Top 5 Free (but fun) activities
- Take a scenic bike ride! What better way to stroll into the beautiful, yet busy city of D.C. During the peak times of the festival (Sat-Sun) it will nearly impossible to find a parking spot in the city. Unless you have minor children, the best way to commute into the city is by bicycle. I would recommend to park at Gravelly Point park (next to Ronald Reagan Airport) and bicycle into the city. It is about a 15 minute ride to the hotspot for cherry blossom viewing! This park may not have many cherry blossoms, but they have a large lawn area to watch the planes land and beautiful views of the Potomac River.
2. Watch the Kite Flying Competition (Bring your own too!) Take a seat on the grass near the Washington Monument and watch over 300 kites fly in the wind! It might sound boring to watch a kite float, but there is something almost magical about how a simple piece of fabric and string can fly to gracefully (Thanks Mozi and Lu Ban! The 5th century BC Chinese philosophers who created the Kite ). Join in on the fun and bring your own kite to fly, you don’t need to be entered into the competition to fly one.
3. Visit the near by monuments and memorials! In the immediate vicinity of the thick of the cherry blossom festival, are the Washington monument, Jefferson Memorial and the World War II memorial. Those who are history nerds will love this and those who aren’t will still be able to take surprising insta-worthy shots. Stroll from one point to the next at your own pace and own leisure!
4. Free music, crafts, and other live events. Like the kite flying competition, there are several free musical performances, craft/games (for children), and informational events about the cherry blossoms themselves. There are booths that are lined up along the trees with countless fun festivities to partake in. For a detailed schedule/list of the DC Cherry Blossom Festival activities, please visit: https://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/
5. A picnic underneath the blossoms. For those who don’t enjoy the crowds or dislike public activities, fear not, you can still enjoy this spring festivity. Before arriving to the main DC area or before leaving home pack a few snacks, blanket, and your camera (optional). There is nothing like good food and a spectacular spring view! Around the Cherry blossoms (near the Washington monument) there are comfortable lawn areas that allow you kick back and relax.
Take a look at my Cherry Blossom Image gallery for more great shots!