Events and Activities

Looking from the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin


The National Park Service and our partner, National Cherry Blossom Festival. are proud to offer a wide variety of events and activities during the Cherry Blossom Festival including the Blossom Kite Festival, Japanese Street Festival, Southwest Waterfront Fireworks and more.

Tidal Basin Welcome Area
The National Park Service and our partner, National Cherry Blossom Festival offer daily events and activities March 18 to April 2, 2017 in the Tidal Basin Parking Lot. This area is located in the heart of the beautiful Cherry Trees.
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 Icon
Become a Bloomin' Junior 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, 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 1st, 2017
Washington Monument Grounds
The Blossom Kite Festival soars into spring and kicks off the kite flying season with five areas to explore and enjoy. 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 Queen lighting the lantern
Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
April 2, 2017 3-4:30pm
Tidal Basin Area at Independence Ave and 17th Street, SW
Join the NCSS and the National Park Service for the traditional lighting of the Japanese Stone Lantern, located among the Cherry Blossom trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. The Stone Latern Lighting Ceremony includes remarks by top US officials and Japanese diplomats, traditional songs and music.
Cherry Blossom Parade
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
April 8, 2017
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.
Geisha dancer in the Street Festival
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
April 8, 2017; 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
River Fest visitors looking through binoculars
Anacostia River Festival
April 9th, 2017
Anacostia Park
The National Park Service and 11th Street Bridge Park will present the Anacostia River Festival on Sunday April 9th. 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.
Cherry Blossom Fireworks
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
April 15, 2017; 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.