3/4/21 Update from National Arboretum website: “Effective immediately, the outside grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) will be open daily to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum and Administration Building will continue to be closed to the public.”
Every season is a good season to explore the National Arboretum in Washington, DC – though springtime does kinda rule! Everything’s in bloom! Colors as far as the eye can see with bees happily buzzing and temps perfect for strolling through the beautiful park. At only 15 or so minutes from the Route 1 corridor, it’s a great destination when you just want to go and enjoy the great outdoors. Check out below for suggestions when visiting the National Arboretum with kids!
Visiting the National Arboretum with Kids
At 446 acres, the National Arboretum is huge and full of enough gardens and collections to make any/everyone happy. My three-year-old loves to explore the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum to see the “tiny trees,” as she fittingly calls them.
I took this as an opp to chat with my lady about Japan (basically that it’s another country, starts with the letter “J” so not exactly rocket science but just trying to think of ways to broaden horizons).
We next checked out the Herb Garden. Which is HUGE! Over 800 herbs from around the world growing in 10 theme gardens. I appreciated this organization as it was so cool to, for instance, take a look at the “Beverage Garden” and then see (and recognize) the various plants used for making teas, liquors, beer, etc.
Due to my companion’s legs only being in year three and our trip inching towards nap time, this was the closest I got to the National Capitol Columns. Sigh. Next time, I’m bringing a stroller.
If you’re searching for a low-key, local, free & beautifully curated place to explore the outdoors, then put a trip to the National Arboretum on your list!
Travel Tips for Visiting the Arboretum with Kids
- If you have stroller-aged children, do yourself a solid and bring the stroller. When s/he tires, you’ll then have the option of continuing to explore these glorious grounds while your young’n rests;
- Try to park by R Street entrance. It’s closest to the bathrooms AND the gift shop (which has a ton of snacks, in the event you run out/forget); &
- Pack a picnic and eat it in one of the designated areas.
Information about the National Arboretum
The US National Arboretum is located at 3501 New York Avenue NE, Washington DC 20002 (for GPS and online directions, site suggests using 2400 R Street NE address).
Have you been to the Arboretum? Where’s your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors in/around Route One? Share in comments below!