Tag Archives: Best Cherry Blossom events for Families

The Best Events & Activities for Families During Cherry Blossom Season

Blossoms, kites, and lots of peops at the annual Blossom Kite Festival

 

It’s peak time in DC as cherry blossom season has begun! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate them. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 14 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are some blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. Happy Cherry Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. Get a glimpse of the 2024 bloom!  And view scenes from blooms past herehere and here.

ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through June 11
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack

The spring  exhibition at ARTECHOUSE is always a celebration of the cherry blossoms, and this year ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds explores multiple universes of blossoms — inspired by Anime. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience. Get a glimpse of it here.

Help a Wishing Tree Grow
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: March 20 – April 16
Admission: Free, but passes required

During the cherry blossom season, Planet Word invites guests to help build a Wishing Tree. They can select a poem from a collection of poetry, write it on a slip of paper, and place it inside an origami paper petal ‘pocket’ that is adhered to the branches of the museum’s cherry blossom tree. At the end of the festival, the petals will be passed on to visitors in the museum as a symbol of friendship. Note that (free) passes are required for admission to the museum. Read more about Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

This newer tradition invites residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: Through April 14
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. A map of them will be shared soon, so you can make it a mission to see all of them during the season!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: March 23 – April 7
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: March 23, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun to celebrate cherry blossom season.  Family activities include Japanese drum and traditional dance performances, a book author talk, storytelling, and arts and crafts from Japan.  Get tickets here! And read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 23, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season of cherry blossoms with the American Art Mueum! Begin the day on the F Street Plaza (weather permitting) with a taiko drumming performance. The festivities continue in the Kogod Courtyard for Japanese pop, boogie, and more with Les The DJ. Be dazzled by the precision jump rope team, Kangaroo Kids, and enjoy other performances while kids make cherry-blossom themed crafts. Face painting is available for ages 12 and younger. A spring-themed scavenger hunt through the galleries extends the cherry blossom fun.

The Art of Pink
Where: Metropolitan Park | Arlington, VA
When: March 23, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Head to National Landing for Art of Pink, which celebrates artists, makers, and small businesses from across the region, featuring the Sari Sari Pop-Up Market by SAMASAMA. Experience a variety of art activities throughout the afternoon, including live mural paintings inspired by all things pink. Explore a preview of EatLoco’s Farmers Market and enjoy musical vibes throughout the event provided by DJ Em-Pulse and Les the DJ.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 23, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

The Wharf’s annual Bloomaroo is a free spring extravaganza featuring a full day of cherry-blossom themed art, music, fireworks, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Decorate koi kites, create haikus, do some karaoke, enjoy ballon art, sample matcha tea, and more.  There will also be beer gardens on District pier, s’mores at the firepit, and live music. It’ll all be capped off with a blossom fireworks finale.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: March 24, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature a wide array of free cultural activities including an artisanal Japanese marketplace, cultural performances, culinary delights, and more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Hill Family Biking: Books & Blossoms Ride
Where: | Capitol Hill & Southwest, DC
When: March 24, 3:45pm
Admission: Free

Hill Family Biking is teaming up with DC Public Library for a ride to the stunning, new SW Library for a special story time and a librarian-guided tour of the facility with Cherry Blossom peeping opportunities all along the route. The ride starts at Eastern Market Metro and weaves down 3.7 miles of some of the most bikeable streets in the District to SW Library. There will be a scheduled exit from SW Library for anyone that wants to ride back to Eastern Market as a group.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 27, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Nets as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Purchase tickets through this link to get a cherry blossom water bottle. A portion of proceeds also supports year-round care for the iconic trees through the Trust for the National Mall.

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 30, 10am – 4:30pm (rain date March 31)
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: April 6, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season with swimming and more fun! Enjoy free access to the Long Bridge Aquatics Center, plus activities like an origami class, tea tasting, story time, free snacks, and more! Register in advance.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, bring little ones to storytime, create floral art inspired by the season with paper artist Emily Paluska, and practice sketching with a stunning floral arrangement. There will also be face painting, musical performances, and a pop-up library showcasing Japan.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 6-7
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! This day-long signature event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Cherry Blossoms
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: April 6, 11am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring and DC’s beloved cherry blossoms with a festive family workshop cohosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This hands-on preservation workshop is designed for children ages 3-8 and their caretakers. Be sure to register here in advance!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 13, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 13-14, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC..

