April 25, 2015
April 23, 2015
April 22, 2015
April 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
I recommend from one parent to another. Let go a little & try some simple parenting hacks. Keep it simple and do what keeps you and your kids happy.
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April 16, 2015
April 15, 2015
We had a blast this weekend taking our three little kids into Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms! It is one of my most favorite times of year to visit DC & highly recommend to anyone to find a time in your life to get to DC during this time of year. Here are some simple tips & tricks to visiting the Cherry Blossoms with young children.
1. The average peak bloom date, when 70% of the flowers of the cherry blossom trees are open,is April 4. It varies year to year & with the cold winter we had, the peak date for 2015 was predicted for April 11-14. Plan your visit around the peak date as the entire blooming period only lasts for up to a little over a week. This site has a great bloom watch update.
2. The best time to visit is during the week due to the large crowds. But with three little kids & busy schedules, we had no choice but to visit on the weekend. And we managed, so it's possible to go at any time! Also think about visiting the cherry blossoms at sunrise & sunset, I hear the views are gorgeous and the crowds aren't quite as large.
3. I recommend taking the Metro in. Unless you are staying right in downtown DC, the Metro is a super easy option. My husband always likes to drive in, but I voted for the Metro & it was a great idea. The kids had a blast taking the train in & there was o dealing with the crazy DC traffic, especially during the busy tourist season. Although, I would not recommend taking a group of kids on the Metro during rush hour. I haven't done it & really don't plan on it! There is parking if you do decide to drive, but plan accordingly on where to park as the traffic is busy downtown & can be hard to navigate if you don't know the roads well.
4. Plan your route before you go. For us, we hopped off an earlier Metro station to accommodate for food & not deal with the crowded Metro station. The Smithsonian metro stop is probably the closest Metro stop to the cherry blossoms, but we actually hopped off on Farragut West. This made for a little shorter train ride & then we grabbed lunch where there are a lot more quick food options before heading down to see the Cherry Blossoms. Full tummies made for happier kids during the busy crowds! After visiting the Cherry Blossoms, we realized that it was just a 15 minute fun walk to the Foggy Bottom station where we grabbed a quick afternoon stock before taking the Metro to get home. Plan your route & make sure to plan food stops before you get down there, as there isn't a lot of food options where the Cherry Blossoms are located!
5. Make sure to have a spot for everyone to ride or old enough to walk. We used two strollers & everyone had a spot to be. A wide double stroller would be hard to manage with the large crowds. My oldest definitely would get tired of walking so a riding kick board on one of our strollers was a great option. For really little ones, I would definitely pop them in the carrier if they are happy in one! While we were down there, we also took a stroll by some of our favorite DC stops: the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, & more. It definitely helps to have those strollers as we did a lot of walking!
6. There are other ways to see the cherry blossoms if you can't make it downtown. You could take a river cruise on the Potomac or paddle boat on the Tidal Basin. Check out deal sites & websites before you plan on that option. Other favorite spots that have been recommended are: Kenwood in Maryland and Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna.
Last but certainly not least, have fun & take pictures. You definitely want to bring your camera as it so beautiful & a place to capture some great photos! It truly is one of my favorite times of year & a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring. I would love to hear more cherry blossom viewing tips so please leave a comment below if you have something to share. I am definitely no expert on the cherry blossom viewing, but wanted to share some simple tips to make it easier based on my own experiences, friend recommendations, & research that I have done myself. Below I have included a few more "cherry blossom" websites & activities to check out!
Games, activities, & presentations about cherry blossoms geared for children
Cherry Blossom Craft : AlphaMom
More Cherry Blossom Crafts : Housing a Forest