Spring in Washington has long been connected to two words: cherry blossoms. The trees, about 3,800 of which ring the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park in downtown Washington, were a gift from the Japanese government in 1912. The pink-and-white flowers aren’t in full bloom, but festivities kicked off over the weekend and continue through April 14. We have cherry-picked (ha!) a half-dozen free events we think you might enjoy. If you want to see the trees in all their glory, the National Park Service estimates peak bloom will be April 3-6. But like predicting the weather well in advance, the blossom forecast is tricky. For updates and details on other related events, a parent can go to nationalcherryblossom
Blossom Kite Festival
What: Fly a kite and watch demonstrations, competitions and battles among rokkaku, six-sided Japanese kites.
Where: Washington Monument grounds, 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, Northwest Washington.
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
What: Music on several stages, treats for pets, artwork and fireworks.
Where: The Wharf, 1100 Maine Avenue, Southwest Washington.
When: April 6, noon to 9:30 p.m.
Student art show
What: Cherry blossom artwork from D.C. students.
Where: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth Street, Northwest Washington.
When: Until April 12. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; April 6, noon to 4 p.m.; April 7, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; April 8, noon to 4 p.m.
Stone Lantern Lighting
What: The lantern, a gift from Japan in 1954, dates from 1651. It’s lighted once a year in an event that includes traditional Japanese music.
Where: Tidal Basin, Independence Avenue and 17th Street, Southwest Washington.
When: April 7, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
What: Floats, giant balloons, singers, dancers and marching bands will parade through the heart of Washington.
Where: Constitution Avenue, between Seventh and 17th streets, Northwest Washington.
When: April 13, 10 a.m. to noon.
What: Japanese-inspired music, dance and martial arts demonstrations along with Japanese food for sale.
Where: National Harbor, 165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland.
When: April 14, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Details: Visit nationalharbor.com/event/sakura-sunday.