Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer/Before Baby Bucket List Update: Burke Lake Park

I'm feeling a bit of mommy guilt lately.  I had big plans for this summer.  Big.  But, I have really been falling off for the last few weeks and didn't end up getting a lot done.  With this being Theodore's last summer before he starts school full-time (why can't kindergarten be half-day like it used to!) and the possibility of this being our last summer in the DC area since Brian is only on a three year contract, it makes me feel even worse we didn't get to explore more.  But I know I shouldn't feel that badly since my boys really don't expect that much out of summer.  The sandbox, sprinkler, and tiny pool are enough for them at this age.  And throw in the cardboard rocket ship and castle that daddy made to play inside when it's too hot or rainy out and they are all set.  But I still like to get us out and about and make memories with them that extend past our house.  When I wrote a bucket list at the beginning of the summer their requests were as follows:

"Stay at playground all day."
And when pressed for more ideas, "Go to another playground."
He is awfully easy to please.  Luckily we had a bunch of play dates with MOPS and our outdoor art playgroup.  And as long as I had some shade or we went early enough, I was able to handle the heat and we got in a lot of playground time.
"Ride the subway into DC and go to the plane and rocket museum.
Look for rocks to add to my rock collection.
Visit Indiana."
Not sure we rode the subway recently, but otherwise I did get his requests accomplished as well.  He also amassed a large stick collection.
My list was a little longer, with new museums and beaches and library programs and picking fresh fruit and splash parks and zoo visits... and in the end we did get a little bit done off my list (especially eating lots of corn-on-the-cob and strawberry shortcake), but not nearly as much as I would have liked.  One thing we did accomplish yesterday, while celebrating Elijah's-last-week-as-the-youngest was a visit to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax County.

I can't believe it has taken us this long to visit Burke Lake Park.  This county park is located fairly close to us and packed with activities, from mini-golf to riding a miniature train.  And as much as my boys have been obsessed with trains (side note-you can get the Caldecott award winning book "Locomotive" on DVD once you are over reading the very long story nightly), I can't believe we haven't been here before!  And I've got a feeling we're going to end up here again on Elijah's birthday in just a few weeks.

Admission:  $10 per car for out-of-county on summer weekends, free on weekdays
Train ride:  $2.75 each for anyone 2 and over.  The ride lasted a good 10 minutes and was worth it.

 They stayed around and asked the conductor all sorts of questions afterwards.  The engine was aptly named the same as my home county, the Huntington.

Carousel:  $2.00 each for anyone 2 and over.
*I could have saved $2 and let them ride the carousel by themselves.  Elijah chose one of the stationary tiny horses and did not need my help staying on.  And Theodore climbed up his horse all on his own.  First carousel they haven't needed help on.

Ice Cream Parlor:  check website for hours, about $3 for a large one-scoop cone of Hershey ice cream (I could have just grabbed another cone from home and had the boys share, it was a lot of ice cream!)

Other activities:  disk golf, trail walking, miniature golf, camping, playgrounds, boat rentals, fishing orienteering, and a 4.7 mile fitness course (my goal is to be able to run it in a few months)

And, of course we played on one of the three playgrounds as well.  A pretty perfect morning for my two little guys.  I wished they would stay this easy to please forever!

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