The train exhibit (a holiday must-see) opened at the Botanic Gardens last weekend, and somehow we convinced ourselves we could handle the lines. You thought Walmart was bad on Black Saturday? At least no one stabbed anybody vying for trainspotting access, although I did briefly consider getting out of the car and mouthing off to the chick that stole our parking spot–which she had clearly passed. She all but rammed into my front end trying to back up toward the space. Why did I let her take it? Because I know that the true spirit of Christmas is not in fighting over parking spots or punishing line cutters at the Botanic Gardens. Nay. The Christmas season is really about showing off your super cute kids and their perfect doll-like hair and hat-wearing abilities at multiple public venues.
These two dimpled love-a-doves, I tell ya.
A lady who passed us as we were approaching the line told us the wait was 40 minutes. Of course, she was totally exaggerating to make herself seem important or to deter us from going. The line did extend all the way out of the building, but it moved pretty quickly, and there were some lovely things to look at on the way in. Note to self: white spray painted branches with white twinkle lights and red ornaments = super chic.
Speaking of the future, here is Fluffy in front of an iteration of the US Supreme Court building rendered entirely in plant material. I keep thinking one of these years, Fluffy is going to be as bowled over by the models of the monuments and important buildings as I am, but this was not that year.
I think this year the theme was fairy houses. I don’t know really. There were too many people to appreciate everything. I think we will have to go back on a weekday as we have done in years past to really savor everything at our leisure. That is, if I can gear myself up for another torrent of tears upon leaving the train room: “Percy! I wan see Percy!”
Upon leaving Kent said to me:
Kent: What is it about hats on the boys? It’s like the hat increases their marginal cuteness by like, 50%. Way more than any other…
Kent: Article of clothing.
Me: Yeah, the hats really put them over the top.
Kent: By a fairly significant amount, though. A disproportionate amount.
Me: Yep. That’s why I buy them. And why I force the kids to wear them, and won’t take no for an answer.
Try this outing:
Difficulty level: Moderate. You can take a stroller through the train exhibit, and you may need it for containment, but some parts of the rest of the botanic garden are tricky with a stroller. I have trouble doing this one alone with 3 kids. They really don’t want to be in the stroller in the train room, but it is easy to lose someone with the sightlines and crowds in the exhibit.
- Weekday mornings are terrific if you want to really spend some time there without being hurried along by the throng.
- Dress in layers in case you end up waiting outside. The botanic garden is toasty, but DC isn’t right now.
- If you do venture out in the evening, the adjoining gardens are lit.
- They have a few musical performances there during the season if you check the website. I have not ventured forth with the kids, but it seems like a great date idea.
Fluffy Fun Factor (Kindergardener’s Rating): One and a half thumbs up. More fun last year when we had more time.