Spring in DC – Fun Things to Do on a Budget

DC is one of those cities that is perfect to visit any time of year just because there is always so much to see and to do. I love DC in the spring because there are so many fantastic places to visit and see that really open up and bring the city to life! Living here means I get the chance to do the touristy things (yes some of them are on this list) and the non-touristy things all the locals love too. I’ve done everything on my list here and even asked a few friends if I forgot anything so I would have a super list. Here are some of my favorite things this spring in DC.

 

1. Walk the monuments and gardens in the evening. With the cooler temperatures and beautiful sunsets, this is the perfect thing to do. One of my favorite gardens is right behind the transportation museum (currently closed). There are gorgeous fountains, interesting trees and lots of flowers.

Free


Pro-tip: Parking on the mall (I do mean ON the mall) is free and after 5:30 when all the museums close, it gets a lot easier to find parking. So the sunsets aren’t the only perk to going on the evening!


2. Check out a new rooftop. DC has tons of rooftop spots to check out and there are always a bunch of new ones being added. With the weather being nice and the sun going down later, you can check out a really awesome spot! Cambria (where this photo was taken) has a great rooftop with a cool view as well as the W Hotel downtown.

Cheap (one drink = $8 – $15)

 

3. Check out the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin. Need I say more? DC is known for its spring flowers and the Cherry Blossom festival. I definitely recommend doing this on a week day – not a weekend to avoid the crowds. Also, for the past three years TravelZoo has done a discount on the cruise along the Potomac to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms for just $8. A bunch of friends and I are doing that this week so we will see how it goes!

Free


Pro-Tip: There’s a park in Alexandria that is also awesome for viewing cherry blossoms called Haines Point. Easily bring a picnic, chill with friends, and walk along admiring the trees. Definitely check it out!


4. Go to an outdoor yoga event. These are constantly happening around the city through the spring and summer. Lower temps in spring make it a better time for outdoor fitness. Maketto has a class every Sunday in their outdoor space and there are events almost monthly around the national mall. Meridian Hill Park also has tons of events and is a good spot for a work out. My friend and I went to yoga in National’s Stadium and that was a blast! It does cost about $30 and they do it twice a year – it’s lots of fun because you get to go to a game, includes a mat, and then a yoga class. Which leads me to my next recommendation…

Free

5. Head to a Nationals Game and the Yards. This is a perfect spot to tailgate then head to a game. I have tons of fun each time I go to one of the games and they are very chill. The Yards is an area where a lot of people tailgate before a game. It’s free to get in, but you do pay for drinks. They usually have a live band, corn hole, and food for sale as well which makes it a fun spot before a game starts.

Cheap (Tickets go from $15 – 75)

6. Check out DC United. My friend Sobia and I recently joined the Screaming Eagles (a club that supports DC United) for just $30 we get to go to tailgates all season and sit in the most fun section at the games. One of their tailgates is only $10. I can’t wait to go to more games this season because they are also tons of fun and it’s so easy to get into the games.

Cheap (Tickets go from $10 – 40)

7. Food and wine festivals. There are so many food festivals that happen in DC – especially in the spring! One of the best I’ve been to was in National Harbor where we got unlimited drink and food for three hours. We were stuffed, but left so happy. This is the only thing on my list above $15, but it’s also something that gets you a lot for your money. Unlimited food or drinks for $30 is not a bad deal!

Less Cheap ($30 – 75)

8. Check out a brewery, winery, or distillery. A lot of beer and wine is being made in and around DC. Breweries often have events going on and interesting new things on tap this time of year. Recently I went to an event at DC Brau with beers, local vendors, and food trucks. The event was crowded, but included some awesome DC vendors and delicious food/drinks. I also love Blue Jacket in Navy Yard – cool atmosphere and good beers!

Cheap ($8 – $15 a drink)

9. Go for a bike ride (maybe even go to Bike Party?). Yes this photo is blurry  – it’s hard to selfie on a bike – ok! I have my own bike, but you can also rent a bike with Capitol Bike share for just $7 as long as you turn it back in every 30 minutes. I love riding through Capitol Hill because it is such a quiet neighborhood with cute homes, yards filled with flowers, and big trees. Mount Vernon Trail is really pretty in the spring, an easy ride, and you can go for miles on a leisurely bike ride I also love Bike Party because they close down whole streets and you ride through really interesting and different parts of the city. Highly recommend it!

Cheap (free – $7)


Pro-tip: Capitol Bike Share has spots all over the city where you can return or get a bike. Their website has a full map and makes it easy to use. Check there if you want to make sure you will have a place to return a bike!


10 . Walk a historic neighborhood like Georgetown, Navy Yard, or Dupont. These neighborhoods are tons of fun to walk around because there are so many little shops, gorgeous trees and parks. One of my favorite things I’ve done in spring was a silent disco in DuPont. There’s always something going on in DuPont and it’s easy to just join in when you walk by.

Free


Pro-tip: People posts events like this on Facebook all the time – simply search in Facebook for silent disco DC. You’re sure to find one.


As a local, I have to say, DC is always buzzing with things to do in the spring! I just love the way the city seems to open up. Have you been to DC? What do you love to do this time of year?

Like this article? Check out my favorite restaurants around DC!

  • Nofar Natalie

    This is such a great list of things to do! DC is one of my favorite cities and its great to get a locals perspective on things to do!

    • Thank you! It’s one of my favorite cities too! 🙂

  • Céline CLudik

    Thanks for the great Tips ! What about having a run through the National Zoo where you don’t have to pay a dime to see 1,800 animals ?

    • That is a great one to add to the list! I also think you could go in any of the Smithsonians because they’re free too (always).

  • Brooklyn

    I love your Pinterest graphic!
    I want to head to DC so much, no matter what time of year I see posts from, it just looks beautiful!

  • Julie

    I love all these ideas! We just checked out the cherry blossoms today, which is definitely a great spring time activity!

    • Thank you! I was there on Saturday too! Small world. Haha

  • Jamie

    I heard the blossoms weren’t good this year due to the weather. It’s good there are many other things to see/do – and on a budget!

    • Yes! The blossoms are definitely not as pretty as usual, but there’s still tons to do in dc. Thanks for reading! 😊

  • Thank you!

  • Looks beautiful Meghan! Oh how I miss spring weather – we don’t get that in the arctic :/ Love all your pro-tips!