Tag Archives: Georgetown

Scenes from a Visit to the Dumbarton Oaks Garden

Recently, when I put together the round-up of 10 Great Places to to Enjoy Autumn in the DC Area (that are not Farm Festivals), I realized that it had been a little while since we’d been to some of those spots — many since last fall, go figure. One of them was the garden at Dumbarton Oaks, the beautiful grounds of the historic estate in Georgetown that is now a museum and research library.

Part of the reason we hadn’t been there in so long was because the garden was closed all last spring and half of summer while it was undergoing renovations. The other parts were the weather, which seemed to be either too hot or too rainy for what felt like forever, and the hours (2-6pm Tuesday – Sunday), which are hard to fit into our schedule.

Every path leads somewhere lovely

But last weekend we found ourselves with a wide open afternoon on a gorgeous early fall day, so Sasha and I headed across town to enjoy the botanical oasis and some quality time together. As with all our visits there, we just wandered and picked our paths as we went. A couple of new sightings this time: 1) A bunny! 2) A woman picking a pear off a tree and eating it right there. (For the record, I don’t think that’s actually allowed, so don’t go picking and eating fruit and saying you heard it was cool from KFDC!)

I’ve written about the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks a couple of times before, so you can click here and here for more insight. You can also get an idea of just how lovely it is in the images below.

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Tuesday – Sunday, 2-6pm (2-5pm November 1 – March 14)
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child | FREE November thru mid-March

(Click on images to see them them larger.)

Checking out a “natural” sculpture on the south lawn


A lovely place to wander

Pan, mid-dab

Pears are ripe (but not for the picking!)

A peek in the Arbor Terrace

Who else hearts elephant ears?

Light & shadows in a vine covered walkway

Cherry Hill glows with pink blossoms come spring

Teepee-like sculptures decorate this expanse

The Catalogue House contains images that depict recent renovations

Cartwheels on the Ellipse

Lots of monarch sightings — it’s time for their migration to Mexico

My favorite, the Pebble Garden

A view from above

And another…

Pomegranates (again, no picking!)

An extra pop of color


Check out this bonehead 😉

The north lawn is a great spot for slo-mo videos of kids running (if you get those requests, too)

Quod Severis Metes – As you sow, so shall you reap

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Nature, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend

Bright Horizons to Open Three New Early Education Centers in the DC Area

Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool

It’s never too early to start preparing your child for Kindergarten. With Bright Horizons opening three new early education and preschool centers in the DC area, this is the perfect time to begin planning your baby or toddler’s enrollment in their fun, educational, and stimulating Preschool and Kindergarten Prep programs.

Bright Horizons at Rosslyn (Arlington, VA) will open in December. Bright Horizons at Georgetown will open this January. And Bright Horizons at Boone Boulevard (Tysons Corner) will open this coming spring. All three new centers will offer full- or part-time Preschool and Kindergarten Prep programs that focus on developing school readiness in all areas of academic and social learning.


Their READY for SCHOOL preschool program is filled with investigation, exploration, and discovery, where active and enthusiastic children can refine and expand their skills and knowledge. Through intentional teaching practices, purposefully-designed learning environments, and enriched activities, teachers ensure that preschoolers have joyful, appropriate, and meaningful learning experiences that lead to success in school and in life.


Their Kindergarten Prep Pre-K program helps children advance skills in core pre-academic areas such as literacy, math, and science, as well as in other essential areas such as art, social and emotional well-being, and health and wellness. Their child-centered approach ensures that children are exposed to a diverse array of learning activities and that they thrive in all areas of child development, creative thinking, complex problem solving, empathetic collaboration, curious investigation, and astute decision making.


All three centers will offer programs for Infants – Kindergarten Prep. Contact them today to discuss enrollment.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons, however, I only promote events, services, and activities that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Babies, Class, DC, Educational, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Virginia

Free to Roam at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens During Fall and Winter


A little chill in the air (or a lot, for that matter) never stops us from getting outdoors. In fact, sometimes that’s exactly what entices us to get out — crisp, cool weather and the brilliant hues of autumn foliage or even colder temps and the exhilaration that comes as we warm up with activity.

And at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown, there’s an extra appeal to al fresco outings during the cool seasons: Free admission. From November 1 – March 14, you can wander around the 10 acres of enchanting terraces and landscaped plots at your leisure — without paying a dime.


We enjoyed both the complimentary admission and the gorgeous autumn weather there with friends this past weekend, and it was a perfect time to go. Fall flowers are on display, and there are stunning views of brilliant foliage of Dumbarton Oaks Park just behind the gardens.


