2017 Spring Events in Alexandria, VA March 7, 2017

Claire Mouledoux: CMouledoux@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5367
Leah Spellman, APR: LSpellman@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5363


Spring Events in Alexandria, VA

Blossoms, Boats and Historic Tours

Alexandria, VA – As the cherry blossoms bloom, seasonal activities abound in Alexandria, Virginia, located minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River.  With a vibrant waterfront and nationally designated historic district, Alexandria is the perfect setting for a springtime getaway.

Take in Alexandria’s blossoms from behind the camera with Fetching Photos’ new Cherry Blossom Photo Tour in Old Town Alexandria. Celebrate D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival with a scenic cruise on the water taxi from Old Town to the National Mall, or peek into historic homes on the Alexandria Historic Homes & Gardens Tour for glimpses of flowers blooming in lush gardens. Embark on the baseball boat to Nationals Stadium from Old Town for a ball game or explore rarely-seen spaces at historic sites on Historic Alexandria’s Attics and Alleys Tour. As the weather warms, uncover the real sites and stories that inspired PBS’ MERCY STREET, which is based on Civil War Alexandria, through special tours, exhibits and events. Whether it’s stocking up on a new spring wardrobe with trendy finds from chic boutiques or packing a picnic with delectable treats for an afternoon at a waterfront park, Alexandria’s colorful palette of springtime activities combined with seasonal hotel packages create unique family-friendly spring breaks and rejuvenating weekend escapes.

For more spring activities in Alexandria, see www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/spring.
Check out spring hotel packages at www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/hotels/deals.


Cherry Blossom Photo Tour in Old Town Alexandria
Saturdays, March 11-April 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. (except March 11 at 4 p.m.)
Admission: $20; $30 for two 
Presented by Fetching Photos 
Tour begins at Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314

There’s nothing prettier than spring in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Starting with crocuses in early March and progressing to cherry blossoms at the end of the month, historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is popping with gorgeous blooms. Peak cherry blossom bloom is impossible to predict with accuracy, but you’ll be taken to the best flowers Old Town has to offer. Come learn photography tips, take your photos up a notch (or three!) and enjoy a walk touring some of Old Town’s best spring colors. During this one-hour tour you will learn highlights of Alexandria’s history while practicing techniques for photographing town in its spring glory. Each participant will receive one-on-one coaching tailored to their needs. We will be outside for the entire tour and walk a bit less than a mile, so please dress accordingly. This tour is good for smartphones and DSLRs/CSCs, it is pet-friendly, and has a 10-person maximum.

Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise
March 17-19, 2017
Departing at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.
Admission: $30 round-trip for adults on weekends; $17 round-trip for adults on weekdays; $16 round-trip for children under 12 on weekends; $10 round-trip for children under 12 on weekdays
Cameron & Union Streets, Alexandria, VA 22314

Traverse the Potomac River and see Old Town Alexandria from a different perspective as you head to the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. on the Cherry Blossom Monuments Cruise. View and listen to the history of the iconic monuments, memorials and bridges as the Potomac River awakens to the spring and see the prize and joy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the cherry blossom trees. The cruise is 50 minutes one-way and approximately two hours round-trip and is offered during peak bloom from March 17-19. 

Water Taxi to National Mall: Cherry Blossom Festival Service
March 24-April 16, 2017
Departing at 11:10 a.m., 1:35 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
Admission: $28 round-trip for adults; $16 one-way for adults; $16 round-trip for children under 12; $8 one-way for children under 12
Departs from Cameron & Union Streets, Alexandria, VA 22314

Potomac Riverboat Company offers a 30-minute direct water taxi between Old Town Alexandria and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s an easy way to access events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, including the Blossom Kite Festival. The boat docks at Ohio & West Basin Drive SW, near the Tidal Basin, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and a Capital Bikeshare station.

Baseball Boat to Nationals Park
Beginning opening day, April 3, 2017; times vary upon Nationals schedule
Admission: $20 one-way; $25 round-trip Monday-Thursday; $30 premium games (listed on website)
Departs from the Alexandria Marina, 1 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314

The Potomac Riverboat Company offers baseball enthusiasts the chance to avoid the crowds and take a leisurely cruise from Old Town Alexandria to Nationals Park along the scenic Potomac River. Online ticket purchases include free parking. Boats returning to Alexandria depart 20 minutes after the final pitch. Boat operates for 80% of Nationals games (check website for specific available dates).