 

Which events are you looking forward to this cherry blossom season?

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Filed under 2024, DC, Spring

The Best Activities & Events for Families During Cherry Blossom Season

 

We’re about to hit one of the best times of the year in DC: Cherry Blossom Season! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate it. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 18 – April 16 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are some blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. Happy Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from blooms past here, here and here.

PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through June 5
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family of 4

The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and for the sixth year, they are highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in blooms and butterflies. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and delightful to experience! Get more of a glimpse of it here.

Help a Wishing Tree Grow
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: March 20 – April 16
Admission: Free, but passes required

During the cherry blossom season, Planet Word invites guests to help build a Wishing Tree. They can select a poem from a collection of poetry, write it on a slip of paper, and place it inside an origami paper petal ‘pocket’ that is adhered to the branches of the museum’s cherry blossom tree. At the end of the festival, the petals will be passed on to visitors in the museum as a symbol of friendship. Note that (free) passes are required for admission to the museum. Read more about Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

This newer tradition invites residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

A past petal “porch” on Capitol Hill

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. Find a map of them here and make it a mission to see all of them during the season!

Cherry Blossom Programming for Children
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Select dates in March (see below)
Admission: $15

This spring, curiosity is in full bloom at National Children’s Museum. In celebration of the season and peak bloom, families can join the museum for the some STEAM programs inspired by the natural world. March 23 & 30: Blossom-themed STEAM Story Times. March 24: Baby Jam. March 26: Helicopter seeds launcher design and build challenge using recycled materials to learn about the aerodynamics of seed dispersal under the Museum’s main entrance awnings (free) + Haiku exploration and experimentation pop-up (included in Museum admission). Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Select dates during peak bloom
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 25, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Join SAAM for their annual celebration of spring and the blooming trees of DC. Enjoy taiko drumming and traditional Japanese dance performances, and break out your best Japanese pop dance moves with Les the DJ. Craft your own cherry blossom trees to take home, make a kinobori kite to fly at the kite festival, or try your hand at an origami Sakura. And ascavenger hunt will add some extra fun to explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt and enjoy festive. Register in advance. See more about the museum in this KFDC post. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 24, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Spurs as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Purchase tickets through this link to get a cherry blossom bucket hat.

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

Go fly a kite on the National Mall!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 26, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics. Note the date change from March 25 to March 26!

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 1
Admission:

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 1, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, a free spring extravaganza featuring a full day of cherry-blossom themed art, music, fireworks, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Enjoy beer gardens on District pier, s’mores at the firepit, and live music. It’ll all be capped it all off with a blossom fireworks finale.

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: April 1, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season at National Landing with morning activities for families.  Starting with Pink in the Pool, jump into a splash of pink at the Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center. Families are invited to take a free swim and toss around pink beach balls. After a dip in the pool, continue the fun with kite and origami making, face painting, giveaways, sweet treats from Kona Ice, and tons of pink.  Free pool passes are required — reserve them here.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: April 2 | 1pm, 1:30pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with this free event at Frying Pan Farm Park. Trek on their nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Along the way, visit stations that are peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, discuss woodland creatures, and search for critters in the soil and water. Plan to enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too! Recommended for ages 5+.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 1-2, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 1, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun especially for kids to celebrate cherry blossom season.  All ages can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display.Other activities include Kamishibai (Japanese storytelling), hands-on origami lessonsJapanese calligraphy, decorative Koinobori and Japanese woodblock print coloring, tiara making with cherry blossom princesses, Kimono trial, and more. Register here! And read more about the Library of Congress in his KFDC post.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: April 2, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature cultural activities, including a Japanese market, art, music and dance performances, culinary delights, and much more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 8, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! This day-long signature event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

 

Racing Presidents sightings at the Cherry Blossom Parade

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 15, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 15-16, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks .

 

Which events are you looking forward to this cherry blossom season?

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2023, DC, Spring

Activities & Events Especially Great for Families this Cherry Blossom Season

 

 

Cherry blossom season is upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready for it! Because not only is the city at its prettiest when the beloved flowers are in bloom, there also are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 17 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. I’ve picked the best of them for families to help you plan for it all. Happy Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from blooms past here and here.

