by Lauren Sloat - 260 Reviews - 86 List
The Easter bunny may not be leaving you baskets of treats anymore, but there are still plenty of things to celebrate on April 4: the arrival of spring, the end of Lent, and a really good excuse to indulge in mimosas and delicious food. Whether Easter means going to church, hunting for eggs, brunching with the girls or something totally out of the ordinary, we've got the Washington, D.C., options covered. (Photo by Flickr user antaean)
Updated: April 05, 2010
Already one of the most popular brunch spots in D.C., the Tabard Inn's restaurant will be extending brunch service on Easter Sunday until 4pm. Regular brunch menu options will be available, such as the warm, freshly fried donuts topped with cinnamon and sugar and served with vanilla whipped cream. A few extra Easter treats will be added, and though the chef has not yet disclosed specifics, last year's menu featured a selection of seasonal entrees and six different desserts. The restaurant accepts Easter Sunday reservations starting on March 4--call between 9:30am and 9:30pm to reserve a spot for what is bound to be one of its best brunches of the year. Even if it's crowded, sipping a mimosa in the cozy, living-room style waiting room makes the wait pass quickly.
Worship at one of D.C.'s biggest architectural marvels; the 30-story National Cathedral will hold 8am and 11am Festival Holy Eucharists on April 4. Passes--which can be requested on the National Cathedral's Web site--are required to attend at both of these times and are free except for a $4 handling charge. For those who can't commit ahead of time, a limited number of passes will also be available on-site 30 minutes before each service. The services will be followed by an Easter day evensong at 4pm and an organ recital at 5:15pm, which is free and open to the public.
If hunting for eggs isn't your thing, then maybe 19th century tchotchkes and secret doors are more your style. The Mansion on O Street has always been a little mysterious; many of its events are closed to the public, and the ones that aren't generally require advance tickets. But on Easter Sunday, you'll have your chance to explore: Tickets are available online for brunch, afternoon tea, high tea or dinner, ranging from $35 to $85 per person. After the food and drinks, wander through the slightly musty maze of rooms (there are more than 100 rooms and 32 secret doors through which to find them), many of which retain original period details, such as Tiffany stained glass windows. It's part haunted mansion, part luxury hotel and 100 percent strange.
On April 5, the National Zoo will hold its annual Easter Monday multicultural event. The event--which is free of charge--celebrates the African American community with traditional Easter family activities--such as an egg hunt, Easter-themed games and a visit from the Easter bunny--and live entertainment. Past years have featured story telling, live music--an a cappella gospel quintet, Caribbean reggae band, and steel drum band have all performed--dance teams and double-dutch jump rope teams. Exact times will become available closer to the event, but this is usually a daytime celebration.
This seasonal orchard and family attraction will re-open for select days at the end of March through mid April (check the Web site for exact days) from 9pm to 3pm for the 15th annual Bunnyland. Take a hayride, visit with the Easter bunny and pet real-life bunnies and chicks, hunt for eggs (bring your own basket!) and compete in the rubber ducky derby--all activities will run throughout the day. Kids will leave with goodie baskets, but adults can take home something sweet too: Honey, preserves and seasoned apple firewood will also be for sale. Tickets will be available on-site; $8 for kids and $6 for adults. Reservations are not required but call ahead if the weather is bad.