16 Things to Do This Spring
Get ready for cultural festivals, egg hunts, tribute bands, a 5K bunny hop and the return of the Arlington Civitan flea market.
Spring is nearly here, a season loaded with outdoor markets, fitness events and enriching arts and culture events. Here’s just a taste of not-to-miss activities this season.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin
March 22 | 7 p.m.
Get on your feet for an energy-packed ode to legendary artist Aretha Franklin, performed by powerful vocalists and a live band. Expect to hear favorites like “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.” // Capital One Hall, 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons. $63.50+
The Arlington Players: Singin’ in the Rain
March 25-April 8 | Show Times Vary
This local theater troupe is donning its dancing shoes for Singin’ in the Rain, a toe-tapping adaptation of the 1952 rom-com starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. And because special effects aren’t just relegated to Broadway, get ready for an “onstage rainstorm.” // Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, 125 S. Old Glebe Road, Arlington. The April 1 performance will feature sign-language interpretation. $15-$25.
Fiesta del Sol
March 25 | 4:45-9 p.m.
Sip a mojito, dig into empanadas and ceviche, and find your groove at this new festival in McLean celebrating Latin American and Caribbean culture. The party includes bachata, salsa and merengue dance classes; live music; wares from local artisans; and food from Pikoteo in McLean. // McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. Free admission. Food and drink tickets $5.
Arlington Civitan Open Air Market
April 1-Nov. 4 | 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays
This 37-year-old flea market returns to Arlington with a new season of hidden gems for bargain hunters. With more than 150 vendors setting up shop on five levels of the I-66 parking garage near Washington-Liberty High School, you’re sure to find a funky lamp, a vinyl record or pair of jeans you can’t live without. // 4001 15th St. N., Arlington. Free admission.
Arlington Art Truck: Count Your Joys
April 2-May 19 | Times Vary
The county’s inspiration-filled roving gallery is back with new activations for the spring and beyond. First up: Count Your Joys from Arlington-based artist Heloisa Escudero, who invites visitors to step into an installation and literally count the things that bring them joy before placing a symbolic magnet on the truck’s exterior. // Locations vary. Free.
April 2 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Head to National Harbor for a day of Japanese culture featuring traditional dances; a tea ceremony; a performance from Japanese and Korean pop cover band KuroPOP; and a market with sushi pillows, bubble tea and ramen. // National Harbor Plaza, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland. Free admission.
Pedal with Petals
April 2 | 8-10 a.m.
Cycling season is back! Hop on your two-wheeler and bring the kids for this family-friendly bike ride around Tysons Corner, followed by cherry blossom-themed games and crafts. // Tysons Corner Center Plaza, 1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons. Free.
2023 Sondheim Award Gala
April 3 | 6 p.m.
At this year’s Sondheim Award Gala, Signature Theatre honors Chita Rivera, the actress who portrayed Anita in the original West Side Story, Velma Kelly in the first iteration of Chicago, and a host of other legendary roles. // Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St., NW, Washington, D.C. See website for ticket/sponsorship info.
McLean Spring Fest
April 8 | 10 a.m.-Noon
If you’ve got little ones 8 and under, cart them to this bunny-filled fest. The entertainment includes spring-themed crafts, an egg hunt and snapshots with the Easter Bunny. // McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. $5 per person, children under 3 are free.
April 8 | Noon-10 p.m.
Celebrate the second season of Perch Putt at The Perch, Capital One Hall’s skypark. The festivities include music and entertainment from local radio DJs and grub from retro food trucks Grandpa Hank’s Jamaican Kitchen, Los Dos Carlos Street Tacos and Rhum Roost. Oh, and an 18-hole mini golf course, of course. // 1805 Capitol One Drive, 11th Floor, Tysons. $15 per person.
Remembering the Cherrydale Drug Fair Sit-In
April 13 | 7-8:30 p.m.
The summer of 1960 brought a series of demonstrations against segregation at lunch counters across Arlington. One such protest took place at the Cherrydale Drug Fair, where demonstrators were harassed by American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell and others. Author Gregory J. Embree (It Happened in Cherrydale) leads a discussion of the protest and its impact on the local community. Presented in partnership with the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington. // Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University, 2807 N. Glebe Road, Arlington. Virtual participation option is available. Free.
Arlington Bunny Hop
April 15 | 8 a.m.
Throw on your sneakers and hit the road for a 5K fun run benefiting local charities. If you’ve got a bunny suit, even better; best-clothed runners will receive special medals. And stick around for bounce-house fun after the race. // Clarendon United Methodist Church, 606 N. Irving St., Arlington. $18-$45. Participants under 6 are free.
Falls Church Home and Garden Tour
April 16 | 1-5 p.m.
Prepare to be inspired at this annual event highlighting the many well-appointed rooms and well-manicured gardens of The Little City. The tour will include a variety of home styles and sizes, and proceeds benefit the Falls Church Education Foundation and Falls Church City Public Schools. // Various locations in Falls Church. $30.
Earth Day Every Day on Langston Boulevard
April 23 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Make Earth Day a party with this all-day festival on Langston Boulevard. The celebration includes performances from the Munit Mesfin Trio, jazz outfit Veronneau and others; an appearance from the Arlington Art Truck; hands-on kids’ activities; an art market; and plenty of food and drink. // Lee Heights Shops, 4500-4550 Langston Boulevard, Arlington. Free admission.
Global Spotlight: Video Art From Ukraine
Contemplate works by four Ukrainian artists in this timely exhibit at the newly renamed Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington. “There is rarely a distinct moment when ‘normal’ life ends and a state of war begins,” reads MoCA’s description of the show. “The works in the exhibition address these liminal times and spaces, considering daily life, public memory, and civic identity preceding, in the midst of, and adjacent to war and armed conflict.” // Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free admission.
Tear It Up With Tribute Bands
The State Theatre in Falls Church has a hearty lineup of cover bands hitting the stage this spring, from Jerry Garcia tribute band Legion of Jerry to ’80s rockers The Legwarmers to the Fooz Fighters. Grab some smoked barbacoa queso and rock out. // The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Ticket prices vary.