84th Annual Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour
April 22, 2017 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $45 in advance; $55 day of; $25 for single site admission
Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria

On April 22nd, five of Old Town Alexandria's finest private homes and gardens will open to the public as part of the 84th Historic Garden Week, the oldest and largest house and garden tour in the nation. The homes will feature beautiful flower arrangements created by the members of the Garden Club of Alexandria and The Hunting Creek Garden Club, which are sponsoring the tour, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Marketplace at The Athenaeum, boutique shopping, and fine dining are just steps away. In addition, the tour ticket allows access to two Garden Club of Virginia restoration projects, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and Green Spring Gardens, in addition to other local properties of historic interest.

Carlyle House Garden Day Herb & Craft Sale
April 22, 2017 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free; $5 to tour house; free tours with Alexandria Garden Day ticket
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Come celebrate spring with the Friends of Carlyle House’s Annual Garden Day Herb & Craft Sale from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. Tour Carlyle House, the actual site of the Mansion House Hospital featured in the PBS drama MERCY STREET. Purchase culinary and decorative herbs, plants, and flowers raised in Mount Vernon’s greenhouses. Bring your gardening questions to the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Enjoy live musical entertainment throughout the day, a bake sale, book sale, white elephant table, and more. Proceeds benefit Carlyle House. This event is free, however admission to the Carlyle House museum is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for Friends of Carlyle House or with your Alexandria Garden Day ticket. This event will take place rain or shine.

33rd Annual George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile, 5K and Kids Dash
April 23, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.
Admission: $10-$80
Old Town Alexandria; starting places vary

The George Washington Parkway Classic is Alexandria’s hometown race, and so much more, with the Parkway route connecting two of the area’s most historic spots. The starting gun (sadly, there is no musket) fires steps from the picturesque George Washington’s Mount Vernon. From there, you’ll travel down the tree-lined George Washington Memorial Parkway to another area associated with Washington, charming Old Town, Alexandria. In addition to the 10 mile distance, a 5K and kids dash are available. The George Washington Parkway Classic supports the Boys and Girls Club of Alexandria and has been voted a favorite spring race by RunWashington Magazine. Join Pacers Running for the 33rd Annual George Washington Parkway Classic!

Historic Alexandria Attics and Alleys Tours
Saturdays in May 2017 from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Admission: $35; advanced reservations required
Departs from Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, VA 22314 or Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314

The curious are invited to visit rarely seen spaces at four of Alexandria's historic sites on this special three-hour walking tour of Gadsby's Tavern Museum, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden and Carlyle House Historic Park. 

Spring MERCY STREET-inspired Tours, Exhibits and Events
Admission: Varies depending on the activity
Various locations throughout Alexandria, VA

Fans of the PBS Civil War-era drama MERCY STREET are invited to learn about the real sites and stories that inspired the show with spring tours, exhibits and events in historic Alexandria, Virginia, including a new exhibit of costumes from the show plus 12 tours inspired by the series. From walking tours of the city to in-depth tours of historic sites to special events that focus on Civil War-era cultural customs including fashion, food, and music, fans will uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, the changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African-Americans claiming their freedom.


Private Cherry Blossom Boat Tours from Alexandria
March 15 to April 16, 2017 (or until cherry blossoms stop blooming); by appointment only
Admission: $375 per hour plus tax
Presented by Embark DC
Departs from Alexandria City Marina, 0 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Choose your own adventure on a privately chartered cherry blossom boat tour with Embark DC beginning March 15 and while cherry blossoms are blooming. Tours range from two to four hours and can include stops to take in the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin and surrounding monuments in Washington, D.C., the Georgetown waterfront, or even a stop to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Your captain will provide narration throughout the tour, along with complimentary soft drinks. You can BYOB, plan a picnic, have your experience catered, or even grill BBQ on the boat (with advanced notice). Call 202-570-2410 to customize a tour for your friends and family. A two-hour minimum is required.

Metro Red Release Party at Port City Brewing Co.
March 31, 2017 from 2-10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Port City Brewing Co., 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304

Join us on Friday, March 31 as we bring back Metro Red, our Double Red Ale originally brewed for DC Beer Week 2015! Metro Red is a West Coast style red, with citrusy aromas bursting from the glass and an assertive bitterness balanced by juicy malt character. We’ll be releasing Metro Red in bottles, so you can drink a pint here and then take some home to enjoy later. We’ll have live music with Jason Masi from 7-9 p.m. Borinquen Lunchbox food truck will be here serving up the area’s best Puerto Rican food (try their Tripleta!). The tour is at 6:30 p.m. Advanced reservations suggested.

