Your Weekend Planner: Cherry Blossom Festival Fun

It’s time to box up those coats and boots (finally)! The long-awaited cherry blossoms -- which missed two sets of deadlines this spring -- are projected to reach their peak this weekend.

Plenty of events are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Here’s what you need to know to start your spring off right:


Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival

Go see the Fireworks Festival for free music on four stages, Dragon Boat and paddle boat excursions, fireworks and a gathering of food trucks. To view the complete schedule of activities, click here (PDF)

Where: Southwest Waterfront (600-900 Water St. SW)

When: Saturday, 1 to 9 p.m.; fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m.

Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk

Walk to commemorate the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During WWII, and listen to political keynote speakers as well.

Where: The intersections of D Street and New Jersey Avenue NW with Louisiana Avenue NW, near Union Station.

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon

Cherry Blossom Fireworks Dinner Cruises

Enjoy a three course dinner with family, friends and a unique view on of the Southwest Waterfront fireworks.

Where: Gangplank Marina 600 Water Street, SW

When: Saturday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; boarding at 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $99.90/person for Spirit of Washington; $124.90/person for Odyssey

Tasting Party: "Umami Means Delicious"

Come out and try the savory taste of Umami  this Saturday. Learn more about its history and it’ health benefits. You get to try out Umami-rich foods and learn how it can be great for you cooking. The cost is $27 per person.

Where: Green Spring Gardens (4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Va.)

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon


Operation Ninja: Discover the Secret Art of Ninjitsu

Join martial artists who have studied the art of Ninjitsu and find out what it takes to be a ninja. Through demos, practices and drills, “ninjas-in-training” will be challenged physically and mentally and if they have what it takes to join the ranks of ninjas.

When: Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

Where: International Spy Museum (800 F St. NW)

Cost: $25/person

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, 5K Run/Walk, and Health & Fitness Expo

Registration's closed for the races, but you can still swing by the Health and Fitness Expo -- and head down to the Mall early to cheer on the runners.


When: Friday, 1-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: National Building Museum (401 F St. NW)


When: Sunday; the 10-miler begins at 7:20 a.m.; kids' run begins at 8:15 a.m.; the 5K run/walk begins at 8:40 a.m.

Where: Washington Monument grounds

Cherry Blossom Soccer Tournament

The 8th annual soccer tournament will host 48 teams of local players. Attendees are welcome to watch the games free of charge.

Where: The Polo Fields on the National Mall (West Basin Drive SW)

When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament

If you prefer rugby to soccer, go watch the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament, played by national and international college and high school teams.

Where: Rosecroft Raceway (6336 Rosecroft Drive, Fort Washington, Md.)

When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Asian Art and Culture Day

Celebrate Asian culture with free food, entertainment and family-friendly art workshops, including origami demonstrations.

Where: The Workhouse Arts Center (9601 Ox Road, Lorton, Va.)

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Asian-Pacific Heritage Celebration

Celebrate Asian-Pacific heritage at the National Aquarium -- learn to make origami and cherry blossom art, view lion dance perfornaces and hear stories about the cherry blossoms.

When: Saturday, noon-4 p.m.

Where: National Aquarium (1401 Constitution Ave. NW)

Arts for Families: Koinobori (Carp Streamers)

According to Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination. Make your own colorful paper koi mobile and explore pattern and texture at the museum. The event is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

When: Saturday, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Textile Museum (2320 S St. NW)

Ikebana Floral Design

Learn the Japanese form of flower arranging that will make a great spring gift!

Where: Green Spring Gardens (4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Va.)

When: Saturday, 9:30-11 a.m.

Cost: $35/person

We want to see your cherry blossom pictures! Tweet them @nbcwashington with the hash tag #nbcblossoms. We may use them online or on-air.

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