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has eight wheels, a key, and goes around and around? Answer: A kid here at the roller-skating outdoor pavilion. South Capitol Street and Benning Road. 426-6700.
Rock Creek Archery Range: Five targets to ready . . . aim . . . shoot. Bulls-eye! Viers Mill Road toward Rockville.
Mason District Park: Just opened. Multi-use courts, tennis, ballfields. Play ball. 6621 Columbia Pike, Annandale.
Individual parks, playgrounds: Check your local playground or schoolyard. Most have sports playing areas, and all are on a first-come, first-play basis. Non-Sports Playing
Mad dogs and Englishmen and children go out in the mid-day sun.
Especially the children. They never get tired, never mind the heat and always want something to play. Let them do their own thing at:
Candy Cane Land: Swings, rings and kiddie things, all done in a candy-striped motif. Beech Drive and E. Leland Street, Chevy Chase.
Dinosaur climbing: Prehistoric climbing for pre-teens in front of the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall.
Cabin John Park: Stockades for climbing, pumpkin coaches for riding and a special under-six-year-old playground so "the big kids" don't interfere.
Wheaton Regional Park: Kids ride on the stationary stagecoach or climb over, under and in a grounded jet. Walking Or Hiking
Summer walking or hiking is going nowhere. It's stopping at the drop of a hat or an ice cream wrapper. It's pushing a stroller, holding someone's hand or leading the way. You can stroll around your own area, but for a chance to really walk on by, let your feet do the walking at:
Potomac Overlook Regional Park: Trees, streams and a spring used by the Necostin Indians. Spout Run exit off George Washington Parkway, right on Lorcum Lane to Nellie Custis and Marcey Roads, Arlington, 528-5406.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens: Consider the lilies. 426-6905.
Franciscan Monastery: Forty-four acres above and the catacombs below. 526-6800
Poolesville Walking Trail: For those who like walking through history. Buildings and homes from 1793 to the late 1800s. 589-1480.
Mormon Temple grounds: The temple gardens twice have taken top landscaping prizes. 587-0144.
L'Enfant Plaza: Promenade your partner across the bridge.
Hirshhorn Sculpture Gardens: Gravel paths, sculpture masterpieces, a pool and a place to return again, again and again.
Brookside Gardens: A fragrance garden for the blind, with azaleas and other flowers that bloom in the spring, summer and all year long. 949-8230.
John F. Kennedy Center: A view of the Potomac from the balcony.
Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden: If you've ever promised a rose garden. Patrick Henry and Fairfax Drive, Arlington.
Washington Cathedral grounds: A bishop's garden, herbs, spices, stone walks, and a place to think.
Gulf Branch Nature Center: A trail for the handicapped so everyone can enjoy the land. 3608 Military Rd., Arlington. 558-2340.
Washington bridges: Old-fashioned lamp-posts on Connecticut Avenue's Taft Bridge, golden horses and riders on Arlington Memorial Bridge. Wonderful views from both bridges.
Louise F. Cosca Regional Park: Guided hikes available. Also special programs for the handicapped. Clinton. 868-1397.
Constitution Gardens: A lake, an island and paths where the tempos used to be on the avenue. Biking
Whoever invented the wheel was a leg up on the walkers of the world. Go on and try out your one-, three- or ten-speed variety and get away from it all. Ride to where there's no auto fumes - just fresh air and a scent of earth, wind and leaves. Spin your wheels on the:
George Washington Parkway: From Memorial Bridge to Mount Vernon with stops along the Potomac shoreline.
Rock Creek Park: All the biking for the fit. Past the zoo, to the Lincoln Memorial. (Take along something to drink.)
East Potomac Park: A summer breeze off the river to cool you.
Sligo Creek Park: A chance to see Silver Spring at its finest - away from the Georgia Avenue commuter crush.
Arlington Bike trail: Starts at N. Van Buren Street. Rain shelters, just in case. 558-2426.
Seneca Sandstone Biking Trail: Start at Violet's Lock of the C & O Canal, pedal past eighteen historic areas including a stone mill, a schoolhouse and a church.
Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail: One and a half miles right through Falls Church. 278-8880.
Hilton Bicycle Tour: Off the beaten pedalled track. Homes and structures built by a nineteenth-century craftsman. Begin at Christ Church Chapel, past Comus Inn, and see a part of yesterday. Barnesville, Maryland. 589-1480 x-254. Fishing
Fishing is a seven-letter word for relaxation. Fishing soothes the soul, refreshes the body, tries the patience of small children and has been known to put people to sleep. Hemingway said the fish came out of the water "unendingly." Maybe, but to cast your bait to the wind, try:
Tridelphia, Brighton Dam, Rocky Gorge: Operated by the WSSC, who care about water and what's in it. In these lakes it's fish. Take Exit 25, Capital Beltway, north on New Hampshire Avenue and follow signs. 277-7700.
