Meadowlark Botanical Gardens; NoVA's Hidden Treasure

I'm sure Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is one of the overlooked tourist attractions of the area. On a beautiful day, you'll find people downtown on the Mall, the National Zoo, Frying Pan Park or Great Falls park. But one of my favorite little hidden treasures is Meadowlark Botanical Gardens right off the Toll Road in Vienna. Surprised, huh? I love this off-the-beaten path place. It's quiet and serene--even with my kids there.

We made several visits during the spring, summer and fall last year. But took our second trip there on Tuesday. Once again, it was wonderful. If you haven't been at all or this year, here are a few reasons to check it out:

1. It's cheap. Kids under six are free and adults are only $5. My parents ended up buying us a season pass which will get all our guests in for free.

2. It's big. That's right, even with the gardens, there is enough space for kids to just run while parents enjoy the beauty. There are even trails back in the woods for some "hiking."

3. Kids area. They have moved the interactive tea party garden now, and it includes a sandbox and a few other "games" in the area. My kids really just loved the sandbox.

4. Fish food. When you pay admission to the garden, as for fish food. There is a nice collection of turtles and catfish in the large pond to feed.

5. Something's always in season. Our first trip there this spring found us at the end of the cherry blossoms (which were beautiful) and the fields of tulips. Our trip this week was filled with flowering trees and peonies.

This is a great place to take kids of any age. Babies will enjoy the walk or sitting on a blanket with a snack. You'll have to sneak in a snack and clean up after yourself. No food is allowed in the gardens, but no one has ever stopped us from our mini PB&Js up on the Adirondack chairs. Toddlers and preschoolers will love the opportunity to just run.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I love this place too! We haven't been in awhile and I didn't even know they had a kids area. We'll have to go sometime soon and check it out. It is so pretty there and so close! What a gem. ;-)