Ranger Programs

2017 Ranger-led Cherry Blossom Programs

From March 18th to April 2nd, Park Rangers from the National Park Service lead guided hikes and family programs at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Learn about the Cherry Trees in a fun, family-friendly way. Choose from our program list below or visit our year round Calendar of Events.

Ranger standing with visitors under the Cherry Trees.
Ranger giving Daily Cherry Talk near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

NPS Photo

Daily Programs

Tidal Basin Welcome Area 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

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 Friendship Mural art activity provide everything you need for a fun-filled visit.


Junior Ranger Activity Zone 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Head to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial to learn about the cherry blossoms and Japanese culture through games and hands-on activities, including origami, haiku, Japanese style headbands and more. Also be sure to pick up your Bloomin' Junior Ranger booklet in the activity zone or at the National Park Service tent at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area and complete the family-friendly, fun activities to earn a special Junior Ranger badge and certificate!

Cherry Blossom Ranger Talk – Jefferson Memorial 10 a.m.,12 p.m., 2 p.m. 4 p.m., 6 pm
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. (NOTE: These talks will continue through April 9)


Cherry Blossom Ranger Talk – FDR Memorial 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m.
Join a Park Ranger and learn more about the history and lore of the cherry blossoms. Programs meet at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial bookstore. (NOTE: These talks will continue through April 9)

Special Programs

Throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival, Rangers present special programs to experience the Cherry Blossom season in a new and unique way. Join us at any of the special dates and times below for a once in a lifetime experience.

Lantern Walk

Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays: March 18-19, March 24-26, March 31-April 2, April 7-8
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
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 at 8 p.m. at the National Park Service tent in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. Tours offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening between March 18 and April 8 (no tour on Friday, March 17 and Sunday, April 9).

Run with a Ranger

Saturdays: March 18, March 25, April 1, April 8
9am
Meet at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street. NW
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 9 a.m. at the Washington Monument Lodge (15th St. between Madison and Jefferson Drives, adjacent to Washington Monument).

Pups ‘n’ Petals Dog Walk

Saturdays/Sundays: March 18-19, March 25-26, April 1-2, April 8
2pm-4pm
Bring your furry friend for a two-hour stroll among the cherry blossoms! Meet on the backside of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (East Basin Drive) at 2 p.m. Don’t forget your leash (required), waste bags and water.

Ranger Cherry Bike Tours

Saturdays March 18, March 25, April 1, April 8
1pm-4pm
Meet at the Lincoln Memorial Plaza. Bring your own bike, helmet, and water for a leisurely ride beneath the blossoms. The three-hour tour is on Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Birds and Blooms

March 18, March 25, April 1, April 8
Join a Park Ranger for a bird walk among the cherry blossoms. Meet at the World War II Memorial contact station at 7:30 a.m. and remember to bring your binoculars!

The Team that Gave us the City’s Symbols of Peace: April 1, April 8

The behind-the-scenes tale of the Americans and Japanese who coordinated Tokyo’s 1912 gift of 3000 Japanese cherry trees to Washington will astonish. Facts are better than fiction in this teamwork of visionaries! Begins at 1 p.m. at the Japanese Lantern on the Tidal Basin (west end of Kutz Bridge along Independence Avenue).


Meaning of the Cherry Blossom Festival: Readings from the Masters: March 18, April 2, April 9

Travel back in time to discover the meaning of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Join us for readings from the first description of the Japanese festival (Tale of Genji, 11th century), the remarkable Kabuki play, Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees (18th century), and Eliza Scidmore’s description of the festival that inspired her to push to establish cherry trees in Washington (1891). Program starts at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial bookstore at 1 p.m.

Rangers and visitors with dogs prepare for walk around the Memorials
Rangers and visitors with dogs prepare to go on a walk around the Memorials.

NPS photo

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