Things to Do

March in Washington

Get the first glimpse of spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, SunTrust marathon, and much more in March.

February 19 through March 7: Intersections Art Festival
New to Washington, this weekend-only festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center includes music, dance, theater, film, literary, and visual arts by local artists. The festival is geared toward the whole family, with activities and workshops for kids during the day and dancing at night. Some events, such as performances in the Atlas’s Kogod Lobby, are free, but others require tickets (most ticketed events start at around $15 a person). For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.

March 4 through 14: DC Independent Film Festival
This ten-day festival includes feature films, shorts, animation, and documentaries by local and international filmmakers. At night, music acts—from jazz to rock—take the stage for the companion music festival. Some of the screenings are free, and ticketed ones cost between $7 and $10. Or get a pack of ten screening tickets for $50; all-inclusive festival passes are also available. For more information, go here.

March 11 through 14: Antiques in Alexandria
Check out more than 60 antique dealers’ offerings of furniture, silver, porcelain, folk art, clocks, jewelry, and more. The event is held at Flippin Field House at Episcopal High School in Alexandria. Doors open at 11 every day and close at 8 on Friday, 6 on Saturday, and 5 on Sunday. For serious antiques buffs, there’ll be a preview party ($125) on Thursday, March 11, from 7 to 10. Antique-show tickets are $15.

March 12 through 14: Washington Home & Garden Show
Now in its 50th year, the Washington Home and Garden Show features hundreds of displays, exhibits, and demonstrations on everything from home theaters to themed outdoor parties. Experts are on hand to answer questions on virtually any indoor or outdoor space, and vendors from around the world showcase landscape designs and the latest gadgets. The event is at the Washington Convention Center. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for ages six to 12; kids under six are free. For more information, go here or call 703-823-7960.

March 13: Shamrock Fest
Don’t forget to pack some green if you’re coming to Washington for Shamrock Fest. The annual St. Patrick’s Day event, held at RFK Stadium, features dozens of bands and DJs, ten entertainment stages, carnival rides, games, cultural performances, craft and food vendors, beer trucks, and more. Go here to purchase tickets, which start at $19.99 a person.

March 14: Washington’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Floats, marching bands, military, police, fire trucks, and more make their way up Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets, Northwest. The parade starts at noon.

March 16 through 28: DC Environmental Film Festival
Held at venues throughout Washington, the DC Environmental Film Festival features 150 eco-oriented documentary, animated, archival, experimental, children’s, and feature films. This year’s theme is food and the environment. Most screenings are free and include discussions with filmmakers and environmental experts. For more information, including a schedule of events, click here or call 202-342-2564.  

March 20: SunTrust National Marathon
Runners begin at RFK Stadium and race 26.2 miles through Washington neighborhoods and the National Mall. The race, which benefits local youth organizations, is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Online registration ($100 for the marathon; $85 for the half marathon) closes March 14 or when the race reaches 12,000 runners; latecomers might be able to register at the National Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the DC Armory on March 19. The race starts at 7 AM.

March 20 through 21: National Capital Area Cake Show
Sweet tooths rejoice! The National Capital Area Cake Show returns to Washington at Woodson High School in Fairfax. The event includes competitions by age and skill levels, plus categories for chocolate, gingerbread, decorated cookies, cupcakes, and cakes inspired by Washington monuments and landmarks. There’ll also be three live cake-decorating challenges with Food Network and TLC stars. General admission tickets are $15, classes start at $75, and live-challenge tickets are $35. For more information, go here.

March 27: Smithsonian Kite Festival
Each year, the grounds of the Washington Monument are filled kids, adults, and master kite makers, who participate in a handmade-kite competition; awards are given in each category. Serious kite flyers try to ground the competition in a Rokkaku Challenge. For non-flyers, the event also includes kite displays and trick-flying demonstrations. For more information, go here.

March 27 through April 11: National Cherry Blossom Festival
One of Washington’s most popular annual events, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Tokyo’s gift of 3,020 cherry trees to the city of Washington in 1912. It includes fireworks (April 3), a parade (April 10), a Japanese street festival (April 10), and a ten-mile run (April 11). This year’s peak-bloom date—the day that the cherry blossoms are predicted to be at their biggest and brightest—is April 4. For more information on the festival, including a schedule of events, go here

This article is part of’s Visitors’ Guide. For more articles like it, click here. If you’re visiting in a different month, check out our City Schedule for events happening throughout the year.