I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely had it with the cold weather and I’m dreaming of days when I can again go outside without bundling up. Going for a bike ride, relaxing in the park, or taking a stroll, these are things that I miss during the winter months. So yes, I have Spring Fever. And one of the biggest Spring celebrations is about to kick off in Washington D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival!
See Major Washington DC Attractions, Made More Beautiful By the Blossoms
A visit to Washington DC isn’t complete without seeing the major attractions, such as the White House, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court. But strolling around the city to look at the monuments with the blossoming trees all around them makes for truly special photo experiences.
Visiting during the National Cherry Blossom festival is definitely one of the most beautiful times to visit, and you get to participate in some of the special event activities taking place all around town.
The Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival is About More Than Just Beautiful Trees
The 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival is being held from March 20 through April 12th. This annual celebration kicks off Spring by celebrating the gorgeous pink hues of the cherry blossom trees planted in Washington D.C., which were a gift from Japan back in 1912.
In fact, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry blossom trees to Washington DC. The event is a way to recognize our friendship with Japan and thank them for the beautiful trees which paint DC with magnificent colors.
Imagine being able to see these iconic images of DC with the blooming cherry blossom trees!
Major Events During the National Cherry Blossom Festival
A variety of events are held throughout the festival all over the city, most of which are free to the public. The opening ceremony will be held on March 21 and is free, but you must claim a ticket in advance. Many performers will take part, both from the US and from Japan, including orchestras, pianists and vocalists. This year’s show is already sold out. Tickets are usually available starting in January, so be sure to check in advance for next year!
Other “signature” events include the Blossom Kite Festival on March 28th, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival is held on April 4th, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade which will be held on April 11. And for those really interested in Japanese culture, then the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival is just for you — as the largest one-day Japanese culture festival in all the US.
There are many other events going on throughout the festival. These include art exhibitions, design classes, organized fitness walks & runs, nature walks, paddle boats, river paddle outings, and even organized picnics in the park. Ranger and nature programs are available all around the city, as well as craft activities, live music, dance shows, Japanese lantern making in the park, and gardening demonstrations.
For more information about the different events taking place all over DC, you can download the official event app here!
Other Tours and Activities in Washington DC
One of our favorite things to do in DC is explore the many FREE museums all over town. But taking a tour can also be an informative way to explore town.
There are a number of special blossom tours during the event, but we also recommend the Washington DC Big Bus Tour – an open air tour which will give you some great scenery and photos of the blossoms around town. We also recommend the segway and bike tour – a great way to see the history of DC as well as the blooming trees.
Start Planning Your Trip to Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival
To help you plan your trip to DC, visit our Trip Planning page for more information and tools and resources!