Free National Cherry Blossom Festival Events

Free National Cherry Blossom Festival Events

FREE Events For Families During the National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is back and in full effect! From March 17 to April 15, 2018, the Washington, DC area will be flooded with events for all ages. They’ll be FREE family events, food and bar crawls for the adults and a ton of art exhibitions and interactive demonstrations. Get out and celebrate the beautiful blossoms in bloom at these 10 FREE Events!

Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance
March 17 – April 1; 12pm – 6pm
1501 Main Ave, SW
Daily performances provides visitor services, first aid, food, souvenirs, books, and more. Park rangers and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the Festival. Visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival tent in the Paddle Boat Parking Lot for fun interactive entertainment, official merchandise, and more.

Blossom Kite Festival
March 31; 10am – 4:30pm
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off kite season. The seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations, Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field. Kites will also be available for purchase on site.

Growing Community 
National Building Museum
March 31; 11am – 2pm
Explore how nature can be intentionally integrated into and around built spaces to help promote community and encourage civic engagement. Work with friends and family to design and build a large-scale model of your own green space inspired by a park in your neighborhood or one you would like to see added to your community. Don’t miss the spring inspired storytime.

Paints, Pigment, brushes: All About Japanese Painting
March 31; 12pm – 4pm
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Enter the world of traditional Japanese painting, or nihonga, in this drop-in workshop at the Freer|Sackler celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival. View a display of colorful pigments and brushes, and try making your own painting alongside visiting Japanese artists Ideguchi Yuki and Iwaizumi Kei.

April 7; 1pm – 9:30pm
The Wharf
Event formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival to transform the waterfront into a one-day-only springtime spectacle. Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza will include interactive art installations, larger-than-life games and activities, live music on three outdoor stages, a roller rink, a beer garden, a spectacular fireworks show by Pyrotecnico, and much more. Fireworks begin at 8:30 PM.

Cherry Blossom Family Open Studio 
Freer Gallery of Art,
April 7; 10am – 12pm
Take a family-friendly tour and learn about nature in Japanese art and enjoy art-making activities and artist demonstrations inspired by spring. All ages welcome with adult companions.

Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
April 8; 3pm – 4:30pm
Tidal Basin
Nestled under the Cherry Blossom trees on the Tidal Basin, this ceremony includes remarks by top US officials and Japanese diplomats as well as traditional songs and music performed by the Toho Koto Society of Washington DC and the Washington DC Choral Society.

Storytime Under the Cherry Blossoms
April 11; 10am -12pm
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Storytime explores contemporary art through stories and movement. Museum staff will read aloud a book, introduce children to an artist in the collection, and lead a hands-on activity.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
April 14; 10am -12pm
Constitution Ave (7th to 17th Street, NW)
Standing along the Parade route from Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets, NW is FREE and open to the public. 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 seen only once a year during the Festival.

Sakura Matsuri- Japanses Street Festival
April 14; 10am – 6pm
Pennsylvania Avenue, Between 3rd & 7th Street, NW
Free for Kids 12 and under, 13+: $10
The Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival, the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture. Event brings vibrant performances to four stages showcasing 30 cumulative hours of programming. The event is held rain-or-shine.


Learn more about the National Cherry Blossom Festival and its history at