Events

Everything You Must Do in DC This Spring

Updated On 03/14/2018 at 03:46PM EST Updated On 03/14/2018 at 03:46PM EST
Awesome Con
Awesome Con | Awesome Con
ShamrockFest
ShamrockFest | Danilo Lewis for ShamrockFest
Saturday
Mar 3
The king of fat jokes is doing two shows at The Theater at MGM, and he’ll make you laugh until you’re hungry. If it sells out, definitely try StubHub. This isn't one to miss if you're a fan of Gaffigan's particular brand of self-deprecating dad comedy.
Cost: Tickets start at $218.
Thursday
Mar 8
In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, the National Museum of Women in the Arts is throwing an after-hours house party to introduce their new exhibition, Women House. Get a first look and a behind the scenes tour of the exhibition, which will explore questions about a woman’s “place” in our culture. There will be local music, an open bar, and (naturally) some light refreshments.
Cost: General admission is $40.
Saturday
Mar 10
For gamblers and foodies alike, Chance for Life will feature a day-long 700-person poker tournament followed by a Chef’s Taste Experience. At the tasting, sample wine, beer, and cocktails along with food from some of the area’s best chefs, including Kyle Bailey of The Salt Line, Michael Freedman of Red Hen and All-Purpose, Danny Lee and Scott Drewno of ChiKo, Katsuya Fukushima of Daikaya, Victor Albisu of Del Campo and Taco Bamba, Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen, and Haidar Karoum of Chloe. Once you're done, head to the after-party for a surprise live performance. The whole thing benefits pediatric cancer research at Children’s National Health System and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Cost: Taste Experience tickets are $250 and Poker tickets are $350 for spectators or $500 for players. Use the exclusive Thrillist code BOSS50 to get 50% off tickets for the Taste and after-party.
Saturday - Sunday
Mar 10-11
The NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo is one of the largest wellness events in the country, and this will be its 25th year running. You can join tens of thousands of other fitness buffs on their quest to learn better ways to get hella healthy. And the best part? It's free.
Cost: Free.
Thursday - Sunday
Mar 15-25
Various locations
Eco-friendly friends should be in attendance at what is billed as the largest and longest-running environmental film festival in the country. There will be 89 films on critical green topics representing 28 countries. The theme this year is “Stories from the Frontlines,” featuring causes like wildlife conservation, habitat protection, clean drinking water, and clean air.
Cost: Ticket prices for screenings vary.
Saturday
Mar 17
Constitution Avenue, Seventh to 17th Streets
Irish culture isn’t just about drinking Guinness by the liter. This parade is out to show Americans the refined side of Ireland, with step dancing, bagpipes, kilts, festive floats, shamrocks, and more. If you're more interested in imbibing, though, don't worry: head to Shamrock Fest or make your way through this list of the best Irish bars in town.
Cost: The parade is free.
Saturday
Mar 17
This huge St. Paddy’s Day festival features rock bands, beer, cocktails, carnival games, Irish village vendors, a DJ party tent, Irish dancers, bagpipers, and more. Past lineups have included groups like Dropkick Murphys, House of Pain, and Coolio.
Cost: Tickets go on sale closer to the event.
Tuesday - Sunday
Mar 20-Apr 15
Various locations
The most photogenic festival in DC kicks off with an opening ceremony on March 24 featuring international performers and more. Throughout the month, hit up the Pink Tie Party, the Blossom Kite Festival, fireworks and music at Petalpalooza, and the annual parade. Plus, the pop-up bar that launched a thousand Instagram posts will be returning this year with even more blossoms and clever Japanese-themed cocktails.
Cost: Event costs vary, but many are free.
Saturday
Mar 24
Pennsylvania Ave NW and 3rd Street NW
Demand action from lawmakers in this march to end gun violence and mass shootings in schools. Children and families will be out en masse across the country, so if you feel strongly about this particular issue, show your support. The march in DC starts at Pennsylvania Ave NW and 3rd Street NW at noon. Also keep in mind that HeadCount is registering voters there and at several of the events around the country. 
Cost: Free
Saturday
Mar 24
Demi Lovato is touring North America with DJ Khaled, and she’s making a stop in DC at the arena. Tell her you love her by snagging tickets to this surprisingly affordable show, and be sure to save some love for DJ Khaled, too.
Cost: Tickets start at $29.
Friday
Mar 30
Celebrate freedom during a traditional seder at historic, non-denominational, non-membership, non-traditional synagogue. Sixth and I’s community seder will be complete with reflection and singing led by Chazzan Larry Paul and musician Robyn Helzner.
Cost: Admission is $56.
Friday - Sunday
Mar 30-Apr 1
This year, DC’s Comic Con has some awesome headliners: Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, and Sean Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Bring anything you want signed and catch these stars and more guests from screen and comics during the weekend of panels, cosplay fashion shows, gaming tournaments, and film memorabilia exhibits.