PIXELBLOOM
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 12 – June 5
Admission: $20-25/adult, $14/age 4-15, free/under 4

The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and for the fifth year, they are highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in the blooms. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience! Get more of a glimpse of it here.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 19, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Smithsonian American art Museum and the National Cherry Blossom Festival outside on the museum’s F Street plaza for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance.  Pick up a step-by-step cherry blossom craft kit to take home, and discover spring-themed artworks in SAAM’s galleries with a self-guided scavenger hunt designed for all ages. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Petals porches from 2021

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: March 19 – April 17
Admission: Free

For the second year, residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA were invited to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Weekends, March 19 – April 17
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: March 20 – April 17
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. And April 1-17, a series of immersive installations, perfect for photo ops, will be displayed along the Petalpalooza Art Walk in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

Book Hill in Bloom
Where: Book Hill Area | Georgetown, DC
When: March 20 – April 17
Admission: Varies by activity

Georgetown is celebrating DC’s cherry blossom season with Book Hill in Bloom. More than 15 small businesses on upper Wisconsin Avenue are participating by decorating their storefronts with pink and cherry blossom-themed decorations, and offering special promotions. More events include an outdoor letterpress demonstration, and nearby the 10-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate offers some of DC’s most picturesque cherry tree-lined gardens and walkways.

Celebrate Spring
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 25 – April 3, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring at the Home of the Cherry Blossoms! Everyday from March 25 through April 3, there will be cherry blossom-themed activations and specials to go with the amazing views of all the cherry blossom trees across the Washington Channel at East Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin.

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

Go fly a kite at the Washington Monument!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 26, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Oxon Run Pinknic & Kite Fly
Where: Oxon Run Park | Anacostia, DC
When: March 27, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

For a smaller kite flying fest than the big one on the National Mall, head to Oxon Run Park in Anacostia, There will be kite programming, entertainment, and more in coordination with the Blossom Kite Festival.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 29, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Chicago Bulls as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. A limited number of tickets come with an exclusive co-branded cherry blossom t-shirt, and a portion of the proceeds supports year-round care for the iconic trees through the Trust for the National Mall.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 2, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo.  They’ll be celebrating the cherry blossoms with a  free spring festival full of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront!  Enjoy beer gardens on the pier, a pop-up roller rink, photo ops, s’mores at the firepit, and live music on all three of our outdoor stages. A fireworks finale will cap off the day.

Spring Gardening Program
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: April 2
Admission: $15.95

In celebration of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the museum will make and decorate plant pots using recycled newspaper and folding techniques inspired by the Japanese origami art form. Then, Dreamers will plant a seed in their pot and take it home to continue to care for it. Recommended for ages 3+. Included with admission, so plan to explore the rest of the museum full of STEAM-inspired exhibits and stations that kids will dig — read more about it all.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: April 2 | 1pm, 1:30pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with this free event at Frying Pan Farm Park. Trek on their nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Along the way, visit stations that are peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, discuss woodland creatures, and search for critters in the soil and water. Plan to enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too! Recommended for ages 5+.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 2-3, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, enjoy a pop-up beer garden, and more!

Cherry Blossom Celebration Match
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 2, 7:45pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against Atlanta United will include cherry blossom-themed activations for fans, including cherry blossom sunglasses for the first 5k fans, along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon RUn, MD
When: April 3, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature cultural activities, including a Japanese market, art, music and dance performancs, culinary delights, and much more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 9, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun especially for kids to celebrate cherry blossom season.  All ages are welcome to learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals during the Library’s Japanese Culture day. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display. Special highlights include a Japanese drum presentation by Miyako Taiko led by Mark Rooney (outside on the Plaza) and a karate demonstration by Tsuyoshi Takemori from D.C. Yamato-juku Club in the Great Hall.  Register here!

See Racing Presidents rolling down Constitution Ave at the annual parade

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 9, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 9-10, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 60th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Even better, this year it will be held over two days!

Cherry Blossom Jubilee
Where: Torpedo Factory | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: April 10, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Cherry Blossoms on the other side of the Potomac, too! Head to the heart of Alexandria for cherry blossom-themed activities and other events at the Torpedo Factory, the wonderful riverfront arts center. The fun kicks off with a live performance by taiko drum group Nen Daiko on the Waterfront side. Afterward, view the Art Center-wide exhibition of cherry blossom-inspired works by resident artists and galleries while enjoying music and live art demonstrations from participating TFAC artists.

