Kick start spring with some beautiful crafts to show off to guests when they visit on sunny days. Smithsonian Associates runs a whole variety of art classes that start this evening. Drawing and photography are sold out (click links to join the wait list), but there’s still space for pottery and knitting. Make some fantastic presents for your friends and family, or something for yourself to satisfy that creative itch. Prices vary, see links. Pottery: Tuesdays from April 15 to June 4, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Knitting: Tuesdays from April 15 to June 4, 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Ripley Center.
Wednesday, April 16: Wash, Wring, Repeat: 19th Century Laundry
If you think loading up your washing machine is a pain, wait until you see all the steps families had to take in the 19th century to keep their clothes clean! Before you run away screaming from this hands-on demonstration, though, think of how much easier your laundry at home will be once you figure out how much of a task it used to be. After the wash, you can learn more about 18th century domestic life in Within These Walls . . ., an exhibit that features a full-size, partially reconstructed Georgian-style house. Free. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. American History Museum.
Thursday, April: 17: Peacock Room Shutters Open
Want a taste of luxury? The Freer Gallery’s Peacock Room, once an opulent British dining room, now hosts more than 250 ceramics from Egypt, Iran, Japan, China and Korea that museum founder Charles Lang Freer collected on his travels. At noon, the museum opens the room’s shutters to bathe the collection in sunlight, and the room glows blue, green and gold. The shimmering colors won’t fade any time soon, either; special filtering film on the room’s windows prevents the sun’s effects on the ceramics. Free. Noon to 5:30 p.m. Freer Gallery.
Also, check out our Visitors Guide App. Get the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C. and the National Mall with this selection of custom-built tours, based on your available time and passions. From the editors of Smithsonian magazine, the app is packed with handy navigational tools, maps, museum floor plans and museum information including ‘Greatest Hits’ for each Smithsonian museum.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide. Additional reporting by Michelle Strange.