CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL FUN FOR 2024
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CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL FUN FOR 2024

Well, the blossoms may have peaked early this year, but from March 20th to April 14th, we still have four incomparable weeks filled with food, fun, art and culture. From the winsome Sakura to subfestivals of all kinds, it’s safe to say the centuries-old Japanese tradition and now 112-year-old American obsession would be a shame not to visit. Besides the rite of passage of taking aesthetic photos – by the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park at Hains Point and on the Washington Monument grounds – here’s a guide to the key events and hidden bulbs going on this season.

Color Me Pink

This year, immerse yourself in the enchanting world of cherry blossoms at the JICC. The over four-week-long FREE exhibition will showcase seven original artworks inspired by Japan’s gift, NCBF’s ongoing efforts to plant new trees, and fascinating trivia on cherry blossoms. Explore the gallery’s whimsical atmosphere, featuring a Lego mural and interactive cherry blossom art, where creativity blooms alongside the natural beauty of the iconic blossoms.

Japan Information & Culture Center, 1150 18th St. NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC | March 22nd – April 19th | 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Petal Porches

Participating D.C. area residents have decorated their porches, yards and windows to celebrate their cherry blossom and springtime spirit. With the petal porch map, your family can visit these creative homes and post pictures on social media with #PetalPorches. It’s a great way to make a quick stop in your neighborhood to celebrate the festival if you can’t make it into the main area. Check the website for more information on voting for your favorite homes!

Various neighborhoods in D.C., Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland | Now through April 14th

Japanese Culture Day

Featuring the best family activities, including Japanese drum and traditional dance performances, storytelling and arts and crafts from Japan. Plus, learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals!

Advance timed-entry reservations are recommended. Free same-day tickets will be made available at 9 a.m., using the same link. 

Great Hall – 2nd Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 10 First Street SE, Washington, D.C. | March 23rd | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Art In Bloom

You thought seeing the real cherry blossoms wasn’t beautiful enough? Think again! Amazon is presenting multiple giant cherry blossom sculptures in public spaces throughout the region. See if you can find them! Hint: use the map. It’s a great way to support the artists and take fun photos with the huge blossoms!

View all past and present blooms and their artists here.

Washington, D.C. & beyond | Now through April 14th

Oxon Run Pinknic & Kite Fly

This annual fest will host kite programming, entertainment and more in coordination with the Blossom Kite Festival at Oxon Run Park in Ward 8. Spring It On and celebrate the Ward 8 community with free food, kite kits, art, music and fun kid activities, and support local businesses by shopping at the Ward 8 Vendor Market.

Valley & Wheeler Rd. SE, Washington, D.C. | March 24 | 12-3 p.m.

Mosaic District Art Blooms

Mosaic welcomes spring with a two-day festival where friends, families and surrounding communities are invited to a weekend of fun-filled family activities while taking part in the nation’s favorite springtime celebrations. In partnership with URBNmarket and FRESHFARM, Mosaic District will transform into an outdoor festival with a host of 90+ handmade and vintage vendors, special performances and various activities for the whole family. From live entertainment throughout the festival and kids’ activities to cherry blossom arts and crafts vendors, a farmers’ market and much more!

Mosaic District, 2910 District Avenue, Fairfax, Va. | April 6th – 7th | 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Petalpalooza

Like last year, this year’s free outdoor Petalpalooza may be the most electrifying way to celebrate the festival. Featuring showcases on multiple outdoor stages, interactive art installations through the Petalpalooza Art Walk, a cashless beverage garden, family-friendly hands-on activities, roaming D.C. sports mascots and entertainers and more, all along the banks of the Anacostia River. Cap the evening off by watching the dazzling choreographed official fireworks show set to music!

Capitol Riverfront (The Yards), Washington, D.C. | April 6th | 1-9 p.m. with fireworks at 8:30 p.m.

Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival

The largest celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S., this festival features over 24 hours of Japanese cultural performances on four stages and a diverse range of cultural exhibitors, artisan and commercial vendors of traditional and contemporary Japanese goods, Japanese food and other food and beverages. The subareas are Arts & Culture, Japan Now!, Ginza Marketplace and Taste of Japan.

Good news – children 12 and under are always free and don’t require a ticket. Visit their website for tickets, family packages and merch! 

Pennsylvania Avenue NW – Between 3rd and 7th Streets, Washington, D.C. | April 13th, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. | April 14th, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

The National Parade makes a return with grand colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers and performers bursting down the parade route in a spectacle of music and showmanship celebrating spring in D.C.

Constitution Avenue NW, between 7th and 17th Streets, Washington, D.C. | April 13th | 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Honorable Mentions/+Hidden Bulbs