Places to Go - Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (Washington DC)


Kenilworth may be DC's best kept secret. We visited in the morning on a not-too-hot day and beautiful water flowers dominated the landscape. Millions of them. It's sort of incredible (though we needed bug spray). Despite Kenilworth's remarkableness very few people ever go here - possibly because the garden's location resides somewhat off the beaten path in NE DC.

After we finished strolling through the water gardens, a boardwalk took us into wetlands where we searched for frogs, ducks, turtles, and heron. Also on site, a small nature center contains information about the history of the gardens, a lilypad kids' table, and a 3D wall (unfortunately, no books or toys were out when we visited).

As amazing as this place is, my kids never seem to love it like I do. They'll meander for awhile, but the flowers bore them pretty quickly. Their apathy confuses me - they LOVE Huntley Meadows (and can spend hours there), but something about Kenilworth doesn't appeal to them. Maybe because the flowers tower over them? Has anyone else tried visiting with kids? How did your kids react?

During the summer the gardens are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Click here for additional information.

Further, this Saturday (July 21st), a water flower festival is taking place from 11 am to 6 pm. According to the park's website, "Come for exhibits, arts, family activities and special tours that have an Asian/African theme this year. All celebrate water flowers. Call the park for more information on photo contest, activities at (202) 426-6905."


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