Blossoms & Baseball
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 10, 1:35pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats will get in on the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebration during their opening series against the Mets. A cherry blossom celebration is scheduled for the Saturday afternoon match-up. Details are still TBA, but check back soon for more info!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 10, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

The annual Anacostia River Festival is a premier event of the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year enjoy a series of musical performances, including the sights and sounds of Go-Go music, local drum lines, and military bands. Along with live music, the Festival will feature pre-registered and socially distant river activities such as canoeing and fishing along the Anacostia River.  Sign up here!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 16, 5-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! The final big event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Art in Bloom on Capitol Hill last spring

 

 

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Activities & Events for Families During Cherry Blossom Season (2020)


UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and just about all other events have been canceled. You can still try view them, but use good judgement doing so.

Cherry blossom season is almost upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready for it! Because not only is the city at its prettiest when the beloved flowers are in bloom, there also are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 12 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. I’ve picked the best of them for families to help you plan for a peak experience. Happy Spring!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from last year’s bloom here.

STORYTIME: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 11, 10-11am & March 15 & 22, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of cherry blossoms, join the Hirhshorn for a read aloud of Under the Cherry Blossom Tree by Allen Say. Take a close look at the museum’s lobby’s tables, created by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto using a 700-year-old nutmeg tree, then create your own tree- and blossom-inspired works.

Hanami: Beyond the Blooms
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 13 – May 25
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child

ARTECHOUSE introduces a new exhibit every season, and it’s only apropos that its spring offering highlights the cherry blossoms. Hanami: Beyond the Blooms “pushes the limits of the cherry blossom experience, inviting visitors to enter an immersive world of spring re-imagined. Now an annual tradition, ARTECHOUSE’s cherry blossom-inspired installation continues to celebrate springtime and women in the arts and tech.” Look for a KFDC review of it soon!

Cultural Performances CANCELLED!
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Weekends, March 21 – April 12
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! On weekends during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. A highlight will be the Miyako Takio Takeover Saturday on March 28 from 11am to 6pm.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 21, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto Ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, and go on an art scavenger hunt throughout the exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern in the first-floor galleries. 

Japanese Fashion Family Day CANCELLED!
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 21, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Japanese fashion during cherry blossom season this spring. Join the Textile Museum & George Washington University museum for a family day featuring kimono, happi coats, accessories, and the creative shapes of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. Enjoy dance performances of Eisaa and Ryubu traditional dances from Okinawa. See a demonstration for how to dress in a kimono and take the opportunity to design one of your own. Make a cherry blossom pendant to take home. And enjoy family-friendly tours of the Japanese artwork on display in Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a museum that usually may be a bit sophisticated for little ones!

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossom and enjoy a fun activity on a paddling excursion. Many boathouses will open around the same time the National Cherry Blossom Festival begins, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Bason, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

River Cruisin’
Where: Local waterways
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by tour operator

Enjoy blossom filled scenery from the comfort of a cruise on the Potomac. Several companies offer boat rides along the river, many of them specifically for the season when the cherry trees are in bloom. Right now you can find great deals with Washington Marina National Ferry Corp, Boomerang Boat Tours, and Capitol River Cruises. Potomac Riverboat Company and DC Water Taxi are a couple more to check out.

Last year’s cherry blossom inspired exhibit at ARTECHOUSE

STORYTIME: The Tiny Seed CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 25, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Join the Hirshhorn for a special STORYTIME, their regular program for littles, and join them to celebrate spring with the journey of a tiny seed. Take a close look at the round bronze sculptures of Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and read-aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night with the Washington Wizards CANCELLED!
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 25, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $19

Celebrate the cherry blossom season with the Wizards and some basketball as they take on the Phoenix Suns! Each ticket purchased through this link comes with a limited edition Wizards Cherry Blossom t-shirt. In addition first 10,000 fans entering the arena will receive a Rui Hachimura Cherry Blossom inspired bobblehead!

