Kid-friendly activities at Washington, D.C.’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival

Paddle Boating in the Tidal Basin
Paddle Boating in the Tidal Basin

Although the cherry blossom excitement has already kicked off in Washington, D.C., the forecast for this year's peak bloom is April 1 through 4, which means it's not too late to head to the capital for a glimpse of the stunning pink ladies. If you're planning a trip, both the Mandarin Oriental and L'Enfant Plaza Hotel are within walking distance of the trees.

Because Spring Break for many schools overlaps with the blooming of the cherry blossoms, Oyster Locals blogger Amy Querido (The Q Family Adventures; Atlanta With Kid) provided us with some family-friendly activities happening at the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 27-April 11) -- perfect for parents traveling to D.C. with kids in tow. Here's Amy's list:

Tidal Basin Paddle Boats (1501 Maine Avenue, SW): From March 10 through April 11, you and your kids can enjoy the view of cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin while riding a paddle boat ($10 per hour for a two-person boat, $18 per hour for a four-person boat).

Family Fun Zone from National Park Service (at the Jefferson Memorial): Each Saturday and Sunday from March 27 to April 11, park rangers lead free tours of the trees and workshops on writing in Japanese.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day (401 F Street, NW at the National Building Museum): At the opening ceremony of the National Cherry Blossom festival (March 27), there are a number of hands-on activities, informative demonstrations, and exciting indoor and outdoor performances that celebrate Spring and Japanese arts and design.

National Cherry Blossom Music & Firework Show (7th Street and Maine Avenue, SW): On Apr 3, arrive early for family friendly activities and local musical group performances from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Afterward, enjoy the spectacular fireworks show from the Washington Channel. For the best view, head to East Potomac Park or the Southwest Waterfront Promenade.

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