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Ready for a fresh start? We’ve got you covered.

It’s the season of new beginnings. Set aside your spring cleaning and make a plan to celebrate the return of the cherry blossoms with a range of spring-inspired experiences and activities.

1. See (and smell) the flowers.

Our dazzling floral displays brighten the West Building Rotunda throughout the year. In March we really pull out all the stops with our cherished Ames-Haskell Azalea Collection. Catch the final days before the display switches over to fragrant white Easter lilies.

Plan your visit

2. Tour the Sculpture Garden.

Starting April 4, you can learn more about the modern works in our Sculpture Garden on a free guided tour. This casual stroll through our garden is offered at 2:00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Or grab a beverage from the Pavilion Café and take a self-guided tour.

See the schedule

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, A Road with a Castle and Houses in Rocky Mountains (Straße mit Burg und Häusern in felsigem Gebirge), 1926, color woodcut on wove paper, Gift of Ruth Cole Kainen, 2012.92.151

3. Discover a new favorite artist.

From an exhibition on the interwoven histories of textiles and modern art to another on the legacy of the German expressionism movement, you’ll find many new experiences at the National Gallery this season. Don’t miss the final days of our exhibitions Dorothea Lange: Seeing People and Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper.

Check out our exhibitions

4. Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival at our next First Saturday.

Join us on the first Saturday of every month for a day of art making, films, and more in the East Building. Our First Saturday coming up on April 6 celebrates spring as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. You can make your own floral art with paper artist Emily Paluska and catch musical performances on Japanese instruments like taiko drums, koto and shamisen.

See what we have planned

Anne Vallayer-Coster, Still Life with Flowers in an Alabaster Vase and Fruit, 1783, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Fund, 2023.40.1

5. Experience art a different way.

Looking to mix things up? Catch one of our free films, concerts, or lectures.

Pick up a pencil and log on for a virtual sketchbook club focused on works  of flowers. Or join us for an interactive virtual conversation about one of the newest additions to our collection, Anne Vallayer-Coster's Still Life with Flowers in an Alabaster Vase and Fruit.

On April 21, we’ll commemorate Earth Day with a concert inspired in part by the effect of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Browse our calendar

6. Enjoy an after hours party at National Gallery Nights.

On April 11 our National Gallery Nights takes inspiration from the city’s favorite flowers—cherry blossoms. Put on your florals and don your best fascinator for a night of art making, pop-up talks, artists demonstrations, and dancing. Registration opens April 1.

Get more details

7. Plan a picnic among our petals.

The blooms aren’t just in our Sculpture Garden. Take in the wisteria and tulips outside our West Building’s Mall entrance, the grove of magnolia trees between our West and East Buildings, or the cherry blossoms on the south side of the East Building.

Pack a picnic—the grass on our campus is yours to enjoy! Or find some shade around the Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Fountain outside our Pennsylvania Avenue entrance. Feeling spontaneous? You can pick up a blanket or picnicware in our shop. Forgot to bring a treat? Head inside to the Espresso & Gelato Bar for a scoop of handcrafted gelato in seasonal flavors like mango pomegranate and pink lemonade.

Find the perfect spot

Top image: Andō Hiroshige, Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom Along the Sumida River [Sumida-gawa hana-zakari], 1839–1842, color woodcut on Japanese paper, download image, not on view, view more prints by Japanese artists

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March 19, 2024