13th Annual Great Rum Punch Challenge
April 1, 2017 from 7-9:30 p.m.
Admission: $50
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Just as guests to the tavern did over 200 years ago, enjoy different rum punch creations from local distilleries, restaurants and caterers and vote for your favorite! The winner will be announced at the end of the evening. Also enjoy food, both period and modern, as well as a silent auction featuring great items. The event is from 7-9:30 p.m. Cost is $50 per person (includes admission and food and drinks for the evening) or $100 (includes admission and a pre-event VIP tasting with Bacardi). Reservations are required.

Concerts with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
April 1, 2017 at 8 p.m., April 2, 2017 at 3 p.m. & May 20, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Admission: $5 for youth 18 and under; $10 for students with IDs; $20-$80 for adults
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, 4915 E. Campus Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will feature two spring concerts this year. Bernstein features the Choral Arts Society of Washington and Artistic Director Scott Tucker weaving an evening of masterworks with the Choral Arts Chamber Singers. One of his finest liturgal works, written for “troubled times,” Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass triumphantly marries the chorus and orchestra. Also on the program: Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Brahms’ Nanie and Variations on a Theme by Haydn. In New World Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap conductor Emil de Cou presents Dvorak’s epic Symphony No. 9 (From the New World). Written as both a tribute to his immigrant roots and his adopted homeland, this American-inspired work borrows from Native American song, African-American spirituals, Scottish melodies and Dvorak’s own Czech folk traditions.

Old Town Boutique District Easter Egg Hunt
April 7-9, 2017
Admission: Free
Throughout Old Town, Alexandria, VA 22314

Join the Old Town Boutique District Easter Egg Hunt April 7-9. Find eggs at participating shops around town. Collect stamps and be entered to win one of three amazing Easter baskets of prizes. Download your map on the Boutique District website.

18th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lee-Fendall House
April 14-16, 2017
Egg hunts begins Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.
Admission: $12 for kids 10 and under; $5 for adults; free for Friends of Lee-Fendall House
Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, VA 22314

To celebrate Easter, the Lee-Fendall House Museum’s gardens will be filled with hundreds of colorful, toy-filled Easter eggs in addition to activities like crafts, snacks and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. Open to children ages 10 and under and their families. Tickets are available online.

Canine Cruise
Saturdays April 22, May 6 & May 20, 2017 departing at 11 a.m.
Admission: $18 adults; $12 children under 12
Cameron & Union Streets, Alexandria, VA 22314

Calling all dog owners or dog lovers! With or without a four-legged friend, you are invited to join us for this special 45-minute cruise of Alexandria’s seaport—a favorite spring activity for locals. Dogs are free, but must be on a six-foot non-retractable leash.

Time & Place Performance
April 23, 2017 from 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Artist Sheldon Scott’s immersive performance art installation uses the history of the harvesting of ice from the Potomac River and the storage and use of ice at Gadsby’s as a starting point. The performance examines the historic relationship of the Potomac River and the people of Alexandria, and the contemporary utility of the river as a resource. Performance begins at the waterfront and culminates at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street. Viewers may view the performance anywhere along the route.

Free Mother’s Day Tours
May 14, 2017; various times
Admission: free for mothers; $5 for all other adults; $3 children ages 5-12
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (1-5 p.m.), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (1-5 p.m.) and the Friendship Firehouse Museum (1-4 p.m.) are pleased to offer free tours on Mother’s Day for all visiting mothers!

Mother’s Day Tea at Carlyle House
May 14, 2017; seatings at noon and 3 p.m.
Admission: $40
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Treat that special woman in your life to an elegant tea and tour of Carlyle House, the most historic house in Old Town Alexandria and the site of MERCY STREET’s Mansion House Hospital. Relax in the beautiful garden setting of our Magnolia Terrace while enjoying the fun and educational program “Language of the Fan.” Experience personalized table-side service and scrumptious food catered by Calling Card Events for an unforgettable day. There are two seatings: 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Find more spring events at www.visitalexandriava.com/spring.

Within eyesight of Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River waterfront, Alexandria, Virginia is nationally recognized for its acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants, bustling boutiques and dynamic arts set against a backdrop of 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from its days as George Washington’s hometown. Old Town Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a hidden gem tucked beneath the nation’s capital.

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