at several special events.
*UPDATE: The Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour and 37th Annual Washington Modernism Show (below) will be rescheduled for a later date. Please refer to the organizers’ website and social media channels for more information and status updates.*
On May 2, 2020, experience the largest mid-century modern home and garden tour on the East Coast, Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour. This biennial self-guided walking tour showcases stunning examples of mid-century modern architecture, landscaping and interior design, as well as new bonus events like “Cars and Coffee” and morning yoga.
That same weekend, May 2-3, 2020, check out the 37th Annual Washington Modernism Show at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Dozens of exhibitors will present furniture, barware, jewelry and more from major design movements of the 20th century including Art Nouveau, Mid-Century Modern and more.
*UPDATE: 87th Annual Old Town Historic Homes and Garden Tour (below) has been cancelled. Please refer to the organizer’s website and social media channels for more information and status updates.*
During the 87th Annual Old Town Historic Homes and Garden Tour on April 18, 2020, visitors weave between some of Old Town Alexandria’s finest historic townhouses and secluded gardens. To explore more architectural styles, design buffs can enjoy the walkable, self-guided Del Ray House and Garden Tour on May 9, 2020, featuring 10 homes exhibiting a range of styles, including an original Sears cottage, a 1930 Montgomery Ward bungalow and a thoughtfully renovated American Foursquare with its own Instagram account.
Explore Alexandria’s Architectural Gems
Looking for more design inspiration? From art deco to Federal and from Georgian to Greek Revival, Alexandria’s architecture scene boasts an embarrassment of riches. To celebrate this abundance, the American Institute of Architecture presents its annual, newly-expanded AIA Northern Virginia Architecture Month, April 1-30, 2020. The jam-packed month will include the always popular walking tour of Old Town, alongside compelling lectures and fun family activities, all planned by local architects.
Take advantage of the warming weather to explore more architectural gems to make you swoon.
Savor Spirited Spring Events
Come spring, Alexandria is brimming with opportunities to toast the season. For sips with historical significance, head to George Washington’s Mount Vernon for their most popular event of the year, the Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour. At this three-day event happening May 15-17, 2020, guests sample wines from Virginia’s finest wineries while enjoying delicious food, live music and spectacular views at the estate.
At the Torpedo Factory Art Center, don’t miss the chance to sample competitors’ creations as they vie for the best cocktail, appetizer and artwork combination at the Art League’s Art on the Rocks event on May 1, 2020.
Join Port City Brewing Company on Saturday, April 18, 2020, for a day dedicated to Alexandria’s local waterways. Port City River Conservancy Day starts with a river and street volunteer cleanup followed by a conservation-themed soiree with award-wining brews, tabling from local conservation groups and a special session of Earth Trivia.
Be Inspired by New Public Art on the Waterfront
The biggest art event this spring in Alexandria brings a site of contemplation to Old Town’s Waterfront Park. From late March to November 2020, temporary public art installation Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies by Olalekan Jeyifous will be on display as the second in the City of Alexandria’s Site See: New Views in Old Town public art series.
Jeyifous’ concept frames Alexandria’s African American history through the lens of the city’s industrial and merchant history from the 17th to 20th centuries. Once a prosperous port city that was home to one of the largest domestic slave trading firms in the country, Alexandria was a major center for shipping and manufacturing with an economy inextricably tied to the work of enslaved and free African Americans.
Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies seeks to stitch Alexandria’s story together, featuring symbols that represent Alexandria’s merchant and manufacturing history, including factories, tobacco warehouses and railways. The ground mural will incorporate African American quilting and textile traditions, which are historically tied to storytelling and oral tradition. When viewed as a whole, the pattern will become an abstract grid or map, with the manufacturing icons appearing throughout. From this colorful and rich surface, four large figures will face the water. Ornate metal profiles will be wrapped in sculptural seating platforms that are illuminated in low light.
Check Out Alexandria’s Arts Events
In addition to the arrival of Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies, art happenings abound this spring in Alexandria. Steps away from the installation, the Torpedo Factory Art Center will host a number of after-hour events, including its “Late Shift” series, which take place the second Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Themes this spring include “Emerging Artists” and “Art Battles.”
On March 14, 2020, start or add to your art collection at the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s always popular March150 Art Party. The event features the chance to purchase artwork for just $100 while enjoying food and drinks from local restaurants, live art demos, and interactive performances. On April 11, 2020, hop over to Bunnyfest, when artists will be making, showing and selling high-eared art. Kids can make BunnyFest buttons, create bunny crafts and don bunny ears.
