Glen Echo Park, C&O Canal, & Great Falls National Historic Parks

We also went to 3 different National Historic Parks on #2’s birthday. First stop was the C&O Canal. We were supposed to take a mule-drawn boat ride during our time here, but there was apparently not enough water in the Potomac to have the boat ride. This was a BIG bummer for my son. We ended up taking him to Dave and Buster’s later in the evening to make up for the lack of boat ride – he seemed happy with that! We will have to try for the boat ride on our next trip because it sounds like a lot of fun! You can receive a Junior Ranger badge here too!

Next, we headed to Glen Echo Park. This is the only National Park with a carousel. This carousel is AMAZING! I bought tickets for 2 rides each, but I had no idea that each ride seriously lasts about 5 minutes! It is the longest carousel ride I’ve ever taken. We could have just done 1 had I known! It is a beautiful, large carousel. Not to mention it is probably one of the best deals in DC – $1.25 per ride is a GREAT deal on a carousel ride (free parking too!). #4 was ecstatic to ride on an Ostrich! Needless to say, we will be back here again – we LOVED it!! You can get several Junior Ranger badges here. There are 2 Glen Echo badges – the regular one and the Civil Rights one. Read about the history of the carousel and the civil rights movement before coming to the park. It really made the carousel even more special to us. In the parking lot is the Clara Barton House. It was closed for renovations while we were there – bummer! (next time!). You can get multiple Clara Barton Junior Ranger Badges online though! We received both of them (I forgot to photograph one of them)

We then headed to Great Falls National Historic Park. Their visitor’s center is fun. This is a much busier park than the other 2 were. The falls is really cool. However, being from the Pacific NorthWest, it isn’t as impressive as many that we have around here. It is beautiful and fun to see, but when you are around more impressive ones, I guess I didn’t see the big deal. So It was nice to visit once, but not sure we’ll make the trip back again (although, it is VERY close to the other 2 parks – hence the reason we did them all in one morning!). You can get a Junior Ranger Badge here too, but we have yet to receive them back since we mailed them in (I know they got there because I have confirmation it was received). It’s been over a month, so I am not too hopeful about getting these badges to add to our collection… Maybe we will have to go back again…

These 3 parks are close together, so you can easily do all of them in a day and get a bunch of Junior Ranger badges while you’re at it.

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