It felt like the winter that would never end, but despite the chill lingering in the air, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is well under way.
Granted, the blossoms' peak bloom dates aren't until April 8-12. Here are about a dozen ways to have fun in the meantime:
- Kimono Fundraiser -- Wednesday, April 2 through Friday, April 4. View more than 1,000 kimonos at the Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave. SW). Free.
- Macy's Cherry Blossom Flower Show -- April 3, 5, 9 and 10 at Macy's Metro Center; times vary; all events free.
- Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival -- Saturday, April 5. Free admission. Go for food trucks, musical performances, an artists' market and of course, fireworks over the waterfront.
- 48th Annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament -- Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington; free.
- Cherry Blossom 10-Miler and 5K Run/Walk-- Sunday, April 6. Cheer on the runners starting at 7:30 a.m. The event benefits the Children's Miracle Network hospitals.
- Odyssey Fireworks Dinner Cruise -- Saturday, April 5; boards from Gangplank Marina at 5:30 p.m., cruise 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $124.90 per person.
- Cherry Blossom Yoga -- Saturday, April 5; 10 a.m.-noon at the Washington Monument; free.
- Paddle-boating on the Tidal Basin -- Daily; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (reserve boats online between 10 a.m and noon).
- Exhibitions of Japanese art, and Japanese cultural programs at the Freer/Sackler Galleries -- Daily through Sunday, April 13 (free admission).
- National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade -- Saturday, April 12, 10 a.m.-noon. Grandstand seating $20; otherwise free and open to the public.
- Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival -- Saturday, April 12, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission $8; free for kids ages 12 and younger. Enjoy Japanese food (including plenty of sushi), catch live performances and shop in the Japanese market.
- Performances at the Tidal Basin -- Daily through Sunday, April 13; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; see schedule here.
Find more events here.