Best Things to Do in the DC Area 3/30-4/2: Bloomaroo at the Wharf, “Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell” exhibit, and White House Garden Tour

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Plus, the National Capital New Play Festival.

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Bloomaroo at The Wharf. Photograph courtesy of The Wharf, Washington, DC.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Close out the month of March with some springtime fun and take a tour of the historic White House gardens, or jam to live music outdoors at one of the area’s cherry blossom-inspired parties.

Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Bloomaroo at the Wharf. Party in the name of cherry blossoms at the Wharf’s Bloomaroo extravaganza. The one-day festival includes spring-inspired events for all ages. You can decorate kites, sing karaoke, visit the blossom beauty bar, sip matcha tea and sake samples, and listen to live music by the Chuck Brown Band, Royals, and other artists. The event finale is a waterfront fireworks show (Sat, free, Wharf).
  2. “Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell” exhibit. Popular Japanese avant-garde artist Ay-Ō has more than 80 of his notable vibrant artworks on display in the first exhibition dedicated to his work at a museum in the U.S. “Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell” is a fun, adult-friendly exploration of the rainbow creator’s tactile pieces and colorful silkscreen prints (through September 10, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  3. White House Garden Tour. The White House Easter Egg Roll is approaching, but there’s a chance to visit the presidential grounds before the holiday festivities begin. This weekend, the community is invited to tour the White House gardens and South Grounds. You can see flowers in the formal Rose Garden and trees planted by former presidents. Daily timed tickets for the Spring Garden Tour will be distributed each morning outside of the White House Visitor Center (Sat-Sun, free, but tickets required, White House).
  4. The National Capital New Play Festival. Get an inside look at new theatrical works through play readings, panel discussions, and live productions at the Round House Theatre’s National Capital New Play Festival. The festival will also stage the world premieres of the one-woman play On the Far End and the comedy Jennifer Who Is Leaving (through May 7, free for play readings, $46+ for shows, Bethesda). 
  5. NoMa In Bloom Festival. The entire family is welcome to celebrate the cherry blossoms in NoMa with music, food, and kite-flying at the NoMa in Bloom Festival Day. Alethia Tanner Park will host a pop-up market spotlighting local artisans, live tunes by DJ Mathias Broohm, face-painting, and a blossom-themed chalk mural by Chalk Riot (Sun, free, NoMa).

Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. Photograph courtesy of National Museum of Asian Art.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Discover a showcase of fine art at the Capital Art Fair (Sat-Sun, free, Northwest DC). The American University Museum is hosting a series of film screenings, talks, and performances in celebration of Madayin –Yolŋu artists (Fri-Sun, free, virtual, Northwest DC).

Arts and culture. Browse the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington after hours while sipping drinks and snacking on bites; there will be an an artist talk with Rebecca Rivas Rogers and craft-making activities, too (Thurs, free, but must follow the museum on social media, Arlington). View stone sculptures, gilt bronzes, and painted manuscripts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, and other Asian nations at “The Art of Knowing” exhibition (ongoing, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art). Learn about light pollution at the new “Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky” collection featuring more than 100 photographs and nearly 250 objects (through December 2025, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History). It’s the last chance to observe modern and contemporary crafts at “This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World(closes Sun, free, Renwick Gallery). Visit the Baltimore Museum of Art’s “Coming Attractions: The John Waters Collection” to see a showcase of works that explore queer identity and freedom of expression (through April 16, free, Baltimore).

History and community. Help create or improve Wikipedia articles for 44 women of color featured in the Renwick Gallery (Thurs, free, virtual). Experience art demos, traditional flute music, games, pottery, and more at the Cherokee Days Festival (Fri-Sun, free, virtual, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian). Sit in on a conversation about Native filmmaking (Sat, free, but registration required, virtual). Learn about DC’s 50-year-old woman-run record company Olivia Records at Live! At The Library (Thurs, free, but registration required, Library of Congress). Local historian Robert Pohl chats about the 150-year history of Eastern Market (Thurs, free, Capitol Hill).

Theater and shows. It’s the last curtain call for High Ground at Arena Stage (closes Sun, $82+, Southwest DC). Celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio with a play, scavenger hunt, and family-friendly programs (through April 22, free, various participating locations). Award-winning dramatist Mona Mansour explores the story of war through photography in the new Mosaic Theater play Unseen (Thurs through April 23, $29+, H Street Corridor). The regional premiere of Aya Ogawa’s Nosebleed explores the comedic struggles of parenting at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Fri through April 23, $5+, Northwest DC).

Music and concerts. Party to ’90s and ‘2000s R&B jams at Karma Soundstage (Fri, $10+, Langdon). Local rock quartet Laughing Colors performs at Vibe (Sat, $20, Annapolis). This weekend’s Hidden Gem lineup at Cafe Saint-Ex are artists from Maryland (Sat, $15, Northwest DC). Listen to the the Wooten Brothers play funk and R&B tunes at Pearl Street Warehouse (Sun, $45+, Wharf). Folk music duo Drew and Ellie Holcomb sing live at The Birchmere (Thurs-Sat, $49, Alexandria). The Washington National Cathedral choir and orchestra perform In Paradisum: Duruflé’s Requiem and Poulenc’s Motets (Sun, $20+, virtual is pay-what-you-can, Northwest DC). Don’t miss the candlelight tribute concert to Hans Zimmer at Miracle Theater (Thurs, $40, Southeast DC). Blast to your favorite musical past at the Y2K Pink Party concert hosted by NSYNC’s Chris Kirkpatrick and 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons (Sat, free, but registration required, Bethesda).

Bites and beverages. Partake in the Spring Wine Fling before the tasty specials end (through Fri, prices vary, various participating locations). Meet you summer boo at Johnny Pistolas’ speed dating happy hour (Fri, $10, Adams Morgan). Trademark Drink and Eat is paring junk food with fine brews for a four-course Fool’s Dinner (Sat, $71, Alexandria). Shop local artisans and participate in drink tastings at the First Landing Wine and Arts Festival (Sat, free, Colton’s Point).

Exercise and wellness. Stretch and unwind at Yoga in the Galleries, and enjoy a free-flowing writing session after (Sat, $10, Arlington). Discover your meditation center at a Sahaja Yoga workshop (Sat, free, Bethesda). Break a sweat during Soulful Sunday Yoga and stay after for a picnic at Quiet Waters Park (Sun, $11, Annapolis). Take an introductory salsa lesson at Bryant Street Market (Fri, $15, Brentwood).

Sports. Baseball season is here: Our beloved Nationals are kicking off their first game of the season with a flyover by the DC Air National Guard 121st Fighter Squadron, face painters, red carpet player introductions, caricature artists, and more; the first 20,000 fans in attendance get T-shirts (Thurs, $30+, Nationals Park).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.

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