Cost: Ticket packages range from $35 to $150.
DC Beer Festival
DC Beer Festival | DC Beer Festival
Sunday - Monday
Apr 1-30
The Smithsonian’s annual Jazz Appreciation Month recognizes the heritage and history of jazz music with concerts, instrument displays, art, and more. This year’s theme is "Jazz and Justice," exploring the role jazz has played in social justice and equality.
Cost: Free.
Monday
Apr 2
Grab the whole family and loved ones and head to the zoo for an animal-filled Easter Monday. Get ready for an egg hunt with prizes, field games, critter demonstrations, a meet-and-greet with Easter panda, and live entertainment. For young parents, it's an active supplement to whatever the latest blockbuster is tearing up the silver screen, and it's also free.
Cost: Free.
Thursday
Apr 5
The Nats’ opening day is April 5 against the New York Mets, so don’t miss your chance to root, root, root for the home team -- and get a free T-shirt while you're at it.
Cost: Tickets go on sale March 1.
Saturday
Apr 14
Pennsylvania Avenue
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Emancipation Day Parade commemorates the anniversary of the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, which ended slavery in the city and freed 3,100 people. Community groups and organizations are invited to participate in the parade.
Cost: Free.
Thursday - Sunday
Apr 19-29
Various locations
The DC International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the city, featuring productions from around the world. Categories at the 32nd event include international comedies, thrillers, music-related films, and social justice works. Stay tuned for specific titles TBA.
Cost: Ticket prices vary.
Saturday
Apr 21
Yes, 80 breweries from around the country will be pouring more than 200 brews for beer enthusiasts at this Saturday extravaganza. Local favorites will make appearances as well, including Atlas, Bad Wolf, Old Ox, and Port City. Bobby McKey’s dueling piano bar will provide entertainment throughout, along with lawn games, DJs, food trucks, and more.
Cost: Admission is $45 and includes unlimited tastings. Food is sold separately.
Saturday - Sunday
Apr 21-29
Various locations
Earth Day (April 22) appropriately coincides with National Park Week, so in addition to marching on behalf of the planet, get outside and soak up some nature at one of the areas beautiful parks. Even if you're not in town, there are so many national parks worth your time (some of which are filled with secrets).
Cost: Park entry fees vary, but admission is free on April 21.
Tuesday
Apr 24
This annual event brings together notable DC chefs to raise money regional charities, and it’s off the hook. This year, chefs Scott Drewno and Danny Lee of ChiKo, Michael Ellis of Charlie Palmer Steak, Haidar Karoum of Chloe, Russell Smith of The Source, Matt Baker of Gravitas, and others will be cooking to benefit the American Experience Foundation, Becky’s Fund, The DC Collaborative, Washington Youth Garden, Horton’s Kids, and Martha’s Table.
Cost: Tickets are $75.
Friday - Sunday
Apr 27-29
Along Wisconsin Avenue, from O Street to Reservoir Road
Monsieurs and mademoiselles will love this Parisian-inspired open-air market featuring more than 40 boutiques, cafes, salons, and galleries. Browse and shop for designer goods, art, home decor, and French fare while enjoying live jazz, street performers, and face painters.
Cost: Admission is free.
funk parade
funk parade | Aubrey Gemignani Photography
Tuesday - Thursday
May 1-31
Various locations
This month-long program takes you on a journey of international exploration without leaving the city. During May, 70 embassies and more than 30 cultural institutions come together to put on events like embassy open houses (May 5 and 12), an embassy chef cooking challenge that invites audience members to be the judge (May 17), and Fiesta Asia, a street festival showcasing Asian culture (May 19).
Cost: Admission costs vary, but many events are free.
Wednesday
Apr 4
Flowers fill the nave and the grounds of the Cathedral at this annual event, as well as festival foods, children’s rides, and artisanal gifts. It’s a celebration of All Hallows’ Guild’s service to the 59 acres of the national landmark.
Cost: Admission is free.
Saturday
May 5

Fiesta on Cinco de Mayo

Fiesta on Cinco de Mayo

TBD
The details for DC’s official Cinco de Mayo festivities have not yet been announced, but be sure to mark your calendar, because it promises to be a fabulous time. If all else fails, you can always plan to grab margs and tacos at one of the area’s best Mexican restaurants.
Cost: TBD.
Saturday
May 12
U Street
DC’s annual Funk Parade is a day-long fair, parade, and music festival celebrating the city’s incredible arts and music scene. Expect some epic bands and performers to get down on U Street.
Cost: Free.
Tuesday
May 15
An all-female creative team is behind this hit musical based on the indie film and featuring Sara Bareilles’ music. It tells the story of a waitress with dreams of a life bigger than her small town.
Cost: Tickets start at $48.
Monday
May 28
Constitution Avenue
The American Veterans Center puts on an annual parade to salute our fallen heroes. Pay tribute along the parade route or watch it live on television at your leisure. You should also keep an eye out for any of the specials, parties, and holiday offerings at bars and restaurants around town.
Cost: Free.