#bucketlistbeforebaby : completed

Mr. President and I had so much fun checking adventures off of our #bucketlistbeforebaby. I loved spending the extra, quality time with Abe and it was such a gift to see the excitement on his face when we’d try something new. He is so much fun to be around and I’m so thankful to be his mom.

Here’s a recap of our adventures:

1) Lunch date (3) – because we love to eat and we have to eat
2) Donuts date – because donuts before 9am are always a good idea
3) Milkshake date – because who doesn’t love a chocolate milkshake on a warm spring day?


4) Visit the Cherry Blossoms & Thomas Jefferson Memorial
After a failed first attempt, we redeemed ourselves by visiting the Cherry Blossoms on, what was likely, the last “good” day. The weather was perfect and it was fun to metro down to the city to walk around. (cost: free)


5) Explore Teddy Roosevelt Island
What a fun place to take kids. You get to walk over a bridge (!) and there are so many cool things to explore on the Island. (cost: free)


6) Visit Mr. President’s namesake Monument
This one was a no-brainer, we just had to do it. (cost: free)


7) Watch planes take off & land at Gravely Point and eat a picnic lunch
Mr. President wasn’t sure what to think at first. He loves planes, but these are really close and really loud. After a few minutes, we couldn’t stop waving to the planes and running around. Plus we saw helicopters, trains, school buses, and boats. If you have a little boy, this place is heaven! (cost: free)


8) Check out (at least) 5 new parks/playgrounds in our area
This was a fun way to explore Arlington and visit different parks. We have an amazing park in our backyard, but it’s exciting to try new playgrounds. We visited: Lacey Woods Park, Chestnut Hills Park, Dominion Hills Park, Bon Air Rose Garden Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Henry Clay Park, and Westover Park.

9) Butterfly Exhibit at Museum of Natural History
We love to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so we just had to see the butterflies at the Museum of Natrual History. Mr. President loved seeing the butterflies in real life! I wasn’t sure how’d he be with the “no touch” rule, since there are hundreds of butterflies within an arms reach, but he did great. (Cost $6, free on Tuesdays)

10) Play in the mud and get dirty
Is this one kinda cheating? I mean, he plays in the mud and gets dirty all the time. But for once, I just let him do it and I didn’t care. That counts for something!

11) Long Branch Nature Center + tour/exploration
A hidden gem that I didn’t know existed, the Long Branch Nature Center is so much fun. We had fun exploring on the trails, finding turtles, butterflies, and worms. When we ventured inside, we were greeted with snakes, frogs, fish, turtles, and more. (cost: free)


12) Ride The Carousel on the National Mall
Riding carousels are kind of our thing. I’ve taken Mr. President on at least 10 different carousels around the US. There’s just something fun and young about riding on a giant lion or giraffe. He loves them!

13) National Zoo
I’ve lived in DC for 8 years and have never been to the zoo during the day (I’ve been for Zoo Lights), so this is something we both needed to do. It was a beautiful morning and all of the animals were out – we got to see the pandas, lions, tigers, gorillas, elephants and more. And because LJ knows all of these animals, it was extra fun to see him point and call out each animal name/sound. We had to ride the carousel, too. (cost: free, parking: $22 or street parking)

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14) Ride the metro
This city slicker was a pro. He insticntly knew to hold on as soon as the Metro left the station. He’s fascinated with trains and the “me-to” (metro) right now, so it was fun to see him get so excited to see the trains and to ride it. (cost: $2.50/way, cost varies depending on route)


15) Find a construction site and watch diggers dig, dump trucks dump, and cement mixers mix
This isn’t super hard to find in Arlington; we can walk 0.5 mile in any direction and find a construction site or a house being torn-down and rebuilt. In this case, we watched as construction crews knocked down Marymount University (Ballston Campus). It was pretty incredible to see a building that big/tall being torn down, complete with crane & ball, excavators, backhoes and dump trucks. On a different note, I never knew I’d learn so much about construction vehicles.


I highly recommend creating a #bucketlistbeforebaby. Whether you’re about to have your second or your fourth, this is something that you can do with anyone. I’m thankful we live in an area with so much at our fingertips, so I realize some of these adventures aren’t for everyone, but even trying something new can be a fun adventure.

I hope you had as much fun following our adventures, as we did living them!


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  1. […] were a few second-tier items on the #bucketlistbeforebaby that I wasn’t sure we’d be able to check-off but thanks to a few extra days, […]

  2. […] President and I set out on a crazy set of adventures before the baby was born and called it the #bucketlistbeforebaby project. We had so much fun exploring new – and old – places. I did it on a whim […]

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