Events and Activities

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, Captial Waterfront Fireworks during the Petalpalooza event, National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, and more.

Ranger standing with visitors under the Cherry Trees.
Ranger Programs


March 23-April 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Tidal Basin Welcome Area
Location: West Basin Drive, between Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Begin your visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located on West Basin Drive on the west side of the Tidal Basin, between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Information tents, performance stage, food and souvenir sales areas, and first aid station provide everything you need for a fun-filled visit.

Stop by the National Park Service Activity Tent to become a Cherry Blossom Protector, earn a Bloomin’ Junior Ranger badge, and participate in activities related to conservation and responsible recreation.
March 23 - April 7, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily
Jefferson Memorial Cherry Blossom Ranger Talk
Location: Meet in front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Join a Park Ranger and learn more about the history and lore of the cherry blossoms. Programs meet on the plaza in front of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Rain or shine.
March 23, and April 6, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Ranger-led Lantern Walks
Location: Met at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area on West Basin Drive.
Bring your flashlight for a one-hour 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, guided walk around the Tidal Basin begins at 6:30 p.m. at the National Park Service Activity tent in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area.
Wooden badge with a picture of a dog and the words "Bark Ranger"

Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Pups and Petals Dog Walk

Location: Meet at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial bookstore
Bring your furry friend for a one-hour stroll among the cherry blossoms and get an official Cherry Blossom Festival BARK Ranger badge! Meet outside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial bookstore at 2 p.m. Don’t forget your leash (required), waste bags and water.
Sunday, March, 31, 1 p.m.
The Team that Gave Us the Cherry Trees
Location: Japanese Lantern on the Tidal Basin, just west of Kutz Bridge
The more you know about the team that coordinated Tokyo’s 1912 gift of 3,020 Japanese flowering cherry trees to the nation's capital and why they did it, the better the story gets.

Saturday, March 30, 5 p.m.

The Meaning of the Cherry Blossom Festival: Readings from the Past

Location: Japanese Stone Lantern on the Tidal Basin, west of Kutz Bridge
Travel back in time and relax to discover the meaning of the cherry blossom festival through the 18th-century kabuki classic, Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees and other voices from the past. 90 minutes.


Elsewhere During the Festival

Across the National Mall, our 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
March 30, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Blossom Kite Festival
Location: 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).
Geisha dancer in the Street Festival

April 6, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m
Location: Capital Riverfront at the Yards (1300 First Street SE)
This day-long all-ages celebration brings art, music, and play to multiple outdoor stages, interactive art installations through the Petalpalooza Art Walk. The evening is capped by a spectacular fireworks display. Capital Riverfront at the Yards. Near Navy Yard Metro. Fireworks begin at 8:30 pm.

Cherry Blossom Parade
April 13, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Location: Constitution Avenue NW from 7th to 17th Street NW
One of DC's largest spectator events, the energy-filled parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Giant colorful 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.
Cherry Blossom Queen lighting the lantern
April 7 at 3 p.m.
Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
Location - Japanese Stone Lantern, located on Independence Avenue SW at the west end of the Kutz Bridge
Join the National Conference of State Societies 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 Lantern Lighting Ceremony includes remarks by top US officials and Japanese diplomats, traditional songs and music.
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 reservations during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Paddle boats are available daily from 10 am to 4 pm.

Last updated: March 23, 2024