Fun events at the National Cherry Blossom Festival

You can only take so many pictures of D.C.’s famous pink-and-white wonders, the cherry blossoms. The National Park Service and the National Cherry Blossom Festival have many activities that offer the chance to enjoy the beauty of the blooms and spring in D.C. And, OK, will provide a few more pix for Instagram …

Visitors can start their promenade along the Tidal Basin at the welcome area located off Maine Avenue Southwest. There are tents, entertainment, food, activity tents and souvenir stands. The welcome area is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Want to know more about the history and lore of the cherry blossoms? Join a ranger talk. There are two places to speak to a knowledgeable National Park ranger — at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial from noon to 4 p.m.; and at the bookstore at the FDR Memorial from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

NPS offers some special programs, as well. Don’t miss out on a variety of activities.

Ranger-led lantern walks let you enjoy the cherry blossoms without the crowds. Rangers offer tours every Saturday and Sunday nights between March 30 to April 14 starting at 8 p.m. The 1.8-mile promenade lasts about 2 hours. Bring a flashlight and meet at the National Park Service Tent in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area.

Go further and beyond where your feet take you by seeing the cherry blossoms on a bike. NPS offers a ranger bike tour on Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. You will need to bring a bike, helmet and water for this 3-hour tour, which leaves from the Jefferson Memorial (East Basin Drive).

Lastly, dogs can also enjoy a stroll underneath the blooms with NPS’ Pups ‘n’ Petals Dog Walk. The 2-hour walk meets outside the bookstore of the FDR Memorial at 4 p.m. on April 6 and April 13 (Saturdays). Dogs must be on a leash, and don’t forget to bring waste bags and water for the pups.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival organization has many activities for visitors, as well.

One of its signature events is the parade on Saturday, April 13, on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets Northwest. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. Tickets are between $20 to $30.

Petalpalooza is a free event on Saturday, April 6 at The Wharf in Southwest D.C. It’s a day of music and activities, ending with fireworks at night.

A complete list of activities is available at the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

For more information, visit WTOP’s National Cherry Blossom Festival page.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival attracts many visitors, and due to limited public parking in the area, public transportation and alternative forms of transportation are highly recommended.

The East Potomac Park Shuttle has 11 stops around East Potomac Park between Hains Point and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It is free of charge through April 9 and on April 13-14 between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The local bus D.C. Circulator also has routes around the Tidal Basin.

The closest Metro stop to the festival is the Smithsonian station. L’Enfant, Metro Center and Federal Triangle stations are within walking distance.

For the latest update on Metro, visit WTOP’s Tracking Metro 24/7 page.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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