This year’s peak bloom predictions are in: the cherry blossoms should peak between Mar. 30-Apr. 9. Want to celebrate all things pink and flowery? There won’t be a parade this year, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off DC’s most popular event with a number of virtual performances and at-home projects that will allow families around the globe to get involved. And if you are a DMV resident, be sure to check out the cherry blossom sculptures scattered across DC’s 8 wards. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Japan’s famous gift to Washington, DC beyond the Tidal Basin.
Catch the Cherry Blossoms on the Bloom Cam
The Tidal Basin is one of the most popular spots to enjoy the new blooms of the cherry blossom trees. Rumors are already beginning to swirl that, due to COVID, access to the area may be temporarily blocked during Cherry Blossom season. But don't worry! You can keep your social distance and watch this year's flowers unfold from the comfort of your living room. DC's Tidal Basin features an interactive camera for 24 hour viewing. The location is ideal for prime viewing. Check out the EarthCam here.
Art in Bloom
Go on a cherry blossom hunt! These oversized blooms are easy to spot. Local artists have decorated 26 cherry blossom statues that are now scattered throughout the 8 wards in DC. Andrew Funk's The Message (pictured above) can be found in front of the Turkey Thicket Aquatic Center (1100 Michigan Ave NE, University Heights).
Blossom Kite Fly
Flying kites during the National Cherry Blossom festival has been a long-standing tradition. While kite flying is being discouraged on the National Mall this year, the Blossom Kite Fly is still on! Take to the skies with your own kite and share pictures of it soaring on Mar. 27-28 with #BlossomKiteFly and virtually fill the air!
Virtual Sakura Matsuri
From noon-3 p.m. on Apr. 3, enjoy live performances from the comfort of your living room. The traditional Japanese street festival will return to the pavement on Apr. 9, 2022, but in the meantime The Japan-America Society of Washington, DC is hosting Sakura Matsuri-themed dances and musical performances.
Make Your Own Ice Cream
This is one cool idea (literally). You can make cherry blossom flavored ice cream with just a few handfuls of flowers! You'll need a little patience for the first step: blooms need to be salted for 3 days to remove the bitter aftertaste. Once your flowers are ready, it's time for some kitchen fun with some help from your pint-sized sous chef. For the recipe, head here.
Pop Up Something Pink
Just in time for the family movie marathon; this candy-coated popcorn has a sweet vanilla flavor, but its pink coloring makes kernels look a lot like cherry blossoms. You can enjoy this as a sweet treat or use it for a pop-tastic craft. Get the recipe here. And get ready to make some DIY cherry popcorn blossom trees (here) or use the popcorn like a stamp to create pretty flowers. The bottom of soda bottles and bubble wrap also works as picture-perfect stamps.
DIY Your Own Japanese Blooms
All you need is a stick, an egg carton and some pipe cleaners to make these winsome cherry blossoms. No pink paint on hand? No problem. Au natural looks fetching, too! For step-by-step instructions, head here.
Put Those TP Rolls to Good Use
When you've finished a roll of your stockpiled TP, don't toss the tube. The secret to this craft is to paint the cardboard before you cut them into slices. For detailed instructions, check out Crafts by Amanda.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers