As Kirsten and I started to plan what to do with the kids on their day off of school, I started to get a little nostalgic. I realized that this is the last year I will have these special days off with my daughter because next year she will be in “big kid” school with her brothers. We wanted to do something fun for the kids and for us as well. When I mentioned to Kirsten that I had not been to Longwood Gardens in 6 years, she knew immediately that this was the perfect place for an adventure with the kids. It was a gorgeous day and it flew by too fast.
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The first thing we did when we go there was head straight to the fountains. There is a spectacular water show complete with music (and lights in the night). The fountains have recently undergone extensive upgrades – look how high the water can shoot up! The dancing water mesmerized my daughter. The show lasted about 10 minutes and was amazing. The music and water blasting was a bit loud for our littlest guy so we headed to the indoor atrium where it was not as loud.
Inside the Atrium was a Chrysanthemum festival complete with thousands of the most gorgeous flowers. The kids were in awe. We walked through the flowers to the kids play area that is a more hands on. The kids painted the stone with water to watch it change color, they followed the water as it danced up and down and played in a “pond” with “fog”. The kids were completely engrossed in the area and before we realized, it was lunch time.
We headed over to the cafeteria to eat. The variety of food surprised me. It was all quite fresh and healthy (and expensive too). We sat in a room that looked like a giant formal dining room rather than a cafeteria. After lunch, we headed over to the tree house before we went home. It was a fantastic day with the most perfect weather.
As always, we love to pair our adventures with a book. In this case, we couldn’t pick just one.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is about a girl who loves her name until she goes to school. Some of the other children tease and bully her. This is a wonderful book about self esteem and acceptance. Reading about a girl names for a flower is perfect for the Chrysanthemum festival.
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan is a story about a mysterious gardener who appears at night in a small town. He creates extraordinary topiaries throughout the town. We immediately thought of this book as we looked at the extraordinary topiaries throughout Longwood Gardens.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter– It is impossible not to think of this classic tale when wandering through beautiful gardens. After all, if i was a little bunny, there would be no better place to live.
Where is the Frog: A Children’s Book Inspired by Claude Monet by Geraldine Elschner is a beautiful book inspired by Claude Monet. Longwood Gardens are gorgeous and have ponds filled with some of the biggest lily pads I have ever seen!!!! I Immediately thought of the little frog in this book.