Our family likes to attend local festivals, and every summer presents us with a myriad of choices. While I do like to expose my child to new experiences, I think consistency is also good. We have gone to the Cherry Blossom Festival since before he was born, and he seems to enjoy his experiences there. It is held at Sakura Square, which houses Japanese businesses, like the grocery store I frequent. The experience has changed a bit since we had a child, and it’s wonderful to see our little one discover new things and revisit familiar ones.
Today, when we arrived, we were greeted by the sound of taiko drumming. We pursued some of the shop stalls and slowly made our way to the stage. Yesterday morning there were musical performances and dances. Our child must have liked the dancers best this year, because he wouldn’t stop talking about “the girls with the fans” and how pretty their dances were. In past years, he has been most fond of the taiko drummers.
They had a kid’s craft area with three stations, something we did not notice in previous years. On a hotter day, I’m sure it would be a welcome respite from the sun. There were three stations, one for making a cherry blossom card, one for making a paper representation of a kokeshi doll, and a coloring station. Our little one chose to do the cherry blossom and kokeshi doll crafts. The volunteers were very sweet and helpful, and he was excited to use a stapler for the first time.
Afterward, we went into the Denver Buddhist Temple building for snacks. We had a talk about how we behave in church before we went in, because I think it is always important to respect other people’s space. Inside, they had sushi and teriyaki meals, green tea, and a few sweets to choose from. He was thrilled when he was allowed to choose his own treat and selected a plate of pretty, pink mochi.
Inside the temple they also had ikebana and bonsai displays as well as talks on Buddhism . I think any or all of these could be useful teaching opportunities for older children. While our child is much more interested in the new sounds, sights, and flavors, there is definitely more of interest for older children and adults.
The Denver Cherry Blossom Festival is a good choice for young children. It is small enough to navigate easily, and there are interesting performances, fun snacks to try, and crafts for little ones.