Contributed by Piedmont Family Magazine reader, Kara Illemszky
Kara Illemszky, mom of 10-year-old Alex and 5-year-old Kate, enjoys visiting the U.S. Botanic Gardens (USBG). “The flowers and plants are breathtakingly beautiful, and there is an awesome free Junior Botanist program for kids,” raves Illemszky.
“Ask for the junior botanist packpack at the front desk,” she advises. “It contains cool tools such as magnifying glass and light, guides to the plants, and puzzles for the kids to solve.”
Parents – you’ll be asked to provide an official ID (such as a drivers license) to check out one these backpacks to use during your explorations. Follow up your visit to the USBG with an at-home activity and then apply to become not just an apprentice, but an official USBG Junior Botanist. They have lots of great information and games for kids on their website as well: http://www.usbg.gov/forkids.cfm.
Entrance to the USBG, as well as the junior botanist program, is free.
If you’re still feeling adventurous and energetic after strolling through the gardens, the Smithsonian Museums — including another family favorite, the Air & Space Museum — are just a few short blocks away.
U.S. Botanic Gardens
245 First Street, S.W.
Washington, DC, 20024