Events and Activities

Spring on the tidal basin

Looking from the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin


The National Park Service and our partner, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. are proud to offer a wide variety of events and activities during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

For information about National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. events including the Blossom Kite Festival, Japanese Street Festival, Southwest Waterfront Fireworks and more, visit National Cherry Blossom Festival Events.

Tidal Basin Welcome Area

The National Park Service and our partner, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc offer daily events and activities from March 19 to April 3 in the Tidal Basin Parking Lot. This area is located in the heart of the beautiful Cherry Trees.

Information Tents
10 a.m. - 7 p.m
Souvenir/Bookstore Tents
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Food Tents
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Stage Performances
12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Paddle boats on the Tidal Basin

Tidal Basin Paddle Boats
One of the best ways to experience the Cherry Trees is on a paddle boat! This year, Guest Services, Inc. is offering online paddle boat reservations during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Paddle boats are available daily from 10 am to 4 pm in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area.

Ranger dog tour

Ranger-led Walks and Talks
Experience the Cherry Blossoms like never before! Park Rangers from the National Park Service offer guided walks and talks daily to help you learn about and appreciate the beautiful gift of the Cherry Trees. Running and bike tours, Pups 'n Petals Dog Walks and daily Cherry Chats open the door to your Cherry Blossom experience.

junior ranger logo

Become a Junior Bloomin' Ranger!
Complete the activity booklet to earn a Cherry Blossom Festival junior ranger badge. Junior Ranger Booklets are available at the National Park Service Tent in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and at NPS information kiosks throughout the park.

Elsewhere During the Festival
Across the National Mall, our official festival partner, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., is hosting a wide variety of exciting events and activities to celebrate the gift of the Cherry Blossom Trees.
Kites flying in front of Washington Monument

Blossom Kite Festival
April 2nd; 10 am to 4 pm
Washington Monument Grounds
The Blossom Kite Festival soars into spring and kicks off the kite flying season with five areas to explore and enjoy the Competition & Demonstration Field, Family Field, Kite Club Display Area, Activity Tents, and Public Field. Open kite flying is welcome on the Public Field. Bring your own kite, or children can make a kite to fly at an activity station (while supplies last).

Cherry Blossom Fireworks

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
April 9; 1pm to 9pm (fireworks at 8:30)
Southwest Waterfront (Waterfront-SEU Metro)
Enjoy more than eight celebratory hours of free music, family friendly water-related activities, cultural experiences, live entertainment and delicious foods at multiple outdoor venues at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival.

Cherry Blossom Parade

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
April 16; 10 am to noon
Constitution Avenue (7th to 17th St)
One of DC's largest spectator events, the energy-filled Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival.

Geisha dancer in the Street Festival
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
April 16; 10:30 am to 6 pm
Penn. Ave, NW (between 9th and 14th Streets)

The Sakura Matsuri –Japanese Street Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. with over 50 cultural groups, vendors and food booths, and over 30 hours of performances on 4 stages

Cherry Blossom Queen lighting the lantern

Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
April 10; 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Tidal Basin Area
Jointly sponsored since 1954 by National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) and the National Park Service, this opens the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess festivities. The ceremony features traditional Japanese music, the presentation of the United States and Japan Cherry Blossom Queens, along with the Cherry Blossom Princesses, and remarks by a number of dignitaries.

River Fest visitors looking through binoculars

Anacostia River Festival
April 17; 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Anacostia Park
The National Park Service and 11th Street Bridge Park will present the Anacostia River Festival on Sunday April 17th. Held in Anacostia Park, one of America’s 407 national parks and steps away from the future 11th Street Bridge Park, this free festival is a premier event and official closing of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. More Information