Cherry Blossoms in the Capital


Washington Monument, April



If you decide to go see the cherry blossoms in DC next April you’ll want to take your children.  If you take your children you’ll need to pack lunch, extra outfits, a gallon of water, sunscreen, hats, spare hats, more hats, entertainment such as bubbles (trees don’t really do it for toddlers and babies), your good camera, a stroller, possibly a wearable baby carrier, and a hip flask.  If you take a hip flask you won’t get off at the right Metro stop so skip that last one.


Jefferson Memorial

If you join the hoards of blossom-happy individuals swarming Tidewater Basin it will occur to you that sitting on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial (visible across the water) might have been the best way to go.  You will really think so when your double stroller prevents you from crossing streets anywhere that does not have cement cut-outs in the sidewalk.  Still, the stroller will save you from having to physically carry both children so it will be worth the trouble.

If you walk down the mall during your visit your children will see the carousel.  It will call to them from the moment it appears on the horizon visible only as a small green blob.  You will not be able to cover it up and your attempts at distraction will only embarrass yourself.  Therefore, embrace the carousel.  Take the time to ride it with your kids.  If you’re first in line you may get to sit on the coveted sea horse.  Incidentally, this was the fastest carousel I’ve ever been on.


DC carousel.

If your cherry blossom experience leads you through the sculpture garden near the National Archives your children will want to splash in the large fountain.  This seems to be allowed although wading is not.  On the day we went it was pushing 80 degrees and after the long winter everyone was soaking their feet.  If you let your small children soak their feet it will only be a matter of seconds before they are entirely soaked.  This will make them extremely happy.  It will make you extremely happy to watch them.


DC fountain in the Sculpture Garden.

You will make your way back to the Metro station feeling like travel with young children is not only possible, it is enjoyable.


When it was all over.

If you find your way home again you will eventually have to start your work week. On Monday people will ask you if the blossoms were beautiful.  You will honestly reply that you can’t quite recall.  They may have been lovely.  They may have been past peak.  They may not have even been there at all.

You can’t be sure because you weren’t really looking at the trees.  Your eyes were on something else.  Someone else.   Two someones that called to you from the time they were just small blobs on the horizon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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