Tag Archives: DC Cherry Blossoms

DC Scavenger: Discover the Navy Yard with These Fun Clues!

 

Swing, Batter Batter, Swing! The arrival of spring also means the arrival of America’s favorite pastime. Baseball has played a major role throughout American history and its heavy-hitter impact is no different here in our nation’s capital! While the Nationals may not have a winning record at the moment, the District’s love and energy surrounding them continues to radiate throughout the city.

In this fourth guest blog post of her DC Scavenger series, local author JoAnn Hill takes us on an active pursuit throughout Navy Yard, the neighborhood home of our beloved Nationals and one of the city’s most vibrant areas. This highly visited region is mostly known for its lively stadium, picturesque waterfront, verdant parks, and abundance of eateries, shops, and outdoor events.

JoAnn Hill is the author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure and DC Scavenger which goes beyond the typical guidebook; it’s an interactive treasure map spanning 17 distinct neighborhoods throughout the District. If you think you know everything there is to know about DC ― even the most weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it ― get ready to embark on an adventurous discovery of DC’s most cherished gems.

Here are four of 23 clues featured in the Navy Yard chapter of DC Scavenger (and note that the photos show the general location, not the answer to the clue).  Check out JoAnn’s book to solve and discover even more clues and sites around the Navy Yard and throughout the entire city!

 

 

Navy Yard Clue #1
A yell of play “this,” and known as a dance,
Grab seats near a plate, if given a chance.
These metal spheres hang, shiny and bright,
In twenty-nineteen, they won the hard fight.

 

Navy Yard Clue #2
The Village folks start their spelling with this,
This namesake piece of wood is hard to miss,
Come find this letter, no need to ask “why”,
A sign of the ‘hood as you walk by.

 

 

Navy Yard Clue #3
At this gift shop, support makers of DC,
So much in store: have a shopping spree!
Buy books, art, and cards or treats for your pet,
Discover local wares, here you’re all set!

 

Navy Yard Clue #4
On the boardwalk, the letter after B,
Happiness comes in waves, jubilant glee,
This window looks out to the river blue,
Where boats are joined by their wonderful crew.

 

* * * 

 

JoAnnHill, author of DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, has affectionately called Washington, DC, home for over 20 years. She has written extensively about DC living, its food, and her world travels on her blog dcglobejotters.org and other mediums and publications. Through her writing and research, she shares stories and tips that inspire the insatiably curious traveler. When she’s not writing and exploring, you will find her teaching yoga, barre, and group fitness classes, indulging in DC’s culinary and theater scenes, and spending as much time outside as possible being active. JoAnn is the co-founder of Capitol Teachers, a full-service tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson.

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DC Scavenger: Discover the Tidal Basin with These Fun Clues!

 

Spring is just around the corner, and here in DC, that means the beautiful cherry trees that have come to symbolize our nation’s capital are about to be in full bloom! There’s no better time to wander around the Tidal Basin and experience the blossoms’ stunning glory at its peak.

In this third guest blog post of her DC Scavenger series, local author JoAnn Hill takes us on an active pursuit throughout the Tidal Basin. This highly visited area is mostly known for its majestic memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and FDR Memorial. Each year, it also famously hosts the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival, a springtime staple and cherished celebration of beauty and nature. Along your scavenger hunt adventure, explore the Tidal Basin’s most cherished sites while surrounded by the abundant bursts of pink and white blossoms.

JoAnn Hill is the author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure and DC Scavenger, which goes beyond the typical guidebook; it’s an interactive treasure map spanning 17 distinct neighborhoods throughout the District. If you think you know everything there is to know about DC ― even the most weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it ― get ready to embark on an adventurous discovery of DC’s most treasured gems.

Below are four of 15 clues featured in the Tidal Basin chapter of DC Scavenger. (Note that the photos show the general location, not the answer to the clue!)  Check out JoAnn’s book to solve and discover even more clues and sites around the Tidal Basin and throughout the entire city!

 

Tidal Basin Clue #1
First memorial here’s for Tommy J
Three’s the magic number, please don’t stray
In his left hand, this declared us free,
Nineteen feet tall, the third prez stands strongly.

