Synopses & Reviews
Top Ten Sights to Enjoy Nature In and Around Washington DC
By Renee Sklarew
Summer is an important time to get kids outside, says Michael Oberschneider, a well known Washington DC Area psychologist who specializes in studying effects of screen time on kids. Here are some parks in our region that will engage your kids and teach them to appreciate nature (in alphabetical order):
Antietam National Battlefield, Md (301) 432-5124 This is the site of the a critical Civil War battle, but itand#8217;s also a beautiful park, ideal for rafting, biking and hiking. Consider joining a float trip down the gentle rapids in Antietam Creek.
Brookside Regional Park, Silver Spring, MD (301) 962-1400 Acres of gardens, trees, water elements and wildlife in this gorgeous park will inspire every kid to love nature. Enjoy the conservatory with regular exhibits, including the butterflies and the holiday light festival.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, D.C., Md., Va. (301) 299-4200 860 Miles of trails traverse rural and urban areas; with interesting historical landmarks (like the Lockhouses), abundant wildlife and challenging trails and#150; like the Billy Goat Trail in Potomac, Maryland?. ?
Claude Moore Farm, Va. (703) 442-7557 This historical park is a magical place to observe farm animals and learn about Colonial-era farming from living history docents.
Glen Echo Park, Md. (301) 492-6266 Visit this historic amusement park turned artist colony. Partake in some contra dancing, hear live folk music or ride the carousel. Catch a performance at Discovery Theater. Check glenechopark.org for information and a calendar of events.
Great Falls Park, Great Falls Tavern, Md. (301) 299-3613 ?Great Falls Park, VA (703) 285-2966 ?These two parks on either side of the Potomac River have breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls, with ever-changing scenes of nature including sightings of eagles, osprey and other birds of prey.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Wv. (304) 535-6223 Visit the John Brown Museum to remind kids how far our nation has moved since the bloody days of slavery and civil war. Walking the trails through the historic town allows stunning views of the Potomac River.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, DC. (202) 426-6905 Undoubtedly, the most beautiful water park in the region with blooming river and pond plants, and July is the best month to see them in full bloom. Long elevated boardwalks meander above the Anacostia Riverand#151;a perfect place for a picnic. Itand#8217;s very popular with photography enthusiasts.
Rock Creek Park, D.C. (202) 895-6000 Part of the US Park Service, this huge oasis in the city has miles of roving biking and hiking trails traveling the length of an urban paradise. Itand#8217;s a shady, peaceful place for biking, hiking or taking the baby stroller out for a spin. The park is adjacent to the National Zoo.
The US Arboretum and#150; (202) 245-2726 Hundreds of acres of parks, plants, trees, paths and lots of privacy in this little used treasure off New York Avenue. Weekends offer outdoor trolley rides. Enjoy the world renowned bonsai museum, the herb garden and watch the antics of the fattest coy fish in town.?
Compiled and written by a team of experienced researchers whose work has been cited by such diverse sources as USA Today and Operations Research Forum, The Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C. digs deeper and offers more than any other guide. The Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C.
is the insider's guide to Washington at its best with more than 75 restaurants reviewed and hotels reviewed and ranked for value and quality-plus secrets for getting the lowest rates.
With advice that is direct, prescriptive, and detailed, it takes the guesswork out of travel by unambiguously rating and ranking everything from hotels, restaurants, and attractions to rental car companies. With an Unofficial Guide, you know whatand#8217;s available in every category, from the best to the worst and step-by-step detailed plans allow the reader to make the most of their time in Washington, D.C.
About the Author
Barbara J. Saffir
is the author of Walking Washington D.C.
and has been exploring DCand#8217;s urban treasures and its softer side for the Washington Post
, other publications, and herself for three decades. As a former reporter, political researcher, architecture critic, and nature photographer, she has always adored sharing adventures and discoveries that make people say, and#147;Wow!and#8221; She lives in Fairfax, VA.
Len Testa is the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. Len lives in Greensboro, NC.
Eve Zibart is the author of several books in the Unofficial Guides series. A contributor to Washingtonian and other magazines, she lives in Washington, D.C.