- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 31, 2002

Location: The U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE

Transportation: Gates are on the New York Avenue service road and on R Street, off Bladensburg Road. Parking is free. The nearest Metrorail stop is the Stadium Armory on the Orange and Blue lines. Transfer to Metrobus line B2 and get off at R Street. Walk 300 yards down R Street to the entrance gate.

Hours: The grounds are open daily except Dec. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The information and educational displays are in the Administration Building, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on most weekends. The Arbor House Gift Shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from March 1 through mid-December.

Admission: Free.

Information: Call 202/245-2727 or visit the Web site (www.usna.usda.gov).

Miscellaneous:

• Bike riding is permitted on paved surfaces, and bike racks are provided at the arboretum's entrances. Pets on leashes are allowed under careful supervision. Kite flying and in-line skating are prohibited.

• There is a picnic area with tables, and arboretum restrooms will open in mid-April.

Tips for visiting with children:

Elizabeth Ley, head of the Gardens Unit, suggests a family tour like this:

• Visit the Administration Building; feed the koi.

• Visit the National Herb Garden.

• Check out some bonsai. (Although the Bonsai Courtyard at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum is under construction until late summer, two pavilions the Japanese and the North American will have bonsai on public display beginning in mid-April.)

• Walk past the Administration Building to the Arbor House and visit the Friendship Garden.

• Take a hike up to see the Azalea Collections.

• Then regroup into the car to take a leisurely drive through the arboretum, stopping at sites along the way.


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