Spring has arrived and in just a few short weeks this will mean cherry blossoms galore!
The first blooms are expected to be seen by late March or early April and a handful of festivals have been planned to coincide with the tree’s peak bloom in late April. That said, once the trees begin blooming you’ll be able to spot the beautifully pink and white cherry blossoms throughout the city. You can keep an eye on the sakura (the Japanese name for it) through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s “Cherry Watch” and the NYBG “Cherry Blossom Tracker.” Once you see the first signs of blooming you can head over to any of the places listed below to enjoy the spectacular cherry blossoms in person. But don’t take too long! The trees will only be in bloom for about a week.
1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
This year the annual Sakura Matsuri Festival will take place on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 with tickets. However, feel free to visit the garden the weeks leading up to the festival to admire the pink cherry trees at your leisure.
2. Central Park
You don’t have to pay to see the cherry blossoms in Central Park! As it begins to warm up head over to the park with a good book or a little picnic and make yourself comfortable under one of these vibrant trees.
3. Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the largest park in Queens, and a wonderful place to stroll through cherry trees in the springtime.
4. New York Botanical Garden
The NYBG has a cherry tracker that’s perfect for people who want to know the status of the blossoms before making the trek out. Once blossoming, a large amount of the trees can be found on the curving path in the Cherry Collection, but you’ll also find the in the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum and in front of of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
5. Green-Wood Cemetery
If there’s ever a reason to visit a cemetery on a whim, this is it. The historic Green-Wood Cemetery makes for an eerie backdrop to the gorgeous blossoming trees—a magical juxtaposition.
6. Queens Botanical Garden
At the 39-acre garden, cherry trees can be found lining the curved walkways.
7. Randall’s Island Park
Randall’s Island Park has an annual cherry blossom festival at the end of April that takes place on a Saturday with fun crafts and activities. While an exact date hasn’t been released for this year’s festival you should definitely stop by at any point in April.
8. Roosevelt Island
On Saturday, April 13 you can explore the cherry blossoms of Roosevelt Island! The festival will include a Japanese cultural fair, tea ceremony, music, dance, and martial arts performances.
Also published on Medium.