It is that time of year again, and iDad and I are excited to be here for the cherry blossoms for the first time.  This year the peak bloom date forecast is April 1 through April 4, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held between March 27 and April 11.  There are lots of fun events during this time.  Here are some highlights as well as tips that I’ve learned from other parents.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day & Opening Ceremony, March 27

National Building Museum, Washington, DC- Family Day Festivities- 10am-3:30pm, Opening Ceremony- 4:00-5:30pm. Family day celebrates opening day of the 2 week long celebration.  Visitors can take part in many activities and see demonstrations and performances.

Family Day & Opening Ceremony

Smithsonian Kite Festival, March 27 10am-4pm

Washington Monument, Washington, DC-  Definitely something that we are going to attend this year, the Kite Festival features kite displays, demonstrations, and handmade kite competitions.

Kite Festival

Fireworks Show, April 3  5pm-9pm

Southwest Waterfront, Washington, DC-  First up is the prelude to the Fireworks, a free 3-hour festival that includes live music, food from local restaurants, and entertainment for the kids.  At 8:30, the fireworks will begin.

Fireworks

Silver Spring Big Cherry Block Party, April 3  11am-6pm

A free block party taking place on Ellsworth Drive in Downtown Silver Spring. Learn calligraphy & Kendama (traditional Japanese toy), origami, and traditional Japanese games., as well as eat sushi and listen to live music.

Silver Spring Big Cherry Block Party

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, April 10  10am-12pm

The Parade runs along Constitution Ave from 7th to 17th Streets, NW, and will feature giant balloons, bands, and performers.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

TIPS:

  • Getting to the tidal basin during this time can be tricky, so here are some tips from About.com…. About.com Tips
  • The National Park Service offers free cherry blossom tours and programs during the festival, including Bloomin’ Junior Ranger Activities   NPS Cherry Blossom Tours
  • Take public transportation- as you know parking in DC can be a nightmare, and this time of year is particularly insane.  The closest Metro station is Smithsonian (blue & orange  lines).  It’s about two blocks from the Washington Memorial and approximately seven blocks from the Jefferson Memorial.
  • Go VERY early in the morning or on a weekday- beat the crowds!
  • Pack snacks for the kids (and you)- the food vendors can be hard to find and quite busy.
  • For some good photo op tips, visit this site… http://hankinslawrenceimages.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/photographing-the-cherry-blossoms-in-washington-dc/
  • A fun way to view the trees is the paddle boats, which are available to rent in the Tidal Basin.  The great news is that you can reserve your paddle boat in advance-Paddle Boats
  • There is free daily entertainment at the Target Performance Stage at Sylvan Theatre from Mar 27, 2010 – Apr 11 (Washington Monument Grounds)  …Target Stage
  • Take a Lantern Walk around the Tidal Basin guided by a Park Ranger by the light of festive lanterns.  Takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday at 8:00pm, during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. NPS Lantern Walks

Do you have any tips to add to the list?

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