Cherry blossom season is officially in bloom. Here are five ways to celebrate! By Carly Petrone.
Sakura Old Fashioned
Stop into KOA for a cocktail inspired by Japan’s spring cherry blossom season. Sip on the gorgeous Sakura Old Fashioned ($13) made with bourbon, yuzu juice, Sakura-infused cherries, yuzu bitters and garnished with a blood orange slice. The mixture of sweet fruit and rich bitters will leave you wanting another round. Savor this delicious cocktail while noshing on house favorites like the classic Chashu ramen, pork gyoza, or Yuzu crispy shrimp. Sounds like a perfect pairing for this time of year.
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival
Head over to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and celebrate cherry blossom season! Catch the burgeoning blossoms at their best during a free garden-wide guided tour, or stop by the kids’ discovery stations and let your little ones get their hands dirty. Take a stroll along the Cherry Walk and enjoy the beautiful view of the pink-flowering Prunus Kanzan trees or stop by the Plant Family Collection to see the several varieties of flowering cherries. Mark your calendar for the last weekend in April for the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival, where you can take part in a traditional Sohenryu tea ceremony, dress in Japanese costumes, and try out Taiko drumming. Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for students and children.
Although the New York Botanical Garden doesn’t technically have a cherry blossom festival, you can still walk around the grounds and enjoy their blooming buds. They have more than 200 cherry trees planted, making it the perfect Instagram spot. If you’re in the mood to see an extravagant exhibit, definitely check out the annual Orchid Show (running through April 17th.) Tickets are $20 for a weekday All-Garden pass, $25 on weekends. See website for more details.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Looking for a way to celebrate cherry blossom season without shelling out some dough? On May 2, attend the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Randall’s Island Park! Check out all of the blossoms while enjoying Japanese-inspired live music, performances, games, exhibitions, face painting, and more. You can also take a closer look at the FLOW grand opening — five new site-specific installations by artists, in partnership with the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace program (AIM). Event goes from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is free.
Nugget Blossom Bash
Foodies can also celebrate this annual spring floral event at The Nugget Spot. Stop in on April 26th from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. and nosh on Japanese-inspired nuggets at the Nugget Blossom Bash. The star of the show will be the Chicken Karaage with Shiso Fumi Furikake (Japanese seasoning.) This juicy piece of chicken will be served with edamame aioli. If you’re thirsty, TYKU Sake will be holding a tasting to help you wash your meal down. You’ll definitely want to get a ticket to this cherry blossom-inspired culinary event. Call The Nugget Spot for ticket information.