When is the Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden?

Visit the 2018 Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

People walk under cherry blossom trees at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on May 5, 2013 in New York City. The botanical garden, which sits on 52-acres, features numerous gardens and a conservatory. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is famous for their cherry blossoms, which typically bloom at the end of April and are a centerpiece of the Garden's annual cherry blossom festival which attracts thousands of visitors.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom Festival?

During April and May, visitors to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will first see the blooming of the spectacular weeping cherry trees and,subsequently, the extravagant display of double pink blossoms on the Cherry Tree Esplanade. The Botanic Garden also hosts a weekend long celebration for the Japanese cherry blossom. This year the annual celebration takes place on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th.

What is the Sakura Matsuri? 

The entire month of April at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is dedicated to Hanami, a month-long Japanese celebration of the cherry blossom. The culmination of this month is the weekend-long cherry blossom festival, known in Japanese as "Sakura Matsuri."

Sakura Matsuri 2018, is the 37th annual festival at the garden. Enjoy a weekend long celebration that includes taiko drumming, comedy, a flower hat procession, kid friendly activities, and many other events.  The annual two day celebration of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, Sakura Matsuri  features over 60 performances, demonstrations, and exhibits. It will be held April 28 and 29th, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you can't make the festival and want to find another 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 it's weekend long festival. 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 to the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Central Library, Prospect Park, and Park Slope at 900 Washington Avenue. ​

Can you see cherry blossoms in other parts of Brooklyn? 

Yes, you can. If you aren't a fan of crowds, here are some other alternatives. Although locals know about these spots, they aren't as crowded as the famed Botanic Garden. 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 & 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 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 (a tip-its free on Tuesdays), 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're going to want to Instagram these #cherryblossom pics.

Enjoy the season and the beauty of Brooklyn in bloom. 


Edited by Alison Lowenstein