Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Garden of Lights at Brookside Garden--Trains, Plants, Jazz

A continuation from yesterpost...

The Garden of Lights wasn't just lights in the garden. Down the hill from the visitor center are the conservatories. The conservatories are basically greenhouses with plants still growing in them. They were open for touring and, naturally, they had some Christmas plants on display.


Okay, not as Christmasy

A waterfall hiding in the lushness

The big draw at the conservatories was the train set provided by The Washington, Virginia, Maryland Garden Railway Society. In addition to making an incredible model railway, they added in some fun characters (like Wonder Woman, Yoda, Moana, and many others). If that wasn't enough, they also made scavenger hunt sheets (with pictures) for the younger visitors. Our kids had a great time trying to find everything on their sheet. They even had three different sheets of scavengables! We had a good, long time in the warmth of the conservatory, for which we parents were quite grateful.

One end of the main train set

A little town

Wonder Woman takes the train

A pond with Yoda on the shore

The other end of the train set

The conservatory, much like the one we were in

The train set along the wall had a bunch of actual historical spots, some of them no longer extant. The kids were clueless but we adults enjoyed seeing places like Glen Echo Park, which brought up many fond memories from our dancing days.

A bit of Georgetown, District of Columbia

Glen Echo Park entrance

Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo

Bumper Car Pavilion at Glen Echo

The Cabin John Hotel--read about it here

Baltzley Castle--read about it here

We went back to the visitor center to get some hot cocoa (which we had promised to the kids). The Cafe, in addition to providing hot cocoa and snacks, also sold smores kits for people to use on the outdoor fire. The best part of the cafe was the band playing. Close Enough for Jazz is the "official jazz ensemble for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL)" (at least, according to their web site. Who knows how many unofficial jazz ensembles they have?). My wife and I enjoyed dancing to jazzy versions of Christmas classics. We don't have any footage of us dancing but we did get some of the band playing...

The Garden of Lights is going on through January 1, 2018, and presumably will be back next year. I think we'll be back next year too!

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