US National Arboretum

Washington, DC

National Parks
4 (5 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA How do we get there? Number: 202.245.2726
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About this activity

The U.S National Arboretum is a great day out in nature for the family! Here, you can enjoy a relaxing time across their 446 acres filled with beautiful trees, wonderous plants and colorful flowers. You can take a picnic and really make a day of it, and even take a tram tour round!

Within the gardens you'll find a whole host of various areas that focus on specific types of plants and regions. It might be the Azalea Gardens that take your fancy, or the Dogwoods might be what you love the most!

The Asian Collections allow kids to explore plants from other parts of the world, from Japanese Woodland, Asian Valley and Korean Hillside!

Don't miss the National Bonsai and National Penjing Museum either with Japanese, Chinese, North American, and International Pavilions.

The National Herb Gardens feature Historic Roses, as well as a Knot Garden, and also Specialty Gardens - can you guess what you might find in there?

Kids, do you know what a Perennial is? At the US National Arboretum kids can learn all about these amazing types of plants, from Daylilies, Daffodils, and Peonies!

Then, one thing that kids always love at the US National Arboretum is the Washington Youth Garden!

The Washington Youth Garden is managed by the Friends of the National Arboretum and is located near Fern Valley along Crabtree Road.

This special garden connects kids and families by showing them where food comes from, as well as empowers youth to become advocates for healthy communities!

It's at this garden at each year, thousands of kids experience hands-on gardening fun as well as nutrition-based activities through fun family events and field trips. 

The Washington Youth Garden is also a working garden, so you will see a wide variety of food crops growing between April and October!

One other thing that kids will get to learn at this US National Arboretum garden is that pollinators are an important part of any garden’s success, so the butterfly garden offers these beautiful pollinators delicious reasons to visit (and keep an eye out for the bees that hum busily near their hives!)

The Garden is open whenever the Arboretum is, so make sure you stop by!

Activity location


The National Arboretum is located in the northeast section of Washington, DC, approximately ten minutes from the Capitol Building. There are two entrances: one at 3501 New York Avenue, NE, and the other at 24th & R Streets, NE, off of Bladensburg Road. The R Street entrance is CLOSED to incoming automobile visitor traffic after 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day Fridays and weekends. Bicycles and pedestrians through R Street at all times. All vehicles, including deliveries, contractors, tours, and volunteers, must use the New York Avenue entrance between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day Fridays and weekends. Traffic will be able to exit through the R Street gate during these closure hours.

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US National Arboretum FAQ’s

You can take a picnic to enjoy but picnic only in the National Grove of State Trees picnic area. Barbecues, fires, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Radios without headphones are prohibited anywhere on the arboretum grounds.

Playing ball, flying kites, swimming, wading, fishing, skating, skiing, sledding, rollerblading, riding scooters, and other sports activities are prohibited. Bicycle on roadways only.

The U.S. National Arboretum is a great place to bring your students for a field trip! You can plan your field trip using Washington Youth Garden staff resources of the Science Program Reaching OUT (SPROUT) program or you can design your own field trip.

Take plenty of water!

Give them a call if you have any questions about the accessibility of the gardens!

Climbing trees is prohibited!

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