Spring is in the air, and that means it's cherry blossom time. These beautiful flowers typically start blooming in late March through early June in the New York region. In addition to the opportunities to see cherry blossoms in New York City—including the famous Sakura Matsuri annual cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden—there are some great spots north of the city.
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Children beaming in their traditional Japanese kimonos. Photo by Gideon C. Cordice/White Plains Cherry Blossom Festival.
Cherry Blossom Festival - White Plains
Sunday, May 7, 2017
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival includes a wide variety of Japanese activities, entertainment, food and music, including drumming and sword demonstrations, dance performances and children's activities. In addition to amusement rides, there will be origami and calligraphy workshops, face painting and a puppet shop. The festival, which is free for all ages, takes place at Turnure Park beneath a whopping 100 cherry trees. In the event of rain, it will be held in the Ebersole Ice Rink at 110 Lake Street in White Plains.
Cherry blossoms in full bloom. Photo courtesy of Harbor Island Park.
Harbor Island Park - Mamaroneck
Located at Mamaroneck Avenue and Boston Post Road, the 44-acre Harbor Island Park is home to hundreds of Kwanzan Double Flower Pink cherry trees. With views of the Long Island Sound, playgrounds, a spray park and sandy beach, ball fields and picnic tables, Harbor Island is wonderfully suited for a day trip. Parking passes are available for purchase for non-Mamaroneck residents. The cost is $7 per day during the weekday and $10 per day on the weekend.
Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden - North Salem
Opens April 22, 2017
The Stroll Garden, meant to stimulate all five of our senses, has several types of trees that produce cherry blossoms at different times throughout the season. The accompanying museum, meanwhile, is exhibiting work from several artists this spring, including "Sit or Not Sit" chair sculptures by Carl Rattner. Admission to the Museum and Garden for non-members is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors. Members and all children under 12 are free. Make your reservations for Mother's Day brunch!
Boscobel House and Gardens - Garrison
Boscobel features weeping cherry trees that are expected to begin blossoming this weekend—if all goes well with the weather, of course—and we're told they typically last about two weeks. Admission prices vary by type of admission purchased, but range from $11 - $17 for adults or $5 - $8 for children 6 - 14. Children under 6 are free. Family packages are also available.
Learn how to put on a kimono. Photo by Gideon C. Cordice/White Plains Cherry Blossom Festival.
Orange County Arboretum - Montgomery
While these grounds include a few cherry trees and other flowering trees, the real star of the show is the very large tulip display that usually blooms between mid-April through mid-May, depending on the weather. The 53 acres of gardens, trees, and walkways are located in Thomas Bull Memorial Park (use the Grove Street entrance) and are open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk year round. While you're at Thomas Bull, check out the spectacularly awesome Sally's Dream playground.
Top photo courtesy of Boscobel House and Gardens.