Blossom Kite Festival CANCELLED!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is a favorite for many during the blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so BYO or make one there at an activity station. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season at the museum dedicated to Asian art! At this special event, explore Japanese art and culture through musical performances, making art, and taking a tour of Hokusai: Mad about Painting and Meeting Tessai. Try Japanese bookmaking, listen to taiko drumming, and then join the kite festival right outside on the National Mall. Japanese-inspired food and drink will be available for purchase.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: March 28, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the cherry blossoms at the farm park! Hike the nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Visit stations peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, help tally migratory and year round resident birds, and search for critters in the soil and water. Enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too. Stop by the Indoor Arena first for a map and instructions.

Cherry Blossom STEM Day
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: March 29, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $13

Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival with a twist of STEM! Visitors can learn more about the special flower and festival through hands-on activities and experiments inspired by the cherry blossom throughout the entire Lab. Read more about the Children’s Science Center Lab in this KFDC post.

Cuenta-Cuentos: STORYTIME in Spanish CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 29, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join a special STORYTIME in Spanish and inspired the season! Celebrate spring with a close look at the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and a reading of The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night at DC United
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 3, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against New York City FC will include cherry blossom-themed activations, activities, and celebrations for fans along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade CANCELLED!
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

See Racing Presidents rolling down Constitution Ave at the annual parade

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. The 60th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 4, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo, where they’ll be celebrating the cherry blossoms with a full day of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! If you want to make this a special adult experience with food and drinks included, VIP tickets are available for $55. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 4 & 5, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 2nd annual Art Blooms at Mosaic is celebratory weekend with fun for all ages. Do some shopping at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, enjoy a pop-up beer garden & wine patio, snap pics at selfie stations, join a free yoga session, and much more!

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: April 5, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

National Harbor’s Sakura Sunday is an official event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival — and a taste of the traditional Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan! The day’s activities include a traditional Japanese picnic, unique Japanese market, foods of Japan, Japanese music & entertainment, and a sake, beer & rose garden!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 5, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The 6th annual Anacostia River Festival is a premier event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year will feature an artist market, special performances, and activities that include boating, hands-on art projects, musical performances, and other unique programs engaging families with the river, its history, and ecology.

Blossoms & Baseball
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6
Admission: Ticket price vary

The Nats are getting in on the Cherry Blossom festivities again this year with a petal-packed, pink takeover of Nationals Park as they host the Marlins. A portion of ticket proceeds from the game will also benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 11, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Children of all ages and their families can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Japanese-related books will be on display, and a special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture. Other activities include Japanese drum music and dance performances, instructions on the art of tiara-making by former Cherry Blossom princesses, origami artwork lessons, decorative Konobori coloring, and the kimono dress-up experience. Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature — read more about it here.

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 11, 12-9:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! It’s the first time the event will be held in neighborhood, and it should be a blast. The event will celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Plan to go for awhile, or just stop by for a bit. The day will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Ikebana Demonstrations
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 11 & 12, 10am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy spring flowers with a Japanese twist! The Washington DC Chapter of Ikebana International is co-hosting four different Ikebana masters. Each master represents a different school and and will highlight the characteristics of their school. Demonstrations will be held in the Auditorium of the Visitor Center and are free to attend.


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The Weekend Round-Up: April 12-14

Do a little dancing in Annmarie Sculpture Garden’s lovely Fairy Lolly at their annual festival




As this goes live, the forecast looks a little stormy for the weekend, so there’s a chance some events might be postponed or canceled. I’ll keep you posted the best I can — the KFDC Facebook Page is the best place to stay updated — but it’ll be a good idea to check websites or call ahead, especially for outdoor events. Rain or shine, Happy Weekend!

Eggcellent Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Egg hunts, Easter bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season have started around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs that will have the whole fam hopping with joy. Find a list of them to plan for it all here0..

Baseball (+ Bobblehead!)
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Root for the home team as the Nats host the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. Be sure to check out special promos — Friday is the Juan Soto Bobblehead giveaway (first 25,000 fans), Saturday they’ll recognize the year-round charitable work of the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation in the local community by selling Myster Grab Bags in the Center Field Plaza. And on Sunday, little fans can run the bases after the game! Don’t forget to sign up ages 4-12 for the Jr. Nationals Kids Club and check these KFDC tips on how to save on a day at the ballpark.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The Cherry Blossom Festival comes to a close after this weekend, but there are still several events taking place to celebrate the season — the biggest the annual parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. The 59th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The 2019 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 700 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from last year and this one from earlier KFDC days years ago for more about the event.

