Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keep It Local: Watkins Regional Park Nature Center

Since the commence of her stint at home with us, mom has really mastered navigating the city. We know all the nooks and crannies of Rock Creek Parkway, the best shortcut to the Arboretum, and where to score sweet parking on the Mall. But outside of the city? It's all the same to her. Which is why a few weeks ago after our field trip to the Montgomery County Recycling Center, mom thought "OK, we're in Maryland. Where else can we go in Maryland while we're out here?" Watkins Regional Park! Turns out that is nowhere near Montgomery County and actually required us to drive past D.C. to get there, but you know, it all worked out.

We'd been to the farm, train, carousel and mini golf before, so this time we stopped first at the playground for a bit, which is pretty standard as far as playgrounds go (although we acted like we'd never seen a tire swing before, for some reason). And then continued on to the seriously sweet nature center. The center has a little bit of everything -- great educational displays, a good variety of animals (even mom couldn't deny that the little owls were so cute and I spent a fair bit of time speaking parsel tongue with the snakes), a puppet theater, lots of naturey things to touch and explore. But by far our favorite was the kids clubhouse -- we holed up in there are read books forever while watching over the center's frog pond and bird feeders. It was perfect. And then they gave us balloons. Beyond perfect.

There are lots of outdoor trail hikes as well, but we hung out in the nature center so long, we didn't have time. No problem -- we'll be back!

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