National Cherry Blossom Festival

20 Mar 2018 - 15 Apr 2018
Tidal Basin

Each springtime, Washington D.C. bursts into colour as the city takes on the pink hues of its blooming cherry blossom trees.

  • When? 20th March - 15th April 2018
  • Where? Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.
  • Price: Free

Looking for some springtime cheer? We'll we've got just the thing for you petal.

Famous for its stunning pastel pink blossom lining the Tidal Basin, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a must-see if you're in D.C. at the right time of the year.

In recognition of the friendship between the United States and Japan, the Mayor of Tokyo presented a gift of cherry trees to Washington D.C. in 1912. The National Cherry Blossom Festival has celebrated Japanese culture in D.C. since 1934. A further 3,750 trees have been planted making for awe-inspiring views and stunning photographs.

The trees blossom in the spring but the exact date of the festival fluctuates and relates to changes in weather and temperature. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will run alongside the festival on April 8th and is set to be one big party, with huge colourful balloons, entertainers, marching bands and extravagantly decorated floats making their way down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets. The festival itself takes place all over Washington D.C. and throughout its suburbs, promoting traditional and contemporary forms of art and culture.

Activities centre around all things Japanese. Martial Arts demonstrations, kimono fashion shows, photography exhibitions and rakugo unfold at the National Building Museum during the first week. Rakugo is a one-man comedy performance of two or more characters. A tilt of the head and minimalist props such as a paper fan signify character change. The Blossom Kite Festival is normally during the first week as is the bike tour of the Tidal Basin and there is plenty of sushi and sake up for grabs too.

In the second week there are fireworks down by the Washington Channel, a 10 mile run and the ceremonial lighting of the three and a half century old stone lantern, presented to America in 1854. The last weekend features the parade which was moved from 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW to M Street SE and New Jersey Avenue SE.

With many free events to attend, we've no doubt you'll have a bloomin' good time.

  • Get there: Fly to one of Washington's airports then head towards the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
  • Stay: The Southwest Washington area is close to the festival site.

For more information, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.


*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!