Spring into DC with the perfect itinerary


Photo by Melissa Redlich.

For the first time in 50 years, the Mormon Temple is reopening for the public. Free tours begin on April 28th, so snag a ticket!

By Caitlin Murphy and Melissa Redlich

According to the National Public Radio for Washington DC (WAMU), this year over 23.8 million tourists visited DC. While WCHS students are not tourists, most do not take advantage of the close proximity to the Nation’s capital. As spring approaches and the school year comes to a close, here are a few ways to spice up your lazy Sunday afternoon and explore new facets of an extensive city. 

Washington National Cathedral Tours

The Washington National Cathedral, located on Wisconsin Avenue, is currently open for tours for the general public. Constructed from 1906-1988, the cathedral is home to the bishop of the Episcopal Church and features beautiful stained glass windows and stunning architecture. For those interested in visiting, the price of admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children and senior citizens. 

HAIM Concert at The Anthem

Pop rock trio HAIM, composed of three sisters, will appear at The Anthem in DC on May 13. With hit songs such as “Right Now” and “Want You Back,” the band’s concert is sure to delight fans and newcomers alike. Tickets range from $55 to $379 and are currently available on online sites such as Ticketmaster.

US Botanic Garden 

On April 1, the US Botanic Gardens reopened to the public. This vast conservatory is home to a collection of flora and fauna from across the country and is free to visit. Newly renovated spaces throughout the conservatory will house the Gardens’ expansive plant collection and visitors are encouraged to visit the new exhibit, “Cultivate: Growing Food in a Changing World.”

Passport DC 

Every May, 70 embassies from around the world open their doors to tourists and locals alike as a celebration of culture and unity. Unique to DC, the festival is a way for visitors to tour different embassies, try new foods and explore different cultures. While Passport DC is a month-long event, the first two weekends of May present the two biggest events: Around the World Embassy Tour and the EU Open House. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Mormon Temples Tours 

For the first time in 50 years, the Mormon Temple in Kensington, MD will finally be reopening to the public. Known as the “Disney World of Maryland” to many locals, the temple has hosted a drive-through festival of lights in previous years during Christmas time, but has been closed off except for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Free tours began on April 28 and will continue until June 11, all visitors have to do is snag a ticket. Additionally, ceremonies are taking place on both June 11 and 12 to celebrate the rededication of the temple.

Roosevelt Island Tours 

In the 1930s, architects transformed an overgrown and neglected island in the middle of the Potomac River into a beautifully landscaped memorial to President Theodore Roosevelt, a known conservationist and lover of the outdoors. Today, the island is open as a National Park and has various walking trails for visitors to explore the outdoors.

Attending a Baseball Game for Nationals

For sports fans in the DC area, going to a Nationals baseball game is a great way to get into DC and experience the city’s sports culture. Throughout the month of May, the Nationals have many home games at National Park against teams such as the L.A. Dodgers and the Houston Astros. 

Georgetown Garden Tour

In the heart of Georgetown, a peaceful solace from the hustle and bustle of DC is offered at the Georgetown Gardens, located a few blocks from Georgetown University. On May 7, the Georgetown Gardens are hosting a tour where visitors can explore the grounds and the beautiful flowers. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased beforehand or the day of the event.

Movies on the Potomac 

People of all ages are invited to visit the National Harbor on Thursday and Sunday nights throughout May and the rest of the summer to watch movies on the lawn overlooking the Potomac River. Throughout the month of May, the movies shown will follow the theme of animal movies, with family movies on Sundays such as “Lion King” and date night movies on Thursday nights such as “Must Love Dogs.” So get ready to pack lawn chairs and grab food from one of the nearby restaurants to enjoy a movie night on the water.

The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience 

For fans of Netflix’s hit show Bridgerton, which recently released a second season, a new 90-minute immersive experience allows fans to experience a night in Regency Era London, complete with cast members and a string quartet playing popular songs from the show. When guests arrive at the Whitfield Entertainment Group Studios, which has been transformed into a royal ballroom, they will be greeted by Queen Charlotte and escorted to the ballroom where they can interact with actors and view a live ball dance. Unfortunately, the event is only open to those ages 18 or over, but younger fans can enjoy Bridgerton by binging the new season on Netflix.

ARTECHOUSE Exhibit: PixelBloom

ARTECHOUSE, DC’s home to innovative art, opened their new experience, PixelBloom, on March 11. Visitors will travel through a virtual world of cherry blossoms complete with interactive opportunities. Admission is $25, and the current exhibit is open until June 5. However, for those who miss this current showcase, ARTECHOUSE continues to open new exhibits for visitors that expand the boundaries of art and offer a once in a lifetime experience.

The spring weather in the Nation’s capital only lasts a short while till it turns into a humid and sweltering summer. Get a breath of fresh air, while taking part in these striking ventures. As some would say, “enjoy these monumental activities close to the monuments.”