WASHINGTON - MARCH 28: Cherry blossoms frame the U.S. Capitol March 28, 2003 in Washington, DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is ongoing and ends April 7. Most of the cherry blossoms are blooming later in the festival this year due to an unseasonably cold winter. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is opening with a weekend of family activities at the National Building Museum.
The free family days event runs Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The museum will offer crafts and activities focused on architecture, the cherry trees and Japanese arts.
An opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned for Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Warner Theatre. The festival runs for five weeks through April 27.
The National Park Service says it expects the trees will be in full bloom between April 3 and April 6. Officials say the cold weather slowed the blossoms' growth.
The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.