*UPDATE: The Little Theatre of Alexandria productions below have been cancelled. Please refer to the organizer’s website and social media channels for more information and status updates.*
For onstage art, visit The Little Theatre of Alexandria. From April 25 to May 16, 2020, catch the historical drama, “Blue Stockings,” which follows four women fighting for an education at 19th-century Cambridge University, as well as free improv nights from The Retrocessionists on April 11 and May 23, 2020.
UPDATE: The following restaurants are now offering carryout and/or delivery only. Check their websites and social media channels for more information and updates.
Sweeten the season with treats from some of the city’s brand new dessert spots. At Yagút St. in Old Town North, soak up the super-cute, blossom-bedecked interior as you peruse Vietnamese-inspired gelato flavors from avocado to durian fruit, along with milky-sweet bubble teas, house-made pastries and more. Boba fans can also get the lowdown at Spill the Tea as they watch the world go by from their perch next to the Braddock Road Metro.
Boosting Alexandria’s Ice Cream Cone Capital reputation, popular national brand Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ new King Street location serves flight of plant-based, popular scoops like brown butter almond brittle, brambleberry crips, frosé sorbet and more. For more cool treats, try a “Smashcake” at Smallcakes, a new Del Ray outpost best known from “Cupcake Wars.” Their signature dessert sandwiches homemade ice cream inside cupcake flavors like banana pancake and peanut butter cup.
Stretch Your Legs at the 36th Annual PNC Parkway Classic
*UPDATE: This event will be rescheduled for a later date. Please refer to the organizer’s website and social media channels for more information and status updates.*
Looking for a warm weather endorphin boost? Sign up for the 36th Annual PNC Parkway Classic, Alexandria’s hometown race, which starts at the beautiful Mount Vernon estate and guides runners down the tree-lined namesake Parkway to another of George’s hometown haunts, Old Town Alexandria. The April 26, 2020 event features a 10-Miler or 5k options, as well as a Kid’s Dash with pre-race family-friendly activities. New this year, the 5K course route starts at Oronoco Bay Park and loops through scenic Old Town streets.
The Nationals Racing President George Washington will be on site to cheer you to the finish line as you catch your breath and celebrate with a post-race Finish Festival at Oronoco Bay Park featuring live music and a Port City Brewing Company pop-up beer garden.
Enjoy Seasonal Shopping
As storefronts bloom with new offerings and warm days invite sidewalk strolling, experience Alexandria’s myriad boutiques and shopping events.
During Old Town Boutique District’s Bunny Patrol on April 4 and 11, 2020, the Easter Bunny will be sending some of his friends out into the streets of Old Town to give out gift cards to people with shopping bags from any Old Town Boutique District store. Then, on April 18, 2020, Old Town Boutique District’s Cherry Blossom Shop & Sip event includes brunch with pink cocktails and plenty of blossom-inspired products.
From upgrading your wardrobe to overhauling your home design, find more reasons to shop this spring.
Treat Mom to a Historic Mother’s Day
For an extra special celebration, treat your mother, grandmother or special woman in your life to an elegant tea at Carlyle House. Relax in the historic site’s beautiful Magnolia Terrace and enjoy personalized tableside service and scrumptious food for an unforgettable day.
That same afternoon, moms can enjoy free admission to select Office of Historic Alexandria sites, including Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.
Honor all the special women in your life with the Women’s History Bike Ride, on March 21, 2020, where you can cruise to sites associated with women’s suffrage and Alexandrian women who served in government.
Dine al Fresco
Spring signals the start of outdoor dining season. Grab a table under one of Vola’s Dockside Grill’s signature red umbrellas and enjoy waterfront views with a refreshing cocktail and delicious seafood. On April 4, 2020, visit Vola’s for unlimited fresh oysters in all their shucked, fried, broiled and stewed glory during Vola’s Spring Oysterfest.
Alexandria is chock-full of restaurants offering outdoor dining. Take your pick, from restaurants with stunning views of the Potomac to lush patio gardens for the perfect weekend brunch. Or, if you prefer people watching, grab a table curbside on King Street.
Still looking for spring inspiration? Explore even more things to do this spring in Alexandria.
Image Credits, left to right: Kristian Summerer for Visit Alexandria, Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria and Kristian Summerer for Visit Alexandria