The Eagle’s guide to spring picnics in DC
As the weather becomes warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, picnicking is a pleasure to enjoy the spring
Where does one go on a nice, warm day in the city?
Perhaps some would nod to laying a blanket on the crisp green grass and maybe bringing goodies wrapped in a wicker basket.
Necessary materials for the occasion include: a blanket or tarp to sit on or you can sit directly on the ground but be wary of dirt or damp grass.
Alongside a blanket, you should court a basket, wicker or woven. The only requirement for the basket is it must have the ability to hold things, such as food, beverage, games or a nice book to suffice time spent outside.
Since picnicking tends to be an all day expedition, it’s wise to bring water and maybe a meal. A few meals that bode well with a picnic and can easily fit into a basket are: pinwheel sandwiches, watermelon or a makeshift charcuterie board. For your board, include delicacies like assorted vegetables or an array of bread, cheese and crackers.
Lastly, you have to choose the perfect, pristine location before heading out. Since D.C. has an array of gorgeous places one might lounge about, it is important to choose wisely.
If the desire is to stay close to campus, the quad is never a bad place to be. However, it does tend to get crowded fast so it is advisable to secure a spot earlier than later in the day.
However, a picnic on campus might not be idealistic for everyone. DC offers a variety of off campus locations, accessible by all forms of public transportation, that make for a suitable picnic outing.
Hillwood Estate is a garden, museum and historical mansion. This marvelous mansion sits at 4155 Linnean Ave NW. Not only does the 25 acres of gorgeous, green grass and garden offer a place to hang out, but the visitor center provides a blanket and picnic map for those who do not have one. In addition to a picnic, you can indulge in a detailed tour of the grounds and the mansion.
Also known as Malcolm X park, Meridian Hill is between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, between 15th and 16th St. W and Euclid St. NW. There are a variety of nice spots to lay your blanket, either under the shade or out in the scorching sun, next to a statue or on a bench. Picnickers can enjoy the cascading fountain or the reflecting pool at the bottom overlook. This location is the ideal place for a romantic picnic with a loved one, a hangout with a friend or a date by yourself.
The National Arboretum
The National Arboretum not only offers a great picnic, but a nice quiet place to meditate, read and enjoy the outdoors. The National Arboretum is located at 3501 New York Avenue, NE or 24th & R streets, NE. This botanical garden is flourishing with wildlife and places to picnic at the National Grove of Trees. There are numerous pathways to take gentle strolls on and a slew of educational exhibits to look at during your time there.
Not far from campus lies the Bishop’s Garden, hidden behind the National Cathedral. The garden acts as an appendage to the Cathedral, enhancing elements such as the St. Catherine Pool and the Norman Court which make for great spots to relax and enjoy the many beauties of spring.
Remember the next time you leave your house to grab a blanket, a basket and a book to bask in the sun at any of these locations for the idealistic picnic outing.