Doesn’t it seem like summer is here already?  I’m NOT complaining- it sure beats snow.  A beautiful week is forecasted- highs in the 80s and sunny until Friday.  Great time to get out to area parks and gardens.  Here are some ideas for your week.

Monday, April 5

US National Arboretum, Washington, DC- The US National Arboretum is one of DC’s best kept secrets.  This time of year is especially fun, as you can avoid the tidal basin crowds and see over 200 varieties of flowering cherry trees.  Various species will reach peak bloom through mid-April, so now is a great time to visit!  With over 440 acres of gardens and collections, you can spend all day here.  Start out by feeding the koi (buy food for 25 cents).  There are wide open spaces to run and play, and the bonsai garden is amazing.  Bring a picnic and blanket, and eat on the east terrace at the National Grove of State Trees.  Then take a tram ride- it is a 35-minute taped tour that highlights the Arboretum.  It fits 48 passengers, and is open air  with a storage bay for strollers.  The grounds are open every day of the year from 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. http://www.usna.usda.gov/

Tuesday, April 6

River Farm- Children’s GardensRiver Farm, Alexandria, VA-  What used to be one of George Washington’s farms, is now the home to the American Horticultural Society and a great place to take kids. There are beautiful flowers, hands-on children’s gardens, and amazing views of the Potomac.  Kids of all ages (babies to school-aged) will love playing in one of the 13 gardens designed for children, such as Fairy Tale Garden, Hummingbird Garden, The Maze Garden, and Hide-n-Seek Garden.  There are also educational programs for groups, individuals, and families.  Open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday.  http://www.ahs.org/river_farm/

Wednesday, April 7

Aladdin’s Lamp Children’s Books & Lacey Woods Park, Arlington, VA- Come to storytime at Aladdin’s, April Showers Bring Spring Flowers, for ages 2 1/2 – 6. Starts at 11am. Join storyteller and guitarist Miss Mollie, who will read books like will read books about Spring.  Afterwrds visit one of our favorite parks,Lacey Woods Park.  See this post for a review of the park.

Thursday, April 8

Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC- Go to the Nature Center for the Woodland Trail Hike. Take a half-mile hike along Woodland Trail with a park ranger.  Designed for ages 3 and up.  http://www.nps.gov/rocr/planyourvisit/ranger-led-programs.htm

Friday, April 9

Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA- Come to Hidden Oaks Nature Center for the Let’s Look for Spring Flowers event.  Explore wild flowers, take a walk, listen to a story, and sing songs.  Cost is $5 per child, and is for 2-3-year-olds.  For reservations, call 703-941-1065.  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/hiddenoaks/public.htm

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