On Monday, I took my five year old and my three year old to the United States Botanic Garden. We spent about two hours there and then headed out for a picnic lunch, after which we offered to take them down to Air and Space. Airplanes! Rockets! Spaceships! But the kids begged to return to the botanic garden, so that's what we did.
Those are my kids so excited to be at the botanic gardens that they are dancing together without throwing a single punch. Also, that spire growing out of the top of my daughter's head is the U.S. Capitol dome. Bonus D.C. destination!
My inner child couldn't help cringing at the idea of parents dragging their poor children to something as terminally boring as a botanic garden, but once I gave it some thought it is actually pretty perfect. Most of the exhibits are outside or meant to appear to be outside, which means that the kids can get away with Acceptable Public Behavior rather than Enforced Best Behavior. There is no shushing and only occasional reminders to please just try to run a little slower. It is basically a park with educational opportunities and even some added value for the parents. Provided, that is, that you have reached the point in your life where a trip to the gardens is more appealing than horrifying and have gotten over being appalled by the discovery that you have turned into your parents.
(Photo credit: my husband)