Cherokee Days Festival
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of the American Indian celebrates Cherokee history during the sixth annual Cherokee Days Festival. Three days of festivities include the installation of the original Treaty of New Echota (1835) with the Cherokee Nation, two banner exhibitions “The Cherokee Culture” and “A Story of Cherokee Removal,” and a festival full of cultural demonstrations and performances. Storytelling, traditional flute playing, weaponry, wood carving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving, pottery demonstrations, plus music and dance performances will showcase the culture and life-ways of the Cherokee.

NSA Family Day
Where: National Academy of Sciences | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am -4pm
Admission: Free

Take the whole fam o this special Family Day with the National Academy of Science… Head to DecisionTown in the World of Genomics — where your choices matter! Visit to see how the decisions you make every day are influenced by science, engineering, and medicine. Each stop in town, more than 17 in all, offers a different activity centered on an issue facing DecisionTown as it plans for the future. Complete several activities and become a DecisionTown Citizen at Town Hall and receive special giveaway prizes. Visit the website for more details about this program geared for ages 3 and up.

Dog Days Bloom Festival
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

Great Country Farms is going to the dogs! Bring your furry friend for a day that is all about them.
Watch competition-level canines from Appalachian Air Canines fetch Frisbee’s and novice and veteran competitors can join in on the fun! Meet vendors with specialty pet products, receive training tips and lessons, and compete in our Doggy Olympics for prizes! Our beer and wine garden will be open serving Dirt Farm Brewing beer and Bluemont Vineyard wine. All dogs must remain on a leash sporting their finest rabies certification tag. Please bring a water bowl to keep Fido hydrated, and pick up whatever they leave behind.
After a fun day on the farm, bring your dog up to Bluemont Vineyard for their Dog Days Yappy Hour!

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

* Join Winnie the Pooh and friends at Adventure Theatre.
* Take tweens and older to see The Me I Want to Sing at the Kennedy Center
* Squirrel Stole My Underpants will bring puppet entertainment to BlackRock Center for the Arts
* Jack and the Beanstalk is current Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* Bunny Business is the featured Tiny Tots performance at The Puppet Co. on Saturday.
* Aquarium is on the Imagination Stage.
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java.
* Venture Into the Woods at Ford’s Theatre.

Into The Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season trekking on Frying Pan’s nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Visit stations peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, help tally migratory and year round resident birds, and search for critters in the soil and water. Enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House. Stop by the Indoor Arena first for a map and instructions.

Family Day
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2m
Admission: Free

Head to the National Museum of African American History and Culture for a Family Day inspired by the Museum’s first children’s book, A is for All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book written by Anna Forgerson Hindley and illustrated by Keturah A. Bodo. Drop -in activities will be available on the 2nd floor throughout the day for children ages 0-8 will include “All the Things I Am!”- inspired Art Making, plus Story Time in the library – kids can celebrate all the things that make them special by joining an interactive and empowering story time — held at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm, readings last approximately 20 minutes, and a new book will be read at each story time. Registration is encouraged.

Root (root, root) for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats aren’t the only baseball team in town. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Harrisburg Senators all weekend, and there’s always extra fun and games especially for kids — read more about Baysox games in this KFDC post. And a head’s up that Sunday is Kids Opening Day with pony rides, a petting zoo, and more special treats for young fans.

Wheaton Family Theatre Festival
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

InterAct Story Theatre’s Season Four of Wheaton Family Theatre Festival welcomes Marian Licha on Saturday with a morning of stories and music for kids and families! The performance is free and open to the public (¡GRATIS y abierto al público!) — no need to reserve tickets, just drop in and join the fun! Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Washington Improv Theater Presents: The NitWITs
Where: Source Theater, 1835 14th St. NW
When: Saturday, 11am 
Admission: Free 

Every NitWITs show is a high-energy, unique theater experience for families. You’ve never seen anything like it before and you’ll never see anything like it again…because it is all made up right on the spot with the help of your suggestions. Audience members guide the cast in making up spontaneous stories and playing fun theater games in a family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere. This show is recommended for ages 6 and up and lasts about an hour. Reserve a free ticket here.

