Tag Archives: Huntley Meadows Park

Scenes from a Fall Day at Huntley Meadows Park


Lately, it’s been a little harder for us to plan weekend outings as a family. Saturdays and Sundays are often busy with sports, and as the kids have gotten older, they (well, mostly Owen) want to hang out with their friends more than they want to with Levi and me (why? we’re so cool!).

So, it was really nice recently when we had a long stretch of time between a morning soccer practice and an evening soccer game, and no one had anything else going on. Well, I had one small errand to run in Alexandria, so we decided to plan around that. We wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fall day and opted for a hike at Huntley Meadows Park, easily one of the best places, in my opinion, to enjoy the outdoors in that area.

Huntley Meadows Park makes for a great outing any time of year, but it’s especially lovely now as the leaves start to turn, and the weather is pleasant for walking the boardwalk that spans the beautiful wetlands.

I first learned about the park from my friend Darcy nearly a decade ago, and we have been many times since. And even in the kids’ tween and teen years, they (we) still really enjoy a visit there — hiking the trail, looking for frogs and other creatures, and taking in the beautiful scenery. Better now, though, is that we don’t have to worry about them falling in the marsh! 😉

Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd in Alexandria. It’s open daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free. You can read more about it in this post. And here are more scenes from our recent visit.





























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Filed under 2019, All ages, Educational, Fall, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Explore the Woods and Wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park

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I’m a big proponent for getting outdoors no matter the time of year, and when it’s a sunny, 60+ degree day during the winter, well, that’s a no-brainer. The recent spate of warmish weather around Christmas was a perfect case-in-point, and we headed to Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria to enjoy it one afternoon.

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Huntley Meadows is not a new KFDC destination or recommendation; in fact, it’s included in the big outdoors list. It’s another one of those parks that exist in an unexpected place. It seems that one minute you’re driving through a typical suburban area, the next you’re in the middle of a natural haven.

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There are trails, wildlife sightings, and plenty of nature to explore on the 1,425 acres of woods and wetlands throughout this park in Alexandria. Dirt trails wind through the clusters of tall trees, while a boardwalk takes you over the marshy areas, with cattail and cord grass sprouting up around it. During the warmer months, you’re practically guaranteed to spot turtles of all sizes, frogs, great blue herons, cardinals, and a variety of other birds. Keep following the boardwalk, and you’ll eventually come to a lookout, where you can take in the vistas.

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The entire hike is just over a mile, and there are lookouts and benches where you can stop for breaks and snacks along the way to make it a few hours’ outing. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center for interactive exhibits and photos of the area.

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Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd in Alexandria. It’s open daily from dawn to dusk, and the Visitors Center is open every day but Tuesday 11am – 4pm from December 1 – February 28, and 9am – 5pm weekdays the rest of the year (weekend hours vary so be sure to check the schedule). Admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 30-February 3

Mesmerized by an aquarium full of fish in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Natural History Museum

 

Monday – Since I just wrote a big post about it, and because it’s one of DC’s best attractions for kids, visit the National Museum of Natural History.  See if there’s an exhibit you have yet to explore.

Tuesday – Head to the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone for Toddler Tuesday.  This week, toddlers ages 2-4 can drop in from 10:30am – 2:30pm to discover which animals hibernate and which animals can stand the cold. Activities may include stories, games, art, and movement for children and adults to experience together. Admission is free. The Launch Zone is located at the National Harbor.

Wednesday – Explore seasonal nature topics through stories, crafts, and activities at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. There are still spots available in the Nature Detective program for 3-5-year-olds. The class starts at 1:30pm. (A few spots are also open in the Thursday sessions.)

Thursday – See Mouse on the Move at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.  The show about two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse hole is recommended for ages 1-5. Showtimes are 10:30am and 11:45am, tickets are $10.

Friday – Boogie on down to the Atlas Performing Arts Center where Mr. Skip will be playing the Boogie Babes show at 10:30am.  Admission is $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under. The Atlas is located at 1333 H Street NE.

 

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Filed under Animals, Art, Babies, Class, DC, Educational, Free, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Preschoolers, Seasonal, Theatre, Toddlers, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 15-19

Scoping the wetlands for wildlife at Huntely Meadows Park

 

For some of us, this is the last week of summer break before school starts up again. Where did the time go? It’s been a great summer for us, pieced together by camps, our own fun outings, vacation, and a few neat ventures, which I plan to share soon.  In the meantime, enjoy these final days of summer with the kids.

Here are ideas for where to do that this week, August 15-19:

Monday – Kiddie rides, carnival games, pig races, farm animals, fried dough…  If you didn’t make it to one of the county fairs this weekend, you can still get in on the fun at the Montgomery County Fair, which runs through Saturday. More info is available here, and you can also read a KFDC review of last year’s fair.

Tuesday – It’s Art à la Cart at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Kids ages 7 – 12 are encouraged to exercise their creativity with brushes and palettes, bison horns, bottle caps, quilt squares, and more tools available in interactive carts among the galleries from 1-4pm.  Admission is free.

Wednesday – Visit the animals at the National Zoo and be sure to check the daily calendar to see when you can catch feedings, elephant training demos, kids’ farm talks, and more.  Later on, take the little ones to a special Baby Loves Disco happy hour at the Rock & Roll Hotel.  The dancing fun starts at 5pm; admission is $20/person or $60/four people.

Thursday – Go for a summer wagon ride at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Naturalists lead passengers on 90-minute excursions at 9:30am and 5pm–register to ride online ($6/county residents, $8/non-resident).  If those times don’t work, explore the woods and wetlands on your own (for free).  Turtle, bird, frog, and butterfly sightings are practically guaranteed.

Friday – It’s a Family Fair in Georgetown at Tudor Place and Dumbarton House, where guests can enjoy the end of summer with crafts, games, and sweet treats.  Register in advance online; admission is $8/member children, $10/non-member children, $5/accompanying adult.

 

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Museums, Music, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays