The famous Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. kicks off this week and you don’t want to miss it. Washington, D.C. is always a great place to visit for a family vacation or a long weekend. But there is no better time to visit than during cherry blossom season, which extends from late March to mid-April.
This year’s festival is scheduled to run from March 20th to April 15th. What are the best ways to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. this spring? Read on to find out!
Take a Walk Among the Cherry Blossoms
During the festival, the cherry trees bloom, and the beautiful pink and white flowers can be seen in many different parts of the city. Some of the best places to enjoy the blossoms include the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the Tidal Basin. Walking among the cherry trees and taking pictures is a very popular pastime, and these areas get very crowded during the festival.
To avoid the big crowds, try going early in the morning or late in the evening on a weekday. Both times of day are beautiful, especially if you can catch a sunrise or sunset among the trees.
You also might want to consider going on a nighttime Japanese Lantern tour, in which you carry a lantern and view the D.C. cherry trees and memorials. The flickering lantern light on the blossoms and memorials makes for a truly magical experience.
Check Out the Blossom Kite Festival
A truly amazing event at the Cherry Blossom Festival is the Kite Festival, which is scheduled to take place on March 31st from 10 am to 4:30 pm. The Kite Festival takes place around the Washington Monument and features talented kite makers and fliers from all around the world.
Observe the diverse and beautiful styles of kites and marvel at the skilled fliers who showcase them. There are kite flying demonstrations, and if you or your kids want to participate in the flying, you are welcome to bring your own kite. There are also stations at the festival where your kids can make kites of their own.
Watch the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
The Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is an annual event that is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. The 2018 parade will take place on April 14th, from 10 am to noon and is held along Constitution Avenue. The procession starts at the National Mall and ends at the Washington Monument. The parade features floats, bands, and many different performers and entertainers, and draws huge crowds.
If you are planning to attend the parade, arrive at least an hour in advance so you can get a spot. You can purchase seats in the grandstands for $20 per person, or you can watch for free along Constitution Avenue.
Take a DC Ducks Tour
The iconic DC Ducks Tour is a truly one of a kind experience, a tour of the city in an amphibious vehicle. The tours bring you over land and water to many famous D.C. attractions. The tour begins at Union Station and takes you along Pennsylvania Avenue past the famous buildings and monuments. Then the vehicles plunge into the Potomac River and take you on a scenic river cruise, ending at Gravely Point.
If you will be in the city during the Cherry Blossom Festival, don’t miss out on a DC Ducks Tour. The tour is a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful Japanese cherry trees while touring the city.
Enjoy the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
For a festive, cultural experience, stop by the Sakura Japanese Street Festival, which is held on April 14th on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd Street and 7th Street. This amazing festival features many Japanese performance groups and artisans, as well as Japanese chefs cooking traditional foods.
Other areas to check out are the Arts, Culture and Artisan, and Lifestyle sections. In these areas, you will learn about traditional and modern Japanese art, culture, and rituals. You can also purchase artwork, clothing, and housewares from vendors.
And don’t forget to bring your appetite! There are many food vendors selling poke bowls, sushi, gyoza, bubble tea, and sweets.
The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival is a wonderful experience for children and adults alike, and a great way to enjoy D.C. during cherry blossom season.
Cherry blossom season is by far the most beautiful time of year to visit Washington, D.C. If you can visit D.C. during this time you can enjoy millions of colorful blossoms and a wide variety of annual events and traditions.
Have you been to the D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival? If so, what are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the festival?