I grew up near Washington, D.C. and a big draw to the District in the springtime was the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Since I wasn’t able to make it there this year, I visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see its acclaimed cherry blossom display instead. Though only a few trees were in bloom this past weekend, the gardens were still beautiful. The Cherry Esplanade, a large field full of trees has yet to bloom, but those surrounding the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden were full of gorgeous pink and white blossoms. Over the next few weeks, you can check for peak bloom time on the Garden’s CherryWatch blossom-tracking map and plan your visit accordingly. Brooklyn Botanic Garden will also host one of its most popular events, the Sakura Matsuri festival on April 27th and 28th. The festival includes music and dance performance, art exhibits and workshops for kids and adults to learn how to draw manga—Japanese comics—and fold origami. Then for a full day of art and flora, visit the nearby Brooklyn Museum, too. For more information, check out bbg.org.