There are many hidden gems in the DC-metro area, but I don’t think any is more hidden and more of a gem than the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Located in northeast, DC, south of Route 50, the Baltimore-Washington Park and Kenilworth Avenue intersection, you may feel certain that you’ve made a wrong turn as you approach the gardens. But most likely, you have not, it just truly is a hidden gem tucked away in a neighborhood you otherwise might not ever visit.

Years ago, my husband and I passed the sign for the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens dozens and dozens of times, wondering what in the world they could be. Finally he convinced me to detour off the highway to check it out and we were amazed at what we encountered…acres and acres of ponds, wooden bridges and marshes, covered with lily pads and lotus plants and filled to the brim with flora and fauna–what a find! In fact, the Aquatic Gardens inspired my very first post on Out by Ten (which has now turned into my Family Friendly Prince George’s Facebook page!).

If you’ve never been, I implore you to check it out. And if you’ve got some free time this Saturday, you should definitely plan to attend the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival. It’s free and promises to be a wonderful introduction to this spectacular hidden gem.

Aimee is the busy mama of two boys and blogs (not-often-enough!) at Smiling Mama. She tries to spread her love of Prince George’s County, MD, at Family Friendly Prince George’s on Facebook.