Temperatures are dropping and soon leaves will be changing, but these gardens are still blooming and boasting vivid colors. They are great for kids and offer a change of scenery with an unbeatable admission; all are free!MoreLess
Many say the Arboretum is under utilized, but you’re in the know thanks to us and we say, don’t miss one of the most beautiful gardens in our area. Located two miles northeast of the Capitol building, with entrances on New York Avenue and R Street, DC’s Arboretum is home to more than 400 acres of woods, trails, ponds and display gardens, plus the captivating National Bonsai Museum.
Nestled in the Brookland neighborhood not far from The Catholic University of America, the Franciscan Monastery replicates the shrines and buildings found in Jerusalem. The stunning gardens and grounds are open daily to the public. Guided tours and access to the church and catacombs is currently suspended due to COVID-19. If you and your littles would like to tour the lower and upper gardens without making your way to the Monastery, there is also an online virtual tour.
Right next to the Yates Field House you’ll find the Heyden Memorial Garden, a hidden gem on Georgetown University grounds that's considered a best-kept secret by many locals. Finding the garden is half the fun! It’s located on the east and north sides of the Heyden Observatory. You’ll find small pods and water features, an arch to run under and views of the Potomac River. The peaceful silence is occasionally interrupted by overhead airplanes.
Kenilworth is said to be the place where water, wind and land dance, and we say that’s pretty accurate. It is the only national park devoted to cultivated water-loving plants. Kids love exploring the park’s marshes and discovering exotic water lilies and lotus. This is a great place to take your little ones on a nature-loving hike, especially if you have a budding bird-watcher on your hands. The park is rich and varied in natural and cultural history.
Tudor Place features more than five acres of open green lawns, ornamental garden rooms dotted by fountains, and paths full of hidden nooks and crannies. If that doesn’t sound like a kid heaven we don’t know what does. Every season of the year features plenty of texture, color and shape, whether it’s snow-covered evergreens, fall foliage, bright red roses, or an explosion of summer blooms.
While this spot is not currently open to the public due to COVID-19, you can hop online and discover some of the most unique blooms in the world, including rare beauties such as the African Tulip Tree, the Scarlet Rosemallow and the Jungle Lollipop via their Virtual Tour. Once this DC treasure re-opens, be sure to make visit to the outdoor Children’s Garden, where the kiddos can use gardening tools and watering cans for a true hands-on experience.
Perched on the highest hill in DC’s posh Georgetown neighborhood, this breathtaking garden is listed on National Geographic’s top 10 as the sixth most beautiful garden in the world. Sadly, both the house and gardens are currently closed due to COVID-19. You will need to wait until they reopen to visit Dumbarton’s 10 acres of lush, sculpted greenery. But while you wait, you can check out the museums exhibits online as well as view photographs and drawings of the gardens.