Full Bloom: The Best Cherry Blossom Activities & Events in DC

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This year’s peak bloom predictions are in: the cherry blossoms should peak between Mar. 22 – 25. Want to celebrate all things pink and flowery? This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off DC’s most popular event with the annual parade and tons of family fun. With everything from the Bloom Cam to make-at-home pink popcorn, you don’t even have to leave home to celebrate. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Japan’s famous gift to Washington, DC beyond the Tidal Basin.

Petal Power! Rock Out at this Event

Celebrate spring along the Anacostia River at Petalpalooza. Spend the day listening to live music, strolling the beer garden and enjoying hands-on, family-friendly activities and crafts. Cap the night off with a fireworks display over the river. 

When: April 16 (Rain date: April 17), 1- 9 p.. 
Where: Capitol Riverfront at the Yards, 355 Water St. SE
Online: tinybeans.com 

Catch the Cherry Blossoms on the Bloom Cam

The Tidal Basin is one of the most popular spots to enjoy the new blooms of the cherry blossom trees. During peak blossom time, everyone plans to visit the beautiful spot and grab a few photos. But don't worry! You can skip the crowds and watch this year's flowers unfold from the comfort of your living room. DC's Tidal Basin features an interactive camera for 24-hour viewing. The location is ideal for prime viewing. Check out the EarthCam here. 

See the Mosaic District in Full Bloom

Join your community in celebrating our favorite springtime pastime at the Art Blooms at Mosaic festival. Keep your kids busy with tons of kid-friendly activities while you enjoy the live entertainment, farmers market and beer and wine gardens. Skip packing lunches because FRESHFARM is setting up 50 local vendors serving delicious local produce and snacks.  

Insider Tip: For the Tiktoker in your life, they'll love to stop at all the selfie stations throughout the festival. Do you have a princess-obsessed kid? Visit the 'Glamour Tent' offering face painting and braiding from a princess. 

When: 3-6 p.m., April 2-3
Where: Mosaic, District Avenue, Fairfax, Va 22031
Online: tinybeans.com 

Blossom Kite Festival

After a year off, you and your family can rediscover the joy of kite flying back on the Washington Monument grounds. If you'd prefer to skip the crowds, grab your kite and participate in either the virtual or in-person options. Fly your kite from your favorite neighborhood park or anywhere across the globe.

When: Mar. 26-27
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
Online: tinybeans.com 

Catch the Parade Like a Local

One of the year's biggest events is back in 2022, which means crowds. But don't skip it just yet. We've got the inside scoop on how to play tourist like a local. Reserve your parade route or telecast area tickets, and you'll have the perfect family viewing spot with assigned seats.  

When: 10 a.m., April 9
Where: Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Streets
Online: tinybeans.com 

Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival

The coolest street festival of the year is back in a big way. Get your hands on the newest Japanese tech at the Japan Smart Infrastructure Pavilion. Step into the blossoming Japanese food culture on the Culinary Arts Stage. You and your crew can bring Japanese cuisine home with sushi demonstrations and intros to local ingredients.

When: April 9-10, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 
When: Pennsylvania Ave. NW - Between 3rd and 7th Streets
Online: tinybeans.com 

Make Your Own Ice Cream

This is one cool idea (literally). You can make cherry blossom-flavored ice cream with just a few handfuls of flowers! You'll need a little patience for the first step: blooms need to be salted for 3 days to remove the bitter aftertaste. Once your flowers are ready, it's time for some kitchen fun with some help from your pint-sized sous chef. For the recipe, head here

Plan a Surprise Staycation

Book your Picnic in the Park Package complete with a blanket to lounge on while you sip cold drinks and take in the blossoming sights. Or, try a weekend getaway close to home and take home a Cherry Tree Grow Kit or a Flower Peeping Treasure Map. Local Hilton hotels are all in on the Cherry Blossom fun, and you won't want to miss it. 

Online: travel.hilton.com

Pop Up Something Pink

Just in time for the family movie marathon; this candy-coated popcorn has a sweet vanilla flavor, but its pink coloring makes kernels look a lot like cherry blossoms. You can enjoy this as a sweet treat or use it for a pop-tastic craft. Get the recipe here. And get ready to make some DIY cherry popcorn blossom trees (here) or use the popcorn like a stamp to create pretty flowers. The bottom of soda bottles and bubble wrap also works as picture-perfect stamps. 

Decorate with Pink and Petals

#RediscoverSpring by decorating your stoop (or yard or windows) as part of Petal Porches. Get your kids involved, and deck out your front porch in pink and petals. Decorations should be out from March 20 through April 17 for all to enjoy. Be sure to register in advance, and pick a creative name to add to the list.

Online: nationalcherryblossomfestival.com

DIY Your Own Japanese Blooms

All you need is a stick, an egg carton and some pipe cleaners to make these winsome cherry blossoms. No pink paint on hand? No problem. Au natural looks fetching, too! For step-by-step instructions, head here

Put Those TP Rolls to Good Use

When you've finished a roll of your stockpiled TP, don't toss the tube. The secret to this craft is to paint the cardboard before you cut them into slices. For detailed instructions, check out Crafts by Amanda. 

—Angelica Kajiwara and Meghan Yudes Meyers

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