You can read more about Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in a post from awhile back. And this one will give you a glimpse of our most recent visit. Something to note if you plan to visit is the limited hours — the gardens are only open 2-5pm Tuesday through Sunday. But it’s worth planning around that short span of time to go. You can do like we did and enjoy a picnic at Montrose Park right next door, take a short hike on the trail just behind the grounds, or grab some lunch on M Street before making your way to the gardens.






Dumbarton Oaks Gardens are located at 31st and R Streets NW in Georgetown. It’s open Tuesday – Sunday from 2-5pm (closed Federal holidays). Admission is free from November 1 – March 14. During the regular season, March 15 – October 31, it’s $8/adults, $5/seniors, students, & children ages 2-12 (free for under 2).

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Filed under All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Outdoor, Seasonal, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

DC’s Secret Garden: Dumbarton Oaks


Fountains here, "sparkly garden" ahead at Dumbarton Oaks


‘How in the world have I lived in DC for so long and not visited this place?!’

That very thought kept popping into my head as Levi, Sasha, and I wandered around the oh-so-glorious gardens of Dumbarton Oaks, the historic estate tucked away in a relatively non-bustling area of Georgetown. (Actually, I do kind of know why — which I’ll get to in a bit — but I still could not stop mentally kicking myself for missing out on something so incredibly divine for so many years.) That’s because the Gardens are absolutely enchanting. Absolutely. Enchanting.

Follow the red brick road...

Follow the red brick road…

It starts when you walk in to the East Lawn, a large expanse of freshly manicured green grass bordered by shade trees and lovely plant clusters. A walking path circles that area and leads to even more, even better landscaped magic.  Stone and brick passageways meander in every direction to many different areas, each one seeming more lovely than the last.  Some of them you arrive at directly, the path leading to the next obvious place.  Others you feel like you encounter by chance, as if  you’ve discovered a secret oasis within the larger, wonderful retreat.

Horses! Fountains! What's not for a kid to love?

Horses! Fountains! What’s not for a kid to love?

One of the first areas we came to was the rose garden with over 50 varieties of the bloom. Nearby, a cutting garden and growing garden contain an array of flowers and herbs. Some of the loveliest areas are the terraces, some bedecked with fountains and statues, others showcasing the gorgeous plant and flower collections, a couple with beautiful pebble mosaics in the ground. (Many of them have charming names, but I couldn’t keep track because I was so rapt by it all.)

View of the rose garden

View of the rose garden

Sasha’s favorite part was the “sparkly garden,” which contained a simple small pool of water amid a floor of white pebbles. Above it, crystals hanging from mesh wire above glinted in the sun, creating the “sparkly” effect that also reflected off the water. We arrived there via Fountain Terrace (I think), which had two fountains within a grass plat surrounded by colorful flowers.  A breathtaking scene, to say the least.

The path to the "sparkly garden"

The path to the “sparkly garden”

Loveliness abounds

Loveliness abounds

We made our way through the gardens generally going east to west, and up and down the hill.  The long stone stairways and curving paths, bordered by both wildly growing plants and manicured flora were as much as part of the experience as the terraces and collections. This all took us to the massive lawn stretching behind the mansion, where Levi and I had major backyard envy (seriously, you could fit about 200 of our backyards in it).

Oh, the parties I could throw here...

Oh, the parties I could throw here…

I should note that seating is plentiful throughout the garden.  There are beautifully carved wood and stone benches and chairs, tables under umbrellas, and plenty of space on the soft, grassy areas. These would be perfect for taking a break and just hanging out to enjoy the tranquility and gorgeous surroundings. (We did just that on our way out, stopping on the East Lawn and kicking off our shoes while Sasha ran around.)

A final, barefoot frolic on the East Lawn

A final, barefoot frolic on the East Lawn

The thought that kept popping in my head when we finally left:  ‘I have to return soon.’

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens are located at 1703 32nd Street NW. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 2-6pm mid-March through October, and 2-5pm November – mid-March. (Remember that part about how I kind of knew why I hadn’t visited yet?  I’d tried a couple of times, but always at the wrong time.) Admission is $8/adults, $5/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under during mmid-March through October, and free November through mid-March. There are a lot of stairs and bumpy stone paths, so if you’re bringing a little one, I recommend a carrier over a stroller.


Filed under All ages, DC, Exhibit, Free, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Weekdays, Weekend