First and foremost, it’s cherry blossom season! I know the tree in my front yard and those in my neighborhood are in full bloom, so I’m sure the Tidal Basin is gorgeous right about now! If you live in DC or plan to visit anytime in the next month, you absolutely have to attend one of the many Cherry Blossom Festival events! Here’s a little rundown on some must-do’s. You can learn more about these events and more at http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/.
- Japan Spring Opening Day Celebration – March 24, 2012 – Celebrate the arrival of Japan Spring on the National Mall with bento boxes and tea
- National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony – March 25, 2012 – To launch the Centennial Celebration, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will collaborate with local and national entertainment to welcome springtime to Washington, DC. Guests will experience the story of how the gift of trees has developed into the nation’s greatest springtime celebration, as told through a series of traditional and contemporary performances.
- Japanese Culture Day at the Library of Congress – March 31 – April 14, 2012 – Introduce children and adults to Japanese culture! There will be origami, theater presentation, a kimono display, and other activities
- Blossom Kite Festival – March 31, 2012 – The second annual Blossom Kite Festival presented by the National Cherry Blossom Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of kite fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations including the popular Hot Tricks Showdown and the Rokkaku Battle. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field.
- Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival – April 14, 2012 – Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere of the largest Japanese cultural festival in the United States, featuring food, arts and culture, merchandise, and live traditional and J-Pop performances on four stages, including martial arts demonstrations.
- Joint Service Drill Exhibition – April 14, 2012 – This is a rare opportunity to see the Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard drill teams perform in the same place at the same time. Each drill team performs a 25 minute routine complete with daring, dangerous and exhilarating maneuvers which will be judged by this year’s panel. After the exhibition you will have the chance to meet with members of the drill teams and collect autographs. This event is FREE and open to the public. Make sure to arrive early to get the best views!
- Lantern Making Family Day at the Yards Park – April 21, 2012 – Lantern making for bth kids and adults will be at 10 am and 12:30 pm, with both sessions followed by a parade through the Yards Park.
It always seems like there is something to do in the DC area. We’re always able to type in “family events in DC” and find something that the boys will like. They love going to the Smithsonian and hitting up a different museum or riding the carousel. They even love to just be let loose on the National Mall and run around to their heart’s content. I’ve found some really great springtime events that I think they’ll love. Maybe you will too!
- Family Days presented with the National Building Museum – March 24-25, 2015 – An annual opening of Washington’s cherry blossom season expands to two days at this seventh annual family festival for “kids of all ages” featuring hands-on activities, interactive art demonstrations, and exciting indoor and outdoor performances that celebrate spring and explore Japanese arts and design.
- Tidal Basin Paddle Boats – March 20 – April 27, 2012 – View the Jefferson Memorial and Japanese Cherry Trees from the water. Enjoy a family outing or take a break from touring and soak up some sun in your very own paddle boat!
- 134th Annual White House Easter Egg Roll – April 9, 2012 – This year’s theme is “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move” and more than 35,000 people will be on the South Lawn for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll on the Lawn. It’s too late for tickets now, but it’ll be fun to watch from the gates! Or you can download the 2012 White House Easter Children’s Activity Book at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/whitehouse_files/2012_easter_activity_book.pdf
- Washington Nationals home opener vs. Cincinnati Reds – April 12, 2012
- 11th Annual Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival – May 19-20, 2012 – Four boats painted to resemble scales in hues of green, red, blue and yellow sporting dragon heads and tails of blue, red and gold will line up to sprint over distances of 250 and 500 meters.
- MathAlive! – Through June 3, 2012 – Learn how math makes fun activities come to life. Visitors young and old can ride snowboards in 4-D, design and play their own video games, capture their images in 360 degrees, jump into a fractal dance party, design a custom skateboard, operate simulations of NASA’s latest robotics, test their bridge-building skills and design the infrastructure for an ecologically sustainable city. Check it out at http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/MathAlive-4731
- Movies on the Potomac at National Harbor – starting May 26, 2012 – Date Night movies on Fridays and Family nights on Sundays, movies start just after sunset on the Plaza’s big screen!