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Study Tours

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Event date Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Escape the winter cold and step into a floral oasis in the Kogod Courtyard with Orchids: Amazing Adaptations, featuring hundreds of stunning varieties. Join a Smithsonian Gardens staff member for a private view of the lush blooms before the space opens to the public.

Event date Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The city of smokestacks and steel has been miraculously reborn as a cultural capital. Join arts journalist Richard Selden for a visit that surveys its art scene (highlighted by the 57th Carnegie International exhibition) as well as the rich ethnic and industrial history of “the ’Burgh.”

Event date Depart: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 10:00 p.m.

From the Capitol dome to the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, the work of architect and builder Montgomery Meigs is still part of our region’s landscape—and our daily lives. Spend a day focused on Washington history and architecture to discover the many facets and achievements of the former Civil War officer who helped define and develop an enduring vision of the capital city.

Event date Friday, March 15, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Escape the winter cold and step into a floral oasis in the Kogod Courtyard with Orchids: Amazing Adaptations, featuring hundreds of stunning varieties. Join a Smithsonian Gardens staff member for a private view of the lush blooms before the space opens to the public.

Event date Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Escape the winter cold and step into a floral oasis in the Kogod Courtyard with Orchids: Amazing Adaptations, featuring hundreds of stunning varieties. Join a Smithsonian Gardens staff member for a private view of the lush blooms before the space opens to the public.

Event date Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are prime examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive organic architecture. Visit both on an overnight tour to the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania led by architectural historian Bill Keene—and stay at a Wright-inspired boutique hotel. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date Depart: Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 9:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 1, 2019 - 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy the beauty of a spring morning on the 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac. Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, focusing on its woodlands, wildlife, and history.

Event date Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland, home of Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Nursery Operations. Discover what it takes to keep the many gardens and interior plant displays looking their best all year round.

Event date Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland, home of Smithsonian Gardens’ Greenhouse Nursery Operations. Discover what it takes to keep the many gardens and interior plant displays looking their best all year round.

Event date Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Washington has always been a thirsty town, with a brewing tradition stretching back centuries. Spend a day tracing its past and sampling its present as local historian Garrett Peck leads a bus tour of brew-related sites.

Event date Friday, April 12, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Event date Depart: Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 15, 2019 - 9:30 p.m.

Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper, experts on the area’s hiking scene, lead a springtime walk through Huntley Meadows Park, the region’s largest freshwater marsh, followed by a glimpse into Alexandria’s colonial past at Gadsby’s Tavern and a visit to the city’s towering landmark, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

Event date Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Friday, April 19, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

See Philadelphia in a new light as museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker opens doors to unsuspected opportunities to view glass in a wide variety of places and forms. She guides participants to three special sites: a museum, a spectacular 19th-century Masonic landmark, and a glass artist’s studio.

Event date Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Event date Depart: Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 29, 2019 - 9:30 p.m.

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Medicinal plants have a long history across civilizations, and are garnering attention as the influences of herbalism and natural medicine move into the mainstream. Join Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, on the rooftop of its urban farm and learn how to utilize a diversity of these plants for both food and medical purposes.

Event date Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The National Arboretum, one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets, is home to 9 miles of winding parkland roads covering more than 450 acres. Enjoy a spring day outdoors during what is usually the peak blooming time for azaleas, dogwoods, and seasonal wildflowers.

Event date Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Abraham Lincoln spent 18 of his last 21 days of life not in Washington but in eastern Virginia, headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign against Robert E. Lee. Trace his steps through sites in the region which offer new insights into a war-weary president—and nation—at a pivotal moment in history.

Event date Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In a two-day active getaway designed for outdoor lovers, explore Blue Ridge trails at the height of their spring beauty, and stay at an historic lodge on Skyline Drive that offers magnificent panoramic views of the mountain landscapes.

Event date Depart: Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, May 20, 2019 - 7:30 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a 2-hour walk in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.