Today's sunny afternoon might have prodded a family to spend a day at the National Arboretum soaking up the rays, but here's a bit of bad news for locals and summer tourists alike: It's closed. This week, the nearly 450-acre garden kicked off its sequestration schedule, closing for several days during the week to offset the impact of federal spending cuts.

The U.S. National Arboretum is in full bloom, but don't expect to play hooky in the urban Northeast Washington garden anytime soon. Beginning this week, the park instated reduced hours. It's open only Fridays through Mondays. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post)

Until Monday, the urban Northeast Washington garden had been open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but beginning this week, visitors will only be able to take advantage of such attractions as the original U.S. Capitol columns, acres of flowering trees and ponds Fridays through Mondays. The grounds now will close Tuesdays through Thursdays. The new schedule has been posted, with no end date in sight.

Admission will remain free. But the park will now begin to rent some of its spaces to the public for events (sorry, no weddings). Previously, the park had the ability to host public events, but hadn't implemented that option.