 

Tidal Basin Clue #2
Follow the path to this Japanese gift
Assembling it was a heavy lift.
It came in five crates, no clues to its shape
Near FDR, a fixture of this landscape.

 

Tidal Basin Clue #3
The First Lady next to this UN seal
Her husband laid down the promised New Deal
Including a First Lady is quite unique
She was smart and bold, opposite of meek.

 

Tidal Basin Clue #4
Stroll over to this memorial king,
There are four to solve, so do your thing!
Greatest civil rights leader of the land
Look for this scroll for the clue at hand.

* * *

 

JoAnnHill, author of DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, has affectionately called Washington, DC, home for over 20 years. She has written extensively about DC living, its food, and her world travels on her blog dcglobejotters.org and other mediums and publications. Through her writing and research, she shares stories and tips that inspire the insatiably curious traveler. When she’s not writing and exploring, you will find her teaching yoga, barre, and group fitness classes, indulging in DC’s culinary and theater scenes, and spending as much time outside as possible being active. JoAnn is the co-founder of Capitol Teachers, a full-service tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Things for Today: March 22, 2022

A cherry blossom scene from the FDR Memorial

 

1.. The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin are peaking — and it is gorgeous! Get a glimpse of the scene from a visit there on Sunday, and if you plan to go see it, be sure to read my Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms (trust me… there’s a reason I’ve been reposting these tips for years).  Also be sure to check out this post listing activities and events during cherry blossom season that are particularly great for families.  Some have already started, and there’s a big one happening this weekend!

 

2. A special and delightful way to celebrate spring and the bloom: Afternoon cherry blossom tea!  The Washington Post has details on several of them around the area.

 

3. Steadfast Supply, the great shop at The Yards stocked with unique items by independent brands and designers from around the world, just announced a new recurring family event that will take place the first Saturday of every month from April – September. It will include a book reading, a kid’s activity, and an opportunity to connect with a local small business. The first one takes place on April 2 from 11am – 12:30pm  as local author, Scott McBride, reads his book, Connor The Courageous Cutter. Kids can also enjoy a fun craft, and local food delivery service, Vegetable & Butcher, will provide samples from their menu. This event will take place outdoors, weather permitting, and it’s all free!

 

4. Have you checked out the deals on CertifiKid lately?  There are some good ones for activities this spring, including PIXELBLOOM at ARTECHOUSE, Wizards games, DC United matches, an NSO family show at the Kennedy Center, getaways, and much more!

 

5. A chuckle from The Onion.

 

 

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Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms (2014)

Great photo ops abound during the cherry blossom peak

Great photo ops abound during the cherry blossom peak



[Note: This was originally posted in 2011 (hence, the now outdated Lost reference) and updated each year. And since the tips always apply, I’m re-posting yet again with a couple more minor updates.]

Taking the family to the National Mall to see some pretty flowers sounds easy enough. If only it actually was. The cherry blossom peak is one of the best times to visit DC – the city is at its most beautiful, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival provides loads of fun activities — but viewing the famous blooms can also be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things. Here are seven recommendations to consider if seeing the cherry blossoms is on your family’s spring agenda.

1. Don’t drive if you value your sanity. Take the Metro, ride the bus, bike, walk, jet pack. Get here however you can, just leave the car at home. Traffic is beyond frustrating during the cherry blossom peak, and your chances of finding decent parking are about as good as hitting the Powerball with Hurley’s numbers (okay, slight exaggeration, but it is hard). The masses descend on Washington, DC, this time of year, and way too many do so in their vehicles. Besides, kids love riding the Metro—it’s like an urban version of Hogwarts Express. The Smithsonian stop on the Blue/Orange Line is mere minutes from all of the blossom action, but it’s also guaranteed to be crowded. Consider riding to L’Enfant on Yellow/Green, Federal Center on Blue/Orange, or even a stop downtown or in Penn Quarter and taking a nice stroll to the blossoms. *If you absolutely must drive and need parking you might find a spot in Hains Point, where there is free and metered parking, then walk or take a shuttle ($1/person) to the Tidal Basin. Your best bet, though, might be to find a garage in the downtown or Penn Quarter area, then walk or Metro to the National Mall.

