National Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., in March and April, features weeks of outdoor events and family friendly activities, most of them free, and for others deals and discounts are available, especially if you’re looking for National Cherry Blossom tours. Scroll down for a lineup of events and the best deals available now, plus some savvy tips for getting around and enjoying the experience.

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Cherry Blossom FestivalThe National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the annual blossoming of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument, with a nod to the 1912 friendship gift of 3000 cherry trees from Japan to the United States.

National Cherry Blossom Festival

WHAT: The National Cherry Blossom Festival events and activities.
WHEN: March and April but you can enjoy the blossoms and deals longer.
WHERE: Festival events and programs take place throughout Washington, DC, such as The Tidal Basin, West Potomac Park, Washington D.C., a short walk from the Jefferson Memorial. Other locations below.

Cherry Blossom Ticket Deals

Tour cherry blossoms for less with these deals for cruises, walking tours, and photo tours. I post deals on tours here as they turn up each year.

 More Ways to See the DC Cherry Blossoms

You can walk just about anywhere and enjoy the blossoms. For more excitement, try another way. Here are my top picks, and they’re usually available. Each year I hunt down deals and will link them here closer to March.

  1. DC Cherry Blossom Bike TourCherry Blossom Bike Tour in Washington DC — This 2-hour bike tour, created specifically for the famous National Cherry Blossom Festival, takes about 2 hours. Not available anywhere else.
  2. Cherry Blossom and Monuments Cruise — Witness the wondrous spectacle of Washington DC’s famous cherry blossom trees in full bloom on this weekend cruise on the Potomac River. See top DC attractions and more. Tour takes about 50 minutes. 
  3. Washington DC Cherry Blossom Segway Tour —  See Washington DC’s colorful cherry blossom trees in full bloom on a 3-hour Segway tour, taking place from mid- March to mid-April. Tour takes about 3 hours. 
  4. Cherry Blossom Riverboat Cruise on the Potomac — Delight in the majesty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC from this boat cruise on the Potomac. Admire top DC attractions and more. This DC cruise takes about 50 minutes.
  5. Cherry Blossom Lunch Buffet Cruise in Washington DC — Delight in the glory of Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms in full bloom on this lunchtime buffet cruise along the Potomac River. See top Washington DC attractions and more. This DC cruise takes about 2 hours.

DC Hotel DealStaying over? Book a Hotel Deal:  If you’re coming from out of town, Budget Travel recommends the fashionable and eco-friendly Hotel George, a 15-minute walk from the festival. To find the best hotel deals and packages at anytime, see our Washington D.C. hotel deals page.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Events

Find details for all events including the signature events. Find out more info on events and tickets on the National Cherry Blossom Festival site:

  • Pink Tie Party fundraiser at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
  • Opening Ceremony at Warner Theatre.
  • Family Days presented with the National Building Museum.
  • Step Into Spring Fitness Programming on Washington Monument grounds.
  • Blossom Kite Festival on the Washington Monument grounds.
  • Fireworks Festival presented by Procter & Gamble Premium Brands.
  • Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival.
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
  • Festival Welcome Center & free Performance Stage at the Tidal Basin.

 Savvy Tips for Enjoying the DC Cherry Blossoms

  1. Peak Blooms: The National Park Service predicts these as the event dates approach.
  2. Cherry Blossom Locations: Find them around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds. For specifics on cherry blossom tree varieties and where they’re located, see the National Park Service cherry blossom page. There’s also a National Cherry Blossom Festival app on the main website (under the Visitor Information tab).
  3. Best cherry blossom viewing: Rent a Tidal Basin Paddle Boat. (Reservations recommended.)
  4. Best way to get to the Tidal Basin: Take the Metro Blue or Orange lines to the Smithsonian Station (less than half a mile to the Tidal Basin). Then walk west on Independence Avenue to 15th Street. Turn left and head south along 15th Street.
  5. Best place to park: Finding a parking spot during the festival can be challenging. Look for street parking near the Basin (very limited). The East Potomac Park parking lot at Haines Pt. has limited free parking (320 spaces) that fill up fast (900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington D.C., 20024).
  6. Dogs allowed: Dogs, on leash, are allowed on the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
  7. See the Parade on TV: The Parade airs locally in a delayed telecast on WUSA 9.
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  1. Erin says


    I am trying to purchase one of the boat cruise discount tickets for the cherry blossom festival but I can’t seem to find where to purchse them. Has the deal been taken down?


    • says

      Erin–Actually, they’ve added more Cherry Blossom Festival deals, and they’re showing several cruises. Unfortunately, their site defaults to the deals of the day, but that’s not all they have in DC. Here’s what to do:

      -Go to the Washington DC page on … [Updated: No longer available. Check back soon for the next one]
      -Click on “Cherry Blossom Festival” on the right side of the page, under “Browse Events”

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