Milling Day
Where : Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Families can see a 200-year-old grist mill in action and learn how a water wheel and giant gears turn corn into cornmeal. Children can also celebrate the new season by planting seeds and making birds’ nests up at the barn, and by looking for signs of spring in the orchard. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Cherry Blossom Ballet Performance
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring with The Washington Ballet at the National Arboretum. Enjoy cherry blossom inspired performances every half hour from 11am – 2pm on Saturday. Meet and take photos with some of the dancers, do a craft, and learn about The Washington School of Ballet. Families may also want to visit the Ikebana International Exhibit and Kids Class that day. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.

Arlington Palooza
Where: Alcova Heights Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation for a day full of free fun at the third annual Arlington Palooza. The outdoor program will have inflatables, crafts, lawn games, live music, food trucks, face painting, and community exhibitors for all to enjoy!

John Wilmerding Community Celebration
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This Community Celebration marks the opening of Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings with a program that weaves the rich sounds, rhythms, and colors of jazz with visual art. Activities include in-gallery exploration, art making, and live performances. In conjunction with the community day, visitors are invited to view a specially installed photo mural at 7th Street and Madison Drive NW that celebrates the extraordinary diversity of Washington, D.C. Made possible by a grant from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Happy Birthday to the Bard!
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis Shakespeare’s 455th birthday, and the Folger Shakespeare Library is celebrating with its annual Open House on Sunday afternoon. In true Renaissance fashion, there will be song and dance, Elizabethan crafts, theatrical performances (including puppets for little ones), sword fighting demos, special tours, a giant birthday cake, an appearance by Queen Elizabeth I , and even more. The free event takes place rain or shine. Food trucks will be stationed in Puck’s Circle. The Folger Shakespeare Library is located at 201 East Capitol Street SE. Read more about the Folger in this KFDC post.

Fairy & Gnome Home Festival
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $7, free for member and under 2
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This annual festival at one of the most enchanting places will delight the whole family — and we know from experience. Festivities are scattered throughout the beautiful grounds, creating a charming journey of discovery for young (and young at heart) guests. Journey through magical realms including the Fairy Lolly, Stone Story Circle, Bubblelandia, Gnomeville, Treetopia, and more. Build your own fairy house or gnome home, make-n-take activities, and engage in a variety of imaginative activities! Visit the website for specifics. And read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden and get a glimpse in this KFDC post and this one.

Rumpus Room
Where: Black Cat | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $12/advance, $15/day of

DC’s only daytime dance party for families returns! Prepare for a dance floor filled with little ones, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caregivers. The soundtrack for Rumpus Room is always a family-friendly mix of popular dance hits, classics, children’s songs and more, all at a kid-friendly volume.
Rumpus Room is designed for kids 8 and under, but older siblings are welcome! No adults are permitted without a child. Maximum 3 children per adult. Infants/crawling children enter free!

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

This year, National Harbor will be joining the DC region in the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. Sakura Sunday will feature a wide array of fincluding traditional Japanese picnicking with food available for sale; a sake, rosé and beer garden; a Japanese Market; and Japanese-inspired music and entertainment. Restaurants and retailers will also participate in special offers and a cherry blossom store display window competition, and The Capital Wheel will turn pink during the festival. Muse Paintbar will feature cherry blossom art classes and a live painting demonstration as well.

Sesame Street Singalong
Where: Nordstrom | Tyson’s Corner, VA
When: Sunday, 11:15am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join a free sing-a-long sponsored by Sesame Street Live! Recommended for children ages 0-8, enjoy live music, including some Sesame Street songs. Save $5 on tickets to the sponsor’s show, Sesame Street Live! at Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax May 4-5 with offer code BABYJAM at Ticketmaster.com.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Starting this weekend through May 3, enjoy free performances by The Washington Ballet every Friday evening on the Plaza at CityCenter.
* If you’re looking for a last minute activity (and coverage) for kids during Spring Break, check out DC Way Soccer Camp!
* Washingtonian magazine has good recommendations for Easter brunch around the area.
* Stellina Pizzeria just opened in the Union Market area and it’s molto buono!
* This is one of my favorite Instagram accounts.
* The documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley about Elizabeth Holmes and Theronos is fascinating. (I’ve heard the book is even better, isn’t it always?)
* The cherry blossom peak is winding down, but there are several other great flower blooms ahead!

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