Harlan spent the weekend with his parents and grandparents visiting places all kids (and adults!) should see. We started with the United States Botanical Garden on Saturday and ended with the National Zoological Park on Sunday. Here is a bit about our journey exploring these places.
The United States Botanical Garden, located at the east side of the National Mall near the American Indian Museum, is a large collection of plants from around the world conveniently brought together in this one location. Harlan enjoyed looking at the plants in the jungle area but really enjoyed the kids’ garden that was in an open area within the confines of the building. Along with a little house kids could play in was a hand pump well and watering cans that could be filled from the well and used to water the plants. Harlan enjoyed watering the tulips that surrounded the walkways.
There was also a bamboo forest that he ran through a couple of times and a tunnel of vines that was quite entertaining. Neither of these were as much fun as spreading water around, though.
We didn’t spend too much time exploring as we didn’t get into the city until later in the afternoon due to Harlan’s morning swim lesson.
We spent Sunday at the National Zoological Park which is located in the northern part of D.C. Exploring this park will definitely take a few more visits as there are many animals that I’m sure Harlan would like to visit again.
We started with the sitatunga which live on the Central African continent. They were quite lively and Harlan enjoyed watching them walk around and climb atop a termite mound. We later saw elephants and pandas and other animals. He was almost asleep when we got to the turtles. These could not be missed and Harlan woke right up to watch the turtles not only nap on a nearby log but swim right next to where we were standing! Most turtles that Harlan gets to see are way too skiddish to view this closely. If Harlan was a bit older I believe he would have made notes and taking pictures.
After the turtles was a special treat: a ride on the Conservation Carousel which is solar-powered and exhibits over fifty endangered species that are being actively studied at the zoo. This was Harlan’s first time on a carousel but he did a great job selecting which animal he would like to ride, a California seal, and then holding on with both hands and enjoying the trip. I suspect this the first of many carousel rides.
After the carousel ride we made a quick trip to see the tigers and lions and then made the mile long walk back to the Metro station to take the train back to our hotel in Silver Spring.
The weather, this weekend, was great for being outdoors and Harlan dutifully spent as much time out in the sunshine playing, exploring, and generally having fun. There will be more adventures in the coming weeks and months.