4 local things to do this spring

The fifth annual Blossom Kite Festival as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Photo by Amy Podraza.

The fifth annual Blossom Kite Festival as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Photo by Amy Podraza.

Cynthia Jessup, staff writer.

The sun is out so it’s time to leave hibernation and explore spring activities in the local area.

  1. Hiking: If you are feeling adventurous, Old Rag and Whiteoak Canyon trails will fill that desire, not to mention give you a good work out. At Whiteoak Canyon, there are gorgeous waterfalls to view and even take a swim. Old Rag lives up to its name, with its rocky and steep terrain, the hike is difficult but the view is breath taking. Both hiking trails are located at the Shenandoah National Park and are a good 3-4 hours long. If you want to do both, it would be an all-day event with driving. Other trails that are closer to home and just let you enjoy nature are the trail around Burke Lake and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA. These two trails are easy-going and a great place to bring your dog.
  2. Cherry Blossom Festival: Another thing to do is, of course, attend the annual Cherry Blossom festival. The festival continues through April 12, however the National Park Service predicts that the “peak bloom dates” for the flower should be from April 11 through April 14. Over the course of the festival there are a variety of cultural events and workshops such as team sampling, a Japanese Shoji Lamp workshop, and a performance by the Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Troupe. The anticipated Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will happen on April 11th. For more information and full list of events go to: nationalcherryblossomfestival.org
  3. Filmfest DC: Tired of seeing blockbuster Hollywood movies? Head to DC for their international film festival and see movies of independent film production. Filmfest DC runs from April 16-26. Genres range from politics, music, culture, entertainment and will be presented from over 30 countries. Tickets are usually $11 a movie, but there are some free events.
  4. Nationals and Capitals: A favorite American pastime, the Washington Nationals baseball team will debut their first game of the season April 6 and play through September. Frequently you can even find tickets for as low as $10. The team will play a total of 81 games in the home downtown stadium. The easiest way to get to the National’s Park is to take Metro to the Navy Yard stop and walk about a block to the field. For those of you who still prefer the cold temperatures, the Washington Capitals hockey team will be at the Verizon Center through the end of April.

Happy spring!