Butterflies, Baseball and Blossoms: Tours for Your Spring Vacation

Two custom tours come fully loaded with insider information, digital postcards and step-by-step directions


These flowers are always in bloom at the American Art Museum. Courtesy of the museum

Though you might not know it judging from the forecast most places, spring has indeed arrived. And despite the unpredictable D.C. weather, the snow, sleet, cold rain and wind hasn’t kept the tourists away. Crowds are gathering in the nation’s capital for the first glimpses of the cherry blossoms. For those of you interested in making the most of your visit, the editors over here have released two new spring-themed tours to help showcase the seasonal delights both inside and outside along the Mall.

The Gardens tour will take you to our many well-maintained plots around the Mall to see more than just a few pink blooms by the Tidal Basin, including heirloom plants, geometric splendors reminiscent of the grandest of European gardens and even a Victory Garden.

The Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden provides an iconic backdrop for your family vacation photo. Courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens

The courtyard at the Freer Gallery of Art is as beautiful as the museum’s collection inside. Courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens

The winding paths of the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden provide a quiet retreat. Courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens

Meanwhile, our Spring Fling tour will take you inside to show off the riches of the Smithsonian’s arts and sciences collection and celebrate the season with baseball legends, a tree you can wish on, bouquets in paint and even a spring from space.

What would spring be without the crack of bat? Pay homage to some of the game’s greats at the National Portrait Gallery. Courtesy of the museum

In case the sun forgets to show up, head inside for a dose of paradise in the Butterfly Pavilion. Courtesy of the Natural History Museum

Spring in space could mean a few things, but in this instance, we’re talking about a clever spring made of two metals that heat and cool at different points, which was essential to the Lunar Rover Vehicle from the Apollo missions. Courtesy of the Air and Space Museum

The birds and blooms from this Japanese painting were actually borrowed symbols from China, likely to mark an auspicious occasion. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery

Head here to download the visitor’s app and get your step-by-step directions, custom postcard feature and greatest hits from the museums.

About Leah Binkovitz
Leah Binkovitz

Leah Binkovitz is a Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow at Washington Post and NPR. Previously, she was a contributing writer and editorial intern for the At the Smithsonian section of Smithsonian magazine.

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