National Park Service Announces Visitor Services for 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival

a map of the cherry blossom festival tidal basin area
A Map of National Park Service amenities during the festival.

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News Release Date: March 19, 2015

Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-245-4676

Washington –The National Park Service will offer a number of special programs and services during the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival, including festival-related lantern walks;ranger talks and tours around the Tidal Basin and National Mall;and even pet-friendly tours. National Park Service festival events will be held from March 28 through April 12, 2015 and are free of charge.

Visitor information during the festival will be available from10 a.m. to 7 p.m.daily at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located near the paddle boats in the Tidal Basin parking lot. Food, souvenir, and book sales will be located in the same area. 

Due to extremely limited public parking, the National Park Service strongly recommends all visitors take Metro or bike to the festival. The closest Metro stop to the festival and the Tidal Basin is the Smithsonian station. The L'Enfant Plaza, Metro Center, and Federal Triangle Metro stations are also within walking distance. 

D.C. Circulator will offer shuttle service with 11 stops around East Potomac Park between Hains Point and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The service will operate fromMarch 28 through April 12between10 a.m. and 7 p.m.The cost is $1 per person for each boarding. Five Capital Bikeshare stations are available within the park to provide another transportation option.  

Handicapped parking is designated on West Basin Drive at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Additional handicapped parking is available on southbound Ohio Drive on the Washington Boundary Channel side of Hains Point, north of the intersection with Buckeye Drive.   
During the festival, Ohio Drive will be one way only (northbound) between Inlet Bridge and 23rd St.

Find up-to-date information on National Park Service activities during the festival keep in touch on social media on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube using #CherryBlossom. For safety updates via text while attending the festival, text Blossom2015 to 888777.

Schedule of Special Activities

Daily Activities –March 28 –April 12, 2015
Tidal Basin Welcome Area: Daily from March 28 –April 12
Begin your visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located off Maine Avenue, SW, on the northeast side of the Tidal Basin. Information tents, food and souvenir sales areas, first aid and the Junior Ranger Activity Zone provide everything you need for a fun-filled visit.

Junior Ranger Activity Zone: Daily from March 28 – April 12
Visit the Junior Ranger Activity Zone in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area for family-friendly fun and activities! Pick up your Junior Bloomin' Ranger booklet and complete the activities to earn a special Junior Ranger badge and certificate! Open daily from10 a.m. to 5 p.m.during the festival.

Cherry Blossom Ranger Talks: Daily from March 28 – April 12
Join a Park Ranger and learn more about the history and lore of the cherry blossoms. Programs begin every hour, on the hour from10 a.m. to 5 the Thomas Jefferson Memorial plaza.

Walk With a Ranger: Daily from March 28 –April 12 
Explore memorials and cherry blossoms on a guided walk with a Park Ranger. Begins at 2 p.m.each afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial

Special Programs
Ranger-led Lantern Walks: March 28April 2April 3April 4April 9April 10April 11 
Bring your flashlight for an evening stroll beneath the blossoms;evening is one of the best times to beat the crowds and enjoy the beautiful serenity of the Cherry Trees! This 1.8 mile, two hour guided walk around the Tidal Basin begins at8 the National Park Service tent in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. 

Run With a Ranger: March 28April 4April 11
Beginner and marathon runners alike will enjoy the beauty of the cherry trees on this informational and engaging 3.5 mile jog with a Park Ranger through the National Mall. Meet at 8 the Washington Monument Lodge (15th St. between Madison and Jefferson Drives, adjacent to Washington Monument).

Ranger Bike Tour: March 28March 29April 4April 5April 11April 12 
Bring your own bike, helmet, and water for a leisurely ride beneath the blossoms. The three-hour tour departs from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Pups 'n Petals Dog Walk: March 29April 5April 12 
Bring your furry friend for a two-hour stroll among the cherry blossoms! Meet at the Lincoln Memorial at2 p.m.Don't forget your leash (required), waste bags and water.

West Meets East: March 21, March 22March 28March 29April 4
Join a park ranger for a 30-minute garden talk at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art to learn about how 19th-century events in Japan inspired a vision of Japanese cherry trees in Washington. Meet the ranger at 10:30 a.m. at the kiosk located on Jefferson Drive at the Smithsonian Metro station.

The Meaning of the Festival and its Landmarks: March 21March 22March 28, March 29, April 4
Join a park ranger for a one-hour, half-mile walk and explore how the cherry blossoms enhance the memorial and landmarks around the Tidal Basin. The walk begins at2 p.m. and 4 the Japanese Lantern, located just to the west of the Kutz Memorial Bridge on Independence Avenue. 

-About National Mall and Memorial Parks-
NAMA is America’s foremost civic space, annually administering over 3,000 permitted special events and First Amendment activities. As a unit of the National Park Service, the National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA) preserves, protects, and interprets the memorials, monuments and sites that define our nation to the world. On the National Mall these sites include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Other sites include Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, Pennsylvania Avenue National Historical Park, the African American Civil War Memorial and recreation sites such as East and West Potomac Parks and over a hundred small neighborhood parks and streetscapes in the city of Washington.

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Last updated: April 10, 2015

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