You'll never know what weather you'll get during a Brooklyn spring. Natives have sandals and snow boots on the ready for the eclectic weather in March and April. Yet every spring, despite the mix of frigid and warm temperature, like clockwork, the cherry blossoms welcome New Yorkers out of a cold winter and are signs that another spring has arrived. Cherry blossoms are the most colorful and breathtaking sight, but sadly, like many aspects of nature, their beauty is short-lived. If you have a trip planned to New York City in the spring and are looking for blossoming cherry trees, here are the best spots to find them in Brooklyn.
Visitors can enjoy watching flowering cherry trees in Brooklyn's parks and neighborhoods, but especially at the famous Brooklyn Botanic Garden. But when exactly is cherry blossom season, and when do the cherry trees actually flower?
Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry blossom season in Brooklyn runs from mid-March to late April. In fact, different varieties of cherry trees blossom at different times in the spring. Weeping cherry trees bloom before the double-blossom cherry trees. So, you can enjoy cherry blossom season over a period of weeks, and see different trees bloom in the course of the month.
As many local residents know, cherry blossom season is marked in Brooklyn by a beautiful display of different varieties of cherry trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In fact, if you want to find the ideal time to see the cherry trees blossom, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website has a Cherrywatch, highlighting the various trees at the garden and when they are in bloom. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is famous for its celebration of the arrival of cherry blossom season with:
- A month-long celebration of the arrival of cherry blossoms in April, which in Japanese is called Hanami
- A popular weekend-long Cherry Blossom Festival, which in Japanese is called Sakura Matsuri. The festival is quite popular and has over sixty events including performances "that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture."
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is in Prospect Heights, near the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Central Library, Prospect Park, and Park Slope at 900 Washington Avenue.
Cherry Blossoms in Other Parts of Brooklyn
If you aren't a fan of crowds, here are some other alternatives. Spend a spring afternoon at Green-Wood Cemetery in Greenwood Heights. Stroll around the serene historic cemetery in late March and you'll spot cherry trees blossoming.
According to the New York City Parks Department, you can see cherry trees blossom at Borough Hall near Joralemon Street, Lenox Street, and Cadman Plaza West. This area is located in and around scenic Brooklyn Heights. After you've spotted your sprouting trees, treat yourself to a walk around quaint Brooklyn Heights. This historic section of Brooklyn still has a few cobblestone streets and is also home to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, with its stunning views of lower Manhattan.
If you don't want to shell out the cash for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (local tip: it's free on Fridays before noon), head to neighboring Prospect Park, where you can see cherry trees blossom in April. If the weather permits, pack a lunch and start your picnic season on the lawn in this beloved Brooklyn park.
Cherry blossom fans who happen to be runners should pack their running shoes and partake in the Prospect Park Track Club's Cherry Tree 10-Miler. Although the race does take place in February, slightly before Cherry Blossom season officially begins, it's a Brooklyn running tradition.
If you're in Brooklyn during the spring, be sure to carve out time to stop and see the cherry trees blossom. Don't forget your camera, because you'll want to Instagram these #cherryblossom pics. Can't get to Brooklyn (or elsewhere)? Plenty of cities have cherry blossom webcams so you can watch the beauty from the comfort of your couch.