Cherry blossoms are starting to bloom across the city, and though Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom tracker shows they’re coming up there as well, Sakura Matsuri, their yearly celebration of the vibrant pink buds, will look a bit different this year.
Sakura Matsuri was the Garden’s annual cherry blossom festival, celebrating Japanese culture with a rich program of events. It usually occurs toward the end of April, but was sadly canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 and hasn’t made a comeback since.
A Garden rep told us that though they are not holding Sakura Matsuri this year, they are instead showcasing a series of events in April and early May to celebrate cherry blossom season called Weekends in Bloom – as of course the trees will still be brightly blooming all April.
Over the four weekends of April 22–23 and 29–30 and May 6–7 and 13–14, there will be pop-up music and dance performances, cultural performances, workshops for kids and families in the Discovery Garden, Garden tours, and more.
Further information regarding specific events has not yet been announced, but last year visitors were able to enjoy a Flower Hat Dance Workshop & Parade, Energetic shamisen player The SAKURA performs traditional and contemporary anime songs, and performances by The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of N.Y.
Weekends in bloom is free with Garden admission.
In addition to Weekends in Bloom, the garden is also launching a new evening program this year called Hanami Nights.
During these events, guests can spend an evening under BBG’s exquisite flowering cherry tree collection celebrating hanami—the Japanese tradition of experiencing the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossom season with live music and dance and specialty food and drinks.
Hanami Nights will take place on Tuesday, April 25 and Tuesday, May 2 from 5p.m. – 8p.m. at the Cherry Esplanade, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and Atrium. It’s a ticketed event, and more information will be announced soon.
They also have extended hours during peak bloom season so you have plenty of time too see the pink paradise in all its glory:
April 1–May 15, 2023: Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Bloom
- Open early & late! Tuesday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–8:30p.m.
- Open early! Friday–Sunday: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Remember, you can also see the best time to visit via their “Cherry Blossom Tracker”!