Sunday, March 27, 2011

We Love Washington, DC, #13

It's cherry blossom season in DC.   You might not know it though because we've had unseasonably cold temperatures this weekend and are expecting SNOW tomorrow.  Nevertheless, the cherry blossoms are just days away from their peak and the festival named for these delicate pink and white blossoms began in earnest today.  And we were there at the National Building Museum for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day.  It was CRAZY and PACKED and FUN, FUN, FUN!

More people visit Washington, DC, during cherry blossom season than any other time of year.  They come to see the cherry blossom trees given in 1912 to the United States from Japan.  The gift comprised some 3000 trees, the bulk of which were planted around the Tidal Basin.  At this time of year, literally hoards of people descend upon the Tidal Basin to take in the beauty of millions of blooms.  It is a stunning sight and worth seeing, at least once, if you have the opportunity.  We plan to go next week in an effort to miss the weekend madness.

There were thousands of children and parents and strollers milling from one craft booth to another at the festival kick-off today.  The crafts were reminiscent of Japan, for obvious reasons, and fairly easy for even the littlest crafters to handle.  We managed to hit 5 different tables before the crowds and hunger got the better of us.

First, we made kites using foam, acetate, glue (we used lots of glue today), and tissue paper.

See how pretty?

They look even better in the window with the light coming in behind them.

Next, we made windsocks with colored paper bags 
and streamers.

The finished product.

Next up was by far our favorite stop, the Home Depot sponsored "Easter Basket" project.  The boys got to hammer the nails themselves and were giddy at the prospect of tools.  I shudder to think what they would be like with power tools!

We had to wait a few minutes for each project and you can see the little girl to the right in the picture waiting ever so patiently for her turn.  Not every child we encountered was as patient as she.

If I'm really ambitious I might get some grass seed and turn these boxes into live Easter baskets, 
but, that seems highly unlikely.

Then we made shoji screens.  They were a little more complicated so I have no pictures of us in the act, but here is Isaac helpfully modeling his completed project.

Last stop was the junk boats.  These were much harder to make than everything else we attempted and the boys got bored waiting for us to finish all the grown-up steps (read: figure out what the directions meant and try to make our creations look more like boats and less like junk).

The color scheme of the festival is light pink and dark pink with accents of medium pink and the National Building Museum looked like someone dumped an enormous bottle of Pepto-Bismol over everything.  

But, I like pink so I thought everything was just perfect.

Man, we love this city! 


Alisha said...

I get so excited to see the blossoms every year. I think the trees around the tidal basin look like one low hanging cloud. Hip Hip Hooray for the cherry trees!

Jannet said...

I just stumbled upon your blog through How-to Tuesday, and am so glad! We are getting ready to move to the DC area in just a few weeks and I have been happily reading thru this series of yours. It is so nice to have something to look forward to doing with our 4 kids. It almost makes the thought of snow less painful, coming up from our 75* in Georgia. Anyway, thanks for the to-do list!

Becky said...

I love the cherry blossom magic. Can't wait to see it again.

You have such great DC info on your blog. We will definitely be referencing it when we head back there this year.

Megan said...

We went to DC for my 13th birthday and I was so disappointed to have missed the blossoms by about 2 weeks. I'd love to go back sometime to see them. I think I might cry at their beauty...

Anonymous said...

We were in D.C. last year at this time and LOVED the Cherry Blossom Festival. I took my daughter on one of the Cherry Blossom Boat tours (she was free, my ticket was $24), and it was a great experience. They also have daily "regular" boat rides that are like $14 each, starting at the Georgetown harbor. It is a fun trip to take at this time of the beautiful!

Anonymous said...

We were in D.C. this time last year and thought the Cherry Blossom Festival was so great! We enjoyed taking a boat ride on the Potomac with our 4 year old. Her ticket was free and ours were $14 or $24, depending on which service you chose. One left out of Georgetown harbor, the other was near the Basin. Now is a great time to do it b/c the trees line the banks of the river. Have fun in D.C.!


Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations