Beautiful Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical
Yesterday was the last day of the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and my boyfriend and I had been looking forward to it for months! The Brooklyn Botanical Garden hosts many events through out the year. We originally wanted to make it to the Orchid Show that they were hosting, but when that did not work out, we were overjoyed at the idea of a cherry blossom festival (http://www.bbg.org/discover/cherries/)!
This was the 30th anniversary of the Sakura Matsuri Festival, a weekend long celebration of all of the Cherry Blossom Trees in the Garden, when the most blossoms are in full bloom.The Brooklyn Botanical website even has a count of how many cherry blossom trees are in bloom! It ended up being a really amazing day!
We were not positive of where exactly we were going when we got off the subway at the Brooklyn Museum, but right when you get off you can just follow the crowd! It was extremely crowded! There were throngs of people everywhere, and the traffic jam made us really thankful that we didn’t drive into Brooklyn! Another thankfully great choice we made was to purchase our tickets ahead of time online, because the line for tickets wrapped all the way around the block. By having our tickets already printed, we were able to cut through the entire line and go right in! It was definitely a huge time-saver, and I would highly recommend it to anyone planning on attending the festival one day.
As a whole, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was pretty, but unless I was returning for a festival, I probably wouldn’t go there just to visit. Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania is the absolute best, most beautiful botanical garden I have ever seen, and few gardens I have seen since then have even come close. The Brooklyn Botanical is pretty but it is a lot of wide open space and grassy knolls. I am sure it is nice for New Yorkers who may feel deprived of greenery in their everyday life, but if you are living in New Jersey, I would recommend you drive the extra hour to PA for Longwood Gardens, it will knock your socks off! However, for the Sakura Matsuri Festival, the blossoms are an absolute must-see!
The Cherry Blossoms are breath taking!!! You cannot see the cherry trees when you walk in immediately, but once you walk around a huge Japanese-looking pond, you cannot miss the droves of people walking and a sea of pink behind them. The trees are stunning and fragrant, and there are SO many! There are two long rows of cherry blossoms, and a huge white tent in the center for the festival where they were hosting beautiful performances. Inside the tent was also food for sale, all Japanese, of course! There were bento boxes, sushi, cherry blossom-flavored Kombucha on tap, and sake!! It was awesome! There wasn’t really any seating in that area, so everyone was just sitting in the grass eating their food like it was a picnic, it was so cute!
There was also a Cherry Blossom walking-path adjacent to the tented area, where you could walk through a very narrow path lined with Cherry Blossoms, and it was so stunning. Every time the wind blew (which was often), the pink petals would fly everywhere, it was absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen so many cherry blossoms in my life!
There were several other events happening at the festival other than the blossoms too! There was a huge Bonsai exhibit that was really fun to look at, crazy cosplay costumes everywhere with performances, and different tea-based exhibits. There was a tea tasting that we unfortunately missed when we got lost trying to find it, but we did stumble on a really fun exhibit while we were looking! The exhibit was an art show, and the walls were lined with hundreds of personal stories about tea. The papers that the stories were written on were soaked in tea, and the artist has been collecting them since 2007. Everyone was welcome to write their own stories or anecdotes about tea, and while it seems kind of weird, they were actually really fun to read! My boyfriend and I participated, and took tons of pictures at this awesome exhibit!
Regardless of whether you find botanical gardens or flower exhibits interesting, the Sakura Matsuri Festival is an absolute must-see for anyone because of the Cherry Blossoms. If you are even the least bit interested in photography, it is the most beautiful place to take photos. Even if you’re not, sitting in the grass while big pink petals are blowing in the wind all around you if pretty magical too! It was definitely my idea of the perfect Sunday!