In all my years of living in DC, I must have driven by the National Arboretum hundreds of times without ever turning into its gates. If you’ve ever taken New York Avenue east to Annapolis or the Eastern shore or the beach, then you’ve driven by one of the most special places in our fair city perhaps without even realizing it!
The National Arboretum is 446 acres of plants, trees and gardens established in 1927 by an Act of Congress. Its mission is “To serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants to enhance the environment.”
Since the day our family first pulled into the New York Avenue, NE, entrance a few years ago, we’ve visited dozens and dozens of times. We still discover new paths, nooks and views on every visit!
The winding loops of the Arboretum’s roads make up my husband’s favorite jogging spot. Our six-year-old loves feeding the always-clamoring koi, and our two-year-old just loves being able to run as far as he wants on the paths and in the open spaces! The history-lover in me adores the Capital Columns.
Being at the Arboretum feels like you are in on a big secret. We’ve never encountered a crowd there. In fact, often we feel like we’re the only ones on the entire 446 acres!
Are you looking for a fun, new and nearby adventure over Spring Break? Visit the National Arboretum. I guarantee that once you discover its wonders, you’ll be back, probably dozens and dozens of times! Maybe I’ll see you there!
The National Arboretum is open every day of the year except December 25, from 8am until 5pm. Admission is free.
You can read more about Aimee’s crazy life with her crazy boys at Smiling Mama and about family-friendly activities for getting out and about in Prince George’s County, MD, at Out by Ten.
Photos by Abel Olivo.