Wheaton Regional Park: My cod! a five-acre lake in the middle of the park.
Needwood Lake: Fishing for fun and the profit of eating. 589-1480.
Burke Lake Park: 218-acre lake complete with a bait and tackle shop. 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station. 323-6600.
Catoctin Mountains: Sparkling streams, icy waters and the fishing is easy. Thurmont, Maryland.301/824-2022.
Riverbend Park: For those who like to fish the Potomac shoreline. Jeffery Road, Great Falls, Virginia.759-9018. Animals
Animals and children have always had a natural affinity for each other. Perhaps they speak the same language. Whatever it is, children like watching animals do whatever animals do. They also like feeding, petting and talking to them. They're to be seen at:
National Zoo: All creatures grr-rrr-rreat and small, from prairie dogs to pachyderms.
Oxon Hill Farm: Everything - cows, chickens, people - grow and work on this re-created early 1900s farm. Indian Head Highway, Oxon Hill. 839-1177.
Al-Marah Stables: The care and training of purebred Arabians and their knights. Barnesville, Maryland. 428-8013.
Audubon Naturalist Society: It's a bird! Take binoculars. 8940 Jones Mill Rd., Chevy Chase, 652-9188.
Frying Pan Park: 1920s-era working farm where the machinery is really horse-powered. 2709 West ox Rd., Herndon. 437-9101.
Noah's Ark, Cabin John Regional Park: Two, if by sea. The animals have landed. Touch, feed and play with these pleasant creatures. Bethesda.
Turkey Run Farm: Hard-times horticulture at this eighteenth-century-style working farm. McLean. 557-1356.
Old MacDonald's Farm, Wheaton Regional Park: Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick, and a pig and all the other animals in the children's song. Wheaton. Discovering
Kids like to discover things - a rock embedded with mica, a strangely bent twig, or a bird's feather. And what may be pedestrian to adults can take on new meaning when seen through children's eyes. Discover the fun of children discovering at:
Long Branch Nature Center: Indian folklore, geology, and a turtle pond. A different view of Arlington County. 5500 6th Rd. S, Arlington. 671-7716.
Fort Washington: A drawbridge over a moat and a chance to see what our coastal defense system was like in the nineteenth century. On Fort Washington Road off Indian Head Highway in southern Prince George's County. 292-2112.
Theodore Roosevelt Island: "I hate a man who would skin the land," TR said so the eighty-eight-acre island remains lush with trees and animals the way God intended it to be. 426-6922; 557-8990.
Hidden Oaks Nature Center: A naturalist on hand answers all your questions after you've walked the nature trails. Annandale. 941-5009.
Rock Creek Cemetery: Augustus Saint-Gaudens' famous "Grief" sculpture amid the graves of distinguished Americans. Rock Creek Church Road and Webster Street NW.
Great Falls: The roar of the water, the view from the rocks.
Congressional Cemetery: Once upon a time "the" place to be buried. John Philip Sousa's grave is here. 18th and E Streets SE.
Trolley Museum: Clang, clang, clang went the trolleys of yesteryear. Wheaton. 384-9797.
Sugarloaf Mountain: For those who climb mountains because they're there.
C & O Canal: Seventy-five locks are the key to 185 miles of a once-thriving waterway. 299-3613; 426-6975.
Rock Creek Nature Center: Leaflets for selfguided tours. Also guided telescopic tours of the heavens at various times. 5200 Glover Rd. NW. 426-6829. Historic
History is ideas and people and it comes in all shapes and sizes. From the towering Washington Monument obelisk on the Mall to the simple slate headstone on the grave of a fallen president. For a look at yesterday, today and tomorrow, visit:
Lincoln Memorial: Statue of the man of, by and for the people.
Washington Monument: 898 steps to the top and then a spectacular view.
John F. Kennedy gravesite: The eternal flame, granite, marble and Cape Cod fieldstone form a remembrance for a martyred president.
Taft Memorial: A 100-foot slab of marble and twenty-seven bells for the Ohio senator. Who To Call For The Final Word: Permits, Licensing, Regulations, Etc.
D. C. Department of Recreation. 73-7660.
Department of Environmental Affairs, Recreation and Park Division, Arlington, Virginia. 558-2700.
U.S. National Park Service. 426-6700.
Fairfax County Park Authority. 941-5000.
Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. 278-8880.
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. 277-7700, x-224.
Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission, Prince George's County. 277-2200, x-310, 311.
Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery County. 589-1480, x-254.