Freed slaves first settled this area, once known as Uniontown, just after the Civil War. Today, this 1200-acre setting, including Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, is enjoyed by children and adults alike. The park offers a range of activities including tennis, basketball, roller-skating, an indoor pool and an ice skating rink. In addition, there is a recreation center, hiking trails and fishing and boating. Golf lovers will enjoy Langston Golf Course, an 18-hole course with a driving range.
A popular outdoor destination for children, college students and nature lovers, this park lies north of Georgetown. Woodlands surround a recreation area with tennis courts, picnic tables and a playground. Special features include a boxwood maze and Lovers Lane, a cobblestone walkway on the west side of the park. To explore more elaborately designed grounds and an elegant estate, visit Dumbarton Oaks next door. Admission is free.
The National Zoo is one of the nation's finest zoos. It was created by Congress in 1889, making it one of the oldest zoos in the country. The zoo was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and New York's Central Park. The zoo is famous for its giant pandas from China but you will find all sorts of creatures, both familiar and exotic, crawling about the place. The zoo's Asia Trail gets you acquainted with Fishing cats, Clouded leopards and other Asian animals. In addition, the zoo is home to the Elephant Trails, Lemur Island, Cheetah Conservation and Great Cats where you can witness mighty lions and tigers in action. Birds and reptiles from across the world also call the Smithsonian National Zoological Park their home.
Whether you visit Queen Anne Farm in the summer or fall, you are sure to find some lovingly grown produce to take home with you. In the summer, this family-run farm sells fresh, pesticide-free produce like tomatoes, sweet corn, and watermelons. The fall turns this adorable farm into a pumpkin-lovers paradise, where you can purchase seven kinds of pumpkins, along with butternut squash, Georgia candy roaster squash, and little red potatoes. Make sure to bring the kids so that they can pick out pumpkins for carving at the pumpkin patch, explore the corn maze, and pet farm animals at the petting zoo.
The land that Homestead Farm sits on has been worked by the same family - the Allnutts - since their ancestor James Allnutt purchased the original 746 acres in 1763. Today, the 230 acres of Homestead Farm grows all sorts of produce, including blackberries and peaches, that visitors to the farms can pick themselves. The farm also owns a market that sits on the property, where visitors can purchase local products like honey and preserves.
If you're craving a bit of nature after spending time in the metropolis that is the Washington DC area, head out to the Winkler Botanical Preserve. This 44-acre natural space - which is accessed through an apartment complex - offers trails for wandering and a pond to picnic by. Because the hikes are pretty easy - it only takes about two hours to cover the whole reserve -, this is a great place to take the kids. Best of all, one of the short trails leads up to a a little Hobbit-style dwelling that can sometimes be explored.