Get your blossom fix outside of the Tidal Basin.
The weather hasn’t been on its peak behavior, but the resilient cherry trees that have become iconic of Washington and symbols for the dawn of spring are expected to reach full bloom this weekend (April 5 – 8 according to the National Park Service). In case crowds of tourists defiling the pretty blooms for a good selfie aren’t your thing, we’ve rounded up additional/ alternate ways to get your cherry blossom fill.Traditionalists can always stick to the normal script and experience one of the many events and experiences offered through the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.
Celebrate with Art
Sakura Yume. Photo Credit Hasnain Bhatti
Everyone’s favorite interactive art venue is paying tribute to the trees with its “Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream” exhibit, which invites visitors to interact with dancing flowers through hand-waving activation. Adults can indulge in blossom-themed augmented reality cocktails.For a next level sensory adventure snag tickets to the museum’s new immersive dining experience available on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays only.The entire exhibit will be on view March 15 – May 6 (10a.m. – 5p.m.) and evenings 21+ (5:30p.m./7 p.m. – 10:30p.m./11:30p.m.)
Maggie O’Neill’s Fines in Full Bloom. Photo by Jane Merkel.
Local artist and designer Maggie O’Neill has never been one to shy away from color, often transforming basic scenes into explosively vibrant works of art.Her cherry blossom–inspired pop-up exhibition DC Blooms showcases 40 pieces of original artwork and a variety of blossom-centric merchandise. The exhibit will also give Washingtonians a newly positive perspective on pink parking tickets with an incredibly photogenic installation that features the slips called #finesinfullbloom. The pop-up will run every Saturday and Sunday, March 31 – April 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Celebrate Over a Meal
Nobu’s Hanami Omakase sashimi trio. Photo Courtesy.
Big things are happening at the world-renowned Japanese-Peruvian haven in the West End. In addition to its newly rolled out Tanoshi Hour menu (a loose Japanese translation to happy hour), the restaurant is celebrating spring with a six-course tasting menu and limited-edition Hanami Bento Lunch. The latter features sushi, Arctic char with sakura shiso, beef tenderloin with cherry miso and tuna sashimi salad. The tasting menu begins with a flavorful sushi bar trio and ends with a beautifully-plated cherry blossom semifreddo. Hanami Bento Lunch is $38 per person and the Hanami tasting menu is $100 per person; 2525 M St NW; available through April 19.
Keep the spring spirit alive despite the cold with three courses of delicacies from executive chef Bryan Moscatello at the Oval Room. A starter of chilled Maine lobster is accented by cherry blossom gelée, pollen and crème fraîche, followed by Fois Gras Royale served with cherries, cherry blossom espuma and cocoa nib. The menu finishes strong with a cherry blossom milk pudding (try not to lick the plate). $55 per person 800 Connecticut Ave. NW
Celebrate Over a Drink (or two)
Estadio’s Slushito Colada, Photo Courtesy.
It’s all about sherry this spring at Estadio, where the Spanish fortified wine is getting its due at the restaurant’s third annual sherry festival. From flights to coursed sherry paired meals, Estadio is offering plenty of ways for novices and experts alike to enjoy the wine. Bar director Adam Bernbach has also rolled out five new festive sherry cocktails for the occasion, including two slushy drinks that scream summer. Don’t miss the Slushito Colada made with Barbadillo Amontillado, pineapple, coconut milk and lime.The festival runs through April 15; 1520 14th Street NW.
Drink Company’s new Pop-Up Bar (PUB) is the mecca for full flower immersion indoors. Head to Shaw to find more than 90,000 blossoms hovering over the bar, a 10-foot tall Godzilla, a butterfly gallery and creatively themed cocktails like the “Love Crazed Monster Crushes World” made with Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky, bergamot tea and vermouth. 1841 7th St., NW. Open Sunday – Thursday from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. through April 29.
Learn the History of Cherry Blossoms in D.C.
The lobby of the Willard. Photo Courtesy.
The Willard is using it’s monthly historical happy hours to shine a light on the story behind the National Cherry Blossoms. Did you know the first few thousand trees gifted from Japan were destroyed by disease? Fun facts and tasty cocktails to match will be aplenty at the event led by Ann McClellan, author of “Cherry Blossoms: The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival” and the Round Robin Bar’s mixologist Jim Hewes. April 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $49 and include three cocktails and light fare. The Willard Room1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Celebrate with Grab and Go Dessert
District Doughnut’s Cherry Blossom Doughtnut. Photo Courtesy.
We’ve all seen Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken‘s (1308 G St NW) Cherry Blossom Doughnut on Instagram, and we’re happy to report the cherry jam-filled beauty tastes as good as it looks. Equally as tasty is District Doughnut‘s (749 8th St SE) cherry pie filled, cream cheese-glazed doughnut. On the cookie front, Milk Bar‘s (1090 I St NW; 49 District Square SW) Cherry Rose cookie combines freeze-dried cherries, milk crumbs and rose water essence for a pleasantly floral finish. Baked & Wired‘s (1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW) Cherry Blossom cupcake spotlights maraschino cherries in the batter and icing while Georgetown Cupcake‘s (3301 M Street NW) Cherry Cheesecake variety features a graham cracker crust.
Celebrate with a Hand Massage
L’Occi’s Mobile Pop-Up
This Saturday Tidal Basin visitors should look out for L’Occitane’s yellow truck, which will offer complimentary hand massages, beauty samples and a chance to win a VIP swag basket. April 7 from 1-9 p.m. 975 7th St SW.
Get in the Cherry Blossom Spirit from Home
The Rye Bar gives you the chance to bring the festivities home with their Gyoiko recipe. The cocktail is also available at the Rosewood’s bar 1050 31st N St, NW; 202-617-2424. *Gyoiko is the name of the cherry trees planted in the White House
- 1.5 oz Rye
- 1.5 oz Cherry syrup w/ cheery herring
- .5 oz Benedictine
- .5 oz Lime Juice
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice
- Shake until chilled and strained into a rock glass with big ice cube
- garnish with an edible cherry blossoms flower
- 1300 gr of dark frozen cherries
- 1300 gr sugar
- 1200 gr water
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- Put everything on a pot and bring it to a boil until sugar dissolves.
- Blend everything
- Fine strained the mixture
- Add 9oz of cherry heering.