2. Visit on a weekday if you have the flexibility. Crowds are significantly smaller from Monday to Friday, so you can stroll around the Tidal Basin at a nice pace, and public transportation won’t be nearly as packed (though it still will be more crowded than usual). If the kids are in school or daycare during the week, think about going later in the day. The National Mall and monuments look beautiful at sunset, and the blossoms make it even more sublime. In the same vein, if you can go super early, the morning light on the Mall makes for quite a picturesque setting, too.

3. Consider using a child carrier instead of a stroller for little ones. This is especially applicable if you take the Metro, since elevator lines can be very long and slow-going. I learned my lesson a few years ago on a weekday and ended up taking my daughter out of the stroller and carrying both on the escalator, which was probably as unsafe as it was difficult. Even if you don’t take Metro, a carrier is still a wise option. Navigating crowded walkways while pushing a pram takes focus, and you could end up spending more time concentrating on not rolling over others’ heels than enjoying the sights you came to see. It’s a bonus for wee ones, too — perched on your back, your babe will get a better view of the blossoms.

blossom_today

4. Check the National Cherry Blossom Festival schedule, so you can plan your visit accordingly. Some of the city’s most anticipated events are part of the annual celebration. And while the Blossom Kite Festival was rained out this year and the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks took place before the peak, we’ve still got the National Cherry Blossom Parade, Sakura Matsuri – The Japanese Street Festival, and other fun programs for families to look forward to. All events take place close by the blossoms or an easy Metro ride away. See the National Cherry Blossom Festival website for dates and details on the best events for families.

5. Get a new view of the blossoms and enjoy a fun activity from the comfort of a pedicab or cruise on the Potomac. Uber is currently offering pedicab rides around the Tidal Basin and surrounding areas. And several companies offer boat rides along the river, many of them specifically for the season when the cherry trees are in bloom. Capitol River Cruises, Potomac Riverboat Company, and Odyssey Cruises are a few to check out. Though before you go straight to the websites, look for a deal on Groupon, Goldstar, LivingSocial, or Certifikid. We’ve gotten great offers that way.

Playing under blossoms at the Arboretum

6. Seek out other spots to see the cherry blossoms if you don’t want to deal with crowds and chaos around the Tidal Basin and National Mall. Several places around the DC-metro area are well known for their annual cherry blossom displays. When I worked in Bethesda many years ago, it was an annual tradition for my colleagues and I to take a drive through Kenwood, a lovely neighborhood between Little Falls Parkway and River Road with cherry tree-lined streets. The National Arboretum also has a nice collection of the trees and offers a beautiful, peaceful environment in which to view them in bloom. For even more suggestions for cherry blossoms minus the crowds, check out this Washingtonian article from a few years ago.

7. Don’t forget your camera to take advantage of some of the best photo ops DC offers. The peak colors plus the monuments are about as iconic as you can get when photographing Washington. Get your kids to sit still – or even let them run and play for a fun candid – and you’ve got this year’s holiday card.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Festival, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

The Peak is ON!

What a difference a couple of days makes.

On Sunday, we went down to the Tidal Basin, and it looked like this:

basin_sunday

And this:

basin_trees_sun

Today, it looked like this:

today_jefferson1

And this:

blossom_today

I think it’s safe to say that the cherry blossom peak is ON. And it’s probably going to get even better over the next couple of days. If you can swing it, get over to the Tidal Basin to take in the scene — it really is spectacular.

Yes, a lot of people are out to see the blooms, but the crowds are not so bad that you can’t easily navigate the paths on foot (biking is a slight challenge, which I found out the hard way today), and there aren’t nearly the hordes that swarmed the area this past weekend.

I went on a solo outing today, but already have plans to go back with kids — they will dig it, for sure. If you go, don’t forget to check out these tips for better blossom viewing first.

Here are some more shots from my jaunt around the Basin. It’s hard not to be snap happy there!

monument

blossoms_mlk

mlk

blossoms_picnic

blossom_canopy

blossom_sunlight

blossoms_basin

jefferson_close

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Free, Monuments & Memorials, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays